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Resents state taxes

After reading Jack Lessenberry's column "Bishop's block" (Metro Times, Sept. 12), I wanted to offer my 2 cents. The piece has some valid points and some interesting information, but I must wholeheartedly disagree with you on raising the income tax level in Michigan.

Our economy is the worst in the nation. Detroit has more foreclosures than any other major city in the United States. As a working citizen, I have taken cuts in my pay while the costs of living and health care have increased year after year. I have had to empty my 401k, riddle myself with debt and cut all unnecessary spending. And I'm doing well by most accounts.

It nauseates me to think of the state taking even one more penny of my income. I don't care what cuts they have to make, the answer is not taxing our already overtaxed citizens.

I will tell you, if they do raise our income taxes, that will be it for me. I am young, talented, educated and would love to see things turn around here. But I am struggling. I cannot find a better-paying job, even though I have been looking since March, have 10 years of experience and a bachelor's degree. If things get any worse, I will leave the state for green pastures. I have a little boy, and want more for him than what Michigan is currently offering. —Amber Alexander, Westland

 

Prattle axe

Re: Jack Lessenberry's pretentious prattling in a column about how much more money he could be making in a private sector job, but stuck with his more "socially valuable" teaching position ("Killing our future," Metro Times, Aug. 1): Lucky us. Can't you picture Mother Teresa, rest her soul, feeding and bathing the dirt poor of Calcutta while reminding anyone within earshot how she's too good for the gig? Me neither.

It took a while, but I think I finally have this Lessenberry fellow figured out. Like many modern, sensitive men, he's being pulled in two, conflicting directions: One which tells him that there should be more to life than selling widgets, and another that pushes the absurd, but powerful, link between money and manliness. Hence, Lessenberry's frequent condescension toward degree-less, working-class stiffs who, by the way, do more on a daily basis to make this country click than a pile of journalism instructors stacked to the moon.

I'm hardly anti-college. I'd like, for instance, for my dentist to be credentialed. But the idea of college as primarily a means to a financial end being promulgated by taxpayer-financed shapers of young minds such as Lessenberry I find repugnant. After all, where does he think "I got mine" misanthropes like Craig DeRoche come from, anyway? —Todd Steven Kindred, Garden City

 

Nugent: A sick man

Regarding Bill Holdship's "What an asshole!" (Metro Times, Sept. 12), Ted Nugent has been a radical idiotic egotistic pinhead (only saying kind words) for decades now. It's nice to see someone wrote what a hypocritical dickhead Nugent is.

I wouldn't buy any of his stuff and haven't since Amboy Dukes. Nugent is a sick man. —David Saunders, Clawson

 

A 'Cribs' critique

I'm becoming more and more confused by the weekly feature, Motor City Cribs & Rides. Why is it called this? Why are all the pictures of the so-called "cribs" only close-ups of the people who live in these mysterious quarters? And why are we featuring dilapidated homes on the southwest side that are overgrown with weeds, where floorboards and paint chips are exposed? Is this supposed to make Detroit look like a cool place to live? A lot of people who live in the city have beautiful homes that they've restored after years of neglect. Why aren't those homes being featured? There has to be a musician, artist or writer in Detroit who refuses to live the typical squatter lifestyle of an "urban artist."

There is a growing trend of younger people moving into the city and buying older homes and (here's the part you're missing) fixing them up to make them livable and possibly, profitable. This is hugely important for Detroit's ecomony, reputation and sense of historical pride. Sure, your better half, "rides," does some justice to its name by actually showing an entire car, but I'd like to see some homes — at least throw in a bedroom or two! There are many Detroit homes out there that are magnificent both inside and out. It might require the extra effort of stepping outside the MT circle of friends, but as a reader, I'd say it'd be worth it! —Camille Sylvain Thompson, Royal Oak

 

Just a desi spell

The observations in your recent article, "Bollywood nights" (Metro Times, Aug. 22), seem to imply that the previously upheld stereotypes of what it was to be "Indian" might be changing into a more fluid image.

What fluid image is this? Popular culture mixed with just enough turmeric to remind you it's Indian — possibly appealing to an even broader audience than just the average second generation Desi?

It is always nice to see assimilation. And that's what we are seeing. While your observations are accurate, I think the post-hoc analysis will have you laughing at all of this and realizing that a culture is nothing more than a group of familiar habits.

Trading one group for another, or even mixing them together neither adds an Indian-ness or American-ness to the flavor. —Parth Amin, Detroit

 

Artist's response

I am writing in response to Rebecca Mazzei's "Get lost (here or elsewhere)" (Metro Times, Aug. 10). I am an emerging artist in Detroit. As I see it, the problem isn't young artists not being able to get shows, it's young artists not knowing how to market themselves and bridge the gap between art school and the outside world. I personally have to get shows right now, not for the exposure, but I am going into art education and I need to keep myself in an art scene in order to remain an artist first, educator second.

All emerging artists need to have more experience, not be reminded how inexperienced they are. —Cedric Tai, Detroit

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