Letters to the Editor

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A chip on his shoulder?

Re: Ric Bohy’s “Voices of youf” (Metro Times, Jan. 5, 2005), it is truly sad that the individual who represents Detroit to the world cannot speak proper English with proper pronunciation. I guess the size of the bling in the ear is supposed to make that all right.

But this inability to communicate properly is not limited to the illustrious mayor. I listened to an engineer representing the Cadillac division of General Motors speak about a Cadillac feature that causes the vehicle to slow down when a sensor notes an object ahead while on the highway. The device slows the vehicle, and after corrective action is taken, the car returns to the preset speed automatically. Or as it was described, “The car resumes back to the normal speed.”

Or the young lady I overheard advising her co-worker that, “I be hating you more every day.”

Do you want an apple paaaah with the order?

When did the country’s school curricula drop English usage and grammar from the required learning in almost every K through 8th grade institution? Y’all, I think we need, you know, to revert back (or resume back) to the old days, you know, when schools taught grammar, you know, and sentence structure, you know.

To really put this area on the national scene, how about we run the finals of a national contest here in Detroit in 2006, as the Super Bowl halftime activity, to see which sports figure can use the space-filler phrase “you know,” or the equally famous and infuriating “y’all” the most times in a three- or four-sentence interview response. Who needs Janet Jackson?

So let’s all join together to make it happen, you know, because, y’all, we love y’all.

Thank you for highlighting this important problem. —Ken Parzych, Brighton


A chip in his brain?

I read your column in the Jan. 5 edition with growing trepidation. What’s happened to you? And worse, what’s next? Will you soon be reading books by William F. Buckley, reprinting columns from The National Review and allowing readers to argue the great controversies of grammar and diction in the pages of Metro Times? If there are standards for language and communication wouldn’t it be possible there are standards for other areas of human endeavor? I fear the great right-wing conspiracy has taken away the real Bohy and left in his place only a poorly programmed clone working to subvert the great liberal voice of the Metro Times. —Pat Murray, Clinton Twp.


Rolling up 2004

I used to think Canadians were the champions of self-deprecation until I read your “Dubious Achievement Awards, 2004” (Metro Times, Jan. 5, 2005). Spitefulness leaps off the page — not a comforting way to celebrate a New Year nor a way to nurture the grass roots of 2004. Let me know when you plan a different award ceremony. After all, I thought a doobie was, for the most part, a good thing. —Garth Rennie, Windsor, Ontario


Don’t satirize satire

Thanks for your help in publicizing my unproduced musical Orvie!, even though you pigeonholed it among your Dubious Achievement winners.

However, you’ve left the mistaken impression that Dearborn put Orvie! on for the city’s 75th anniversary last year. Not surprisingly, city fathers wanted no part of making fun of — or revisiting in any way — Mayor Hubbard’s shenanigans, racist or otherwise. As noted in the Detroit Free Press, Councilwoman Nancy Hubbard opposes Orvie!, apparently because she was shocked to find that it satirized her father instead of lionizing him.

Interestingly, you thus are siding with city hall.

This is my first play; if it’s ever performed, it may well prove to deserve the opprobrium you’ve visited on it. But you seem to be arguing that the very notion of poking fun at an official’s racist misdeeds is somehow off-limits — hence your sarcastic “laugh riot” tag.

Of course, some people were offended that Hitler was ever treated humorously. (Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator comes to mind.) It’s almost as though you’ve never actually seen The Producers, despite using the Mel Brooks-inspired header, Springtime for Orvie. Now that I think of it, that’s not a bad title. Too bad somebody else used it first. —David L. Good, Dearborn, [email protected]


Merda, he wrote

For several years I’ve noticed that when it comes to highlighting the lives and careers of popular Detroit-area artists during the ’60s and early ’70s, Metro Times gives so much emphasis to the MC5, Iggy and the Stooges, Ted Nugent, etc. It should be acknowledged, however, that given this area’s strict racial polarization, then and now, the majority of the white community never saw the black music celebrities that ruled throughout our communities such as Leonard King and the Soul Messengers, The Fabulous Counts, The Fabulous Peps, Buddy Lamp and the Lamp Sisters, Danny Woods (pre-Chairmen Of The Board), Emanuel Lasky, Levi Mann, The Magictones, Laura Lee, etc.

Of course, I don’t feel that it’s Metro Times’ duty to give lots of space to those days but I just want you to know that our communities supported us in ways that I can’t verbally express. We were considered just as important as the national touring acts, which is how I got to meet people like Joe Tex, Booker T and the MGs, Jerry Butler, Gladys Knight and The Pips, and many more.

However, I do thank you for the recent article on Black Merda (“The Merda files,” Metro Times, Dec. 1, 2004). I didn’t realize that they were the former Soul Agents. (I saw them with Edwin Starr at the old Grand Circus Theater in 1966. The same show also featured the Capitols of “Cool Jerk” fame.) There’s much to be learned about Detroit’s rich history of pop music outside of Motown artists, but “both sides of the tracks” need to be acknowledged. —Leonard King Jr., Detroit, [email protected]


Strong feelings about animals

Regarding Julie Moylan’s response (Letters to the editor, (Metro Times, Dec. 29, 2004) to Mr. Lessenberry’s article, “Our animals, ourselves” (Metro Times, Dec. 8, 2004), a few things for consideration.

Caring for animals is a “thankless” job as far as most of society is concerned. That’s because compassion and ethical treatment of animals is rarely taught in early human development, as it should be. The animals, however, make up for human kindness with love and appreciation. As a rescuer, I have seen this with every animal I have taken in. Love, good food, grooming and protection is all they really want.

Also, in this country there are far too many animals slaughtered each year by “humane” societies, namely because the focus is not where it should be. The humane societies need to put out mobile free sterilization vans to help poor people and overburdened rescuers and animals. Spaying and neutering are the ultimate humane solution to killing healthy, sentient beings.

Killing 40 millions animals in America each year is a disgrace. Especially since it is also very hypocritical. Some busybodies want to force every fertilized human egg to be made into another human being, to add to the 6.5 billion we already have. Living, breathing animals do not register on their compassion scale somehow.

In addition to rigorous spaying and neutering, for-profit breeding mills must be banned too. It’s the old maxim, “Put a fence around the cliff instead of an ambulance down in the valley,” i.e. prevent the problem in the first place.

Also, many veterinarians have become totally unrealistic in their fees, making it impossible for ordinary mortals (who often don’t even have health care themselves) to obtain their services. Greed kills many animals that could be helped. Thus veterinarians should pay back by volunteering a few hours each week for spaying and neutering. After all, taxpayers subsidized their education in many cases, and veterinarians rake in enormous amounts of money, preying on animal lovers’ compassion. —R. Brown, Farmington


Animals’ plight overlooked

The human species’ anthropocentric, controlling, “top of the chain” mentality is too often oblivious to our fellow earth dwellers other than how to exploit them or to satisfy sadistic human impulses.

The Michigan Humane Society and other animal welfare and rescue groups are deluged by the rejects of impulse buyers, children’s former pets which result from their tiring of continued care and responsibility after the novelty wears off.

Much of the media is obsessed by trivia, e.g. the 90-pound, straight-haired blondes or who’s getting married, pregnant and divorced instead of occasionally including animal and environmental issues. —Carol Piligian, Rochester


Erratum: Due to an editorial error, last week’s restaurant review, “Superbly subcontinental” (Metro Times, Jan. 12, 2005) incorrectly ranked Relish India as five stars in both the “eats” and “experience” categories. It actually rated three stars in both categories. (In an unrelated decision, we have decided to do away with our star rating system for restaurants effective this week.)

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