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Issue of 1/7/2009

Cover Story:

Aronson's guide for the godless
by W. Kim Heron and Curt Guyette
A WSU prof contemplates America as a not-so-religious nation


Comeback of the century by Cole Haddon
From early glory to career skids and back again, Mickey Rourke discusses his rise and fall

Dewey-eyed by Detroitblogger John
Neighborhood library confronts life in the inner city

Verbal blogging by William E. Ketchum III
Detroit emcee Tasherre D'Enajetic's committed, if not possessed


Comics (Comics)

Couch Trip by Metro Times film writers (Couch Trip)
Creepy Eva Braun home movies, an opiate for the (non)masses, a spy dud, some squiggle-vision and Z-movie schlockitude!

Oasis builder by Jeff Broder (Grilled)
Peaches & Greens brings fresh produce to Detroit's 'food desert'

Letters to the Editor by Metro Times readers (Letters to the Editor)
Our readers sound off on papers in crisis and the auto bailout

Jeffrey Morgan’s Media Blackout by Jeffrey Morgan (Media Blackout)
The usual suspects, but at high speed

Motor City Cribs by Doug Coombe (Motor City Cribs and Rides)
Techno pioneer Carl Craig's spare living space

Night and Day by Megan O'Neil (Night and Day)

On the Download by Chris Handyside (On the Download)
The URL-ies!

Detroit's public school crisis by Jack Lessenberry (Politics and Prejudices)
Why firing Superintendent Calloway is part of the problem

No means no by Dan Savage (Savage Love)
If you were raped, blame the rapist, not yourself

That was the year by Walter Wasacz (The Subterraneans)
Our dance music expert glances back at '08



Are You For Real? - Circus Boy Reviewed by Brett Callwood (Record)

Things I Will Need in the Past - Charlene Kaye Reviewed by Cherri Buijk (Record)


Gran Torino Reviewed by Corey Hall (Movie)
Here Eastwood plays Walt Kowalski, a deeply embittered retired Detroit auto worker and recent widower, still clinging to his glory years, as if the scrupulously manicured borders of his Highland Park lawn can keep change at bay. But the neighborhood ain’t what it used to be, his old friends have died off and been replaced by ceaseless waves of strange new immigrants with no notion of the old traditions and rules that govern Walt’s world. His dopey sons are trying to put him in a home, his grandkids are self-centered twerps, about the only thing that hasn’t disappointed him is the pristine 1972 Gran Torino parked in his garage, which the Hmong kid next door (Vee Bang) promptly tries to steal as part of a gang initiation. Instead of pumping lead into the little creep, Walt is coerced into letting Thao make amends by working off his debt and cleaning up the neighborhood. In the process, Walt slowly warms to the kid, and to his witty older sister Sue, and begins letting down his defenses and embracing his new friends. But the gang bangers won’t let Thao or Sue go so easily and soon enough the old soldier is brandishing his Korean war vintage rifle and forcing punks off his lawn like an old-man Dirty Harry. It’s a hoot watching Clint grumble and grouse his way to enlightenment, even as he spits out a dictionary’s worth of arcane racial slurs and stereotypes. Too often this leads to uncomfortable laughs, which don’t feel earned but stolen. Walt’s a cranky old coot, but his bigotry seems more a matter of habit, from a jocular time when everybody was a Polack or a Mick, simply as a sense of identity. It’s also a kick seeing him dismiss a pushy young priest (Christopher Carley) as an “overeducated 27-year-old virgin,” but it’s a shame he didn’t cast better actors to bounce these zingers off of.


Cafe Muse Reviewed by Jane Slaughter (Restaurant)
Owners David Smith and Greg Reyner moved a block, still in prime Royal Oak real estate, and doubled their seating. In the new location, they’re still a breakfast-and-lunch place, open seven days 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., but they’re experimenting with many more specials, usually 10 to 15 that change every four or five days.