Thanks to Jack Lessenberry for warning us about the “revolting” and “sadomasochistic” The Passion of the Christ (“Speaking of God & country,” Metro Times, March 17). It is a breath of fresh air to see a critic protect his readers from the excessive violence so prevalent in today’s books and movies.
I will be sure to miss The Passion for its explicitness. And I will equally avoid Never Die Alone, even though Metro Times fawned over Donald Goines’ world of “whores, junkies and killers” (“Detroit-sploi-tation,” Metro Times, March 24). The article, with disgusting and vulgar descriptions of excrement, blood and pus running down women’s legs, was revolting in its glamorization of ghetto life. Never Die Alone deserves to be held to the same critical standards applied to The Passion. —Dan Sheill, Dexter
As a native Detroiter, I’ve read most of the Donald Goines books. I haven’t read anything else like them. The raw, gritty realism those books showed was sometimes a little too real for someone growing up in those conditions to bear. I only hope the folks looking at the movie are inspired to read the books and understand that there were no happy endings in his stories. With the lifestyles he depicted, you either went to jail, got killed or overdosed. —Gina Scarborough, Detroit
Re: Jack Lessenberry’s “Potholes on the campaign trail” (Metro Times, March 24), who is John Kerry? And what can he do for me?
Beneath the surface campaign rhetoric, John Kerry and George Bush have led very similar privileged lives. Both are descended from British royalty, the Bush family from the Tudors, while Kerry’s from James I. The wealth of both families can be measured in the hundreds of millions. Both are Ivy-League educated and lived jet-setting youths.
I do not see how they are that different, or more importantly, how they have apparently come to be so distinct.
A German friend of mine who used to work at the Holocaust Memorial Center in West Bloomfield quipped during the 1996 election, “American politics are boring. The rest of the world does not see the differences between your two parties.”
I highly doubt that the election of Kerry or Bush will have any impact on Detroit’s destiny between 2005 and 2009. I for one would appreciate less predictable political stereotyping in your weekly columns and a little more “construction.”
Who is John Kerry? And what can he do for me? —Davidde A. Stella, Detroit
Integration vs. resignation
Re: Keith Owens’ “Ain’t integrating no more” (Metro Times, March 24), I’m very sorry to read that you’ve given up on the integration business! I too for the longest time tried, but resigned myself to the thought that you put into print: “You can’t force people to want to be around one another or to love one another.”
Then I think of my best childhood and current friend. He’s white. He’s a Detroiter. He has been both all his life. And, believe me, he has been the victim of quite a few episodes of “reverse racism.” He’s come home to a vandalized house, stolen items, defecated lawns, racial epitaphs scrolled on his windows and walls, you name it.
Yet he refuses to leave. Why?
Maybe because his very old and very black neighbor makes it clear he doesn’t have to run because of stupid people’s blind and bitter hatreds. It’s his house, his neighborhood, his life; why shouldn’t he stay.
And guess what? He does. He will.
If they refuse to “retire” from integration, what does that say for the rest of us who have? —Jonathon Kecskes, St. Clair Shores
Casual about casualties
Thank you for giving us the personal account of Artimus Brassfield ("A soldier’s story," Metro Times, March 10). We should all be better informed about the lives of the men and women at war. Instead we have a body count going that ignores that these are our fellow citizens. We need more humanization of these soldiers now, not 20 years after the fact. —Ruth Sherman, Westerville, Ohio, firstname.lastname@example.orgSend comments to email@example.com.