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Shame on the Indy
When I saw your cover picture on the Jan. 5 issue ("Long live the FONG"), I was disturbed, due to younger children reading the paper for movies, concerts and all the fun activities Colorado Springs has to offer. Then after reading Rich Tosches' article, for the same reason as stated previously, I could not believe my eyes.
There was absolutely no reason for this article to be written. Why; for what purpose? What does the public care what "FONGs" do at the gym? Talk about stimulating perverts, sex offenders and rapists, which seem to be rampant now everywhere. This article certainly did not help one iota with anything. I really wished to spiel off here, but decided to be respectful for the younger population.
Ralph and Rich, you should be ashamed of yourselves, for printing this in your public paper.
— Mary Martin
At first, when I read "Fat Old Naked Guys" I was seriously put off. It was mildly funny and titillating in a junior-high, guy-humor sort of way. But surely, the Indy could find something more newsworthy than a rant about elderly nudity in men's locker rooms, which, being a woman, I don't find particularly interesting and, being an older woman, I thought insultingly ageist.
What was the writer's point? That men of all ages do inappropriate things? Like that's news. That it's a shame the current generation wasn't raised with the same relaxed attitude toward nudity? That old people should keep themselves covered so as not to gross out young folks? Or what?
There's a difference between the way young and old people approach physicality, but I don't think it has to do with the past. My recollection is that young people then were no more comfortable with their own and other people's bodies than young people are today. And the oldsters were just as embarrassingly matter-of-fact.
Older people seem more casual about bodily matters because: A.) we've been in a body for a long time and the novelty has worn off; B.) the worst already happened — we got old; C.) other people's bodies are familiar ground. By the time we reach our "golden" years, most of us have changed a mountain of diapers, nursed loved ones and sat by death beds, emptied bed pans and wiped bottoms, cleaned up barf and other bodily excretions, undergone medical procedures that leave no delusions of physical privacy, and engaged more than a few times in a certain activity that generally involves ditching the towels and sharing some sweat.
So, although the guy writing the article is unhappy about getting an eyeful of his elders in all their wrinkled glory, there's something to be said for being comfortable enough in your own skin to watch TV in your birthday suit with some buddies. Maybe he should try it sometime.
— P.S. McFadden
One Life, one lesson
This week, we're seeing the end of One Life to Live, a show that I have sometimes watched since I was a child. I'm not going to miss the show that much, but this is an example of the core problem with capitalism being at the heart of our society.
The issue with One Life is that the show makes money, but ABC can make more money with another show in that slot.
One Life has high production values and costs a ton of money. It's the kind of product that can only be made by a large, well-funded company like ABC. It doesn't matter that One Life has millions of passionate fans and creates many jobs. What matters is that another show can put a few more bucks in stockholders' pockets, and raise the success of network executives.
But is that really the case, or is it only in the short term? Yes, the show replacing it is already doing well, but will it still be doing well next year, or decades from now? The answer to that is, "Nobody who actually matters cares about that."
I have noticed that, among my friends, relatives and acquaintances, whatever network someone watches soaps on, that person usually watches that network the most. It's a kind of brand loyalty. I don't think loyalty is factored into the equation that measures the cost-benefit analysis of canceling One Life.
This is what's going wrong in all areas of our society. Everyone is in a race to cut jobs, costs, and quality to make the most money in the short term. Nobody is paying attention to the long-term costs.
— Gina Douglas
Colorado Springs is now discussing the possibility of setting up "free speech zones" for those who want to exercise their First Amendment rights. Put them somewhere where no one will see them, seems to be the prevailing idea. This stems from opposition to Occupy Wall Street demonstrators across the country and at Acacia Park in downtown Colorado Springs.
The act of civil disobedience is a time-honored tool for those without personal power, buckets of money, or positions of authority to seek justice. Acts of civil disobedience were how citizens drew attention to their cries for freedom from oppressive British rule in 1773-74, to the end of slavery, equality for women, civil rights, gay rights and opposition to the Vietnam war.
In the hierarchy of rights, the First Amendment is sacred, far and above the minutiae of municipal rules and regulations. Much turmoil and conflict, physical harm, expenditure of funds, and division of citizens could have been spared if authorities had honored this American exercise of rights. Police would only have been summoned if there was an imminent threat to life or property.
During the summer of 2010, when tea partiers had marches and rallies — some wearing sidearms or carrying automatic rifles — they were not harassed by armored riot squads, threatened with arrest, or attacked with chemical weapons, billy clubs and rubber bullets.
In the case of Occupy Wall Streeters, there is the suspicion that excessive force has been used in defense of a particular partisan view of the content of the protest.
Instead of finding fault with the demonstrators or media, we should try listening to the merits of their cause.
In Colorado Springs, we start down a very slippery slope if we start trying to "legislate" where we can speak freely or peacefully assemble.
— Dolores Quinlisk
Cat scratch fever
Re: Free speech zones. If you can't kill the tiger, remove its claws.
— Steve Suhre
In response to "Misplaced motives," I am a 10-plus-year volunteer with Old English Sheepdog Rescue. My experience has been that rescue groups work pretty much the same, with the goal of what is best for the dog (or cat or gerbil or horse or reptile or whatever).
It appears the Teller County Animal Shelter in Divide is "right on."
While we deal with breed-specific dogs, and a far fewer number, the process is to find the right home for the right dog. We get to know the prospective family as well as possible, starting with the application. I do not see why asking for an address and phone number would be offensive. Who lives in the house, their ages, whether someone is home during the day, and what type of fence exists are critical questions.
We get vet references, make a home check, and visit with the folks several times. We insist they visit with the dog before making any commitment — we want to see a bond between those with four legs and those with two.
In our group, each dog immediately has a health check. Virtually all need heavy-duty work: spay/neuter, grooming, dental, whatever. By the time the typical Sheepie is adopted, he has run up a bill of over $1,000; the adoption donation asked is about a third of that. Some give us free or discounted services, and folks will dig deeper in their pockets if we need it. Nobody in our group takes any money home.
I do not see the "outrageous demands by rescue organizations" to be that. We are merely trying to get a good dog into a good home where he will be loved, cared for, and respected. Rescue groups do the best job they can to get dogs into a happy home.
— Joe Olds
Deal with it
In response to Denay Horn ("Misplaced motives," Letters, Jan. 5), I'm sure you would make a good "pet parent," but many don't follow through after getting their new pet home.
Years back, in Summit County, we went through the same drill to adopt from a shelter. The reason for all the questions, paperwork, verification, etc. is to make sure pets are not abandoned again. Many landlords do not allow pets and threaten eviction when pets are found, so animals end up on the street.
If all these "hoops" are too much to jump through, then maybe a "puppy mill" is the answer for you!
— Dave Joss
Loons and letdowns
We have a bevy of Republican crackpots vying to see who can emerge victorious from this kabuki display called the primaries. The press is dutifully and breathlessly following every utterance as though covering a serious contesting of ideologies, which will determine the future of the Republic.
Barack Obama has shrewdly governed as a centrist Republican, causing his opponents to run against him from the loony margins. Obama has been accused alternately of being a fascist and a socialist. Wall Street continues to be very content with the president as evidenced by its obscene contributions to him. Meanwhile, progressives and a majority of others who voted for meaningful change are justifiably wondering: "Where's our candidate?"
— Steve Milligan
I was disheartened to read in your Dec. 29 issue ("Personhood language OK," Noted) that yet another effort to bestow "personhood" on zygotes (this time, it's called Initiative 46) will be on our ballots in November.
Initiative 46, if passed, would outlaw any treatment for a non-life-threatening illness that could harm a zygote or fetus. So what could a woman with rheumatoid arthritis do? The most common treatment for rheumatoid arthritis is a drug called Methotrexate; however, this drug would kill a zygote or fetus. While rheumatoid arthritis is not necessarily life-threatening, it is crippling and extremely painful. But I guess the proponents of this initiative don't mind seeing women endure such horrendous suffering as long as a microscopic clump of cells is spared.
The initiative would force victims of rape and incest to give birth, regardless of their age or mental and physical capacity. Forcing a rape victim to carry a pregnancy to term is tantamount to saying the rape was her fault and she has to live with the consequences!
Initiative 46 has nothing to do with protecting unborn babies, and everything to do with suppressing women.
— Fred Kormos
Before the turnaround
Great column ("Tebow: 'Back' him up," End Zone, Jan. 5), brilliant idea for an uber-versatile, Tebow-centric offense with maximum utility from No. 15 as a fast fullback and/or H-back/running back/tight end. Always enjoy your column and think you're the best sportswriter in the Front Range with the most creative thinking about the Broncos. I hope John Fox is reading you.
— James "Sam" Vivian
Editor's note: After Tebow's performance Sunday against Pittsburgh, of course, all bets are off. At least until Saturday night at New England.