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  • Thank you, Detroit

    I’m not going to lie to you – this isn’t easy. This week, the final City Slang local music column will be published in the Metro Times (on hardcore band Final Assault), and I have just submitted a cover feature on the women of Detroit hip-hop, to be published next week (8/6). This blog that you’re reading now will be my last one as a regular MT contributor. I have a lot to look forward to. I’m going to be an associate editor at Yellow Scene Magazine in Colorado, a tremendous publication in a beautiful part of the country. But leaving Detroit will be incredibly difficult for me. I love the place. It’s been (amazingly) six and a half years since I arrived, a couple of cases in hand and not much of a plan in mind. I just knew, after three separate research trips for books and a magazine article, that I felt at home here. Metro Times offered me freelance work almost immediately, as did a new website called Metromix (whatever happened to that?) When I arrived here, I had been working as a writer in the UK for nine years, but the help and encouragement I received […]

    The post Thank you, Detroit appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers

      We here at MT will be delighted when Mr. Jack White throws out a pitch at Navin Field (at least, we hope he will), but until then, we’ll be happy with his pitch to Santa this evening at Comerica Park.    

    The post Christmas in July, Jack White, and the Tigers appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW)

      Footage from the Gathering of the Juggalos set to clips of Morgan Freeman’s narration from March of the Penguins? Kind of forced, but also kind of beautiful. As the AV Club reports: The oft-sought voiceover champion lends a touch of gravitas to the festival proceedings. Unfortunate scenes of barely clad people having various liquids dumped onto them now carries a quiet dignity as it’s all part of nature’s majestic plan that keeps the world spinning through this elegantly designed and truly wondrous universe. Also, the video is NSFW as there are boobs in it. Watch the clip below:

    The post Watch footage of the Gathering of the Juggalos dubbed with Morgan Freeman narration (NSFW) appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love”

    It seems like the polar vortex will never end: the weather phenomenon that brought us the most brutal winter on record this winter is to blame for this summer’s chillier-than usual temperatures as well. A couple of bands, though, made lemonade out of lemons (or snow cones out of snow?) by using the icy landscape to film music videos. 800beloved shot the video for “Tidal” in some sand dunes near Empire, Mich., and this week Turn to Crime debuted the video for “Can’t Stop,” the title track of their recently-released album. Even more piles of ice and snow might be the last thing Detroiters want to see right now, but the footage makes for some good visuals that mesh well with the song. Watch the video below:

    The post Turn to Crime debut chilly video for “Can’t Love” appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed

    Detroit Emergency Manager Kevyn Orr transferred oversight of the the city’s water department Tuesday to Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan in an order intended to refocus “efforts to help DWSD customers get and remain current on their water bills,” Orr’s office said today. “This order provides additional clarity to the powers already delegated to the mayor,” Orr said in a statement released Tuesday. “As the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department works to operate more efficiently and communicate more effectively with customers, it is important to ensure there are clear lines of management and accountability.” Duggan will have the authority to manage DWSD and make appointments to the utility’s board, according to a news release. In a statement issued Tuesday, the mayor said he welcomed Orr’s order, adding that officials will develop a plan that “allows those who truly need to access to financial help … to do so with shorter wait times.” “We need to change a number of things in the way we have approached the delinquent payment issues and I expect us to have a new plan shortly,” Duggan said. “There are funds available to support those who cannot afford their bills — we need to do a much better job in […]

    The post Duggan takes control of Detroit water department; says changes to approach on ‘delinquent payment issues’ needed appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years

    Rovers Scooter Club, a local gang dedicated to celebrating and riding motor scooters, will be celebrating its 10 year anniversary this week with a very special ride. Motor City Shakedown, the annual birthday party for the club, will commence this Friday, August 1 at New Way Bar. DJ Grover from Cincinnati will be spinning northern soul, reggae, and ska, according to club member Michael Palazzola. Saturday will feature a ride from Ferndale to Detroit, starting at noon at M-Brew. Palazzola says this is where most bikes will congregate before taking the ride to the city and folks will be prepping by getting some grub starting at 10 a.m.  Detroit’s Tangent Gallery will host the after party,  a special event that will feature performances by several bands as well as Satori Circus. That portion of the event will commence at 8 p.m. with performances starting at 9 p.m. It’s free to riders, but the public is welcome to join the party with the mere cost of a door charge. Come midnight, the club will raffle off a vintage Lambretta LI 150. Sunday morning will end the weekend of festivities, with brunch taking place at the Bosco in Ferndale.   

    The post Rovers Scooter Club Celebrates 10 Years appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Stir It Up

A real corporate choice for VP

If corporations are Mitt Romney's peeps, why not pick one as his running mate?

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While Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney slogs through the long hot summer, much of the speculation is on whom he will chose as his running mate. He'd have a hard time doing any worse than John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin in 2008 (she is depicted as painfully disconnected from then-current events in the HBO movie Game Change based on the book by John Heilemann and Mark Halperin).

Maybe Romney should heed the words of Republican strategist Ed Rollins in making his choice. Last week Rollins complained that the GOP — let me paraphrase here — is too old, too white and too fat. He urged party members to do a better job of engaging Latino and African-American voters. I guess Romney didn't get that memo before he went to the NAACP convention seeking boos. However, he could improve his standing with the civil rights crowd — and help his problem with the ladies — by selecting former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as his running mate. She's not white, not fat, not that old and the right-wing crowd loves her.

But word is that Condi is not that big on the idea. 

Who else is out there? New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie doesn't help on the white and fat tip. Youthful Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, would help on the Latino front. However, for some reason the now-Catholic Rubio attended a Mormon church for several years and the conservative crowd probably doesn't want to double down on the Church of Latter-Day Saints, given evangelical suspicions about how it relates to their Christianity.

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, who wields his budget cuts like the sweeping scythe of the Grim Reaper, would probably help deliver the conservative base. But the guy looks like Frankenstein without the knobs in his neck. Romney probably doesn't want anyone stiffer looking and scarier than himself stumping around the country.

When asked back in April if he would consider Rick Santorum, who dogged him from the right during the primary season, Romney declared, "Everybody is on my list. I'm not taking anybody off the list, alright?" 

But he may have dropped a clue about his real plan for a vice president in one of his most famous quotes of the campaign. Remember: He said, "Corporations are people, my friend." Well he should pick one of his people as a running mate. It would be the ultimate public-private partnership. My first thought is he should renew his romance with Bain Capital. But he's been running away from that relationship lately. 

Indeed, the latest question is when exactly that marriage broke up in the first place. Was it 1999, as Romney claims? Or was it 2002, when his name finally came off the corporate papers? Bain doesn't even have a cool logo some model could stick on his head and strut around like a college sports mascot. And there would be the inevitable questions of how many foreign bank accounts Bain has and how many jobs it's off-shored. No, having Bain on the ticket would be the equivalent of Obama taking the Rev. Wright out on the stump. Romney will have to kick that corporation under the bus for the moment.

Although Romney was born in Detroit (we heard of his high jinks assaulting a long-haired student while attending Cranbrook), I get the feeling that none of our local auto companies would make the short list for veep. Once upon a time it was believed that what was good for GM was good for America. But now that GM has lowered itself to openly taking government welfare, it has become a second-class citizen. The same thing goes for Chrysler (I guess Chrysler is American now that Daimler has dumped it). Although Ford Motor Company didn't declare bankruptcy and take a handout like the other two, still the sting of Romney's "Let Detroit Go Bankrupt" column in the New York Times lingers. Besides, the auto companies would just bring along their union friends, and I don't think Romney is really a union kind of guy.

What about McDonald's? It has those golden arches that seem to beckon you to a land of enchantment and wonder. Maybe they could slip a little something into the hamburgers to make folks feel just a little bit more right-wing. On the other hand, the toys in the Happy Meal look a little too much like the "free stuff" Romney decried while speaking to the NAACP. And Ronald McDonald too closely resembles Joe Biden in a clown suit. I could imagine a vice-presidential debate with those two honking horns at each other, popping out of boxes and making balloon animals. 

I thought about Geico, but Martin the gecko has a decidedly Cockney accent that wouldn't play well with the birthers. The same goes for British Petroleum. It may have oiled up the Gulf of Mexico and gotten away with it in true American corporate fashion, but we're not ready to return to any union with the Brits unless they kneel and kiss Romney's ring, build a giant wall so you can't see France from their shores and promise to give up soccer for good old American football. And William and Kate have to spend at least half their time stateside.

ExxonMobil is a real American corporation. We've got their oil from the Valdez spread all around Alaska to prove it. Then again maybe Romney doesn't want to play up the whole Alaska thing. It didn't work out so good for the last Republican presidential candidate. 

Wal-Mart might be the best choice. It seems to stand for most of the same things that Romney stands for. The Walton family members are among the richest in the country, yet their employees are among the lowest paid and most badly treated — the perfect metaphor for the 1 percent versus the 99 percent. Wal-Mart doesn't stand for union organizing, and most of us are going to need their cheap prices after Romney gets through with the country. On the other hand, why should the Waltons take a pay cut and have to spend their time hobnobbing with mere politicians?

Wait a minute! It just occurred to me. There's no reason to seek any of these other corporations to be Romney's running mate. There's a corporation that has shown its toughness, its stamina, its willingness to take on the Democrats in a no-holds-barred struggle to the end. It's Koch Industries. David and Charles Koch could give us a two-headed vice president that would be content to stand behind the scenes and pull the strings. Besides, no other corporation has a better edge: The Kochs already own the Republican Party. 

 

Larry Gabriel is a writer, musician and former editor of Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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