Letters to the Editor

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The BATF obviously hasn't learned a damned thing since Waco; has the liberal media learned anything since 9/11?

J.M. Schell

Off to See the Wizard

To Air is human: Oh dear, it's pick-on-Michael-Jordan time again ("The Wizard at Odds," November 29). Why do innumerable writers, including Bill Gallo, feel they know what dignity in sports is all about? I can only imagine that after counting all the ceiling tiles in the building, Gallo decided to purchase a cheap ticket on the sentimental express. What else would drive a man to call young players in the NBA "vulnerable"? Dear God, these guys may be eighteen and nineteen years old, but they have spent most of their lives immersed in competition that we on the sidelines can barely comprehend. Sure, they may not know how badly a lover can crush your reason, but if they don't want to knock Jordan on his ass every time they see him, then they're the ones who should retire.

Yes, his Airness coaches them and awes them with his legacy and ability, and he may very well do despicable things to manipulate their young, fragile minds, but he earned the right, according to all precedent set in capitalist economics and the American ethos. His talent, Nike and the Chicago Bulls made sure of that, and to base a line of motivational inquiry on some bizarre, platonic conception of sportsmanship is like asking Stephen Hawking if he would eat the moon if it were made out of green cheese. And to trot out McGwire as a noble specimen, while feeling sorry for Ali and Williams, demonstrates nothing but contempt for all three.

Before I end my rant, I'm going to let you in on a little secret: The world is a terrible place where people get old and die. That, unfortunately, is the way it is. This sad fact got a little Indian prince on track to becoming the Buddha, but since most of us will never sit under the nirvana tree, we have to get by with the few beautiful moments of complete temporal immersion found most readily in sports, art and sex, and I say let Jordan get as many of those moments as he can. And, who knows, a future spiritual leader might one day credit his holiness to the terrible witnessing of geriatric basketball.

I could go on, but I would start quoting Shakespeare, Tennyson, Marx and Nietzsche, and I would bore you to tears, so I will end with this: As long as professional sports are controlled more by money than by talent, there will be no true avenues to glory.

Bruce Adair

State of the Union

Yeah, that's the ticket: Bravo to Stuart Steers and Westword! It is far from often enough that I get to give praise where it is due, but "Show Stoppers," in the November 29 issue, is an easy exception. After putting in my time with the Denver Center Theatre Company (not in the box office), I can attest to the working conditions of the people who sell you your seats. The fact that they are still able to smile after putting up with the garbage from above is amazing. I hope we see a full union soon and real wages and benefits.

The story itself raises another question: Should organizations that receive city money be able to use their budgets to fight unions? The box office of the DCPA is the biggest and best example, but one has to wonder about the phone banks at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Art Museum. What wages and benefits do those employees receive?

Keep up the good work!

Alex Teitz
via the Internet

Blowing Smoke

Seeds of dissension: So, a hemp-seed granola bar is in the same category as heroin (Marty Jones's "Hemp Burns Out," November 22)? Why prohibitionist politicians force the cultivation of hemp and cannabis in this atmosphere is barbaric. God gave us hemp and cannabis, and only God will take them away -- not some terrorist form of government that profits from this freak show called the War on Drugs.

It defies integrity and rationality to cage humans for using cannabis. And to cage sick citizens using cannabis for relief of pain is vile, morbid and spiteful for a civilization in the year 2001. Further, as a Christian, it is a sin to cage your brother or neighbor for using cannabis. Thank God for cannabis. Accept cannabis (also known as kaneh bosm, before the King James Version) for what it is described as on the very first page (like déjà vu) of the Bible (Genesis 1:11-12, 29-30). Cannabis prohibition is a very serious crime.

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