Praise for 'Jesus'
Brian, in "Jesus of suburbia" (Metro Times, Dec. 19), you did a fantastic job telling your story.
I've always wanted to know more about Doug Hopkins — since the time I was one of those 2 million or so that bought Gin Blossoms stuff because of, more than anything, the amazing lyrics.
Everything I've ever read of Doug was so topical that it got repetitive — he was in Band A, then Band B, then the Blossoms, the Chimeras. Played with Swofford, Zubia, etc. I always wanted to know more about the person Doug was and less the chronology — and information was scarce.
I've read old print stories, what old friends and bandmates wrote on his MySpace tribute pages, and exchanged e-mails with a couple of them. Heard a couple old shows that I think Leah Miller posted online at archive.org and heard the Hopkins tribute show Local 98 did shortly after his death. But thanks for shining a light on the person and not the work. I worked as a writer and page designer for some time after being a college journalism major, and had always hoped someone would hit the nail squarely on Doug.
I read an interview with Robin Wilson where he said Doug gave him a bunch of songs he'd written, just before Doug took his own life. I wish someday we'd at least get to read the lyrics. I found bits of one online that is supposed to be in the words of his girlfriend talking to him:
Sometimes you act as if you're the only one who's suffered,
And I know you know better than that.
And sometimes the things you do to yourself,
You worry me clear to the point where I can't
Be with you when you need me.
I know I should walk away and yet
It's yourself you're killing,
But it's me you're scaring to death.
Thanks for the story. I've yet to hear or read of someone who could write such desperate, deeply personal, obviously intelligent stuff — and everything else he managed to intertwine into lyrics the way he did. I always wondered what would have happened if Doug was still around — what'd he be writing about. —Lee Kasprzyk, St. Petersburg, Fla.
I get my Metro Times via the Internet while I'm here at work on Wednesdays. I usually scan the introductions to the articles and make a note to come back to them later to finish reading. Brian Smith's story this week moved me to finish the article. No mental notes for later on that one. I was disturbed and saddened by the unfortunate circumstances that led to the writing of some of my most favorite songs. I'm a huge music lover, and the songs Doug Hopkins wrote have had a place in my music library and heart for a long time. I'm the sort of person that hears a song and wants to know what led to its birth, but I don't tend to "Google" and research to find out. I just wanted to say thank you for the glimpse of him.
I hope you enjoy your holidays here in our merry city of Detroit, where I was born and now live. Thanks again! —Bobbi Rivera, Detroit
A beautiful man
I love listening to Charles Pugh, and your article about him ("Home pride," Metro Times (Nov. 28) was great. He is an extremely great person, very informative, and he takes his job very seriously. Just because he is gay means nothing to me. I had two brothers that were gay and they were just regular people. That is just a situation that this person has; it has nothing to do with the contribution that he makes to this city. I love the fact that he loves and respects Detroit, and I think he is an all-around beautiful man! —Geraldine Berry, Detroit
Conyers: Step up
In Jack Lessenberry's "Conyers' hard choice" (Metro Times, Dec. 5), Rep. Conyers is quoted as saying, "To have the power to set the agenda and call hearings, to have the power to protect the Constitution? Forty-two years. I have been waiting and preparing for this for 42 years." One wonders then why he is so loath to exercise that power, fulfill his explicit constitutional duty, and impeach Cheney and Bush for exceeding their constitutional limits.
He is also quoted as saying "Because if [the Republicans] elect another [Republican president], the Constitution is just going to be in tatters. Think of what that will mean for civil liberties...wiretapping ... the Supreme Court. Think of everything that would mean …" But if he does not hold Cheney and Bush accountable for their deeds, the Constitution will be effectively shredded even before a vote is cast in 2008 — and a future president will have carte blanche to pick up that shredding exactly where Bush and Cheney have left off.
I do not hold with the calculus that impeachment will cause some kind of sympathetic backlash against the Democrats — but even if it did, it would still be the right, proper, and (most importantly) the constitutionally mandated action to take. History will not look kindly upon Rep. Conyers and the rest of the Democrats if they fail to pursue it. —Walter S Mendler, Chair, Wayne County (Pa.) Green Party Committee, Green Party National Commitee Delegate from Pennsylvania, Honesdale, Pa.
Romney: Not logical
Re: Jack Lessenberry's column "You can't make this up" (Metro Times, Dec. 12), as usual I was both enlightened and amused by his prose. That Vulcan remark ("Romney's supporters have been worried that the public won't accept a Mormon. Their real problem may be, to put it in Star Trek terms, that he is a Vulcan, incapable of human emotion.") had me laughing out loud. Ol' Mitt is a robot and, as my daddy used to say, "I wouldn't vote for him for dog catcher." Keep up the good work and have a blessed Christmas and New Year! —Joe Jones, Grand Rapids
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