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  • Jumpin Jumpin: Police, fire fighters, and EMS workers to be honored at Sky Zone

    When we think of honoring the brave men and women who protect and serve the metro Detroit area, we think of trampolines.  We think they should jump on trampolines. And by trampolines, we mean an all-walled trampoline field where they can land in a pit of 10,000 foam cubes. They have to blow off steam some how. Sky Zone, the inventors of such a place, are hosting a special day at their Canton and Shelby Township locations that will be all about police officers, firefighters, EMS workers, and their families. On Tuesday, August 5 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. there will be free jumping for these folks. All metro Detroit police, firefighters, EMS workers and their families are invited to come, though an employee ID or professional organization ID will be required for admittance to 60 free minutes at the indoor park. The hour of free jumping comes with free pizza from Jet’s as well. This is the first event of its kind in Michigan.  Sky Zone Canton is located at 42550 Executive Drive Sky Zone Shelby Township is located at 50810 Sabrina Drive. Check skyzone.com for more information. 

    The post Jumpin Jumpin: Police, fire fighters, and EMS workers to be honored at Sky Zone appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Metro Times is getting a new website today

    Your favorite local alternative weekly is getting a digital facelift at around 4 p.m. today, and we need your help. If you, dear reader, spot anything amiss or notice that any of our regular features are not working properly, do give us a shout in the comment section below or on social media. If, on the other hand, you find that you positively adore our new design (which we surely hope you do!), we’d certainly enjoy hearing about that as well. Let the countdown to launch begin!

    The post Metro Times is getting a new website today appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well

    By LeeAnn Brown Some people say that hip-hop is dead. Local ban Fderal Ground is proving that is not the case. The seven-member band, consisting of three lead vocalists, a DJ, bass, drums and guitar, plays what they call “living hip-hop.” Their music, peppered with multiple styles, covers all aspects of life from growing up in the D to playing with fire despite knowing you will likely get burned. Their undeniable chemistry and raw lyrics compose a music that is living, breathing, and connecting to their listeners. It has been nearly 11 years since Vinny Mendez and Michael Powers conjured up the basement idea that has flowered into the Detroit funk-hop band Feral Ground. Throughout high school the two wrote and rapped consistently, playing shows here and there. In those years they matched their rap stanzas with the animated, dynamic voice of Ginger Nastase and saw an instant connection. The now trio backed their lyrics with DJ Aldo’s beats on and off for years, making him a permanent member within the last year, along with Andy DaFunk (bass), Joseph Waldecker (drums), and newest member, Craig Ericson (guitar). We sat down with Feral Ground and their manager, Miguel Mira, in their […]

    The post Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law

    Much has been made about Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr’s decision this week to transfer authority of the city’s water department to Mayor Mike Duggan. In what is the most interesting read on the situation, Jason Stanley, professor of philosophy at Yale, pens an analysis on Michigan’s novel emergency manager law on the New York Times Opinionator blog. Stanley deconstructs Michigan’s grand experiment in governance by addressing two questions: Has the EM law resulted in policy that maximally serves the public good? And, is the law consistent with basic principles of democracy? Stanley ties in examples of Plato, James Madison’s Federalist Papers, and Nazi political theorist Carl Schmitt. A short excerpt: Plato was a harsh critic of democracy, a position that derived from the fact that his chief value for a society was social efficiency. In Plato’s view, most people are not capable of employing their autonomy to make the right choices, that is, choices that maximize overall efficiency. Michigan is following Plato’s recommendation to handle the problems raised by elections. Though there are many different senses of “liberty” and “autonomy,” none mean the same thing as “efficiency.” Singapore is a state that values efficiency above all. But by no stretch of […]

    The post Yale professor talks Plato, James Madison and Detroit’s emergency manager law appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week

    Walking with Dinosaurs, a magnificent stage show that features life-sized animatronic creatures from the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods, will be in town next week. But to preview the show’s run at the Palace, a baby T-Rex will be making an appearance at four area malls to the delight and wonderment of shoppers. Baby T-Rex, as the creature is being affectionately referred to, is seven-feet-tall and 14-feet-long. He’ll only be at each mall for about 15 minutes, so while there will be photo opportunities, they’ll be short. The dino will be at Fairlane Town Center Center Court at 18900 Michigan Ave. in Detroit from 2-2:15 p.m. today, July 30; The Mall at Partridge Creek at 17420 Hall Rd. in Clinton Township from 5-5:15 p.m. today, July 30; Twelve Oaks Mall at the Lord & Taylor Court at 27500 Novi Rd., Novi tomorrow, Thursday July 31 from 1:30-1:45 p.m.; and Great Lakes Crossing Food Court at 4000 Baldwin Rd., Auburn Hills from 5-5:15 p.m., tomorrow Thursday, July 31.  

    The post Where to meet a baby dinosaur this week appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through BuildingDetroit.com, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    The post Detroit website offers stats, updates on city operations appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Stir It Up

A flash of Mulenga

As usual my pal Mulenga Harangua didn't answer the door when I tapped on it. I couldn't even peek in because a couple of boards covered up where the window used to be. I heard some noise from the back of the house, so I went around, and there he was enjoying some late-season sun and lounging on a duct tape-wrapped lounge chair that he had scavenged from somewhere. He wore a pair of blue skivvies and an old, gray football helmet. Flesh bulged out all around the tight briefs. 

"Hey, Mulenga, wake up."

His eyes opened slowly and he scanned his surroundings before focusing on me. A smile drifted across his face as he arched his back and stretched like an oversized, self-satisfied feline.

"Hey, baby, what's happening?" he said in his high, slightly nasal tone. "Good thing it's you. I wouldn't want anybody else to catch me like this."

"What's with the getup? Are you auditioning for that Full Monty calendar?"

"What?"

"The Full Monty calendar — some guys who belong to the Unitarian Church in Framingham, Mass., published a calendar with 12 of the church's oldest men, ages 64 to 87, posing nude, although their nasty parts were covered up, as a fundraiser. The 87-year-old retired minister said the 'older, aging body has its own elegance.'"

"Hmm, elegance," Mulenga said, standing up and doing a little twirl to show off his assets. "I need to get in line for that one. They could use a little of the Harangua vibe. I bet they don't have any brothas on that calendar do they?"

"Well, mmmm, they all seem to be white guys, but I don't think you're old enough to run with that crowd. And one of the pictures has a guy with a banjo covering up his crucial parts. I don't think it's your kind of thing."

"Banjo! That's why they needed me on that, so they could represent the banjo properly."

"What do you know about banjos?  Nobody plays them except a bunch of bluegrass and country music players."

"See, they done pulled the wool over your eyes just like everybody else. The banjo is an African instrument." Mulenga twitched his fingers around as though picking the air banjo. "Well, not quite African. The first banjos were made by enslaved Africans in America as facsimiles of stringed instruments they played back home. They got a display about that over at the Carr Center in Harmonie Park. That's to inform wrong-headed brothas like you who don't know your own history and let whitey co-opt it."

"OK, so I don't know twang about banjos. But what's with your getup? It's a little racy."

"It's for a couple of things. One, it's in solidarity with Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the guy they call the underwear bomber."

"I call him the panty bomber."

"Whatever you call him, the young brotha needs some solidarity. Ain't nobody standing with him. Especially that jury they got — 12 white people, three sistas and an Indian woman. Not one black man up there. Whatever happened to a jury of your peers? The one Nigerian woman among prospective jurors was dismissed."

"I'm not sure these people aren't reflective of the community or if that rule even applies to foreign combatants. The kid is Nigerian."

"Well, he's getting railroaded. Based on what I've heard, the kid ain't thinking straight and doesn't understand the legal system. Somebody filled his head with a bunch of crap."

"That may have been Anwar al-Awlaki, the al-Queda guy they killed with a drone attack in Yemen a bit ago."

Mulenga tapped his helmet. "That's a good reason to wear protective headgear. You never know when explosives are going to rain out of the sky on you."

"And it's good protection for when I decide to smack you upside your hard head. But really, why are you wearing it. That helmet can't be comfortable."

"Well I found it lying in the alley the other day. Since the Lions are doing so well this year I thought I show a little Lions pride and wear it."

"It doesn't have a Lions logo on it."

"But it's football. I don't care what it's got on it. You should have seen all the people out there for the Monday night game. I wandered through the crowd and made a little money humming that 'are you ready for some football' song on a comb and paper kazoo I made."

"You know that song got kicked off 'Monday Night Football' because Hank Jr. compared President Obama to Hitler."

"Yep, and ESPN has every right in the world to have whoever they want on their broadcast. At the same time, Hank was way out there on that one, but he has a right to his opinion. I ain't mad at him. I think somebody should ask him in what way exactly Obama is like Hitler. I think the ensuing conversation would put that shit to rest pretty quickly. I mean, killing 6 million people is incomparable. It puts you in a class all to yourself."

"I can't believe you're defending the panty bomber in one breath and Hank Jr. in the next. That seems incongruous."

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