Letters

Letters 05-23-2016

Examine The Priorities Are you disgusted about closing schools, crumbling roads and bridges, and cuts everywhere? Investigate funding priorities of legislators. In 1985 at the request of President Reagan, Grover Norquist founded Americans for Tax Reform (ATR). For 30 years Norquist asked every federal and state candidate and incumbent to sign the pledge to vote against any increase in taxes. The cost of living has risen significantly since 1985; think houses, cars, health care, college, etc...

Make TC A Community For Children Let’s be that town that invests in children actively getting themselves to school in all of our neighborhoods. Let’s be that town that supports active, healthy, ready-to-learn children in all of our neighborhoods...

Where Are Real Christian Politicians? As a practicing Christian, I was very disappointed with the Rev. Dr. William C. Myers statements concerning the current presidential primaries (May 8). Instead of using the opportunity to share the message of Christ, he focused on Old Testament prophecies. Christ gave us a new commandment: to love one another...

Not A Great Plant Pick As outreach specialist for the Northwest Michigan Invasive Species Network and a citizen concerned about the health of our region’s natural areas, I was disappointed by the recent “Listen to the Local Experts” feature. When asked for their “best native plant pick,” three of the four garden centers referenced non-native plants including myrtle, which is incredibly invasive...

Truth About Plants Your feature, “listen to the local experts” contains an error that is not helpful for the birds and butterflies that try to live in northwest Michigan. Myrtle is not a native plant. The plant is also known as vinca and periwinkle...

Ask the Real Plant Experts This letter is written to express my serious concern about a recent “Listen To Your Local Experts” article where local nurseries suggested their favorite native plant. Three of the four suggested non-native plants and one suggested is an invasive and cause of serious damage to Michigan native plants in the woods. The article is both sad and alarming...

My Plant Picks In last week’s featured article “Listen to the Local Experts,” I was shocked at the responses from the local “experts” to the question about best native plant pick. Of the four “experts” two were completely wrong and one acknowledged that their pick, gingko tree, was from East Asia, only one responded with an excellent native plant, the serviceberry tree...

NOTE: Thank you to TC-based Eagle Eye Drone Service for the cover photo, taken high over Sixth Street in Traverse City.

Home · Articles · News · Random Thoughts · Wedding bell blues
. . . .

Wedding bell blues

Robert Downes - January 25th, 2010
Wedding Bell Blues
Sad, but true: I tend to have a hard time getting stoked for our annual
wedding insert each January, possibly because I haven’t personally
channeled getting hitched in quite some time now.
My last experience with holy matrimony was serving as best man several
years ago. I became reacquainted with a rented tux, shiny wing-tips and
the solemn responsibility of holding onto the ring until the proper
moment. But otherwise, I haven’t been to many weddings since my own
nearly 14 years ago and am a bit out of the loop on the subject.
Being clueless makes it tough to come up with story ideas year after year.
We have access to a news syndicate that offers a number of wedding
stories, but they never seem quite “right.” There are numerous stories
available on the political fight over gay marriage in places like New
Jersey, for instance, but I can‘t imagine the young brides who check out
this week’s issue will consider that a ‘must’ read for their own wedding
plans.
Our syndicate also has a very funny story about how we’ll most likely
be falling in love and marrying humanoid robots a few years down the
road, including some kinky stuff about what to expect in the sack on
your wedding night in 2050... but maybe we’ll save that one for
Valentine’s Day.
At any rate, “canned” features always bring a whiff of staleness to the
sad collection of other wedding guides you see this time of year; we like
that local, authentic flavor here at the Express.
Fortunately, our staff and team of freelancers always come through with
local story ideas to save the issue. We’re pleased to point out, for
instance, that Northern Michigan brides-to-be are feeling more optimistic
about 2010 as a good year to get married, having faith that the economy
will bounce back for the better.
I do have one wedding tip to share, however. It happened the first time
around when I was 24, kneeling at the altar in front of 120 people at a
little church on the east side of Detroit in a ridiculous white suit
(Saturday Night Fever was the big hit film that year, if that explains
it). All of my best buds were on hand, having made the trip back home from
around the country just to see me take the plunge.
Suddenly, I remembered that my best friends in those days were a pretty
reckless bunch of jokers -- the sort of guys who would write “Help Me!” on
the soles of your shoes just before you were about to get hitched. I had
a mini panic attack at the altar, imagining that they had done just that.
But of course they didn’t, and the worst of it was a cold sweat prompted
by my imagination. But even so... take my advice young men (and maybe even
women too): be sure to take off your shoes and examine them carefully
before you take that long walk down the aisle to wedded bliss, because you
just never know.

BAM! BIFF! POW!
It was clear in last week’s Senate election in Massachusetts that the
public is out in force, marching with torches and pitchforks to overthrow
the status quo... just like they did in November, 2008 when the Democrats
swept into office.
Just a year ago, some political pundits were predicting that the
Republicans were finished for at least a generation -- whoops!
Since both Democrats and Republicans have taken their lumps over the past
year, perhaps last week’s upset in the deep blue state of Massachusetts is
a product of anger, anxiety and frustration over whoever is in office, no
matter what party.
You can see an anti-government impulse shaping up in the race for governor
here in Michigan. Republican candidate Mike Bouchard is calling for the
creation of a part-time legislature which would meet for 120 days every
other year. He notes that most other states in the country have part-time
legislatures and seem to do just fine. He’d also eliminate the life-time
health insurance perk for legislators along with their pensions, and would
lower term limits from 14 years to 12.
Meanwhile candidate Rick Snyder -- also a Republican -- is calling for
a 25% cut in legislators’ pay as well as an end to the lifetime health
insurance that lawmakers receive after serving for just six years in
office.
Considering some of the costly (if not crazy) ideas put forward as bills
each year, perhaps it’s high time for a trim at the top. At any rate,
that‘s certainly the mood of the country, and God help anyone in office
who’s big enough to serve as a target for public wrath.
But consider this: blaming people in leadership positions during hard
times is as old as the Stone Age, even when the top dogs are powerless
to do a thing about whatever famine, plague or economic meltdown is
riling up the public.
In The Golden Bough: A Study in Magic and Religion, published in 1890,
Scottish anthropologist James Gordon Frazier wrote that in times of
trouble, the king, pharaoh, sultan, or whoever was in charge inevitably
took the blame for not pleasing the gods who brought rain and sunny
conditions to the crops. Frazier claimed that in ancient times,
fertility cults required the sacrifice of a sacred king whenever the
tribe was in deep doo-doo.
True? Who knows? But that’s just how things still play out today in the
angry, bewildered tribe of America.

 
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