The joke's on us: I love Josh Blue! I love Adam Cayton-Holland for writing "Kind of Blue," and Westword for putting him on the cover of the September 1 issue.
Josh is not only inspiring, but he is -- as Adam says -- fucking funny. Period.
Failing the taste test: Regarding Jared Jacang Maher's "Hard to Swallow," in the August 25 issue:
Way to use the word "piss"! Real classy! How old is Jared, twelve? I hope he isn't the best reporter that Westword has -- and if this article is any example of his talent, then Westword is in trouble. Jared, consumer-based market research actually changes products that you use every day, you douche bag -- but then, why would you know that? You are too busy thinking you are some MTV news-type reporter doing some undercover work on market research. Who-o-o, now there's a hot story.
Don't you guys have any real news going on up there, or would you not know how to find that?
And Jared, I would brush up on my sarcasm if I were you, 'cause ya sure as hell aren't funny! That's why you're at Westword, probably. But I'm no reporter!
Name withheld on request
Access powers: Crud! "No Access," Michael Roberts's article on DCTV in the September 1 issue, was his most disappointing piece since Roberts did only a small article about the cancellation of Teletunes. As a former producer for both Teletunes, on KBDI, and The Barbeque Show, airing on DCTV, it feels like the creative walls are closing in. DCTV was an inexpensive canvas for those of us who have talent creating fun television, but who don't have the resources or contacts to get our programs on elsewhere (the BBQ show had been rejected by MTV and Comedy Central).
As a former producer, I can testify that the equipment and facilities for editing, etc., were not well taken care of, and therefore were a turn-off. When you solicit important guests for a public-access program, they are usually uneasy about it, and you don't gain their trust when they see the aired program and pixels are missing because the digital camera was not fully operational or the sound speeds up and down because the tape heads are dirty. It's very discouraging. What's more discouraging are when fees to take classes go up four times, and as a producer you have to pay annual fees (which I'd be willing to pay if the equipment worked).
The people at DCTV who I worked with enjoyed their jobs and were committed to doing a good job. (I never met the board people.) Yet it seems DCTV has been set up for failure, the board is incompetent, or the board is simply complacent. I suspect it's a little bit of all three. And when city councilmembers are proposing a "one or the other" ultimatum -- more cops versus more DCTV, as though there is no other alternative or resources for either -- you know nobody is on DCTV's side.
If DCTV goes under, so does a part of our community that hasn't been commercialized. And as creative outlets like these disappear from the community, urban kids and adults who may have a talent for television, music or the arts may never discover it and may not become what they were meant to be. I bet Michael's article and this letter to the editor (if printed) reach a hundred potential DCTV producers who had no idea that this program was so publicly available and so easily accessed.
Color his world: It seems that the world is indeed black and white to Michael Paglia ("In Black and White," August 25). We run East End Applied Arts, an art gallery in the Original Downtown Aurora Arts District. We take umbrage at his references to Aurora as a "dingy town" and the arts district as "the meanest streets of suburbia." Not only is our business here, but Kim Harrell (co-owner of the gallery) and her family live three blocks away.
Mr. Paglia has not earned the right to criticize what is happening in the arts district in Aurora. Has he been here? Has he talked to the gallery owners, the fifty-plus artists we have represented, the residents, the customers (many of whom have traveled from as far as Lakewood, and even from Mr. Paglia's own neighborhood, to see our shows)? Has he solicited comments from the Aurora Chamber, the Aurora Urban Renewal department, the mayor? No.
Does Westword encourage irresponsible journalism? Would you publish a restaurant review by the excellent Jason Sheehan without him actually going to eat the food? Heaven knows there are more restaurants in the metro area than arts districts, but Mr. Sheehan seems able to do his job -- and quite well, we might add. Why should your readers trust anything Mr. Paglia has to say if he doesn't do his research?
Get it together, Mr. Paglia, and actually come to downtown Aurora and talk to us -- if you dare. Come on, make our day!
Kim Harrell and Lani Sloss
Right turn: Thank you for featuring our fledgling Aurora Arts District in Michael Paglia's "In Black and White." As a 32-year resident of north Aurora, I am proud of the work we have accomplished thus far and the plans that we have for the new arts district. The perception of old downtown Aurora having "the meanest streets in the suburbs," though, is greatly exaggerated. We must be doing something right as, in my opinion, we would not have deserved this kind of criticism unless our new Aurora Arts District is seen as real competition and a threat for pulling business from existing arts districts in the metro area.
Check back with us in a couple of years to see the progress as our new arts district unfolds.
Let's get real: "Real World," you say? In regard to Michael Paglia's column in the August 18 issue, his heroic attempts to rescue our school, the Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, via the press would be more appreciated if he weren't so conceited about them. Sounds like he could use a crash course in "get-realism" himself.