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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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Politics & Prejudices

Insanity Fair

Thaddeus McCotter flies the coop — and flips his constituents the bird

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Former U.S. Rep. Thaddeus McCotter is a selfish, egocentric jackass. Want proof? Last week he abruptly quit, with six months left to go on his congressional term.

True, the Livonia Republican had already managed to destroy his political future, all by himself, and without stealing any money or any sex scandals. Two months ago, everybody expected him to be easily re-elected to his suburban seat in Congress. All he had to do was turn in 1,000 valid signatures on petitions. But to everyone's shock, nearly every signature was invalid, most evidently photocopied and cut-and-pasted from some earlier campaign. Besides disqualifying him from the ballot, this is, by the way, an apparent violation of election law.

At first, McCotter said he would run a write-in campaign. That would have taken a lot of hard work, however, and after a couple days, he gave it up. Then last week, he announced abruptly that he was quitting, right then, walking off the job. Why? Well, apparently having ruined himself was too stressful to bear.

"My future is a dimming light in a dark pit," he told The Detroit News. Most others couldn't see any light. McCotter's political suicide started more than a year ago when he bizarrely decided to run for president, for reasons known only to himself and the fillings in his teeth. He had no money, no support, and no real issues. His high-water mark came at something called the Ames Straw Poll last summer. Nearly 17,000 Iowans voted, and McCotter got ... 35 votes. That works out to one out of every 500 cast. Even Lassie probably would have done better, but the TV collie unfortunately is dead. So was McCotter's campaign, as even he soon realized.

Humiliated, and deflated further when Fox News failed to offer him a talk show, the Livonia sensation took to writing a proposed TV show in his garage, to be called Bumper Sticker: Made on MoTown.

According to those who've read it, it stars him (big surprise!) and includes "banter" about "drinking, sex, race, flatulence and puking." And, oh, yes, women's body parts, and a sexually perverted "black Santa." Would you be surprised to know that it drew even less interest than his presidential campaign?

By the way, I am taking the ex-congressman at his word when he claims to have written it in the garage at night while chain-smoking, to help get over his presidential campaign. The former staffer who released it to the media indicated, however, that McCotter wrote the pilot instead of attending to his congressional duties.

Or making sure he got enough signatures to get on the ballot, evidently. But this bizarre behavior is not the real reason I began this column by calling McCotter a selfish, egocentric jerk. Actually, he went off the charts on the assholeometer by resigning from Congress. That leaves the 700,000-plus people he swore to represent without any congressman for the next six months.

That is, unless Gov. Rick Snyder decides to hold a special election. But doing so wouldn't make much sense. It would take weeks, cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, and produce a congressman whose very district would soon be completely transformed, thanks to new redistricting boundaries, in January.

Congressmen, by the way, do a lot more than cast votes. They get kids into military schools, help constituents with easily solved grievances against the federal government, have their staffs trace down lost Social Security checks, and perform other services.

Two years ago, McCotter promised the people he represented that if they re-elected him, he would keep doing that until January 2013. Now, he has, in essence, given his voters a big Fuck You.

After resigning, the ex-congressman whined, "I'm finished, I'm done." We can only hope so. The press traditionally has been too kind to McCotter — probably because, despite being a right-wing Republican, he likes to play guitar in a rock band and spout Bob Dylan quotes.

But so what? Fifty years ago, a drunken, snarling Richard Nixon bowed out of politics in his "last press conference" after losing the governorship of California. Watching the spectacle, President John F. Kennedy said, "He went out the same way he came in; no class." True enough, but the voters and the media later forgot who he was. 

America paid the price for that memory lapse. Let's hope nobody ever forgets who Thaddeus McCotter really is.

 

Detroit follies — the latest sequel: Not surprisingly, Krystal Crittendon, the city's reality-challenged corporation counsel, is furthering her crusade to take the city down by continuing to fight the consent agreement in court.

Last month, Ingham County Circuit Judge William Collette threw her silly lawsuit out in minutes, essentially saying it was frivolous. But now, possibly drunk on seeing her name in the headlines, Crittendon has asked him to reconsider.

The consent agreement was crafted last April, you may remember, to allow the city to share power and responsibility with the state as Detroit figures out the painful economic adjustments needed to avoid bankruptcy. The only real alternative was for the governor to appoint an emergency manager, in which case city officials, including Critttendon, would lose all their powers. 

Any other mayor would have fired her long ago, and indeed Dave Bing tried. But a quirk of the new charter doesn't allow him to do so unless two-thirds of the City Council agrees to do so. Detroit's dysfunctional council won't, of course, mainly because of its flamboyant leader, former local Fox News anchor Charles Pugh.

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