Letters to the Editor 

Building enthusiasm

Dear Ms. Mazzei: Thank you for the wonderful article about Detroit’s architecture (“Still standing,” Metro Times, Nov. 30). It is important to remind Detroiters that our city has a tremendous legacy that includes world-class architecture.

You have done a great service to the city. And the article is beautifully done! —Armando Delicato, Beverly Hills


Stories in the sky

What an absolutely beautiful cover last week. The aerial view of the Guardian Building may be the best Metro Times cover of 2005. I really enjoyed the cover story as well. It is so refreshing to read a positive article on Detroit. Some of the buildings were new to me, and I plan to seek them out. You should mention to your readers that all the photos in the article are on view on your Web site in full color with additional buildings depicted. —Allen Salyer, Royal Oak


Looking up

Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful book, American City. One early evening, about three years ago, I was headed downtown to see my sister at the Ramada. I missed a turn and had to circle back to get to my destination. For some reason, I looked up. It was breathtaking. I had never paid attention to the beauty of the buildings in that area. It was so impressive, I slowly drove around the downtown area for 20 minutes marveling at the vision of those responsible for the design and the construction of these edifices. I am now a consistent looker and I discover something new every time I look. —C.M. Scott, Detroit


Jack on the money

Mr. Lessenberry should be applauded for his column on our softwood lumber dispute with Canada (“Postcards from a failing empire,” Metro Times, Nov. 30). Being in the international trade consulting profession, I am all too aware of the damage the Bush administration has done to our relationship with Canada and the economic impact that it has on our area. The administration has allowed Canada’s views on some social affairs and the war in Iraq (never mind that Canada was fighting with the Allies in World War II for two years and three months before Pearl Harbor) to affect a commercial and personal relationship between the United States and Canada that this area can ill afford. The new document requirements to cross the border that will take effect in 2008 and the one-sided discussions regarding the future of the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel are other indications of the increasingly cavalier attitude we take toward Canada. Like Mr. Lessenberry, I fear that we may regret this attitude in the future. —Edward Dougherty, Ferndale


Add it up

I read with interest the item “Detroit Recount” by Jack Lessenberry, and I wholeheartedly agree with his assertion as to why we need a recount. A recount would serve voters well. Since the night of Nov. 8, there has been too much of a cloud of suspicion hanging over this election. Freman Hendrix has the right to ask for a recount.

This is not about Freman Hendrix or Mayor Kilpatrick. It’s about preserving the integrity of the system. If I were the mayor, I would welcome a recount to make sure that everyone’s vote was counted fairly and be able to govern without that cloud of suspicion over my head. As for the cost of the recount it’s been paid for by those who sacrificed their lives so that I could have the right to vote and have my vote counted. —Thomas A. Wilson Jr., Detroit


On losing the peace

In his column this week, Jack Lessenberry makes the claim that “The war is over, and we have lost.” I couldn’t disagree more. I believe that the United States military won the war soon after it started. What we have lost is not the war but the peace. And, no, I don’t think anyone will find it under Shrub’s desk, especially if he’s behind it. —Don Handy, Mt. Clemens


Alternate realities

Wow! You liberals are really a trip! You will believe any wacky story because of your blind hate of our president and our country. If the war is so misguided why do our troops vote for President Bush at over 70 percent? As for that liar Joe Wilson, he outed his nonundercover wife at parties months before Novak’s article by bragging about his CIA sweetheart to anyone who would listen.

P.S. As a marine vet, I want to wish a happy birthday to the United States Marine Corps Nov. 11, and thank a vet for your freedoms, like the right of free speech. —David Mackey, Livonia


A season perverted

Re: “Deck the dial with pools of vomit” (Metro Times, Nov. 23), I’m in complete agreement with your feelings toward this dreaded annual event called Christmas. I am a Christian, and I’m fed up with what this holiday continues to become. It’s interesting how a country that continues to distance itself further and further from our Christian God, starts to promote the holiday earlier and earlier each year; the same holiday that is supposed to be about celebrating the birth of the founder of the Christian faith.

We are such a hypocritical society. This holiday is not about almighty God, it’s about the almighty dollar. So thank God Jesus was born, giving us this annual event, and allowing us to hear Karen Carpenter again remind us to have ourselves “a merry little Christmas” the day after Bobby “Boris” Pickett sings to us about the “Crypt-Kicker Five.” —Maury Newlin, Pontiac


Exit interview

Re: “The real exit poll” (Metro Times, Nov. 23), kudos to Mr. Owens for putting it like it really is. I was one of those $50,000-plusers that “got out.” I couldn’t bear to watch my youth slip away from me, and maybe my life, waiting for Detroit to “get it.” I moved to Washington, D.C., a few years ago, and it was the greatest thing I ever did with my life. I had no one here when I left.

One thing that Mr. Owens didn’t mention was the tremendous brain drain going on in Detroit. I had this conversation with my mom, who still lives in Detroit, that even if good jobs came to the city, the education and skills necessary to fill those jobs would have to come from surrounding suburbs. They would have to “bus brains” into the city. More than likely, those imported brains would hightail it out of Detroit as the clock struck 5.

Right now I know about four or five people who are plotting their escape from Detroit. The only reason they are staying a little longer is to finish up their degree programs and sell off their property.

I now live in Baltimore, Md. (still work in D.C. on Capitol Hill), a city that’s really enjoying a comeback, thanks to the crazy housing prices in D.C. I am in on the ground floor here. Detroit could take some serious lessons from Baltimore, a predominantly black city that voted in a white mayor, twice. They don’t see politics in black and white, they see it in green!

Detroit could have really been a great city. It’s just sad that it won’t be realized in my lifetime — at least the part of it that is young and loves a good party. —Wallace Farmer, Baltimore


Pride and prejudice

Rebecca Mazzei: Thank you for such a fine story about Jane Austen (“Austen power,” Metro Times, Nov. 23). I saw the film last night and was disappointed, mostly because of the lack of dialogue. So I went online today to read reviews and — of the dozen or so I’ve read — none summed up my feelings as much as yours. I too read Jane Austen in my teens and have since gone on to reread her books many times in the last 30 years — and it’s the dialogue that I loved. It’s time to watch the BBC version again. —Beth Preminger, Los Angeles, Calif.


More than beads

Thank you for the article about Dabl’s/Perettes’s African Bead Gallery (“Strands of tradition,” Metro Times, Nov. 16). I was born and raised in Detroit and had absolutely no knowledge of Dabl’s until this past summer, when a friend mentioned Dabl’s to me. The experience was more than just a trip to a bead store, it was more like a journey into a relatively small portion of my African heritage that I did not know existed. I hope more people will visit Dabl’s and also benefit from the experience as I have. —Tinishawah Hill, Saint Clair Shores


On the canvas

Re: “Falling for Niagara” (Metro Times, Nov. 23), you forgot to mention Niagara’s hackneyed, two-bit “art” owes more to Roy Lichtenstein than Green Day does to the Clash.

Some facts:

She’s not original.

She’s not shocking.

She’s not empowering in some Kmart riot grrrl kind of way.

She’s not a good vocalist — jesus, you use Iggy Pop and her name in the same sentence?

I trust you are waiting with bated breath for the next hot release by Britney Spears.

Come on! Stop wasting ink and call it what it is: a shtick done to death before she ever put crayon to paper. —Dan Rice, Birmingham


Just having fun

I am highly offended by your article by Serene Dominic on Cyndi Lauper (“Re-bop,” Metro Times, Nov. 30). Your article was a comparison of Madonna and her “rival” Cyndi Lauper. As far as I know, Madonna and Cyndi Lauper never were rivals. I never heard either of them speak publicly against each other. I think it is unfair to place the highly talented and successful Madonna against Cyndi Lauper’s moderately successful career. Both artists have merited success in their own rights. Madonna’s career is a successful one. She continues to make great music and reinvents herself. The artists deserve respect for their artistry, not a trite comparison. Downgrading Madonna in favor of Cyndi Lauper is simply a “high school antic” that the author of the article simply hasn’t grown out of. Isn’t it time to grow up? —Jarod Bardon, Troy


Hey Nineteen

Alright, Whose the iPodin’, X-box 360 playin’, horn-rim glasses wearin’ little Gen-Y-er who starts his sound-bite article (Head Cheese, Metro Times, Nov. 23) with “Guitarist Roger McGuinn might be old, but ...” I’ve had my fill of all of you Bon Jovi- and Beastie Boy-suckled haircuts coming off like you discovered rock ’n’ roll that I could just, well, I could just text-message somebody!

Roger hasn’t died yet, but when he does I’m sure all of you at Metro Times will read the USA Today obit and decide you need to write a series of in-depth articles about him. Funny, I don’t ever remember so many Americans in love with Johnny Cash as they are this month! Take off the T-Rex and Big Star T-shirts, boys and girls, and stop all your posin’. You’re MC Hammer and you’ll always be!

How about this one: “Billie Holiday might be dead, but ...” What the fuck has that got to do with the music? Text-message me with opposing viewpoints.

P.S.: Be sure to include an article about Chris Whitley this week. Not that you’ve ever done so before, but, I mean he’s dead now and it just seems like a really cool thing to do. You could try to convince us you guys have been big fans all along. —John Milroy, Ferndale


Douche about Deuce

Art Rambo: Idiot, Beautiful Creatures are not on Sanctuary Records (Review of Deuce, Spun, Metro Times, Nov. 23). Jesus, if you are going to rip a band in a review, at least get the facts right. Wrong record label, sonny. Do you know anything about music? How the hell did you get a job writing for Metro Times?

Whether or not I even like the CD is irrelevant, but how do you expect anyone to take your review seriously when it is about two sentences long and you aren’t even on the ball about the band. Next time you write about them, it is Spitfire Records, not Sanctuary, douche bag. —Will Matson, Union, Maine


Erratum: Our story on the Ann Arbor literary anthology, “Literally Ann Arbor” (Metro Times, Nov. 30) should have mentioned that the book Writing Ann Arbor is also available in paperback for $19.95 from University of Michigan Press.

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