Letters to the Editor 

Another happy reader

The cover stories of the Metro Times never cease to amaze me. I read with immeasurable curiosity culture editor Sarah Klein's piece, "The Double Closet" (Metro Times, May 3).

Although the last time I saw the topic of LGBT Arab-Americans and the cultural divide between the Muslim world and the United States examined on TV was on PBS' In the Life last year, this was certainly the first time I have read anything extensively on it locally in a comparable alternative newspaper such as this one.

As a native, African-American Detroiter, I forget that we straight, blue-collar, black folks aren't the only exclusive targets of racism, bigotry and intolerance in the good ol' U.S.A. — especially now in the paranoid, xenophobic, post-9/11 world of George W. Bush, Osama bin Laden and Bill O'Reilly. The outrageous gusto and sheer guts on the part of the people featured in the article must be righteously praised. —Ronald Clark, Detroit


It's called satire

Re: Jack Lessenberry's "Build a wall around Detroit" (Metro Times, May 3), Mr. Lessenberry: As long as there is no wall, you'll be safe to travel between Huntington Woods and Detroit and do whatever it is you think needs to be done philanthropically to prevent it from becoming like East Berlin. And as that's the case, this seems confusing — why don't you live there? Oh, that's right, in an article some time ago, you referred to your living situation, which I'm paraphrasing by saying: "I'm lucky enough to live in the suburb of Huntington Woods." Well, is Huntington Woods so good that you continue to blow your top from your golden tower instead of experiencing the hardships of the citizens of the city you so consistently try to champion from all convenient angles — as if you actually feel their pain. For all who don't know, Huntington Woods is consistently one of the three most expensive cities to live in in Oakland County — which, of course, is one of the most expensive (if not the most expensive) county to live in in the United States.

Jack, to be fair to you, I am not aware of the charities and causes that you are a part of, but I can say that hypocrisy explodes from your article when you continue to talk about Detroit and its plight when you live in bright, shining suburbia. —Andrew Churchman, Huntington Woods


Descending Grace

Regarding Jack Lessenberry's "Natalee is dead, and I don't care" (Metro Times, April 26), in which you wrote that Nancy Grace is "arguably the nastiest and most intellectually repulsive creature on TV." That was a greatly needed article. Nancy Grace is a pundit who seems to think that looking into the camera hard like she's concerned makes her seem concerned about the issue she's pursuing that day. Unfortunately, I'm a drama teacher and am able to look at a woman desperate to keep her 15 minutes of fame at any cost. Maybe she'll go the way of Diane Dimond — into near oblivion after her Michael Jackson crusade. There are too many news shows trying cases, holding court and trying to shape the minds of viewers. Unfortunately Fox has their die-hard fans who hang on their every word. —Brenda Perryman, Oak Park


Transit liberates

Re: "Ride on" (News Hits, Metro Times, April 26), L. Brooks Patterson says mass transit is cost-prohibitive? A slight increase in sales tax and the $75 for an unlimited transit pass surely couldn't cost more than what residents pay for insurance, gas, a car payment, repairs and parking.

People often see mass transit as an inconvenience when in reality it's liberating: When I lived in New York, I walked by the $3-a-gallon gas signs without even looking up, paid less for transportation than for water, read every day on my way to work instead of sitting in traffic flipping through crappy radio stations, lost 10 pounds and never once uttered the word "designated driver." When I moved back, I got a ticket at a broken meter and had to pay for a new starter within the first month, and gained weight. What a drag! I never thought a car would weigh so heavily on my decision to move, but it's one of the main reasons why I'm going back to New York.

The metropolitan region could make mass transit a success if it worked together to build a comprehensive system useful to everyone, rather than making the same mistake as many cities by building two train lines that cover less ground than the highways. It needs to be a system that people can use every day, rather than just when they want to go to the mall, the airport or a baseball game. Suburbanites can relax on their way to work. Detroiters can afford to stay in the city when they no longer have to pay for car insurance and can actually get to a job (since jobs aren't located near houses here).

People in the region just need to stop being afraid of each other. In New York, you might be rubbing elbows with someone who has a different color of skin than you every day on your way to work, and it's OK. It's time to grow up, Detroit. —Sarah Ryley, Ferndale


Gaga about Gato

This morning, I read your piece entitled Head Cheese (Metro Times, April 26) about a group called Tanakh. In this piece, you list Tanakh's monomanias, which include (and I quote): "Tanakh has the cream to save Gato Barbieri's ass. Hold on, Gato, we're coming."

As a member of Gato Barbieri's team, I am writing to ask if you would mind elaborating on what you meant by this?

After a career spanning more than 50 years and more than 50 albums, including some groundbreaking fusions of Latin American folkloric music and jazz, a Grammy for his theme to Last Tango in Paris, and a 2003 Billboard Award for The Shadow of the Cat, as well as legions of devoted fans around the world, Mr. Barbieri, at 73, is still actively touring. In most fields, people his age have already retired, so I think he is doing incredibly well and is not in need of saving.

That said, if Tanakh sincerely wishes to show support for Gato, I would be happy to send them some promotional postcards to share with fans at their shows. —Lois Roe, Editor, El Pampero, The Official Gato Barbieri Newsletter, Neptune, N.J.


Errata: In "Doors Wide Open" (Off the Wall, Metro Times, April 26), the last name of photographer Greg Holm was misspelled. The first name of architect Gina Reichert was also misspelled.

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