Singing a Different Tune
Regarding the "outrage" that John Denver "fans" expressed in the October 23 issue:

C'mon, people, you are being silly! How many people made fun of ol' John before he died? MANY! How many people bought his music before he died? NOT MANY! Why does someone have to die to get the attention that you are giving him? Let's all jump on the bandwagon!

Sure, John was a nice guy, and some of his music was okay. I remember seeing him with the Muppets. You people were talking about Kenny Be as insensitive--and what names were you calling him?

Really, lots of people--including me--thought that cartoon was very funny! I have seen it pinned up in many places. Kenny was doing his job, and a fine job he did.

You people need to calm down and put that energy into some real causes. Get a life.

And remember that old saying: "If you do not like it, you do not have to read it."

Dana Stauffacher
via the Internet

I'm just writing a brief note for both Westword cartoonist Kenny Be and music critic Michael Roberts in regard to all of the negative reactions over their recent pieces on the late John Denver. Gentlemen: Bravo! I'm so glad that Westword had the nerve to actually print what many people really thought. John Denver was not a very talented writer or singer, and his egomaniacal efforts to portray himself as some sort of an Eco-Hero were rather pathetic, given his own not-very-planet-friendly shenanigans, as Westword had in the past pointed out!

Thank you again for being "politically incorrect" but nevertheless truthful!
(P.S.: I loved Kenny Be's piece on Princess Diana's designer coffin. Brilliant!)

Joanna Hautin-Mayer

All of the letters regarding John Denver and the underhanded, tasteless way your writers and "cartoonist" tried to create controversy were on point. What they failed to point out is the implicit approval of the editor in this bashing process. Ms. Calhoun, you bear equal responsibility, and everything that was said about Kenny Jerk and Cheap Shot Roberts applies to you in spades.

But then, this paper has never been one of the leaders in ethics, has it?
T.W. Norman

Thank you for identifying Best of Denver establishments around Denver--I use your list as the final word for places to avoid. Clearly, those Westword staffers whose assignment it is to select the BEST--repeat, the BEST--of the city are an undiscriminating lot with low expectations, marginal analytical skills and no apparent sophistication. Together with several of your reporters/ editorialists (recently and most notably, the cretins who tastelessly trash-mouthed John Denver), I would say you boys are dilettantes, pretenders with a long, long way to go. I read the rag for the advertisements.

Stephen Martin

A Capital Offense
Reading Patricia Calhoun's "Murder Ink," in the October 23 issue, I was reminded again of the futility of the death penalty--and so soon after the execution of Gary Davis. If Morris were not facing a death sentence, he would probably already be in jail. Instead, we are paying for a trial that wastes everyone's time--and will result in appeals that continue to waste time and money for years to come. Thanks to Calhoun for keeping an eye on this ball.

Steve Conners

If people in your profession insist on trying cases in the media in order to increase ratings and sell publications, it makes it more difficult for prosecutors to win capital cases.

You were extremely graphic in your description of Ashley Gray's ordeal. How do you think that might influence a prospective jury pool? Are you part of the solution or part of the problem? "Increase circulation and ratings at any cost" seems to be the media marching orders.

I'm finished with Westword.
Name withheld on request

Stop defending the bad guys. It was an accident! He didn't mean it! She just snapped! He would never do that! She was under a lot of strain! He loved her too much! She had a hard life! He was abused as a child!

Hello out there! Who are we, anyway, to allow this? We all do it to some extent. We protect our children, our spouses, our family. We mind our own business. We don't get involved. We make excuses. Why? Because we can't believe that anyone could commit such gruesome acts. Because it hurts us to believe that one of us could hurt another one of us.

So we hide it, hide our bad thoughts. We deny the truth. We avoid the facts. We ignore the evidence. We soften reality. We turn away and pretend it never happened.

When are we going to open our eyes and face our reality, the reality that we, as humans, have created? Continued tolerance of violence breeds more violence. Can't we see this?

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