Letters to the Editor 

The bloom is off

I read your review of Magnolia in Detroit online today. I had lunch there today with some co-workers. I had to check the review to make sure we were talking about the same restaurant. The food was decent — I will give it that, but only reluctantly because everything else from the moment we walked in left such an awful taste in my mouth. You could not drag me back to that restaurant.

We had reservations for 7 people to celebrate a birthday. We made the reservation about a week and a half in advance and still had to wait 15 minutes for the table. At that, they didn’t even put the tables together. They just sat us in adjacent tables. The waitress NEVER took a drink order. She was disorganized, and we waited another 30 minutes at the table before she took our order. I asked for soup, which never came. She acknowledged the fact that she forgot the soup when she finally came back to the table with the food. She assumed I then didn’t want the soup and didn’t bring it until I reminded her that I wanted it. Our reservation was at 1 p.m. and we didn’t get served our food until 3 p.m. That’s just ridiculous.

If you like the food, I would get over there soon, ’cause it won’t be in business long with service like that. Especially given its location with nothing else around.

I am glad to hear you had a better experience than we did. I will certainly not be dining there again! —Maren Keyt, Mt. Clemens


Books, not bombs

Re: The photo-essay “Tome tomb,” (Metro Times, Dec. 22), an analogy could be made between all the rotting books and all the wasted lives of those unfortunate citizens who passed through school and learned nothing, only to lead lives devoid of purpose. We see these folks every day, and hear through the media of children shooting children, and great crimes of all sorts being perpetrated by aimless, uneducated youth (and adults). Meanwhile, our government wastes time and money pursuing unnecessary wars: wars on drugs, which add to the waste, both of lives, and of the time involved in prosecuting such; wars against innocent civilians, in the name of Big Oil; wars with ourselves, as seen with the polarization of the election.

Education costs less than incarceration, and we can see in the lost books and art supplies something that, if used as intended, could show the world a better way. —Michael Spicer, Ossineke, mspicer@charter.net


Hoosier model?

I usually don’t agree with anything political Jack Lessenberry writes, what with his constant whining and crying about President Bush and the election. However, his column “The city and the suburbs — again” (Metro Times, Dec. 15) touches on a very viable solution for Detroit’s problems. Metropolitan government, under which the city and county governments are combined under one authority, has worked well in Indianapolis-Marion County, Indiana. Michigan public officials should hire Indiana Senator and former Indianapolis Mayor Richard Lugar as a consultant, or his successor, former Mayor and U.S. Rep. Hudnut.

It seems ludicrous that Detroit is in danger of bankruptcy and state control when one of the richest counties in the nation lies just across Eight Mile Road. Metropolitan government would go a long way toward restoring the financial and governmental stability Detroit has been lacking. The question is whether the powers-that-be have “the stones” to make the tough decisions. —Brent Johnson, Royal Oak


Animal people

Re: “Our animals, ourselves” (Metro Times, Dec. 8) by Jack Lessenberry, as a former employee for 10 years with the Michigan Humane Society, I can say you hit a lot of nails on the head. Shelter workers are overworked, underpaid, underappreciated — and some of the best people in the world. They do their jobs not for money, fame, recognition or glory, but to make sure a small portion of the animals that share this planet with us live a life (however short) without cruelty or abuse. It’s a thankless job society places little value on, and the humane society (here and everywhere) becomes a place where many people dump off not only their animals, but also any guilt.

Two additional comments I’d like to add:

First, the people who comment that it’s frivolous to care about animals when there’s so much human suffering in the world make me angry. (As if because we care about animals, we can’t care for anything else.) I’ve found from experience that “animal” people are the most caring people in the world. Their compassion knows no bounds and continues full circle to embrace all living beings. The people who make these unthinking comments are generally the ones who aren’t capable of extending compassion beyond themselves or a few choice others, and have usually never had a pet in their lives.

Second, people who criticize the Michigan Humane Society for being a kill shelter should take a look at “no-kill” shelters. They’re not all they’re cracked up to be. These shelters become full, because they’re no-kill. They have to start turning people away who want to “donate” an animal, because they’re full. These people then often turn their animals loose to fend for themselves, which, of course, they can’t. Dumped pets die from starvation, disease, cars and cruelty. How is that better than taking your animal to a place where no one is turned away? Yes, they may end up being euthanized, but that is society’s fault, not the Michigan Humane Society, which is stuck doing the dirty work no one wants to think about.

Animals are like small children, in that neither has a voice to defend themselves. Whereas children grow up to have a voice in the world (one hopes), animals never do, and so they will always need and depend upon us to be their guardians.

As Anatole France said, “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened” —Julie Moylan, Troy


Where sex and grammar meet

I remember back in the mid-’80s there was a self-congratulatory editorial in Metro Times about how they had turned-down a lucrative advertisement from Penthouse magazine on moral grounds. At the time I thought it was ridiculous and may even have penned a letter to the editor stating as much. As such I remain nonplussed about the editorial change of heart concerning advertising of topless bars and the like.

Be that as it may, this week’s issue was open to Dan Savage’s column (which my wife and I always get a belly-laugh out of) and I noticed an advertisement for the Highland Park Dejà Vu that had two grammatical errors. The first, near the top, states “18-25 Years Olds” (the second “s” would suffice in this instance).

It was the second error that really grabbed my attention, though. It is in what appears to be their attempt at a clever motto: “MORE THEN TOPLESS!!!!” In the first place, unless they are referring to the fact that their dancers have clothes on, which they then remove, the word “THAN” has been misspelled. Musing on this further, the motto doesn’t make sense. Are their girls dancing in overcoats, or should it read instead “LESS THAN TOPLESS!!!!”?

Whatever. The sobering realization about this is that if the advertising writers are this dumb, then what does it say about the patrons? —Don Handy, Mount Clemens


Walk by sight, not by faith

Re: Keith A. Owens’ excellent essay “When not thinking is fundamental” (Metro Times, Dec. 15), you might be interested in a very recent quote in Time magazine in a feature article on the nativity, wherein a Dr. London at Focus on the Family is cited as saying their belief is “childlike.” This is apparently a term of approval. The doctor would no doubt be offended by the assessment that taking Focus seriously, a cult of personality around James Dobson, is even more childlike. I used to be a frequent recipient of their stuff — as in your case, the influence of a former girlfriend — and one has to be pretty pathetic to take the organization seriously.

I have come to view Christianity with increasing distrust, not only from the improbable premise, but the political attachments “good Christians” casually make in this country. Does anyone really think the “Wonderful Counselor” and the “Prince of Peace” would smile at the turn-of-the-century Republican Party even as an alliance of convenience?

Again, this was one of your stronger contributions. Thank you. —G. M. Ross, Lowell, gmr@wmis.net


Erratum: Due to a scheduling conflict, the time for the tribute to the late jazz drummer Frank Isola (“Happy hunting grounds,” Metro Times, Dec. 22-28) has been changed. It will be held from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Date and location remains the same: Jan. 9 at Tom’s Oyster Bar, 15402 Mack, Grosse Pointe Park. Call 313-882-7421 for information.

Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

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