5.  “America (The Book): A Citizen’s Guide
to Democracy Inaction”
— If only for the naked
pictures of the Supreme Court justices, this book should be
required reading for all political science majors.
“America” is an even better read after seeing Jon
Stewart verbally assault “Crossfire’s” bow-tie
sporting Tucker Carlson in front of a live audience.

Beth Dykstra
Courtesy of New Line

4.  Don Cheadle — America’s most
underappreciated actor will finally have his shot at an Oscar with
December’s “Hotel Rwanda,” a factual account of
the 1994 genocide. On the lighter side, he’ll also be
reprising his role as a Cockney gangster in the upcoming
“Ocean’s 12.” Well done.

3.  Guided by Voices — This band’s final
album is among its best work, and its last tour was a religious
experience for anyone who made it to the Detroit show at the
Majestic Theatre. During a three-hour performance, lead singer
Robert Pollard managed to drink himself half to death, while still
staying conscious enough to rock out, play the band’s best
hits and wax intellectual about the war in Iraq, Jack White and why
Motown is cool.

2.  Versiz — Detroit’s most talented rap
act and slam poet is the one guy who can make southeast Michigan a
respectable haven for independent hip-hop. Versiz’s rhymes
make Eminem look even more juvenile than before, and his social
conscience packs a Joe Louis-like punch.

1.  “Casshern” — It’s the
greatest movie you’ll never see, unless you shell out $50 for
the Japanese box set. Made for just $6 million, it somehow manages
to be a visually stunning piece of filmmaking ever. Dreamworks just
bought the rights, so see “Casshern” before it gets
botched. The film is most effective as a visual complement for a
Motörhead album, although the Japanese heavy metal that
accompanies the robot fight scenes is a more than adequate
soundtrack.

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