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  • 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.

  • Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times

    Turns out, our very own Jack Lessenberry knows the Grosse Pointer seeking to ban the MT: Ten years or so ago, a woman named Andrea Lavigne sat in on some media survey classes I was teaching at Wayne State University. She was in her late 30s or early 40s, and seemed to be searching for answers. She wanted to know how the media work, and told me she was a Maoist. This fascinated me, because I thought authentic Maoists were almost as rare as passenger pigeons. Chairman Mao, we now know, starved to death and slaughtered tens of millions of his own citizens, and kept China economically and intellectually backward. Intrigued, I got together one night before class with her and another Maoist, to find out what they were all about. Alas, they spouted a form of primitive, grade-school Marxism. They seemed to have very little historical knowledge of Communism or what it had actually been like. Yes. A Maoist. Read the full story at Michigan Radio here.

    The post Lessenberry on the battle to ban the Metro Times appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Stir It Up

Grace Boggs, Detroit and the next revolution

Talkin' about an evolution - with Grace Lee Boggs

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Grace Lee Boggs says she would like the chapter titles of her new book, The Next American Revolution: Sustainable Activism for the Twenty-First Century, written with Scott Kurashige, to become buzzwords for progressive activists.

So I imagine "Detroit, Place and Space to Begin Anew" or "We Are the Leaders We've Been Looking For" on T-shirts, trying to fit them on for size in the coming era of struggle to rebuild Detroit and Michigan.

More than just buzzing around, Boggs wants people to really ponder the meaning and implications of those words. "What does it mean to start anew? What does it mean to say we are the leaders we've been looking for?" she asks me rhetorically. "I think instead of growing our budgets, we need to be growing our souls. What are the economics of happiness instead of gross national product? People of every race are beginning to think differently. They're beginning to recognize that life isn't just about making a living. It's about making a life."

Boggs is a political philosopher whose thought and activism have been reaching around the globe from her modest home near Mack and East Grand Boulevard. Last week, I sat down with her and Kurashige, a Boggs Center board member and director of AC Asian/Pacific Islander American Studies at the University of Michigan, to ask how her ideas relate to some of the tumultuous events taking place these days. The large, though not fancy, brick house is filled with books and papers. It's not an advertisement for the electronic age and predictions of a paperless society. Boggs, the daughter of Chinese-American restaurant owners, earned a Ph.D from Bryn Mawr in 1940, became a leftist, and married black autoworker-activist James Boggs. The Boggses collaborated with the Marxist historian and theorist C.L.R. James during the 1950s, and, starting in the 1960s, set their own course, writing several books either separately or together. These days, Grace, a widow recently turned 95, is the leader of the nonprofit Boggs Center, headquartered at her home, which is the hub around which a number of efforts — Detroit Summer, the Allied Media Project, Detroit City of Hope, the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality and others — maintain their philosophical grounding and connection to a broader, growing movement in Detroit.

Boggs' revolution is not a call to seize political power from the government. "A cultural revolution has begun to take place," says Boggs. "It's a phenomenon as historic and as far-reaching as the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture, and from agriculture to industry. Now we're at the heart of a change from industry to a world where people work not so much at jobs. Work is something that we do to develop skills as much as to produce goods and services. We're so used to the idea that we work in order to make money, but that's not why people have worked throughout history and that's the kind of way we're going now. It provides a very different perspective of revolution. It's not about seizing state power to plan the economy.

"The new focus of work is to develop one's ability and one's capacity to do a whole lot of things. For example, we're going into a period where, instead of people doing mass production line stuff, people will think much more of craftsmanship, which involves the development and expansion of the human being."

Indeed, that is a turn away from the revolutionary ideals of the past few centuries. Boggs has witnessed revolutions, rebellions and plain old social upheaval, and struggled with the idea of what those things mean. She was here and took part in the hope and euphoria that accompanied Coleman A. Young's election as mayor of Detroit. But over time she saw that having a black mayor wasn't enough to change the larger economic order, as she writes in Next:

But even though he was one of this country's brightest and most skillful politicians, he was helpless in the face of the deindustrialization and outsourcing that were gaining momentum in the 1970s. Because he had failed to think seriously about the profound changes taking place in the economy, he had no idea how to deal with the new information technology and the massive export of jobs overseas that was making it impossible for young people to find meaningful paid work in the city.

All Coleman could do was react, and he was ultimately driven to desperate measures to try to replace the jobs that were gone for good.

Boggs sees Detroit as the forefront of changes sweeping the industrialized world. Once the front line of industrialization, Detroit could be the model of what the future of the deindustrialized world looks like. That thought has led her to work on seemingly small projects in Detroit neighborhoods.� For instance, she sees urban gardening as the beginning of a major shift in the way we feed ourselves as well as a way to connect generations in a widely inclusive movement.

"Detroit, because we have this position in the history of the country and the world, is creating that alternative — not in words but in action," she says. "There's a group on the east side called Feed 'Em Freedom Growers; if you don't have food you can't be free. Detroit has over 1,000 community gardens. Urban agriculture started very simply with some African-American women seeing some vacant lots. That's how big changes take place, with small changes. Important changes always start from the bottom up. We think they come from the top, or start with millions of people. No, they start when some people respond to the historical context and do what needs to be done. That's how revolution takes place."

This revolution is a turning away from the capitalist ideals of more and more, and bigger and bigger. She says that we are in the end days of capitalism as we have known it for the past few centuries. And the new order is being fought over in places like Madison, Wis., and Lansing, in North Africa and even in the way Japan responds to man-made and natural disasters.

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