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    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

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

  • Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial

    We don’t know about you, but usually Nancy Whiskey and Long John Silver’s aren’t two concepts we’d place in the same sentence. However, the international fast food fish fry conglomerate made a nod to the Detroit dive in their latest YouTube commercial. LJS is offering free fish fries on Saturday, August 2, which is the promotion the commercial is attempting to deliver. But, we think we’ll just go to Nancy Whiskey instead.

    The post Long John Silver’s makes nod to Nancy Whiskey in YouTube commercial appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women

    We came across an interesting item this week: Apparently, a music festival with the name “Michfest” is quietly oriented as a “Women-Only Festival Exclusively for ‘Women Born Women.’” It seems a strange decision to us. If you wanted to have a women-only music festival, why not simply proclaim loud and clear that it is for all sorts of women? But if you really wanted to become a lightning rod for criticisms about transphobia, organizers have found the perfect way to present their festival. Now, we know that defenders of non-cisgender folks have it tough. The strides made by gays and lesbians (and bisexuals) in the last 20 years have been decisive and dramatic. But the people who put the ‘T’ in LGBT have reason to be especially defensive, facing a hostile culture and even some disdain from people who should be their natural allies. That said, sometimes that defensiveness can cause some activists to go overboard; when we interviewed Dan Savage a couple years ago, he recalled his “glitter bombing” and said it was due to the “the narcissism of small differences,” adding that “if you’re playing the game of who is the most victimized, attacking your real enemies doesn’t prove you’re most victimized, claiming you […]

    The post Michigan’s women-only music fest still shuns trans women appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Stir It Up

Arms around the city

Neighborhoods Day showcases a vibrant, positive, united Detroit

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Luther “Badman” Keith


"We are part of this kind of unique neighborhood with a concentration of the arts in Detroit," says Mattie Majors, community relations director for the Arts League. "Neighborhoods Day lets people know that this city is not dead, especially the arts. So many people here don't really understand how strong the arts community is in Detroit and how varied it is. There is an awakening happening because people are becoming aware. They're catching on and realizing that the arts are inclusive. Everyone can enjoy the art at some level."

The 2:1 Gallery, an arts project of transplanted New Yorkers, will focus on a series of music and arts projects for children on the grounds of the Historic St. Anne's Church in southwest Detroit. "We're working with a group called Clave, and dancers are coming in to do folkloric dancing. We're doing an instrument-building workshop to create up to 100 small xylophones and playing a very dense piece of composed music on them," says 2:1's Gregory Holm.

A pairing of Detroit's past and present takes place with the Gratiot Splash at the site of the former Joe Muer's restaurant at 2000 Gratiot Ave. The Splash features a Stop-the-Violence tailgate parade with the Buffalo Soldiers motorcycle club, members of the Masonic Temple Lodge riding motorcycles, Manhood Inc. and others, with a mock funeral to bury violence.

"We wanted to show the other side of African-American men in the public eye," says Josie Kimball, of JC Human Services, a local business participating in the Splash. "So much volunteerism goes unreported."

Splash organizers expect Mayor Dave Bing or a representative, Rep. Hansen Clarke, City Clerk Janice Winfrey and others to speak. Other attractions include pony rides, horse-drawn carriage rides through the neighborhood, bands, DJs, fraternity steppers, inflatable playscapes and more.

I talk to a lot of people in the course of writing this column and I must say the enthusiasm from Neighborhood Day participants is getting to me. But I'll leave the last words to levitation maestro Keith.

"At the end of the day, people want a good community. These are the real heroes of Detroit. This is not about one day; they do it all year long. Now neighborhoods are going to be on the front burner again. Maybe now the time is right for people to start noticing this incredible story of hope and inspiration."

Find out more about Neighborhoods Day at arisedetroit.org.

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