In response to “The reelest thing,” about Detroit blues legend Uncle Jessie White, written by Mike Murphy (Metro Times, April 2-8), we would respectfully like to add the following:
This documentary would not have been possible without the City of Detroit Cultural Affairs Department. James Hart and Marilyn Wheaton have been very instrumental in helping the Detroit Blues Society move this project forward. Without their moral and grant support of this project, it would not have been possible. The Department has been in our corner from the beginning, while other granting agencies sent many letters of rejection.
We look forward to the premiere of the documentary soon and to working with the Cultural Affairs Department in the future to make this a world-class project. —Anne Marie Graham-Hudak, Canton; Doug Drummond, Madison Heights
TRTL talk, part 1
Regarding George Tysh’s commentary on the TRTL graffiti “artists” (Art cetera, Metro Times, March 26-April 1): If graffiti painted on property that is not one’s own is vandalism, what gives you the right to make rules for the lawless? Anywhere is a fair game field in an anarchy. I think most graffiti is an eyesore and I’m sorry the TRTL has blemished our precious public art, but I prefer the simple poetry of the minimal turtle or Haring’s radiant babies to the garish nonsense blighting the city’s public overpasses and underpasses or any silly leftist sloganeering that Tysh cites as OK. Watch your lip for further Duchampian turtle mustaches. The vandal/artist makes his own rules, and the art police are back in town. —James Dantzer, Detroit
TRTL talk, part 2
The writer (or crew of writers) using the TRTL tag has crossed the line and gotten a lot of people upset. To deface open businesses and other people’s artwork makes more heat come down on the other graf writers, gives graffiti a bad name and makes trouble. More people could end up getting arrested and hassled by the law. A big reason why graffiti writers have a code of ethics to start with is that they don’t want to get people upset (thus increasing the chance they’ll be arrested).
If a turtle becomes a bull in a china shop (crude, unthinking and blundering), then all taggers and writers will suffer. —Maurice Greenia, Detroit
More on the war
Jack Lessenberry must have had one eye on the Oscars telecast (Politics and Prejudices, Metro Times, March 26-April 1). A “war is bad” column? That isn’t just coasting — its joyriding.
The piece is a military version of Lessenberry’s well-worn “white liberal guilt” song and dance. Less stomach-turning, to be sure, than the gung-ho cheerleading from Republican “chicken-hawks,” but not by much. Yes, the Iraqis are defending their homeland, in much the same way a battered wife will take the side of her tormentor — they’re too ignorant and/or frightened to do otherwise right now. And if Saddam Hussein were to somehow stock his arsenal with the nuclear weapons we’re trying to keep the hell away from him, doubtless Lessenberry would be among the first to harangue George W. for being asleep at the switch.
The postwar rebuilding project will be the quagmire everyone is predicting. But if the United States is once again in the wrong war, at least this time we’re in it for the right reasons.
Lessenberry should give the sideline second-guessing a rest for once, and aspire to something a fraction as noble before it’s his turn to check out. —Todd Steven Kindred, Garden City
Who’s its daddy?
Bravo to Jack Lessenberry. You hit the proverbial nail on its head when you said “we are not seeing the real war.” The battle of Iraq may be progressing quickly, but the Middle East war we have begun will be years in duration. How long before Iran gets pissy about our missiles landing across their border? How long before our president realizes most of the terrorists accused and charged with Sept. 11-related atrocities are natives of Saudi Arabia and Yemen, not Iraq? Are these countries next on our hit list?
I support our troops as much as the next guy. I support them coming home to their families and lives, and leaving this egomaniacal, vindicating, father-based war where it belongs, 2,000 miles away from us. —John E. Lambie, Royal OakSend comments to firstname.lastname@example.org