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Longing for the old days

Self-respecting lefty journalists once got themselves arrested for clashing with police during sit-ins and demonstrations. Now comes Jeremy Voas, who tries to make himself out as the last hero of the indie press not for railing against sweatshops or decrying the actions of the World Bank but for being shitfaced and belligerent at some crappy State Theatre rock show. So puffed up is Mr. Voas by this courageous act of civil disobedience that he mentions it not only right after it occurs, as if anyone cared then, but again several months later as one of the Metro Times’ news events of the year ("Nadir’s raiders," Metro Times, Jan. 1-7). Ironically, a page later, Metro Times asserts its superiority to Real Detroit (whose minor dis somehow constitutes another memorable news "event") based on Real’s relentless photos of bleary-eyed drunks. I’m no fan of Real, but I’ve got to give them props for at least recognizing that being wasted in public may constitute entertainment in some people’s worlds, but it sure as hell isn’t news. —Kristin Palm, San Francisco

Just not funny

I found your year-in-review issue strangely at odds with itself. You managed to find compassion for the "vulnerable souls" that John Engler displaced from hospitals for the mentally ill ("Porky’s 12-year reign," Metro Times, Jan. 1-7). Yet you seem to find amusement about a woman running a red light and killing someone in a botched suicide attempt ("Nadir’s raiders," Metro Times, Jan. 1-7). Anybody with any common sense knows that when someone makes an attempt on their own life, they have some deep-seated issues with their place in the world. Keep the yuk-yuks coming in the new year. —Martin Mikrut, Dearborn Heights

Truth and beauty

In response to Lessenberry’s "Detroit’s year of reckoning" (Metro Times, Jan. 1-7), I take exception to the disgust Jack extols for Detroit’s ruins. The only truth that remains is that Detroit is in economic anemia, and its plight is manifested in the building ruins that people like Lessenberry find distasteful. I don’t find the truth distasteful; I find it revealing, provoking, even beautiful. I look at abandoned properties and see the economic forces that created them and destroyed them. The ones that created them were based on free-market economics and the ones that destroyed them are based on the entitlement (or superficial benevolence) that still exists. People vote with their feet and the only entitlement program that really works is the freedom to walk in or out of Detroit without restriction or regulation. I’m enamored by Detroit’s ruins; its icons of economic metamorphosis. It is one of the few remaining truths in our society. —Steve Schulte, Huntington Woods

Can the smut

I am a regular reader of Metro Times, and think that you do a great service to the people of Metro Detroit, but I object to the "gift" you suggest Michelle Engler should receive — i.e. an extra large dildo so that her husband can bend over and enjoy it in good health ("News Hits," Metro Times, Dec. 25-31, 2001). Stick to the news; if you really wanted to write filth, you should have gotten a job with Penthouse Forum. —Max Sanborn, Garden City

Out of the shadows

Thanks very much to Sarah Klein for writing about godhatesphelps.org, and for drawing notice to his hideous presence in our community ("Prayers of hate," Metro Times, Jan. 1-7). I disagreed earnestly with those who thought he should just be ignored. I've never known of a problem — particularly bigotry — that went away by being ignored, and I don't think Phelps and those with his mind-set are an exception to that. I thought your article was terrific — very quiet, very earnest, very evocative — and led readers inexorably to the right conclusions without being at all pedantic. Would that there were more like that in the world. —David Livingstone, david@fuckthewar.com, Hazel Park

Erratum

An item in the article "Nadir’s raiders" (Metro Times, Jan. 1-7) erroneously reported that an altercation at the Lager House in October 2002 grew out of an attempted "purse-snatching." There was no attempted mugging. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com

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