Letters to the Editor

Swap Meet

Come out swinging:We are a couple in the lifestyle, and we enjoyed Jared Jacang Maher's "Swap Talk," in the June 22 issue. It was very well-written and gave a great insight into the Denver swing scene. Great job!

Names withheld on request

The really wild West: "Swap Talk" was a very good story, enlightening to say the least, kind of wild and right up my alley. I was very surprised that this subject seems to be more and more open. For the longest time, it was so taboo!

Name withheld on request

You'd better swap around: I read "Swap Talk" and wasn't all that surprised about what I read about Scottie Ewing. I have much respect for the guy, but his competitive spirit makes him a snake in the grass. Any time there is something that he is second-best at, he makes sure to knock out the competition. While I worked for Scottie, there were a lot of things that he came down on me for that in retrospect make sense, but he didn't have to be such a jerk about them.

There are other rumors that I've heard about him, and they coincide with the childish tactics discussed in this article. Rumors are rumors, and I always give someone the benefit of the doubt. Then again, there are some people who believe it's a dog-eat-dog world, so I wouldn't put it past him!

Name withheld on request

Privacy, please: I found your article "Swap Talk" interesting and fairly well-researched. However, the question I have is, what was its value and to whom? I feel that the only value is sensationalism to have a topic involving sex in your paper. Sure, it was fun reading -- but at what cost? Did it benefit any of the characters involved? This is a secret society, so the members do not benefit. It seems everyone loses -- the owners who are making a living providing a service to willing partakers, and the partakers, by more exposure to the places they quietly find as outlets for their interests.

The first half came across as another attempt by Scarlet Ranch owner Kendall Seifert to expose and discredit Scott Ewing. Those types of details do not enhance the readers' experience or ability to understand the story. As stated in the article, the lifestyle is legal, it is consensual, and it is private. Bottom line, I just took away a feeling that a disservice was done to all of the people involved -- even to Seifert, the owner who seems to want to speak the loudest, whether he knows it or not.

Name withheld on request

Butt Out

In harm's way: Jason Sheehan, I love your reviews and usually flip to your articles first when I pick up Westword. But in Bite Me last week, your reason for not banning smoking in bars and restaurants was severely flawed. I can only guess that those pathetic examples of absurd illegal products were supposed to make us think that cigarette smoking is just another harmless activity banned by Big Brotha. None of the other products you mentioned (okay, maybe except for the cheese) does any harm to anyone but the person consuming it.

This is not so with smoking. Obviously, deductive reasoning is not a necessary skill for a food critic.

Joe Limone

P-Nuckling Under

Fingering Herrera: I was surprised to read Dave Herrera's Beatdown on the Westword Music Showcase Awards ceremony last week. I managed to catch most of the ceremony, and in regard to P-Nuckle's backlash, it seems to me that he made it a bit harsher than it really was, portraying them as pompous assholes during their acceptance speech. I've been promoting bands in this city for years now, and I think Chris managed to say what many of us have been thinking all along: that there shouldn't be genres and bands competing against each other for venue spots, but instead working together to help each other out.

P-Nuckle has been around for as long as I've been doing promoting, and I think I've seen them on the Showcase list maybe once before, so they've put their time in, and they do deserve that award! All of the candidates who've been through all the bullshit in this city's music industry deserve it, too. If you make good music and you make Denver's people get off their asses and watch a show, then you deserve it.

Nicki Lamar

The Hell You Say!

Wrong way: Luke Turf's "Exit This Way," in the June 8 issue, repeated the often-claimed reason why people want to hasten death: They don't fear death, they fear suffering.

Maurice Rawlings, a specialist in cardiovascular diseases, resuscitated many patients after they were clinically dead. One of the first he brought back begged him to get him out of hell, screaming, "I am in hell!" During painful resuscitation, he cried, "Don't stop!" After several death episodes, the terrified man asked, "How do I stay out of hell?" Most of the stories in the 1970s had related "beautiful" out-of-body and near-death experiences; Rawlings hadn't heard of "bad" ones and wasn't sure how to respond. "Jesus Christ," he suggested. The patient begged, "Pray for me!" Praying, too, was a first. The dying man repeated a simple prayer and later recovered. He became a strong Christian, telling his story to anyone who would listen.

Dr. Rawlings decided to record immediately what people said they had seen. About half told of a horrible place! Most "passed swiftly through a dark tunnel," some into light, others into darkness. He wrote Beyond Death's Door, a book with convincing evidence that this life is not the end.

Carolyn Ruth Dolan

Life savers: Luke Turf's "Exit This Way" was written very well. It was easy to read and very informative. Two questions came up that I thought could have been included, though. First, "What is the suicide death rate in the United States each year?" Second, "How often does the ŒChoices' group try to dissuade people from taking their own lives?"

In my opinion, I think the decision to take your own life is a decision that can never really be made rationally. Yes, people can be in extraordinary amounts of pain and want to have the option -- yet life is a gift. The decision to take that gift away, whether it be yourself or another human being, seems wrong. Maybe for the best, this group and its many chapters offer comfort and a "sense" of control for the patients or clients, yet they start to control too much when they are offering free information on how to take your own life.

Groups should surface to offer comfort and solace to people with diseases of all kinds. An understanding and loyal friendship or advice should be given, but only for the betterment of living -- not for death.

Erik Gustafson
Fort Collins

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