The Year in Review, December 27
Wow! I'm being called a "shmuck" (Jewish for prick) and top Westword's "Hall of Shame" simply because I acted as a whistleblower against irresponsible bar owners who illegally use women as marketing ploys with their sexist ladies' night promotions? Me thinketh the Westword editors have blindly confused the word "shame" with honor. But don't take my word for it. Just ask the two Denver County judges who recently ruled in my favor in two separate courts of law. If you're still bewildered, then ask yourself, "How can a society further the causes of democracy for whenever he/she speaks up for what's written in the law, he/she gets raked over the coals by those whose selfish agenda isn't being met?"
The answer lies in the fact that I'm stronger than most.
Editor's note: Although Colorado legislators recently decided not to introduce a ladies' night bill, you can still hear Steve Horner testify — via his recent voice-mails to Westword — at The Latest Word.
"Memories," Jason Sheehan, December 27
Let me just say that I am officially done with considering Jason Sheehan a food critic. It's not that I consider him a bad writer — I find his writing entertaining and even funny at times. But I have reached the conclusion that he just has bad taste and should write about something other than food. I began to question his taste when he glorified that Vietnamese-Texas fusion steakhouse Cowbobas, along with his obsession with barbecue in a town with very little good barbecue. I count two good barbecue places in this city, but he seems to find a new "it's so good it's the second coming of Christ" barbecue place in this town every couple of months.
But my latest and final issue with his opines on gastronomic delights has come with his 2007 Year in Review piece. I failed to get past the first few paragraphs because he openly admitted that he passed up dinner at Le Bernardin for the Brooklyn Diner.
For those who do not know, Le Bernardin is one of only three "Michelin three-starred" restaurants in New York City. There are only a handful of three-starred restaurants in the country, and he passed up dinner to go to the gimmicky Brooklyn Diner! (Yes, any place that advertises itself as being a taste of Brooklyn in Times Square is gimmicky.) The equivalent of this transgression would be the Pope deciding to skip Easter Mass to watch a Tivo-ed episode of his favorite soap opera that he had already seen twelve times! Or better yet, this would be like Tom Brady ditching both the Super Bowl and Giselle to play Super Nintendo Mario Kart and drink Busch Light with some random homeless dude! Any food critic who would commit this sort of transgression does not deserve to have a reservation ever again at Le Bernardin, and I certainly hope Eric Ripert hears about this and blackballs Mr. Sheehan from his glorious restaurant forever.
No more will I consider the culinary ramblings of Mr. Sheehan to be remotely authoritative. He just chose a two-day old McDonald's double cheeseburger over one of the best gastronomic adventures in the country, if not the world. Shame.
I wish him the best of luck in his career as a writer — just not as a food critic.
"Nationalistic," December 27
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I'm afraid Westword has joined the many publications that release a "best of" feature before the year is over. I'm sure it was in the works for a while, so I can see how some releases might have been overlooked if they were put out late. But leaving Lupe Fiasco's The Cool off the list entirely was a rather hefty overlook. The album, released on December 18, is a gem not only among the year's shaky hip-hop releases, but also in the entire music industry that is on the verge of producing more formula-built "music" products than actual music as an art form that facilitates personal expression, emotion and thought. The Cool boldly addresses many pressing issues, including what the general public widely accepts as "cool," and does so with an incredibly deep and thought-provoking concept, Lupe's intellectual lyrics and more genuine artistry than 50 Cent, Kanye West or an entire hip-hop generation seemed to muster all year long.
If that doesn't meet the criteria for a great album, I don't know what does.