Brother’s a keeper
Thanks to Rebecca Mazzei for the great article about my brother Russell “Uncle Russ” Werden (“Man of steel,” Metro Times, April 6). He is overwhelmingly generous to me and all his friends and family. He is as tough as they come but he is my precious baby brother. His cuts and bruises make me cry but he just brushes my fears away. He is as gentle as a lamb with his grandchildren, even to making sure he’s smooth-shaven when he sees them! Thanks to you and all the Detroit artists for the long-overdue praise for his hard work! —Barbara Simmons, Harrison Twp.
More than words
Re: Ric Bohy’s editorial “Words of service” (Metro Times, March 30), I noticed the same quotes when I toured the new Harold Washington Library in Chicago about a year ago, and I thought pretty much the same things. Great article, you hit the nail on the head. A growing coalition of good folks in the city and the suburbs are hoping, expecting, demanding that we enter an era of “post race” politics, and get on with the people’s business the way they deserve and expect it to be done. There are so many opportunities around here that it is ridiculous. Our coalition’s new motto is that we are the leaders we have been waiting for, and I guess the next step is joining folks like you, and calling out the turkeys who keep leading us down the wrong path. I’d like to say “help is on the way” but perhaps we will pick a better phrase. —Tom Barwin, city manager, Ferndale, email@example.com
Name flap a low blow
Re: “Name game, Detroit style” (Metro Times, April 6), I must say that I wholeheartedly agree with you in your assertion that a “referendum on who’s the ‘blackest’ candidate” for the position of mayor is “silly.” Freman Hendrix chose to use his middle name, as many people have, and what’s wrong with that? He doesn’t run from or hide his ethnicity. I personally think that whoever would stoop to this level is a desperate person trying to “by any means necessary” get their candidate elected by playing the “race card,” and I think it’s a small-minded person who stoops to that level. None of us had anything to do with the name our parents gave us. And, as you wrote, “If this race hinges on who’s the blackest candidate of all, everyone’s going to lose.” —Thomas A. Wilson Jr., Detroit
Names and name-calling
The “whiteys,” as you put it, at your paper are a bunch of shameless hypocrites. Since when is it wrong to use the man’s real first name? And since when is a little story like that news, anyway? If L. Brooks Patterson or John Engler or George Bush had a German first name that for some unknown reason they didn’t use, their political opponents would use those names in a heartbeat. And if you deny that, you would be a bunch of liars.
The white press in this town are the worst (or should I say “the best”?) race-baiters and con artists in this region.
Alternative press, my ass. Metro Times is more like a satellite weekly. —Shelley Corbin, Detroit
Proud to wear skins
Re: “Cruel couture” (Metro Times, March 16) and the mail it inspired, I am personally tired of PETA trying to regulate how I should live my life! I would not want to see foxes being processed any more than I want to see cows being butchered, pigs being slaughtered, or even the hook being removed from the gaping mouth of a walleye. Yet I enjoy all of the benefits of these useful creatures. In order for Adam and Eve to wear aprons sewn of leather, God himself had to kill something. This is the privilege for being at the top of the food chain, and the honor of being God’s masterpiece. “Arise, kill and eat!” —Lawrence H. Stepney Jr., Inkster, firstname.lastname@example.org
I enjoyed Jack Lessenberry’s Granholm piece (“Bare cupboards and empty skirts,” Metro Times, March 30). I was going to vote for her for governor, but when she didn’t show up for a televised roundtable discussion with the other candidates, I decided right then and there that she would not get my vote. How could I vote for her when it apparently wasn’t important enough for her to attend such an event? That was going to be the only time I’d hear her answer questions, etc. I ended up voting for Blanchard. —Mary Palus, Taylor
Giving Jenny the gate
I miss the old days of Governor Engler, when I could count on Jack Lessenberry to make fun of the governor’s weight when he ran out of issues to deride him over, as if that was in any way relevant or appropriate. Imagine my surprise when I opened to his column and found Mr. Lessenberry writing about our current Democratic governor in a very negative way. I had to check the river to make sure it wasn’t running backward.
My only personal encounter with the Honorable Governor Granholm went like this: A friend suggested we stop by the Highland Park Holiday Inn where Ms. Granholm was scheduled to dedicate the demolition of this abandoned eyesore. A group of local players wearing their Sunday best was accumulating inside the gate but we were stopped by a well-fed deputy who turned us around. It seems we weren’t invited to this carefully orchestrated photo opportunity. I understood, and I can see how the presence of a pair of shaggy white boys might wreck this show of solidarity with the suffering masses. At least we were allowed to approach the gate, unlike the four or five local protesters who were ordered to hold their signs far down the street.
The governor made a speech and had a picture taken and left, while the hotel she came to knock down remained for months. It did eventually come down.
I harbor no ill feelings toward Granholm for shunning me. We were, after all, not invited. I’ll be thinking of her when I go to the polls and send off a little un-invitation of my own. —C.H. Carroll, Detroit
Hey, it’s called satire
I’m sorry, but is Serene Dominic insane? Where in the world did that comparison come from?
Bob Dylan is as authentic as they come, and Kelly Clarkson is nothing but a wannabe fake. Rocker? Songwriter? Please! I’m surprised you did not add the guitar player to the list. She’s been spotted holding a guitar on stage, you know. Never mind that she cannot play the thing, it looked really good from the audience.
Kelly Clarkson sold out the minute she allowed her record company to turn her from a perfectly good pop singer to trashy Avril-Ashlee copycat. She lost her identity chasing the almighty dollar and radio success. —Carol Reese, Chicago, Ill.
Keep on punkin’
Thanks for the article on the Hungry Brain (“Before punk broke,” Metro Times, March 30). I grew up in Windsor, Ontario, and visited plenty of gigs in and around Detroit. I never did make it to the Hungry Brain, as I was only 15 and an older brother would not let me go near the place. I heard about it, and it sounded dangerous. In fact I still have some old flyers passed down to me from some of those Hungry Brain gigs and less then two years ago I started to visit that area and take pictures of the buildings for fun. I saw most of my shows a couple years later at Blondies, the Graystone, Traxx etc. I do remember seeing the Dead Kennedys at Harpos around 1985 or 1986.
Now I live in Vancouver, Canada — a long way from Windsor and Detroit. Thanks to a friend sending me the link to your article, you got me thinking of those old days and it felt great. Keep ’em coming. —Trent Reeve, Vancouver, British Columbia, CanadaSend comments to email@example.com