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Outdated Thinking This letter is in response to Colleen Smith.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...

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Whatever Happened to the Men‘s Movement?

George Foster - January 9th, 2003
Remember the Men‘s Movement? Probably not -- it got lost somewhere in the shuffle between Y2K and 9/11. But the Men‘s Movement was big 10 years ago, as fathers vowed to get back in touch with their sons and forge a “new masculinity“ that would be more in touch with modern times.
Back then, there were male retreats, drum circles and vows of getting back in touch with the true meaning of manhood -- not the Rambo/Vin Diesel/James Bond crap of pop culture -- but manhood which embraced the responsibility of raising children and being a good husband.
It was a movement which covered the full range of the political/spiritual spectrum, from new age drum-thumpers to Christian Promise Keepers.
Today, however, the Men‘s Movement is as fleeting as the afterburn of a firefly‘s trail -- ridiculed out of existence -- or more likely -- it went the way of most well-meaning vows of responsibility and was simply tucked away when the novelty wore off.
But there‘s still a need for such a movement in our country, as any number of angry young fatherless men will attest. Consider Eminem, for instance, whose father abandoned him when he was six months old. He‘s the ultimate parody and extreme example of a 30-year-old man/boy who never had a father to guide him; still sassing his mama (who he lived with until the age of 25), and still dependent on her as a source of abusive material in his songs for the benefit of his insecure teen fans.
Here‘s what Eminem has to say about his upbringing and why he‘s so angry: “He‘s a problem child, and what bothers him all comes out/When he talks about his f**kin‘ dad walkin‘ out/‘Cuz he just hates him so bad that it blocks him out/If he ever saw him again he‘d probably knock him out.“
Critics of Eminem wonder why his songs are so vicious in regard to his mother, women and gays. Perhaps it‘s because he‘s still an angry boy inside, who never grew up. Perhaps it‘s because he was never guided by the example of a father or an uncle who had his act together.
Apparently, however, he‘s trying to reverse his past: An article in the recent Village Voice notes that Eminem is a devoted father to his seven-year-old daughter, Hailie, vowing that she will have the dad he was denied. As Marshall Bruce Mathers III, he attends PTO meetings at Hailie‘s Chippewa Valley School District in the suburbs north of Detroit and is considered a very good father by his neighbors in the gated community of Manchester Estates.
What was it about the Men‘s Movement that offered a sense of hope to fatherless children?
It started in 1990 when Minnesota poet Robert Bly -- the son of an alcoholic father -- wrote a visionary book called “Iron John,“ which traced the passages from boyhood to manhood. “Iron John“ called on men to explore their primitive past.
A central belief of the Men‘s Movement was that for tens of thousands of years, boys grew up at the side of their fathers and uncles, first as hunters in the forests and savannahs, and later as farmers bringing in the crops.
This all changed in the Industrial Revolution of the 1800s, however, as dads went off to work in factories, leaving their sons at home or in school. At the beginning of the 20th century, 70 percent of all American‘s lived on farms and 30 percent in the cities. By the end of the century, those figures were more than reversed, and the loss of farm life created an even greater distance between fathers and sons.
Then there‘s the whole divorce thing and the fact that men and women don‘t need to live with each other any more if the other person‘s face gets wearisome. Boys raised by their mothers often get so that they don‘t even want to see the old man any more because he‘s not quite as comfortable to be around as mom -- he may be a trifle scarier, more demanding, gruff, direct, and in-your-face with a lower timbre to his voice that‘s intimidating.
Some feminists pish-posh these qualities as being expendable, but statistics reveal that scraping the bark with daddy bear -- rough and demanding though he may be -- provides a nurturing experience for young men -- and girls too.
Consider the following from the same Voice article about Eminem. According to information from the Census Bureau, Centers for Disease Control, and Department of Justice, among others, “kids from fatherless homes are five times more likely to commit suicide, nine times more likely to drop out of high school, 10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances, 14 times more likely to commit rape, 20 times more likely to end up in prison, and 32 times more likely to run away from home.“
None of this is meant to disparage the efforts of single mothers, who are often left holding the bag of parenthood with social supports under constant threat of attack.
But it does point out that the need for men to be involved in the lives of their kids is as strong as ever. The Men‘s Movement seemed to die at first frost -- a pity -- and perhaps an indication that men never were all that serious about it to begin with. Some men, anyway.
 
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