Letters to the Editor

Light bulbs changed

Your recent piece, "Too reel for words," included this quote from Tom Verlaine: "Once during an interview, Byrds founder Roger McGuinn explained to me that the difference between digital and analog sound is like the difference between an incandescent light bulb and a fluorescent one. The incandescent one is cycling, going on and off 60 times per second. But the fluorescent bulb, because the coil is cooling down, still glows. Similarly, digital sound fools your ears that it's continuous sound but there are holes in it like 44.1 thousand times a second."

You got the idea right but the bulbs are backwards. The incandescent is the one that's like analog because it keeps glowing. —Roger McGuinn, Orlando, Fla.


Myth vs. reality

Just chiming in on Hobey Echlin's review of Chris Bathgate's new record A Cork Tale Wake (Spun, Metro Times, July 11). As much as I wish Great Lakes Myth Society were a part of Chris's brilliant new record, I'm afraid Hobey was misinformed. We've toured with Chris, we hang out with him regularly and, on occasion, I'll join him on stage as part of his band, but none of us has ever been in a recording studio with him. We did, however, get the entire audience way up north in Houghton to chant "Roo-kie, roo-kie, roo-kie," for a full three minutes in honor of his first ever tour before he joined us on stage with us backing him on his song "We Die." Though that performance was recorded on some fancy-pants equipment all those crazy Michigan Tech students have laying around, I've never heard the recording — which would be the only recording to date where Bathgate and us have joined forces. Still, as a Chris Bathgate fan long before we became good friends, I do hope that Echlin's statement holds some element of prescience, but, in the meantime, I think it's necessary to point out some of the fine folks who did contribute to A Cork Tale Wake, such as violinists Carol Grey and Susan Fawcett, trumpeter Ross Huff, Jim Roll, who engineered the album, and the Michiganian dark horse, Matt Jones, who has been patiently waiting his due not only as a great session drummer, guitarist, vocalist, pianist, etc., but also as one of the finest metro Detroit songwriters around. —Gregory McIntosh, Ann Arbor, Great Lakes Myth Society


Praising Morgan

I want to express my thanks to Jeffrey Morgan for the inclusion of one word in his Media Blackout column #126 (Metro Times, July 3). That word is "Marillion." For those of us who have stuck with these five amazing musicians for the last 18 years, watching them remain in almost total obscurity, it is gratifying to have simple acknowledgement of their existence. God forbid a radio station on this side of the Atlantic might stoop to spin a cut or two. Maybe, if there are a few more Jeffrey Morgans out there to spread the word, Mr. Steve Hogarth, arguably the greatest singer of his generation, and his four cohorts would get at least some of the recognition they deserve. Anyway, that's my rant; now I'm on my way to pick up The Weirdness per Mr. Morgan's bidding. —Judd Collins, Carlton


Border snafu

Your recent Short Order column ("Fire it up!" Metro Times, July 3) included a reference to Windsor's Tunnel Bar-B-Q, with the closing comment: "Just remember your passport."

This kind of misinformation is badly damaging our tourism industry — including traffic at the aforementioned Tunnel Bar-B-Q. The passport law for drive-across traffic at the border is not in effect, and has in fact been delayed until at least June of 2009. Please try to refrain from this type of comment, we love to have our U.S. neighbors over — whether for dinner, shopping or wine tours — and too many of your compatriots are already confused about the passport laws. —Nancy Adams, Director, Media Services, The HCA Group, Windsor, Ontario


Vote with your feet

Jack Lessenberry: The closing sentence of your lead editorial, "Bush vs. America" (Metro Times, July 11), says "You really might want to do something ... while you still can." Many of us have: We have left the United States. Hundreds of thousands have done so. I wish that there were an accurate way of tabulating that exodus, but there is not. Rest assured however, that the people leaving are neither stupid nor poor. Billion of dollars are leaving the United States in personal money each month. It is looking like the exodus of Russia during the early 1990s.

Those of us who have left feel like the people who left Nazi Germany during the early years, to the amazement and ridicule of their neighbors, friends and families. They were vindicated in their actions. Those who had held negative opinions of their friends' actions were certainly holding different opinions later on.

I am not certain how to save the United States from itself. There seems to be no will for action. How can a populace criticize a government that conducts itself like the populace? It spends far more than it earns, it does not plan for the future, it hopes that its children will support it in the future, it attacks those not adhering to the pop culture and Christian right definition of correct conduct, and cares nothing for resource usage or financial controls, just like the majority of U.S. citizens. We have democracy in the United States! The government echoes the citizens. Regardless of false elections or ignoring the law, the U.S. government is tacitly endorsed by the citizenry.

Not sure what to do for the rest of us. The historic model had been for dissidents to move abroad to receptive countries, agitate from abroad, seek financing and support from foreign powers, and return to create change and accountability. —Robert A. Thomas Jr., San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

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