FIVE THINGS: To be preserved
June 6, 2007
It takes only a few minutes of watching early
'90s "Beverly Hills 90210" to realize that the
dawn of spandex was a bad time for America.
Unflattering on virtually all body types and
made in a variety of repugnant colors and
patterns, this stretchy, skintight fabric has
nevertheless come back in style with women of
What many fail to realize is that any front
view, back view, side view, bird's-eye view or
ground view of a spandex-clad bottom half is
just as strangely vulgar as the rest. In truth,
wearing spandex is just badly disguised public
THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE
Sure, its hapless struggles to keep up with
the times by annually adding catchphrases like "metrosexual"
and "bling bling" have made the dictionary seem
a little pathetic. And sure, the Internet has
proved bad grammar and spelling can be more
efficient and dynamic than the same tired, old
But the fact is, numbers do not constitute an
acceptable replacement for letters. Smiley faces
made out of colons and parentheses do not cover
the wide range of human emotions. Abbreviations
such as LOL, ROFL and LMAO are vaguely
We need to do more than just feel bad for the
English language. We need to save it.
BELLE ISLE AQUARIUM
As the oldest continually operating aquarium
in America, Belle Isle's was remarkable for
elements beyond a few pretty fish.
With Detroit in financial straits, cuts had
to be made. Nevertheless, the aquarium's closing
in 2005 was just another example of a beautiful,
historic Detroit building being left to rot.
CBC RADIO 3
"What I've Done" by Linkin Park is on the
radio over and over. Lead singer Chester
Bennington's screaming is an obnoxious cliché of
itself. On major American radio networks, this
situation is all too typical.
For a time, where America lagged, Canada
picked up the slack. In 1997, the Canadian
Broadcasting Corp. launched Radio 3, with its
engaging live sets, amusing regular features and
dynamic host Grant Lawrence.
But because of budget problems, Radio 3 was
continually downscaled into on-air oblivion by
early this year. Yes, it's on podcasts and
Sirius, but we shouldn't have to pay $25 a month
just to hear a decent song on the radio.
Picture a little girl, reveling in her
sunshiny happiness, as she allows an adorable
ladybug to crawl up her finger. She smiles
gleefully at the bug's black dots, tiny antenna
and red shiny wings -- but wait, she pauses:
This one looks a little bit orange, a little bit
Before she can flick it off, she feels a
short, sharp pain. A bite! This is not the
pretty insect pal she once knew.
As our poor heroine can now testify, the
ladybugs of the past have all but disappeared
from Michigan. Their cousin, the Asian lady
beetle, has taken over. And she bites.