Great piece of writing by Keith Owens ("Bombs and bowling," Metro Times, Oct 17-23). I believe you expressed the sentiments of many, many, people today in this country. The New World feels like a parallel universe. On one hand, we were told to go to Disneyland, shop and just be normal. On the other hand, the country's at war (... by the way, Congress didn't actually make a declaration of war, right? So technically, we're not really "at war").
Should we be worried about new bomb strikes to our city halls, or worry about when the Emmys will be on TV? Parallel universe. One thing appears to be true: We U.S. citizens appear to be preoccupied with both. Thanks for the column.
Terrence German, via e-mail
Going too far?
Keith A. Owen's column, entitled "Chicken Little Effect" (Metro Times, XX), had some good points about the rampant sensationalism and fear mongering gripping our country of late, but I think he went a tad too far in making them.
I understand that irony is the weapon of choice these days, but was it really necessary to (even ironically) wish more Americans dead? Perhaps Owen is afflicted by the same American short attention span he bemoans in his peers — did he forget about the tragedy that happened in New York less than two months ago?
I also think that in many ways, he misses the point. Owens seems to want to believe that, without the media, we would already be going about our lives as if nothing has happened. I disagree. Our lives are irrevocably changed, and even without the media shoving our noses in it, we would not feel complacent. Nor should we feel complacent. I think that if this war is going to teach us anything as a country, it will be that complacency is never a good thing.
Owen's view of the situation in Afghanistan strikes me as overly simplistic and narrow-minded. His little allegory about shirts — wha? I'm still trying to figure out what he was trying to say there. So...would Owen argue the fact that there is a rather large sect of people in Afghanistan who support the actions on Sept. 11, and who would like to see us all dead? Or would he rather just believe that what happened on Sept. 11 was the act of a few crazy guys, and that everyone else loves America? I'm sure the latter is easier to swallow, but wake up, man. Like Owen said himself, "The war is real. The terrorists are real. Osama bin Laden is real."
Yes, indeed, sometimes it does help to keep things in perspective. —Kristy Cardinal, Northville
Speedlink to nowhere?
Interesting — $2 billion for a transit plan that would consist of setting aside special lanes along major routes exclusively for specially made, extended-length buses. What a great idea. I can see it now. Thousands of frustrated commuters in their cars stuck in heavy traffic on 16 Mile Road, watching an empty 80-passenger bus whiz by in the otherwise empty extra lane. They can't be serious. And to think, people are actually paid well to come up with these ideas.
Maybe the ghost of Coleman Young was present in those transit planning meetings. This speedlink proposition makes Detroit’s "Twilight Zone"-like monorail to nowhere, the People Mover, look like a wise and profitable investment by comparison!
The only thing speedy about speedlink would be its speedy demise into bankruptcy and complete failure. —Kurt Kelly, Canton
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