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Lippman Lip

Mark Twain musings

Mark Twain once said of a critic who praised James Fenimore Cooper, “If only he had compared Cooper’s English to the English he writes himself.” I wish Baynard Woods had compared Laura Lippman’s prose to the prose he writes himself and spared us last week’s cover story (“Crime Family,” Feature, Feb. 5), a blatant promo for Lippman’s new novel disguised as an investigative think piece.

I was hoping for revelations about an intriguing real-life Baltimore mystery, and there were some of those—but in the sidebar, not the piece itself, and certainly not in the excerpt from Lippman’s deadly-not-deathless writing, thoughtfully provided by Woods (or editors determined to publicize an already-overexposed author). It’s enough to send Sherlock Holmes back to the cocaine bottle.

Now that Woods has taken a presumably much-needed break from his usual diet of Sophocles and Shakespeare, can we get back to the heavy stuff, or at least have a few articles about better local writers than Lippman?

Jon Swift


Explanations, Please

The murder of Kimberly Leto (Murder Ink, Feb. 5) leaves the reader asking: How did these two young men arrested for the crime target the South Ellwood Avenue victim? How did these two teenage predators, residents of Belair Edison and Parkside—fish out of water—profile the victim’s house and neighborhood for their atrocity? Was this stalking? Will this murder qualify as a hate crime? How can Mayor Sheila [sic] Rawlings-Blake’s office be rerouted from discussing New Jersey’s governor to addressing the stench in her backyard?

Nervous Highlandtown residents who can recall the murder of Zachary Sowers right around the corner in 2007 might draw some deeply disturbing parallels to this case.

Anthony Murawski


Positive Force

Regarding Rob Williams and his treatment of guests to his corner African shop, Umiri Siki (The Mail, Feb. 5; “Different Presence,” City Folk, Jan. 29), I doubt he cares much what you think of him and am sure he can be rude.

The reason Rob has made it this long in our neighborhood is that he hustles his butt off, having to keep an eye out for all the junkies that see his open-air goods as a means to their next high, and has (unfortunately) little time to show people his wonderful collection of masks and other African artwork.

I’ve known Robert a long time, and he’s both friendly and fairly knowledgeable of most of the stuff he has and is usually willing to talk about things if you have the time for him. He’s trying to make a living in a tough part of the city and, though hard-headed, he’s definitely a positive force in the hood.

Mikl Brown


Mizeur Matron

Van Smith’s article “The Quiet Revolution” (Feature, Jan. 15) was an excellent and informative read. Great job, Van Smith.

I believe Heather Mizeur is an intelligent woman with great leadership skills to become a great governor for the state of Maryland, as the state’s next governor. Female power—a visible image!!!

As an Afrocentric feminist who is no longer a liberal Democrat but a progressive Democrat, I will be voting for Heather Mizeur as the next governor of Maryland on June 24, 2014. I believe Heather Mizeur has the right human potential to lead Maryland forward, and she will work to take care of the interests of all citizens living in Maryland.

I will not be voting for Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown because Anthony Brown will have a carbon-copy administration of Governor Martin O’Malley’s administration—namely, making money by housing young black children in jails or prisons while hiring cops making middle-class incomes to watch over “thugs” in jails.

The next governor of Maryland should be about the business of ending a “black culture” in the prison system in Maryland and all the states of the United States.

Larnell Custis Butler


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