My wife Kelly gave birth to a beautiful baby girl on April 1. Audrey is our first child and I often wonder what the world she will grow up in will be like and how it differs from the world I grew up in. Today I wondered what it will be like for her to live her entire life in the "post-9/11" world.
I also reflected on how events before my birth shaped the world I grew up in. Certainly World War II and Vietnam had an impact. Then I read "What the 'riot' meant" (Metro Times, July 18) and was reminded that I have lived my entire life in the "post-riot" world. Although my forefathers fled Detroit before 1967, nothing is more emblematic of the division that has colored my life in southeastern Michigan.
This got me thinking about what it is like to be so deeply affected by events beyond your control (or nearly a decade before your birth). Although the uprising, rebellion or riot is not part of my generation's collective consciousness, it had an undeniable and tangible affect on the world we grew up in.
However, many of us rejected the riot mentality and the limitations it placed on us. When we became licensed drivers, we attended all-ages shows at St. Andrew's Hall. Some of us (myself included) even moved to Detroit as young adults.
The Detroit we found differed greatly from the Detroit we were told about in our youth. We rediscovered the Paris of the Midwest, and many of us would love nothing more than to usher in a new era for Detroit and our region. Although I am once again living and working north of Eight Mile Road in the county of my birth, I am still doing what I can to reclaim the present from a past that seems like ancient history to those of us who were not alive to experience it. I hope Audrey and her contemporaries will one day reject the "post-9/11" mentality and reclaim their future from our past as well. Robert Bruner, Ferndale city manager, Ferndale
I was there
Dear Jack: Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I remember the riot.
I was 11 years old and heartbroken. I was angry at the people who did it, to the extent of proposing mounting machine guns on light planes to more efficiently shoot snipers. I didn't understand then the nastiness that chronic hard times can bring out.
I now see Detroit, which I still think of as my home city even though I have never lived there, as a metaphor of the future of America.
Indeed, as I pass out campaign literature in my home burb of Warren, I pass by a disturbing number of vacant and abandoned houses. It is now much easier for me to imagine the rest of America becoming more like Detroit than it is for me to imagine Detroit becoming like "the rest of America."
Maybe, someday, those machine guns that I imagined all those years ago mounted on light planes will be shooting at people like me. Robert J. Cornwell, Warren
Heartsick over Bush
Jack: I look forward to your column every week, and your column "Bush vs. America" (Metro Times, July 11) is brilliant. Between your spot-on analysis and Gore's compelling indictment (not to mention a seven-year tsunami of empirical evidence), I am heartsick for the future of our country and not just because of the damage done by high-ranking neo-fascist narcissists in the current administration and GOP but also because our national IQ, attention span, behavioral standards, integrity and will to self-government seem to be in a permanent freefall. Robert Pettengill, Kimball
While I agree with Jeff Meyers' review of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, (Cinema, Metro Times, July 18) I need to point out some errors about the characters' names and professions.
Almost immediately (the third paragraph), the review refers to Dumbledore as the Minister of Magic. Dumbledore is the headmaster at Hogwarts, and Cornelius Fudge is the Minister of Magic. It is inexcusable the piece continues to confuse these two characters. First, they are totally different characters, not only in looks, but in temperament as well. Their goals are also completely different.
If this had been the first or second movie, I could see the possible confusion. However, as this is the fifth movie, there is no excuse to mix up such opposing characters. Renee M. Tomko, Woodhaven
(Ed. note: The error was introduced during editing, and has been corrected online.)
Bawling over brawl
Dear Serene: Your article "Cheap Trick vs. All Four Original Members of Asia!" (Metro Times, July 4) was clearly your own personal opinion. Your facts are completely wrong and misguiding. In terms of contributions, sales, longevity, musicianship and experience, Asia is in a completely different league from Cheap Trick. Music, although not judged solely by the criteria I mention, is still personal and mass appeal makes sales, and Asia wins hands down. FYI: How can you compare the technical prowess of Carl Palmer to Bun E. Carlos. Even Carlos is a big fan of Carl Palmer. I like both bands, but It's not about me! Lior Kane, Los Angeles, Calif.
Erratum: In last week's Subterraneans column ("Boys of summer," Metro Times, July 18), we published the wrong date for the Hook Up at Fi-Nite Gallery. The event will be on July 28.
Correction: After we went to press, we received word from Barebones Theater Productions that their collection of Kim Carney comedies has been moved from AJ's in Ferndale to the Ringwald Theatre at 22742 Woodward Ave., Ferndale.
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