Outraged by piece on Michael Jackson
I'm not some crazy Michael Jackson fan, but I am a fan of his music and I was offended by Serene Dominic's "Too soon?" (July 8). You should be ashamed of yourself. This is a music section, so instead of talking about Michael Jackson's personal low points (which we are all familiar with) why not talk about what made him the King of Pop: his music. Why couldn't you make a Top Ten list of things that made people fall in love with his music in the first place? Or the fact that Thriller is still the best-selling album ever made? Or the fact that the man sold almost 1 billion albums and redefined music videos and stage performances as we know them. The man is not even cold in the ground and here comes this bullshit. Jackson was a human being, not a punch line or a sideshow freak, but someone's son, with millions of fans all over the world, by far the most famous person on earth. Third World countries with no electricity knew who this man was. Why couldn't you talk about his influence on pop culture and how he gave up any chance of a normal life just to entertain us for more than 40 years? Until people reach the kind of fame that that man reached — which we probably never will — how can anyone judge him? Have you ever had to live in a bubble? Has your every move been watched, judged and commented on since you were 5? Get off his case, focus on the music, and save your tacky-ass jokes! No one is laughing. —Tiffani Stovall, Southfield
Points of discussion
Re: Jane Slaughter's question about "price points" (July 8), from a microeconomic standpoint, a "price point" is supposed to be the price set based on the perceived value the consumer is comfortable with. But in our market I think that owners first set their price on what is the most advantageous markup for their bottom line, and then, when they find out that people can't really afford that, they drop their prices comparable to other restaurants in the area, and, when that doesn't work, they offer specials and coupons. So, yes, technically speaking — absent of systematic analysis in Detroit — folks are pricing their entrées and praying that they don't fold. —Lamont Corbin, Detroit
Thank you, Mr. Lessenberry, for sharing your experience with ATT in your column "Stuck in phone hell" (July 8). I, too, experienced a similar gut-wrenching experience with this company, and feel others should be warned. The insolence, boorishness, patronizing arrogance that the workers of this corporation are expected to practice encouraged me to find some other provider for my telephone service. I thought Ma Bell had died? —Bonnie Topper-Bricker, Northville
Call the commission!
I would strongly recommend that, in the future, Lessenberry file a complaint with the "Michigan Public Service Commission" whenever he runs into problems with his land line. The commission was very helpful to me when I had a problem with my land line and, again, when I had a problem with my cable provider. Unfortunately, they don't have any authority when it comes to cell phones (as I discovered during the Worldcom disaster). —Warner Mach, Westland
Where the rotund are
Re: "Fat-fighting man" (July 8), the appropriately named Burrell Solomon sets an example, nay, spiritual guidance, for the famously fat Detroiters — and should do so for the gross New Orleanois. In the 16th century he would be the sort carrying the light of His Holiness to the farthest corners of the world.
But a dispatch from a far corner to Mr. Solomon: Obesity is a Michigan problem according to the data. Come to "smiling" Lowell, and from Meijer's on the west to Keiser's Kitchen on the east, do not seek a "beautiful peninsula." During 2005, the local YMCA sponsored a project to get people to collectively lose 2,005 pounds. Despite a greater-than-expected number of participants, they came in six pounds short by New Year's Eve. A fireman lost 52 pounds, by far the champion, a hero for expanding North America. So, "go west, young man," and shape up the whites. —G.M. Ross, Lowell