Death be proud
Jack Lessenberry's largely irrelevant regurgitation of Dr. Jack Kevorkian's preoccupation with death, his quirky artwork, etc., ("I did know Jack," Oct. 21) reminded me of the long-ago criticism of Gen. Ulysses Grant's fondness for booze, and President Lincoln's reported riposte: "Give a case of whatever he's drinking to the rest of my generals, because he's winning the bleeping war!" Lessenberry should know that most of the world's movers and shakers dance to their own, often eccentric rhythms.
Also, let's not overdo Geoffrey Fieger's magnanimity factor. Who (besides Doug) had ever heard of Geoffrey Fieger before the Kevorkian circus came to town? (I know, who'd heard of Kevorkian before Fieger? But Fieger's butt wasn't on the line; Jack's was.)
Finally, Kevorkian's ostensibly naïve misstep in representing himself late in the game is less an indictment of the man than of our lawyerly muck of a justice system. To paraphrase an aphorism I can't remember verbatim: "Don't judge the merits of a case on how well it's argued." —Todd Steven Kindred, Livonia
The cult of hope
Yes, Jack, you make it very clear in your article, "Merrily down the drain" (Sept. 30), that things look bleak in Michigan, but your criticism does zilch for the state or anybody else. If you have better ideas on how to solve the problems we face then write about that. Maybe someone, somewhere will act upon them and you will have contributed to the solutions not the problems. Remember, what you think (or write) about expands. —Rosalia Haduch, Sterling Heights
Really angry about Michael Moore
I couldn't think of a more exceptional follow-up to two weeks of hearing how well Jack Lessenberry can parrot back health care bill misinformation spawning from the White House — than the Michael Moore MT cover ("Capital offenses," Sept. 30).
(Speaking of which, how is it that Stephen Ternullo can in one paragraph point out why the health care bill could not work as it's being sold, but Lessenberry can take two whole articles writing about it, and still not "get it"? A college professor, isn't he?)
Michael Moore — the man who's pro-union, except if it's workers working for him. Michael Moore — the man who's antigun, unless it's his bodyguard carrying the gun. Michael Moore — the man who fights for honesty and the common man, even if it means splicing together unrelated quotes in order to have an interview convey the opposite of what the interviewee intended. The Moonies call it "heavenly deception." I call it lying. Moore shouldn't be covering the "political scene" — he fits in so well, he should be a part of it. —Kurt Snyder, Warren
More about the Stooges
Thank you very much for your interviews with Iggy Pop and James Williamson ("Kill city dreaming," Oct. 7).
One question that was asked of the both of them concerned a recent cover story, in "Time rag" (as Joan Baez once aptly described it), about Detroit. I believe that Ron Asheton's ultimate reaction to being "demoted" to bass is instructive.
In the Paul Trynka biography of Iggy Pop, Ron Asheton talked about how, after he learned that James Williamson was the new lead guitarist in the Stooges, he walked home from a party openly crying. However, he went on to play some of the most intense, brilliant and innovative melodies I've ever heard. His bass-line on "Shake Appeal," for instance, is the focus of the song. It seems to me that he was playing competitively, and that we fans have benefited from that.
Which brings to mind Nietzsche's dictum that "What doesn't kill us makes us stronger." Words for this city to live by, as exemplified by the experience of a Dum-Dum Boy. —Don Handy, Mount Clemens
Send letters (250 words or less, please) to 733 St. Antoine, Detroit, MI 48226; faxes to 313-961-6598; e-mail to email@example.com. Please include your telephone number. We reserve the right to edit for length, clarity and libel.