A disturbing trend
I really enjoyed “Does this make my labia look fat?” (Metro Times, March 9). In a society that has become more and more obsessed with appearance and instant gratification, I find it quite disturbing that this and other plastic surgeries are becoming more mainstream. What ever happened to growing old gracefully? —David Binkowski, Harper Woods, email@example.com
An issue well-handled
Good job on your story about plastic surgery on the labia.
I know it’s a sensitive subject, but, let’s face it, it wasn’t like this wasn’t going to happen sooner or later. Men have been getting enhancements for years and you don’t hear people bitching about how inappropriate it is to talk about that.
Regardless, I think it’s a good thing to point out that this woman in particular was doing this not so it looks better in the pages of Penthouse, but because of something that happens to women during birthing.
I, for one, was a happy reader. I hate it when press puts on blinders to what’s going on. The more informed a woman is about these things, the better off she is in making decisions about it. —Michelle Kinyon, Phoenix, Ariz.
Kind words for crosswords
I’d like to echo the sentiments of Mr. Carlson of Ferndale (Letters to the editor, Metro Times, Feb. 16) in complimenting Metro Times on the cleverness and difficulty of its crossword puzzle. I work at least 10 puzzles a week from various publications (including The New York Times) and appreciate the degree of craftsmanship from the authors. Please don’t compromise that and “dummy down” the content. —Steve Snyder, Westland, firstname.lastname@example.org
The second time around
Re: Ric Bohy’s column, “Hizzoner, the real one” (Metro Times, March 2), I agree that Coleman Young was the right man for the right time. He made the “real” side of Detroit visible for all to see, which is why so many white folk hated him. What they never got is that the average working stiff has far more in common with him than the bosses they suck up to. He did have his flaws, of course, as we all do. But when I think of Young and Kwame Kilpatrick, I’m reminded of the opening lines of Karl Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire of Louis Napoleon: “all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak, twice … the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.” —Vince Carducci, Royal Oak
A lack of class
Re: U.S. Rep. John Conyers Jr.’s “A classless action,” (Metro Times, March 9), when Bush signs the legislation transferring class-action lawsuits to federal court, he will have taken another freedom from us.
A truly free society can sue anybody, anytime. Now, we’re no longer free, working people can no longer band together to fight heartless, greedy corporations.
Now our suits must be transferred to the business-friendly federal court. This is another example of why working people must fight for populist appointments to the federal bench.
Next, Bush wants to protect doctors and the pharmaceutical industry from lawsuits. He also wants to limit recovery in asbestos suits.
For middle-class working Americans, Bush gives us cuts in block grants to our neediest cities, cuts in education funding, and now he is considering raising taxes on workers to pay for the soft-handed, idle rich.
These people are fascists in Republican clothing. —Jim Kane’ala, Seattle, Wash.
Picking at a scab
Thank you for the excellent reporting on the strike-busting activities of Ann Arbor News editor Ed Petykiewicz (“Winter (strike) break,” Metro Times, Feb. 9), who can now write an editorial about where he spent his winter break — scabbing for the Youngstown Vindicator in Ohio.
My family is canceling our longtime subscriptions (collectively we have subscribed for 125 years) to the Ann Arbor News and hope other intelligent, caring and principled Ann Arborites will do the same. It is unconscionable for Petykiewicz to not only cross the picket line of the striking Vindicator reporters, editors, photographers, delivery drivers, secretaries and others — but to also solicit (intimidate?) members of his Ann Arbor News staff to do the same!
Mr. Petykiewicz says he isn’t a scab because the Vindicator, like the Ann Arbor News, is a family-owned business. Guess what, Ed? So is Wal-Mart — the Walton family’s company that systematically crushes courageous workers who exercise their right for a union voice and breaks child labor and immigration laws all in the name of the bottom line.
We will truly miss some of the Ann Arbor News columnists who we have enjoyed over the years and hope that the shameful, covert activities of their boss will compel them to unionize.
In the meantime, please cancel your subscription, write to Petykiewicz — better yet, call him at the paper. If he’s on the phone all day, maybe he can’t find a picket line to cross. —Jayne and Jeff Bower, Ann Arbor
Some yummy news
Normally, I don’t trust restaurant reviews, but Elissa Karg’s review of the Fly Trap (“Here’s a ‘Fly’ we want open,” Metro Times, March 2) was interesting to me, especially since the restaurant is situated right down the street from Toast, a favorite of mine that’s usually filled. So, yesterday, a friend and I ate lunch at the Fly Trap.
Everything looked so good on the menu that I told my waitress to pick out lunch for me. (I enjoy almost everything except poorly prepared food.) I was given a choice between a salad or fries. I choice fries, done crispy. My friend ordered huevos rancheros. I ordered a cup of coffee while I waited. It was delicious, the benchmark of a good diner.
My wonderful waitress brought me a veggie sandwich called the Pea Patch. (It was featured in Ms. Karg’s review.) It was better than she described it. The hueveos rancheros were great.
What Ms. Karg failed to describe was the energy in the place. And, she missed the “hot sauce” condiment, which tastes like a bit of hot-sweet heaven, and is good on everything. By the way, the fries were perfect! Thanks for the tip. —Cary A. Storchan, Bloomfield Hills, email@example.com
It’s about the money
Re: Jack Lessenberry’s “The New McCarthyism” (Metro Times, Feb. 16), rather than an elaborate conspiracy on the behalf of some right-wing cabal — which seems to be Lessenberry’s typical default mechanism — how about considering how CNN has been losing viewership to other cable outlets for years now.
CNN has its own image to maintain. Blaming the bloggers, or FOX, or the “right wing” is not addressing the problem of why the network is getting killed in the ratings game. Yeah, it’s about ad revenue and profits. Life is tough all over.
Yes, America has “freedom of speech.” That does not mean that corporations or others have to provide the infrastructure for any one individual’s banter. The bloggers fund themselves, as does FOX, or Metro Times. —P. Aaron Jones. Huntington Woods, firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re on the money
Many thanks for Jack Lessenberry’s column on the New McCarthyism. The sorry fact is that from day one of the first George W. Bush administration, it has refused accountability for any of its actions and has steadily increased secrecy on all aspects of the control it has over the lives of everyone in this nation. That is the real un-Americanism, and it is that which the media should be shouting from every newscast and article. —Linda O’Brien, Takoma Park, MD, email@example.com
Mourning polite discourse
Great column! It’s positively frightening what is happening in this country. The “uniter — not a divider” has riven this country in half. I’ve been railing for several years now about the strident level of what used to be polite discourse. There just ain’t no such animal anymore.
Yes, Eason Jordan was made a scapegoat for essentially telling the truth. It has been widely reported in the foreign press that the U.S. military does, in fact, target journalists. Then there’s the case of Dan Rather and the mysterious documents; I believe in my heart that was a Karl Rove setup.
Media consolidation is rapidly tolling the death knell of this republic. Can we expect any relief via the new FCC chief? Well, don’t hold your breath. I have a horrible feeling of impending doom that just will not abate.
Again, great article. Please keep telling it like it really is. We need to clone you. —Sharon Andrews, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org