A triple frown
The 2005 award for the Most Tasteless Example of Worthless Journalism goes to Jonathan Cunningham, for his glowing story crediting Vicki Stringer and Triple Crown Publishing with attracting new readers and improving literacy rates in urban communities across America ("Romancing the hood", Metro Times, June 22). So let me get this straight: The formula of misogynistic violence, sleazy drivel and racial derogatives results in best sellers and better reading skills? So then, why not fill every library and school with gangsta fiction?
The excerpts of gangsta fiction in the article were offensive and rude, not to mention completely void of any semblance of literary skill. This genre, in a misguided attempt to "keep it real," only perpetuates negative stereotypes and glorifies thug life. This article isn't worthy of lining the bottom of a birdcage, and gangsta fiction isn't worthy of any kind of accolade or recognition. D.J. Sheill, Dexter, firstname.lastname@example.org
Big ups and mad props
I stumbled across this Metro Times article about Vickie Stringer. If I can be honest with you, I have never really finished the first page of a Donald Goines book, but I know who he is. I have watched Never Die Alone four times. However, I sat at my computer in awe and read the whole introduction into the life of Stringer and the books she has written. All of my friends talk about me not being a reader, but all I can say is, 'Stringer, keep doing your thang, and I'm proud you're from my town.' And big ups to you, Jonathan, on this article. Your interview seemed fun and I could sense your passion for journalism in the article. Andrea Pride, Detroit
Detroit: City of promise
Keith Owens: Regarding your recent article "Toughing it out" (Metro Times, June 15), I recently moved to this city from a small town in southwestern Michigan. I feel very much the same way that you feel about the city, and this city is worth it. Detroit has so much potential to be as grand as any other major city in America, not only does it have that potential but there is a certain, indescribable element that this city has that no other does. Detroit has potential to be one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world.
Detroit's major hope is to get people to care about Detroit, to care about throwing their garbage in a Dumpster, to care about mowing their lawns, to care about the school that their kids and grandkids will attend. Detroit desperately needs to encourage people to move here.
The question is how do you get someone to move into a city where the school system is one of the worst, where people fear walking places because of the lack of police, where someone still has to travel to a damn grocery store? I love where I live and I love the places that surround me, but I wish that I could feel comfortable walking downtown by myself at night. A lack of police officers is just going to push that dream further and further away.
Keep up the positive word, it's not too often that you hear it anymore. Rachel Barnhart, Detroit
Wide-awake in America
Re: "This is not America" (Metro Times, June 22), Mr. Bohy your column about the current state of "America" gave me a huge sigh of relief. I was wondering whether I had lost my grip on sanity because the state of affairs in the United States since the appointment of Bush has left me questioning where I am. I cannot relate to the national psyche of "America" these days, if that psyche permits the kinds of abusive practices and policies being forced on us. Worse, we take it like everything is fine. The brainwashing that is going on in the United States is quite amazing. How many took the blue pill? How many went back into "the matrix" and accepted virtual images of a life lived in sleep mode? I commend you for continuing to offer the red pill. Marlene Brownlee, Southfield
Essay touches a nerve
Ric, I have to agree with you, this "used" to be America, a country of democracy and prosperity but now it seems like more and more we're moving toward the third world somewhat like survival of the richest.
I've often wondered if the draft were re-enacted, would those rich hypocrites in the White House, Pentagon, etc., with children 18 years or older insist they put their lives on the line? How many right now are there that would serve their country and even risk dying for it. I think it is downright pathetic that our senior citizens are hungry and dying because politicians want to gamble with their livelihood. I think instead of fighting a war on "terror," this country needs to get back to the basics of securing and providing for its own.
Where is Osama? We captured a man that we know did not order the terror attacks simply because he had ties to the terror organization and because he wants to run "his" country the way he wants. It's funny how we don't have enough money to take care of our homeless, jobless and medical crisis but we can continue to deploy troops of young men and women to dangerous territories every day. I'm done with my griping, but I read your article and had to comment because I thought I was out here on my own, wondering what the heck happened to the country we call the good old U.S. of A. Wendy Cason, Detroit
Thanks for calling
Dear Ms. Klein: In your article "'Hey baby' this" (Metro Times, June 22), you write that women only have two options when catcalled: Ignore it or respond defensively. I would suggest that you actually have three. When I am catcalled, by passing car or on foot, I smile and say, genuinely, "Thank you!" If I'm running or gardening as happened just last night, and a car whooshes by with a holla or a honk, it makes my day. I smile, laugh to myself and think, what would those boys think if they knew I am 52 years old? So, if you don't want your catcalls, I'll take 'em, any day. Mary Jo Owiesny, Clinton TownshipSend comments to email@example.com
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