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Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith.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 · Hearts and Smarts -- Tales of Two...
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Hearts and Smarts -- Tales of Two Remarkable Women

Nancy Sundstrom - November 6th, 2003
At first blush, Mariane Pearl and Elizabeth Smart may not seem to have much in common, but they actually do, including the fact that they are the subjects of eagerly awaited and hot-off-the-presses books.
As different as each one of their incredible real-life sagas have been, these two women have been brought to and kept them in the public eye, partially because while they were all victims, they have refused to be victimized. Their personal tragedies have become media events that are still of intense fascination to the public. Now, perhaps in an attempt to shed more light on what happened, their tales are be shared in a longer and more intimate way than we‘ve previously gotten from TV interviews or magazine stories, though only one of them is told from a first-person perspective.
If you‘ve followed the ordeals that these women have been through, you may well be interested in “A Mighty Heart“ by Mariane Pearl and Sarah Crichton and “Bringing Elizabeth Home: A Journey of Faith and Hope“ by Ed and Lois Smart with Laura Morton.

“A Mighty Heart -- The Brave Life and Death of My Husband“ by Mariane Pearl and Sarah Crichton
On January 23, 2002, Danny Pearl, the South Asia bureau chief of the Wall Street Journal stationed in Pakistan, left his home. It was the last time his pregnant wife, fellow journalist Mariane, saw him alive, and in the weeks that followed, she initiated an intense search for her husband, only to learn in the end that he had been kidnapped, held captive and eventually brutally murdered by Pakistani terrorists.
It‘s a heartbreaking and unforgettable story, written by Mariane, an award-winning documentary film director who produced and hosted a daily radio show for Radio France International. She begins it on the morning of the final day she and Danny would spend together:
“Dawn will rise soon over Karachi. Curled in Danny‘s warm embrace, I feel safe. I like that this position is called “spooning“ in English. We are like spoons in a drawer, pressed to each another, each fitted to the other‘s shape. I love these sweet moments of oblivion and the peace they bring me. No matter where we are -- Croatia, Beirut, Bombay -- this is my shelter. This is our way of meeting the challenge, of confronting the chaos of the world.“
For the next five weeks, while the rest of the world waited for news of Pearl‘s whereabouts, Mariane launched a courageous search for the man she loved and with whom she planned to spend the rest of her life. The couple knew the risks they were taking by living in a very troubled part of the world, but as journalists, both believed that good reporting was essential to our understanding of ethnic and religious conflict around the globe. That was one of many beliefs they shared, and Pearl would end up paying for it with his life.
As the search went on, Mariane came to learn things about her husband she hadn‘t previously known, like when she finds a list on his computer about the things he most likes about her. Some of these sweet, quieter moments give balance to the book‘s more dramatic and tension-filled passages, and let the reader know more about why the world lost someone special when Pearl was killed.
Much has been written about the case, but there really only is one person who could do justice to the story, and that is the woman who lived through and wrote about it. Her skills as a journalist and her familiarity with the socio and political forces rumbling through Pakistan greatly aid in shaping the narrative, but where it really hits home is in her descriptions of a man who “gave his all to everything he did.“
This is a poignant, personal and painful story of a tragic death incurred by someone trying to do his job well and with honor and integrity, much the same way he lived his life. It was recently announced that Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston‘s production company had bought the rights to the book, so it should be headed for the silver screen soon, but don‘t shortchange yourself - read this fine book.

“Bringing Elizabeth Home: A Journey of Faith and Hope “ by Ed and Lois Smart with Laura Morton
“Since Elizabeth returned home, there have been many questions surrounding what happened to her while she was gone. As her parents, we wish to protect our daughter‘s privacy and will not share the terrifying details of her captivity. We feel privacy is something Elizabeth, having survived nine months of torment, is entitled to. Perhaps someday she will choose to publicly share her story. That is her decision to make -- not ours.“
Okay, then, one can reasonably ask, why was this book written, along with its authors having made a dizzying slate of talk show and TV appearances with everyone from Oprah to Katie Couric? (Just for the record, Couric‘s prime-time interview with Elizabeth and her parents, Ed and Lois, on Friday, October 24 snared 11.9 million viewers, beating out the Barbara Walters‘ ABC 20/20 interview with Princess Diana‘s butler Paul Burrell, which drew 8.8 million viewers.
In case you haven‘t been out of the country for most of 2003, Elizabeth Smart is a now 16-year-old Mormon girl from Utah who at age 14 was kidnapped and held captive for nine months by Brian David Mitchell and his wife, Wanda Barzee. The pair have been charged with kidnapping, burglary and sexual assault, and Elizabeth has returned home to her family and on to the business of being a healthy American teenager.
Because of the pain the family has been through, one can‘t believe that the Smarts wrote this book for reasons other than noble ones, such as thanking the many who were involved in efforts to find and rescue Elizabeth. Devout Mormons, they have also stated that part of their undertaking this effort was to reinforce their belief in the “ultimate proof that God answers prayers.“ Doubleday vice president Suzanne Herz says, “The Smarts wrote the book with the best of intentions. It raises a lot of issues about how people can help find abducted children.“
The book is heart-felt, yet curiously restrained, and does not really provide any new information on their daughter‘s ordeal, though I‘m not sure that there would be any purpose to openly discussing the sordid details of her time in captivity, the sexual abuse, and so forth. Ed and Lois alternate chapters that primarily focus on the role their religious faith played in their dealing with Elizabeth‘s absence and her final return; the strengthening of their marriage through a crisis that could have torn them apart; the details of the search; and the intrusiveness of the media.
No one but the Smart family members and those closest to them will ever truly be able to understand the personal hell they endured, but “Bringing Elizabeth Home“ is at its most touching when it describes the joy they experienced on her return. The loss temporary or otherwise - of a child is absolutely a parent‚s worst nightmare, and being reunited with a missing child must seem like nothing short of a miracle. If there‘s anything this book conveys with complete focus, it is that.

 
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