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The Furnace is Kickin’ …

Dammit Calgon!

Remember in the FOX sitcom Ally McBeal, when Ally would find herself in precarious situations and her “theme song” would spontaneously play?

Over the last month, I had Kenny Loggins trailing me singing “The Heat Is On” (which doubly sucked since I’m not a fan of his or that song!).

Our magazine got a little roughed up in March. While anticipating flak from one of our feature profiles, we didn’t prepare for the criticism that visited us from some readers, including a few progressive-minded rabbis.

During its conceptual phase, Red Thread’s editorial formula was conceived as if we dipped the Jerusalem Report into Heeb — and sprinkled a little JN on top for good measure.

And, having received feedback from anyone gracious enough to give it, I’m reminded that we do indeed have a spirited, motivated and thoughtful community; also, what constitutes a “good” read can be quite subjective.

Last month’s Post-Date Post column [“Single Men and the Women They Know — Biblically!”] and Man on the Street [“Who’s Up for a Slap and Tickle?”] — accompanied by an arguably provocative profile on gentlemen’s club entrepreneur Alan Markovitz — proved too much for some.

On Post-Date Post: We neither condemn nor condone the personal behavior of the subjects featured (in any story); but there is a moral imperative many believe should permeate a Jewish publication. While casting judgment is not our mandate, exercising what to publish is; to that end, we acknowledge an error in discretion.

On Man on the Street: We believe not everything needs to be erudite and, as such, posed questions we offered as humorous. Our apologies if you believe our execution did not match our intent.

With hindsight, we recognize the border between “edgy” and “bawdy” is finely drawn and easily crossed. To those who expressed concern that some material in Red Thread may not be suitable for young eyes, we say determining what is age appropriate is not unique to this publication. The dailies, magazines, TV and the Internet are rife with material I wouldn’t share with my kids.

While we neither write nor market RT to children, the reality that we are carried within a family-oriented community newspaper is not lost on us. With that, my colleagues and I appreciate your comments; and the ire from last month says you’re interested.

The Next Row To Hoe

How to “fix” Detroit has been a topic of conversation since before I was born. From monorails to the slots, one plan after another has been floated, touted, promoted and, sadly, discarded for lack of viability.

However, perhaps it’s time to get back to basics, as it were, and revisit an industry that fed our city well before the advent of the horseless carriage — farming. Why can’t a patchwork of Victory Gardens and commercial farms intersperse between still viable neighborhoods and the city center?

Does that have to be a pipe dream? The benefits seem obvious: tax revenues (where none currently exist), locally produced commodities, a return to agrarian ideals and so on. While I’m no tree hugger (sorry, Michele Saulson), I do know that letting vacant homes rot while citizens demand a taxed infrastructure be maintained for posterity seems incompatible.

You’ll read about a disparate group of individuals and companies who have made or are intent on making urban farming a reality in the city of Detroit. It’s high time the idea becomes a real part of the solution instead of just another discarded plan.

Join in the conversation through our Facebook page or, better still, by coming to the next RT coffee klatch. The first one was great — and attendance exceeded our expectations. This one could be even better.

Our April coffee klatch will be from 9:30-11 a.m.
on Wednesday, April 6, at the Borders Books
on Woodward Avenue in Birmingham.

As always, it’s totally casual — no pressure, no cost — and we’ll have our Bake Station danishes in tow.



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