Letters

Letters 08-31-2015

Inalienable Rights This is a response to the “No More State Theatre” in your August 24th edition. I think I will not be the only response to this pathetic and narrow-minded letter that seems rather out of place in the northern Michigan that I know. To think we will not be getting your 25 cents for the movie you refused to see, but more importantly we will be without your “two cents” on your thoughts of a marriage at the State Theatre...

Enthusiastically Democratic Since I was one of the approximately 160 people present at when Senator Debbie Stabenow spoke on August 14 in Charlevoix, I was surprised to read in a letter to Northern Express that there was a “rather muted” response to Debbie’s announcement that she has endorsed Hillary Clinton for president...

Not Hurting I surely think the State Theatre will survive not having the homophobic presence of Colleen Smith and her family attend any matinees. I think “Ms.” Smith might also want to make sure that any medical personnel, bank staff, grocery store staff, waiters and/or waitress, etc. are not homosexual before accepting any service or product from them...

Stay Home I did not know whether to laugh or cry when I read the letter of the extremely homophobic, “disgusted” writer. She now refuses to patronize the State Theatre because she evidently feels that its confines have been poisoned by the gay wedding ceremony held there...

Keep Away In response to Colleen Smith of Cadillac who refused to bring her family to the State Theatre because there was a gay wedding there: Keep your 25 cents and your family out of Traverse City...

Celebrating Moore And A Theatre I was 10 years old when I had the privilege to see my first film at the State Theatre. I will never forget that experience. The screen was almost the size of my bedroom I shared with my older sister. The bursting sounds made me believe I was part of the film...

Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith. She made public her choice to no longer go to the State Theater due to the fact that “some homosexuals” got married there. I’m not outraged by her choice; we don’t need any more hateful, self-righteous bigots in our town. She can keep her 25 cents...

Mackinac Pipeline Must Be Shut Down Crude oil flowing through Enbridge’s 60-yearold pipeline beneath the Mackinac Straits and the largest collection of fresh water on the planet should be a serious concern for every resident of the USA and Canada. Enbridge has a very “accident” prone track record...

Your Rights To Colleen, who wrote about the State Theatre: Let me thank you for sharing your views; I think most of us are well in support of the first amendment, because as you know- it gives everyone the opportunity to express their opinions. I also wanted to thank Northern Express for not shutting down these types of letters right at the source but rather giving the community a platform for education...

No Role Model [Fascinating Person from last week’s issue] Jada quoted: “I want to be a role model for girls who are interested in being in the outdoors.” I enjoy being in the outdoors, but I don’t want to kill animals for trophy...

Home · Articles · News · Books · Inside the heads of Generation X
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Inside the heads of Generation X

Kelsey Lauer - August 10th, 2009
Inside the Heads of Generation X

By Kelsey Lauer 8/10/09

backpocket e-pistles
By Mike Darigan
Skellum Imaginations, Inc.
264 pages — $11

“It’s about getting off the track and onto something different, maybe not a road,” writes Josh Meritz, one of four young men in backpocket e-pistles.
And that is exactly what the four close friends — Mike Darigan, Josh Meritz, Cleveland Winfield and Perry Panzarella—proceed to do over the course of a year as they study at four different universities—step off the beaten path and onto one of their own making to escape the pressures of modern society and learn who they truly are.
Through a series of unedited e-mails, backpocket e-pistles tells the story of their adventures and misadventures with learning, love and life in general.
“It’s kind of a collection of useful dreaming and a desire to be an individual and to live life to the fullest, to look at life with a sense of humor and adherence to being creative,” says author Mike Darigan. “Carpe diem would be a two-word summation of the general theme of the book.”
Darigan currently lives in Suttons Bay, where he is working on a book tentatively called La Femme and is starting an organic farm in Northport.

WHO’S WHO
At Emerson College, Mike Darigan is in the final year of a winding, six-year-long college career that began in 1990. Recently returned from studying abroad for a year as an associate student at Oxford University, Darigan discovers the joy of e-mail in 1995 and begins to correspond with three friends, one of whom he met while in England, one of whom he grew up with and another in his first year of university.
Also recently returned from Oxford University, Josh Meritz details his experiences of trying to fit back into a typical American university after his year abroad, which has transformed his expectations of life and given him the ability to question the norm.
Cleveland Winfield, who has known Darigan since the age of six, is a senior political student at the University of Rhode Island and brings a good deal of life experience to the table, thanks to having studied in Wisconsin, served in the army as a tank driver and spent two years in Nevada “slanging dope and getting married.”
Reading for a master’s degree at Whitefriars College, Oxford University, Peregrine “Perry” Panzarella has recently graduated from Providence College, where he and Darigan lived three doors down from each other; Darigan credits Panzarella with his introduction to writing.

COMING OF AGE
In places, backpocket e-pistles fits neatly into the coming-of-age genre personified so well by authors such as Jack Kerouac in On the Road. The concept of coming-of-age spans every generation, for no one really knows who they are until they have lived long enough to make mistakes and fall off—even briefly—the path that they planned to be traveling.
Like some of Kerouac’s works, backpocket e-pistles offers an unedited thought-stream that allows for a deeply personal glimpse inside a character’s life. But it differs from Kerouac’s works in that it details the lives of several students in the first generation to reach adulthood just as technology, such as the Internet, became more prevalent.
E-mail allowed each person writing to attain a spontaneity and realness that can be hard to find in a traditionally-written literary work, even one that is autobiographical; informal writing with at-times entirely lowercase letters means that the language is occasionally hard to follow, but adds to the entirely-true authenticity of each man’s correspondence.
Nearly every page inspires laughter due to one outlandish experience or another or, alternatively, delves deep into a thought-provoking examination of one of life’s many aspects, which Darigan says is exactly what he intended.
“It’s an entertaining book about some funny stories and outlandish acts in terms of the partying,” he says. “It’s a blend of humorous anecdotes mixed with thought-provoking passages. You’re either going to laugh or think about your life a little bit.”

ROADMAP
At a time in life when college students or any other 15 to 25-year-old is struggling to discover who they are and where they are meant to fit in the world, backpocket e-pistles serves as a useful map through some of the rougher patches of life.
It’s no self-help book—and wasn’t meant to be, according to Darigan—but the amusing anecdotes can put a smile onto even the most serious face and teach you a little about life in the process, the main lesson being “...for people to have confidence to adhere to the prompting of their own hearts within the matrix that we all live in that is constantly and subtly exacting pressure to conform,” Darigan says.

Backpocket e-pistles is available locally at Horizon Books and Borders in Traverse City and at Brilliant Books in Suttons Bay and online at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.


 
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