My thanks and congratulations to Westword. Alan Prendergast's article on Judge Lynne Hufnagel ("Motion to Dismiss," October 24) may have made the difference in this election. The judge got the boot, and justice is the winner.
The voters last Tuesday sent a clear message to judges in our city and throughout the state. Judge Lynne Hufnagel was rejected for retention as Denver district court judge because of her well-documented proclivity for treating people with disdain. Most people have been to court on occasion, and some have been subjected to negative or unfair treatment by an "imperial judge" along the way. This was the basis for the vote against Hufnagel (and the narrow escape by Judge Celeste C de Baca).
In the election, the public voiced its frustration with arrogance from the bench loud and clear: Treat us with respect and behave responsively to our concerns, or be gone!
I just wanted to drop a line to give Michael Roberts a massive thumbs-up for "Heads Down," his positive interview with Jerry Harrison of the Heads, in the October 31 issue. I've been a full-time Talking Heads fan since witnessing Jonathan Demme's Stop Making Sense on opening night at the Esquire in 1984, and I was thoroughly horrified to learn that former lead singer David Byrne had unofficially "canceled" the group several years ago. Apparently he didn't feel the urge to check with the rest of the quartet, the newly formed Heads. I've been looking forward to Tina, Chris and Jerry's CD for months, and I found the new disc No Talking Just Head to be quite agreeable. The disc does not carry the watershed brilliance of Remain in Light, but neither do any of Mr. Byrne's bloated solo efforts, and those Latin compilations are all just a bit too Go Team! for my tastes. Tom-Tom Club is the only Talking Heads spinoff that truly maintains.
I assumed most folks were sick of David Byrne's egomania, pompous press releases and callous disregard for the former bandmates he made music history with. So I was shocked and amazed to discover many critics were ready to jump on the Heads rather than on Byrne, despite his cynically threatened lawsuit against them. For a reclusive "genius" type, David knows how to pull a lot of music-industry strings. There is no justice in the world.
So three rock-and-roll cheers to Roberts for going against the grain and giving the Heads their due. Tell Jerry that this fan is on his side of the Talking Heads wars 100 percent. I know David ripped off those early hip-hop/funk records from him and Eno, anyway! And thank God they're touring. Demme is a prodigy, but there's nothing like seeing the real thing live.
For the Record
I didn't mean to laugh at Michael Roberts's eye-opening November 6 review of Sutras, the new CD by Donovan Leitch. After all, Roberts is an astute journalist at a cutting-edge, alternative publication in a very important cultural mecca-metropolis.
I didn't mean to laugh when Roberts summed up Leitch as a "sensitive folkie" who "cut a few hits, if exceedingly few, in his day," including "the dorky 'Season of the Witch,'" nor when he dismissed Sutras as "impossibly effete, utterly typical...wispy patience-testers."
After all, Roberts has a wealth of experience with patience-testers, considering the amount of rap music to which he willingly subjects himself. Leitch merely has a 32-year, internationally renowned recording career, not to mention an obvious relationship to higher consciousness.
Henceforth, I shall refrain from laughter when perusing such heady journalism and shall put in proper perspective the sagely chunks of personal insight we are blessed to have float to the top of Roberts's apparently bottomless pool of wisdom.
Mega "it's about time" dittos for Michael Roberts's October 24 review of Carman's Righteous Invasion of Truth. I share Roberts's sentiment about contemporary "Christian" music--it sounds like an oxymoron. Now, I don't hate Carman; I don't even know him. But why would a fortyish Oral Roberts University graduate want to perpetrate a whammy like gangsta rap? (And is there gangsta rap in Tulsa, Oklahoma?) I saw Carman's "7 Ways to Praise." At least to me, it would seem that is what he does best--jazzy, Tom Jonesy big band. Be yourself, dude!
Regarding Kyle Wagner's review of Rodizio ("Bye, Bye Brazil," October 24) and Ivan Utrera's letter in the November 6 issue:
I have been to Rodizio four times with three different couples, and everyone had a good time. It was fun, the food was fine. I eat out every night; I am picky about my food, and my friends trust my judgment about a restaurant as being pretty accurate.
Take Kyle Wagner's reviews with a grain of salt, because she tends to be harsh--harping on the bad to the point of being what I consider cruel. Kyle should stress positive points as much, if not more. It is a review, not a bitch column. The saying fits: "She thinks she's champagne in a wine glass, but she's just a little piss in a beer bottle."
Having seen the crowds at Rodizio, it can't be that bad. If I were a restaurant owner, I'd be angry if the customers were responding positively and a reviewer wrote what Kyle did. I think that's what happened.
Just a note to express my appreciation for the excellent article in your October 17 issue by Steve Jackson about the U.S. Navy Armed Guard, "The Unknown Sailors." How nice it was for those of us who served in that special branch of the Navy to receive some recognition for the part we played.
Steve really put together a "hard to lay down" article that brought back some great memories--and some we would rather forget. Also, great pictures.
Cecil W. Ray
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