Are we supposed to feel sorry for Tony Lagouranis because he can’t sleep nights and has panic attacks because he tortured in the name of Bush and Cheney in Iraq (“Torturer’s Toll,” Metro Times, April 11)? By his own admission he “started realizing that most of the prisoners were innocent,” yet he doesn’t declare his orders illegal, he doesn’t say no, he doesn’t do the right thing, he just gets “really angry and really remorseful.” So in the end, Tony Lagouranis is an enabler of torture.
I used to like Kiefer Sutherland as an actor, but now he, the writers of 24 and the Fox Network are merely enablers of torture on television. By broadcasting the idea that torture works, they have desensitized the American viewer into believing that torture, when the motives are “good,” is OK. Forget about whether Jack Bauer “is basically damned.” Why does Kiefer Sutherland continue to enable torture? He could say no. He could insist on a story in which Jack Bauer tortures someone suspected of knowing something only to find out after a wild goose chase that the victim lied to stop the pain and, gee whiz, torture doesn’t always work. Sure, Bauer gets remorseful when it’s all over, but he’ll just do it all over again next season. And when an American soldier isn’t sure what the most effective method of information extraction might be, he can look to Kiefer Sutherland’s Jack Bauer for a role model. Is that the America we have become?
When Tony Lagouranis’ book hits the shelves, instead of wasting your money on the diary of a torture enabler, send an equivalent amount of money to organizations that wants to stop torture or make America the beacon of freedom it once was. —Allen Salyer, Troy
Black enough for me
Re: “Black like Obama,” (Metro Times, April 4), I must say the most despicable thing I read in the article was the question, “Is Barack Obama black enough to deserve the support of African-American voters?” And as the article writer, Larry Gabriel, asked, “Is he black enough for what?” I, too, ask the same thing. Who has the barometer on what’s black enough? Barack Obama is talking about fixing what’s wrong with America for all Americans. He’s talking about bringing an end to the illegal invasion of Iraq. He’s talking about inclusion and not exclusion, and he has an appeal that transcends a vast array of ethnicities. He’s talking about an America for everybody and not just for African-Americans. That’s black enough for me. —Thomas A. Wilson Jr., Detroit
Greek war movie not gay
Why does everyone assume nowadays that movies with strong characteristics of masculinity, style or emotion are gay movies. In particular, why am I hearing that one of the best war movies I’ve ever seen was nothing but a gay parade of men fighting in their underwear (Savage Love, “Sewell’s Folly,” Metro Times, March 21)? The thought alone sounds more like a gay man’s fantasy than an actual part of the movie 300, a movie about a brotherhood of men who fought in a war because of their beliefs; it did not, in any way, display secretly gay undertones. Displaying such tones is ridiculous in a war movie like 300, and people who believe otherwise deserve to be conquered. —Matthew Singleton, Detroit
Shine’s darkest hours
While Jack Lessenberry said Neal Shine was sad that the Detroit Free Press now bears little resemblance to the newspaper he worked for, at two crucial points, Shine played a major and unethical role in the Freep’s decline.
His first role was serving as a frontman in the campaign for a Joint Operating Agreement (JOA), pitching the proposal all over the community. Getting the JOA was a sleazy business, with the Free Press and News deliberately losing money by charging the lowest newsstand prices and ad rates in the country, so the Freep could be designated as a “failing newspaper.” By achieving the JOA, competition between the dailies was destroyed and hundreds of people were thrown out of work in the name of unchecked corporate greed.
Shine’s second role was as publisher when the strike began in 1995. If Shine had any integrity left, he would have retired on the spot. Instead, he told striking Free Press employees he had known and worked with for decades to either go back to work or be replaced by scabs, a disgusting attempt at union-busting. This action destroyed the Freep’s credibility, and neither daily has ever recovered from the strike and lockout.
Critical choices test our character, and Shine twice failed when it counted most. It’s been said that you’re either part of the problem or part of the solution. Shine was part of the problem. —Dave Hornstein, Southfield
The Albuquerque cure
Re: Todd Abrams’ “Bite your tongue” (Metro Times, April 11), as a former Detroiter now fully ensconced in New Mexico after 30 years, I can tell you no one I know eats menudo for a hangover. My suggestion would to be to make the puree you used and pour it over two over easy-fried eggs and sop up the chili with as many flour tortillas as it takes to eat every drop of chili. That’ll help you get over that hangover. As someone who has drunk one too many tequila shots, I can tell you that this is the best hangover remedy I’ve ever found. —Francesca Cangialosi, Albuquerque
Erratum: In “Here and Now” (Metro Times, April 4), we misstated some of Mark Rosenthal’s work history. He was the head of modern and contemporary art at the National Gallery of Art, and is a part-time employee at the Detroit Institute of Arts.
Send letters (250 words or less, please) to 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226; faxes to 313-961-6598; e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your telephone number for verification. We reserve the right to edit for length, clarity and libel.