A modest proposal
Re: Jack Lessenberry's "To fight terrorism, invade Paraguay" (Metro Times, June 21), I had to consider the column for several days before I finally concluded that he is wrong. Paraguay is not a threat to the United States; the target of the next war should be Swaziland.
Don't know where Swaziland is? Look at a map to find South Africa. Yes, it is as far south as you can go in Africa. Then look for two little dots of a different color but surrounded by South Africa. One is Lesotho. Forget that. The other is Swaziland and is beyond any doubt worthy of an American attack.
The country is an affront to the religious right. First it has a king with absolute power. There's no chance for the United States to plant democracy; the king, Mswati III, wouldn't permit it. And, what is more, the king is immoral on all counts. For one thing, he delights in having his photo put on coffee mugs and other souvenirs. OK, but he appears dressed in a few beads and feathers, maybe not much else.
But there's more. Every year he has a big drinking party at which all the young girls of the country appear topless (or maybe also bottomless) before him so he can add one more to his harem. At last count he had several score of wives and "companions."
Now the best part of this for the Pentagon is that Swaziland, about the size of Connecticut, has only about a million people and whatever army it can muster is mostly armed with sticks.
A war against Swaziland would give the U.S. military a chance to really strut its stuff and let everyone forget about Iraq. It would be a picnic unless the very tough neighboring Zulu tribe took offense and joined the fray on the side of the Swazis. Then watch out, another debacle could be in the making. Frank Bredell, Lincoln Park
Takin' it to the streets
Dear Jack: That was a great piece on Iraq this week ("Victory is certain on all fronts now!" Metro Times, June 14). You said it all when you reminded us that our kids and grandkids will be paying for this debacle for eons and eons. My question to you is this: Where are the Vietnam-style in-the-streets, in-your-face protests? Give me a protest that even the Fox network will show, and I will show up.
The bottom line is that, in my honest opinion, we as a nation have gotten brain-cell lazy. We answer those polls, but will that mean meaningful change come November? I hope so, for the future of everyone, here or abroad. Mark Barringer, Farmington Hills
Re: "Why the 'N' word refuses to die" (Metro Times, June 14), I may be dating myself by saying this, but: "Right on, Keith Owens!" I refuse that word and any of the so-called reappropriated meanings. As far as I am concerned, those who use that word are actually defining themselves. After all, they are the ones who choose the word and assign meaning, a meaning they wish to convey. So it's all internal. It's a shame these blacks don't have more self-respect. Too many black people are willing to hold a negative self-image, and they are more than willing to spread that negative image around for all to see by using that very offensive word. Marlene Brownlee, Southfield
To Whom It May Concern: Let me say "Amen" to Jim McFarlin for his column about Frank Turner ("Turner's cheek," Metro Times, June 21) and his deplorable actions toward the television station that gave him a second chance at life. His ungratefulness toward WXYZ executives is unfathomable. This man must be totally oblivious to the fact that, in most instances, someone who has committed as many indiscretions as he has in the past usually does not get a reprieve from their employer.
In his self-righteous indignation, Turner has decided to bite the hand that feeds him. Any true media professional knows that "no-compete" contracts are the staple of any broadcaster's contract. What makes him so special his hot line to the Lord? Please.
I hope that WXYZ stands by its rules and Turner winds up eating a slice of humble pie. Lisa Jackson, Dearborn
Chapter & verse
Frank Turner should read some Bibles instead of just standing on them.
As my Bible-quoting neighbor would say, the Bible says, "No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon." I. M. Hood, Detroit
A Joy to discover
Many thanks to the Metro Times for publishing one last article by Joy Hakanson Colby ("Critical survey," Metro Times, June 21). Joy did a wonderful job of covering art in Detroit for so many years. Her intelligence and curiosity and her love of this community always came through in her writing, even as it became apparent over time that her work was not valued at the paper. How sad that The Detroit News couldn't manage to squeeze out anything more than a line or two to acknowledge the contributions of a 60-year employee. Joy, you will be missed by the artists of this community. Mary Fortuna, Royal Oak
Praise for Colby
Our arts community has been blessed to have had Joy Hakanson Colby chronicling it for these many years. I remember, as a young art student just getting ready to get my feet wet, hoping against hope to have Joy see and write about my first shows. When she did, it was as if I had finally "made it." Joy's criticism was always fair and insightful, and helped this artist to see the difference between art school critiques and the observations of the larger art world outside that ivory tower. She has never failed in doing all she could to promote dialogue and understanding of often "difficult" artistic statements. Joy's unfailing critical eye has been our mirror, and her passion for this art world has been our voice. Gilda Snowden, Detroit
Errata: In our review of The Aboriginal Treatment Center by playwright Ron Allen ("Mind games," Metro Times, June 21), we should have noted that the director is Sandra D. Hines. The play continues through July 2, at the Furniture Factory in Detroit; call 734-576-9547. In "Cyber games get personal" (Metro Times, June 14), we misspelled the last name of a 17-year-old gamer. His name is Corey Lund. And in "Living the Lie" (Metro Times, June 14), we incorrectly implied that Radiohead's Kid A came out in 1997. It came out in 2000.Send letters (250 words or less, please) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your telephone number for verification.