Throwing the book at him
Re: Your story about James Frey, "King Con" (Metro Times, Jan. 25), I'm most entertained by the fact that readers of his book actually claim to have been "inspired" by this man, even after everything short of a confession has been produced to prove that their so-called "inspiration" is a 430-page pile of horseshit.
Even more disgusting, James Frey, an attention-starved loner who correctly calls addiction a weakness, has successfully stripped the remaining bit of dignity from thousands upon thousands who suffer from this condition; rejecting their support groups to follow his bogus, "Hold on ... it will get better" road to recovery. How does one prey upon the most desperate and vulnerable members of society who would eagerly trade their 12 agonizing steps for one much simpler step, one that has allegedly worked for someone in the worst possible scenario imaginable? Unfortunately this is exactly what these destitute and downtrodden individuals are searching for.
I accuse Frey of tampering with persons in an extremely delicate and difficult situation, and thus charge him with committing a most heinous act of guile against humanity that requires severe reprimand. Impunity of this offense will only serve to continue discarding the values of honesty and integrity and, if regularly permitted, may ultimately lead to the abandonment of these principles from our moral vocabulary altogether. Thomas Plummer, Dearborn Heights
Of course I enjoyed your article on the little liar named Frey. Since I read his book, I have always considered it to be contrived in places and cliché in others. But I think the Metro Times missed an important opportunity in the article. There are a lot of incredible novels, fiction and nonfiction, that never make it to the major book stores. And with your article you could have mentioned some great reads written by honest Michigan authors.
Also, if you have Frey's e-mail tell him I want to fight him on the Dave Letterman show or anywhere his yellow-belly ass wants to meet. Eric C. Novack, Elitist Publications, Detroit
I found Ben Lefebvre's article ("Wham BAMN: Group stirs controversy in fight for civil rights," Metro Times, January 11) to be rich in irony and insightful revelation.
It is ironic that a group struggling to preserve policies of institutionalized discrimination would position itself to be advocates of civil rights. The Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI) is simply a proposal prohibiting state-sponsored discrimination against people on the basis of race, gender, color, ethnicity or national origin for public employment, education or contracting purposes. The only reason to oppose the MCRI would be a desire to permit such discrimination. Apparently BAMN believes the state has the civil right to discriminate against people on such a basis.
BAMN says the petition effort would fail if people knew what they were signing. Well, I encourage all voters to read the MCRI, and vote with their eyes wide-open. Of course, if BAMN has its way, voters won't have that choice. Scotty Boman, Vice Chair, Libertarian Party of Michigan, Detroit
I actually would like to respond Jonathon Kecskes' response to Jack Lessenberry's "A Very Difficult Year" ("What's a minority?" Letters to the EditorMetro Times, Jan. 18).
First of all, sociologically speaking, all white people are racist, because they all benefit from their whiteness in this country called "white privilege."
Comparing African-Americans, as a minority, to any other minority, is inherently flawed. It's like apples and oranges. Comparing the situation of black people to any other minority (except Native Americans) completely disregards the historical, sociological and cultural oppression of blacks in this country.
I was born, raised and educated in Missouri, and there were certainly more Asians and Arab-Americans there than blacks where I went to college. Most of the black people were there for sports. Why? On average, Asians and Arab-Americans have a much higher socioeconomic background than blacks; unfortunately, it seems more likely for blacks to make it through college via sports rather than academics again, for cultural and even oppressive reasons.
The short response to an inquiry as to why to include one group and not another, even if both had been discriminated against in the past, is because some of those groups have been discriminated against a hell of a lot more than others. Charlie Edelen IV, Detroit
No support for Kwame
I read with interest the article by Jack Lessenberry, "Support Kwame, fight for schools," (Metro Times, Jan. 11) and I must say, I can't support a person who lacks integrity, lies and has abused the city taxpayers' credit card for himself, his family and friends. For the last four years Detroit has been going down the toilet. Mayor Kilpatrick was labeled as one of the "three worst mayors" in the country by Time magazine. We're faced with a projected budget deficit of more than $300 million. Detroit's dying as thousands of residents leave each year, taking with them the very thing that Detroit needs most: tax dollars.
Mayor Kilpatrick demonstrated that he's the consummate hypocrite, as he extended an olive branch to the suburbs to end the problem about "turf and race that's killing the community we live in." But who was it that ran one of the most racially divisive campaigns in recent memory. Now he wants them to come to his aid; that to me is the ultimate height of hypocrisy. I'm 58 years old, my home is paid for. I've been here since 1953, and I've seen Detroit go through the good, bad and the ugly, and, from where I'm sitting, Detroit's not getting any prettier.
Support Detroit, yes I will, but I will not support Mayor Kilpatrick. Thomas A. Wilson Jr., Detroit
In your Underworld Evolution review, Jeff Meyers writes:
"Unfortunately, Viktor's spilt blood revives Marcus and the ancient vampire sets out to find and free his long-lost brother."
In fact, it was Singe (Erwin Leder) whose blood was spilt by Viktor, consequently reviving Marcus.
Love the magazine. Brian Baker, Oak Park
Errata: The contents page in last week's issue (Feb. 1) incorrectly named the writer who reviewed Dr. Strangelove. That writer was Jeff Meyers. Also, the article "Detour guides" in that isue should have instructed readers to drive west from downtown Detroit to Wyandotte. Driving east to get there is a far greater detour than intended.Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org