Detroit Seen


Fifth Estate # 295, November 3, 1978

As you may have noticed in our staff box this issue, the Fifth Estate is now officially designated as a bimonthly. A reduced staff and the availability of those remaining has dictated this change and will also allow us to conform more closely to postal regulations governing the second class mail rate which demands specific publication schedules. Ah, another of the great FE contradictions. The Fifth Estate has mailed at this controlled rate for a decade, long before the paper too was explicitly anti-State. The decision to be immersed in the postal bureaucracy is based on our ability to mail an entire issue including bulk orders to bookstores for under $20. Fred Woodworth, editor of the now defunct Match, steadfastly refused to involve his paper with any government agency and would spend over six times our figure to mail each of his issues. Of course, if we took that course we would still be using U.S. postage stamps….

The FE apparently isn’t the only paper suffering from this period of political contraction. The Workers Vanguard (sic), published by the Trotskyist Sparticist League and the Detroit-based International (sic) Socialists (sic) who put out Workers (sic) Power (sic) have both reduced their printing schedules from weeklies and word is that the latter group may soon fold…

The only papers that seem to be chugging along with no problems are The Militant, from the Socialist Workers (sic) Party, which is financed by a huge, profitable, commercial book business they operate, and the ever-zany New Solidarity, organ of the U.S. Labor (sic) Party, which appears twice a week; hawked on almost every street corner in Detroit; competing with the Moonies for space, New Solidarity has been trumpeting the early announced candidacy of its resident mad hatter, Lyn Marcus, for president of the U.S. Marcus, who has gotten steadily more wacko over the years, has taken to calling for a “return to a Federalist-Whig defense policy” and prints pictures of himself and Abraham Lincoln along side of his own. It seems Marcus has decided that ol’ Abe had all the qualities of Plato’s “philosopher king,” and that only he, Marcus, has those same qualities necessary to lead the country. The Labor Party has moved to the right of the Birch Society and now supports nuclear power, wants marijuana laws strengthened, and gives political support to such unsavory characters such as the Shah of Iran and the President of Mexico….

Usually quiet Wayne State University was the scene last month of a mass strike with the professors, middle-level administrators, and secretaries out on the line. The last are usually thought of as wearing cute dresses, smiling broadly and saying, “Have a nice day.” But out on the picket line a more human face appeared and it was levis and clenched fists with yells of “scab” directed to anyone crossing in to work. One non-striking WSU worker got a permanent lesson in what it means to be a scab. When she returned after working all day, her new car had the letters SCAB dug deeply into the paint of her fender…

In two recent Supreme Court decisions Detroit broadcasters got the word on what language is and is not appropriate on the airwaves. The nine stone faces upheld the right of J.B. Stoner, racist head of the National White Peoples Party, to use the epithets, “kike” and “nigger” during a radio speech in Georgia, but supported the Federal Communication Commission’s reprimand to a New York City station that played a George Carlin album in which the comedian spoke in sequence the “13 forbidden words” such as shit, piss, fuck, etc. You can always tell a society by what it prohibits….

Speaking of obscenities and racism, the Detroit Nazi bookstore has moved once again, this time to 5732 Michigan Ave. and was again met with large groups of outraged neighborhood residents who didn’t want these scum in their area. Of course, the left came tagging along as did the Detroit Police to protect the fascists…

Graffiti Seen: In the New Miami Bar men’s john someone wrote “The Fifth Estate Lives!” (thank you, whoever), but a wag followed it with “So Does Karen Quinlan!” Well, at least we’re off the life support machines…

Seen at the 13th Police Precinct: A Ford pick-up truck sporting a POAM (Police Officers Association of Michigan) sticker (which means you don’t get any tickets) and a bumpersticker reading “I Support Law and Order.” As if to illustrate what he means, the cop in question had a small knotted hangman’s noose dangling from his rearview mirror….

We’ve never been very good about reminding people about renewing their expired subscriptions, but we sent out a mailing to that effect in June to about 150 readers. The response was generally excellent, but we still have a large group who have not sent back their forms. Please, if you want to continue receiving the paper, send us your remittance within one month after publication of this issue or we will be forced to remove you from our lists and we’d miss anyone of you.

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