I am one of Cranford Nix's sisters. I read your column in Metro Times ("Too late to die young," Metro Times, March 27-April 2) and I wanted to let you know how much I appreciate you honesty. We all loved our brother more than we can say, but his life of drug and alcohol abuse was not something to be sugar-coated or glamorized for the sake of all our children. If anything, I would like to see something positive come from this tragedy. Who knows: maybe your story has already turned the life of one person around and that would put a smile on his face. My brother’s life was a mess, but he would never have wished that kind of a life on anyone else. For anyone who may have idolized him, remember that he died much too young and he wanted to change. But he was no longer in control — the drugs were. —Shelley Stephen, firstname.lastname@example.org, Holiday, Fla.
No romance here
Brian Smith’s column on Cranford Nix Jr. reviewed the life, death and some of the music of a drug user and talked about the passion and fun Nix possessed. How much fun is Nix having now? I've watched relatives of mine go through the same ordeal Nix went through, with the same results. My godfather also cracked the police up as they carted him off. I saw no romance in it when I was 12, saw no romance in it when I visited the rehab centers or psych wards, saw no romance in it when I attended the funerals, see no romance in it now. Asking "Does good art require self-destructive behavior?" is silly, not insightful or thought-provoking. If it did, psych wards and prisons the world over would be churning out masterpiece after masterpiece. Michelangelo was not a terribly social person or easy to get along with, but he was not self-destructive. Some artists have self-destructive patterns, some artists don't. To romanticize dying of an overdose after a lifetime of drug-related problems is sophomoric enough without suggesting it produces any sort of art. —Michael Mace, Redford
Concerning George Tysh’s review of Resident Evil (Metro Times, March 20-26): Are you sure you saw the same movie as I did? Drawing on Aliens and Romero's classic Night of the Living Dead? Man, this was a blatant, in-your-face unoriginal, rip-off of movie classics. Conceptually they had something here but dropped the ball when they immediately removed the creativity element. They're merely relying on the sound track push and popularity of the video game to sell tickets. It has nothing to do with making a good movie. Wouldn't it possibly be better advice to tell your audience to rent Aliens and Night of the Living Dead on DVD for less than the theater cost of this one? —Neil Yaremchuk, email@example.com, Harrison Twp.
A clear view
Anita Schmaltz wrote a very open-minded, refreshing review of Kissing Jessica Stein (Metro Times, March 20-26). Her style is very reader-friendly and she uses a great deal of wit and insight in her commentary, which corresponds nicely with the wit and charm of the movie. Furthermore, she clearly exhibits a deeper knowledge of the contemporary themes and history of the actors and writers than do many other would-be commentators. I strongly recommend that Metro Times capitalize on Ms. Schmaltz's obvious writing talents and refreshing commentaries, particularly concerning independent and unconventional types of films. She has an impressive ability to simplify the more complicated thematic aspects of movies — and she does so with style. —Anne Stackpoole , New York City, N.Y.
Get to work
I would like to respond to Keith A. Owens’ "Raps & votes" (Metro Times, March 20-26). The Million Man March may mean nothing more to him than a "warm memory" that "hardly registers on the Richter scale." But to those of us who were not only inspired by it, but returned to take positive actions within our own communities, it meant much more. For me it meant adopting a beautiful black child that my wife and I are raising with all the love in our hearts. Every time I look into her eyes I see the spirit that I took away from the march. There were a million other spirits there that day. Each of us has our own story. You don't hear about a lot of us because for the most part we're just too busy quietly doing the right thing. If all you took away from the Million Man March was a "warm memory" that has faded with time, then start to make your own quiet noise in your own community. That noise will ultimately ring louder than any so-called hip-hop summit. You don't need to wait on another march or another election — just do it. —Warren Bonner, Southfield