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  • 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.

  • Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’

    A class-action lawsuit has been filed against the owner of Detroit’s municipal solid waste incinerator Monday, accusing the company of nuisance and gross negligence violations According to the complaint filed by Detroit-based Liddle & Dubin P.C., “On occasions too numerous to list, Plaintiffs’ property including Plaintiffs’ neighborhood, residences and yards were physically invaded by noxious odors and contaminants … As a direct and proximate result of the Defendant’s’ negligence in operating and/or maintaining the facility, Plaintiffs’ property has been invaded by noxious odors.” The eight-page complaint charges that local property values have dropped due to the incinerator’s presence, “and has interfered with Plaintiffs’ use and enjoyment of their property.” The lawsuit, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court, seeks a financial award in excess of $25,000 and all costs and attorney fees related to the case. In an email, a spokesperson for the company says, “Detroit Renewable Power is reviewing the complaint filed today,” but declined further comment. The suit comes weeks after a Metro Times’ cover story earlier this month found a growing number of odor complaints from nearby residents since Detroit Renewable Power LLC (DRP) took control of the facility in 2010. The investigation found a spike in citations from the Michigan Department […]

    The post Detroit residents sue incinerator owner over ‘noxious odors and contaminants’ appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.



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Politics & Prejudices

The quality of mercy

Former board members say Michigan Humane Society kills too many animals

Does the Michigan Humane Society kill far too many animals? That's what two former board members claim. They set off a firestorm of controversy this month by resigning over this.

Indeed, the figures at first glance are horrifying. Last year, the society's three shelters in Detroit, Rochester Hills and Westland took in something like 29,000 animals, mostly dogs and cats, puppies and kittens. More than half showed up in Detroit.

And the vast majority of all the creatures the society took in were destroyed. Seven out of every 10 were given a lethal injection.

Those who operate no-kill shelters called that "outrageous" and "barbaric." Michigan Humane Society officials say they have no choice. "None of us here wants to euthanize any animals, but, unfortunately, it's sometimes necessary," the society's chief veterinarian, Dr. Robert Fisher, told a reporter.

Now I know that some people will say, why care about this? The state is falling apart, the city is full of homeless people, and there are all sorts of urgent problems at all levels of government. Why waste time and space on mere animals?

Well, for one thing, because they are living and feeling beings who totally depend on us and whose existence is largely due to us. And, as Gandhi once noted, you tell a lot about a society by how it treats its animals.

So what's the truth here?

Frankly, so far as I can tell, the Humane Society is, sadly, doing the right thing. Anybody who thinks an open-admission animal shelter could, or should, avoid "putting animals to sleep" is ignorant, an idiot or both. I know something about this.

I have had dogs and other pets all my adult life.

They have been as dear to me as children might have been. I have had to be at the euthanasia table to say good-bye to seven old and sick collies, every one of whom I loved and love still.

Not pleasant, but it was necessary. Yet when I first heard of this controversy, I didn't automatically assume the Michigan Humane Society was correct. I have had legitimate concerns over the competence of the society's upper management over the years.

So I went last week to visit the toughest and grimmest of their three animal shelters; the one in Detroit, right off southbound I-75 at Clay. The society, which desperately needs a new building, does the best it can with a 19th century building which once was a machine shop where pistons were made, and where animals are saved.

I told Jennifer Rowell, a North Carolina native in her 30s who has run the place for the last eight years, that I wanted to see everything — and I wanted her to explain why so many of the animals have to die.

She began by showing me photographs of some of the animals they couldn't save, victims of accidents, unspeakable cruelty and neglect. You don't want to see those pictures. Ever. Though perhaps you should be made to see the dog left impaled on a fence.

None of those animals could have been saved. The Humane Society, and its famous animal cops, responds to any emergency and turns no animal away, no matter what its shape or how full they are.

Stop by and they'll show you rooms full of puppies and kittens and healthy, friendly adult dogs and cats, all of whom will find homes.

I saw them, but I also saw the rest of the facility. There was the dog that someone brought in with a giant tumor that had burst through her body. They were keeping her for a few days, as their rules require, heavily medicated for pain, just in case an owner shows up.

They showed me puppies and kittens that had been abandoned and were too young or sick to eat. I saw adult dogs that had never known a human's warm touch, that arrived too late to be socialized.

And then I saw Lady, a black and white pit bull mix that was in the most terrible condition you can imagine. She had been kept in a basement without food; there was nothing but skin and bones and a collar embedded in her flesh that had to be surgically removed.

Lady couldn't even walk when the animal cops found her a week ago. They didn't think she had a chance. But, incredibly, she might survive, and even more incredibly, she was enormously sweet.

While she licked my hands and weakly wagged her tail, I enthusiastically wanted to kill the people who had done this to her. Rowell lost her own chum, an ancient pug, a few months ago. She hates putting any animal to sleep. But for many, there is no better alternative.

Our unwanted animals won't be saved by people posturing in the media, but by people who are better educated, have more money, take care of their pets and who stop letting them breed.

Jack Kevorkian at his best helped end needless suffering. The Michigan Humane Society does that too, when there is no alternative. They also provide pet food and reduced cost medical care to people who intensely love their animals but simply have no money.

And they do it all without a penny of government help. If you have any money to send Jennifer Rowell, it would be well spent.

Wiener dog tales:
Nobody doubts that U.S. Rep. Anthony Wiener is a pathetic mess. When a fairly powerful congressman feels the need to send cell phone pictures of his schwanz to women he's never met, you don't have to be a psychiatrist to know his bizarre needs are out of the realm of normal, whatever that may be.

Yet there is a smug, hypocritical sanctimoniousness about all this that is beyond annoying. Virtually everyone has done something sexually that they are ashamed of, or at the very least don't want everyone to know. Supposedly, we are a liberated, taboo-free society.

Yet every time someone gets caught with their trousers down, everybody from the media to the politicians who haven't been caught yet becomes all pompously moral. Mitt Romney, who seems to be made out of the same plastic they use for Ken dolls, was there with his standard-issue blond Mormon wife on a CNN interview show.

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