While I found "Final Checkout" an interesting and informative article, I believe you do a great disservice to motel residents such as Amy Limon and Charles Young by including the story of Amy Hess-Kibben alongside theirs. Most people have a hard time believing that anyone forced to live in a hotel is anything other than a drunk, a drug addict, a prostitute or some combination of the three. Young and Limon show that decent, hardworking people sometimes wind up in unfathomable situations. Hess-Kibben only reinforces that negative stereotype, particularly when one reads about all the assistance offered to her.
To be honest, I almost quit reading when I got to the mess she's made of her life. As someone who's had to deal with life being turned upside down because of a family member's drug use, I am sick of hearing the pity parties they throw for themselves. She's living in a motel on Colfax with her kids because she made bad choices. I feel sorry for her kids but have no sympathy for her.
This article would have been much more effective had you highlighted people who truly have no place to go rather than someone who's had ample opportunity and squandered it.
"Goodbye, Cruel Real World," Adam Cayton-Holland, May 17
Whoever approved the printing of Adam Cayton-Holland's summation of The Real World: Monarck deserves every penny of the $24,000 salary he/she is earning. I knew this angry, soccer-loving, self-loathing hipster had it in him to write something like this, but I had absolutely no idea anyone over there had the balls to publish it. This was a first-class, comedic crucifixion of a crew of self-absorbed losers that redefined poor parenting. In its relentless assault on the idiots at MTV, Westword has restored some semblance of dignity to my beloved city, and for that I commend you. Well done.
Oh, how I love critiques of pop culture. As someone who hates TV, it is very embarrassing to admit that I couldn't get enough of The Real World: Denver this season. Maybe it's because they were all so horrible that it made me feel like a better person. Yep, that's definitely it.
But as much as I hate Brooke (and I fucking can't stand her), there's no excuse for violence-against-women jokes. I know, I know, Adam would never hit a woman; it was just a joke. Well, it's not funny, and although I thought the rest of What's So Funny was hilarious, I'm not going to forward it to my boyfriend — or read Westword anymore, for that matter. Which is a shame, because there's usually some pretty good stuff in there. Please think twice next time before joking about such a serious issue that affects thousands of women daily.
P.S. Alex is the coolest cast member because he "banged" a lot of chicks, but Jenn is a whore? Come on.
Do you know, I didn't watch a single episode of The Real World: Denver, and after having read Adam Cayton-Holland's review of the show and the cast members, I'm thinking I got the better end of the deal! What a fucking disaster.
One word on this piece:
"Say It Loud," Juliet Wittman, May 17
I would like to respond to Juliet Wittman's rather scathing review of Wicked. It would seem that with all the sold-out performances, my fellow Denverites and I agree that this is the show to see! While I will agree that Glinda has a Mean Girls tone, that is undeniably part of her character, since this story revolves around the "wicked" witch of the west. This is not Glinda's story; this is Elphaba's story!
In her review, Wittman refers to "noise, noise, noise." But this is a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical; if not big, over-the-top musical numbers, what was she expecting? Wittman also missed the main point of the story, which is not about "race," as she babbles, but about overcoming obstacles and proving self-worth — an area of opportunity even for a "writer." True, there are political jabs in the plot and a love story; however, there is also a friendship and plenty of answers to questions about some of the characters that have made a permanent impression on today's society.
It seems you wasted a hot ticket on Juliet Wittman. Even she admits that everyone else was not only impressed, but thoroughly entertained. It seems Wittman would rather stare at someone's backside than give the just props to actors who have worked and sung out their lungs to bring this story to life. I beg of you, if Wittman wants to write further reviews of theatrical shows, there are plenty of low-budget, cheap and — I dare say — "ghetto" local musical productions staged all over the city at random community centers and most high schools. Maybe that type of "theater" would best suit Wittman's taste, because sending this dame to write yet another piece is simply a waste and provides nothing of use to the loyal readers of Westword.
"Home Alone," Dave Herrera, May 3
I've made my living with music for about nine years and can certainly understand the leaner times associated with the changing business. What frustrates me, however, is seeing a small label like Suburban Home or Eyeball not embracing the changes. They're perfectly positioned to take advantage of the web and the new methods of distribution, but are instead living in the past like the major labels.
If a sixteen-year-old girl posts some tunes on her blog that are then downloaded 1,000 times, that does not equate to the loss of 1,000 CDs sold. Those 1,000 people had never heard of the small indie artist before checking the blog. Even if the blogger has a great reputation for finding good music, are people really going to buy a few tracks at iTunes for 99 cents, let alone the whole album, just to try it out? Because the blogger said so? No way!
Instead of embracing the fact that 1,000 new people now have this music and are sending it to their friends, generating a buzz, the labels are punishing the blogger and the fans. Personally, I'd be jumping up and down uncontrollably if an artist I was working with had that many free downloads. I'd send the blogger a thank-you note. Because suddenly, there's a chance that things could reach the tipping point and the artist could have a draw, tour, sell CDs and merch and actually make a living.
But wait. This all relies on one major keystone to work: The artist can't suck.
There are many of us who are actually excited about the business. So what if CD sales are tanking? Music is more vibrant and alive than ever before. I'm all for artists getting paid, and music shouldn't be stolen. But it is being stolen, and there's no way to stop it. Why not use it as a tool to make a new business where everyone is on a level playing field, artists get paid and the fans get a lot of great music for a low price?
Worst-Case Scenario, Kenny Be, April 26
In this campaign for Denver City Council, there have been certain milestones: getting the endorsements from the News and Post; seeing my name on the ballot for the first time; having my first rendering by Kenny Be.
I have truly arrived. Thanks for the vote of confidence. Looking forward to many more versions of my haircut on his page.