Thanks to Sarah Klein for the good review of the Amelia Atwater-Rhodes book In the Forests of the Night (MT, July 12-18) and the mention of the autograph session at our bookstore. Teenagers (fans and writers) came out for the event. She gave advice and encouragement to the young writers. This was only a four-city tour, and I am glad we were able to get a stop in the Detroit area. Thanks again to the Metro Times for your support. —Colleen Kammer, Book Beat, Oak Park
I sympathize with "Eric" getting prosecuted for his brother's drug business ("The prosecutor’s long arms," MT, July 26-Aug. 1). Many years ago I was sitting outside my apartment, and the manager from the restaurant where I worked drove up in a new car. We went riding around, and after we were a long way from my house, I noticed some gray balls in a plastic bag. I inquired, and he said "it's crack — I'm making a delivery."
Well, I was floored and angry, but I didn't have any bus fare on me and it was getting dark in a bad neighborhood, so I stayed put. I realized after I got home that if we were stopped for a routine traffic violation and this was discovered, my ignorance would not have been believed. I was lucky. However, unlike Eric, I permanently discontinued any nonwork activities with this person. —Rik Lapham Hamtramck
Serious about art
Regarding Paula Farmer's review of Ron Allen's theater piece at Johanson Charles ("Not the usual," MT, July 26-Aug. 1), I must say you are doing an injustice in serving the Detroit arts community as well as the artist himself. The "Action News" tone of the article was insulting. Further, if it wasn't for Mr. Allen's own comments in the article, we would have absolutely no clue whatsoever how a piece like this might be experienced or appreciated.
The piece was about the collapse of identity and authentic experience in a culture driven to simulate or escape. Simulating trivial pop journalism is exactly was Ms. Farmer seemed to be doing.
Given that this newspaper considers itself some kind of authority on the arts in Detroit, it's no longer a question why this town isn't being taken seriously. The question is why it doesn't have the balls to take itself seriously. There are plenty of people ready for it out here. Can we please try to elevate the dialogue a little? Mr. Allen certainly is trying to do so, but nobody would know it based on this intellectually weak review. —Paul Snyder, Detroit
Blue about the blues
I am curious as to why the absolute top blues authorities/radio personalities in Detroit were not mentioned or maybe even consulted as resources for the series on the history of Detroit blues (MT, July 26-Aug. 1 and Aug. 2-8).
I am speaking of Ray Henderson and Jay Butler at WQBH-AM 1400 in Detroit. I suppose I am a little thin-skinned when it comes to the obvious "redefinition" of music, especially the unfortunate "redefinition" of blues music. —Valecia E. Ashford, Highland Park