Trending
Most Read
  • Detroit group Feral Ground is out to prove hip-hop is alive and well

    By LeeAnn Brown Some people say that hip-hop is dead. Local ban Fderal Ground is proving that is not the case. The seven-member band, consisting of three lead vocalists, a DJ, bass, drums and guitar, plays what they call “living hip-hop.” Their music, peppered with multiple styles, covers all aspects of life from growing up in the D to playing with fire despite knowing you will likely get burned. Their undeniable chemistry and raw lyrics compose a music that is living, breathing, and connecting to their listeners. It has been nearly 11 years since Vinny Mendez and Michael Powers conjured up the basement idea that has flowered into the Detroit funk-hop band Feral Ground. Throughout high school the two wrote and rapped consistently, playing shows here and there. In those years they matched their rap stanzas with the animated, dynamic voice of Ginger Nastase and saw an instant connection. The now trio backed their lyrics with DJ Aldo’s beats on and off for years, making him a permanent member within the last year, along with Andy DaFunk (bass), Joseph Waldecker (drums), and newest member, Craig Ericson (guitar). We sat down with Feral Ground and their manager, Miguel Mira, in their […]

    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

    Interested in reading about what Detroit accomplishes on a week-to-week basis that’s produced by the city itself? Great. You can do that now, here, at the Detroit Dashboard. Every Thursday morning, the city will publish an update to the dashboard because Mayor Mike Duggan loves metrics, even if the data might be hard to come by. According to Duggan’s office, the dashboard will provide data on how many LED street lights were installed, how many vacant lots were mowed, how much blight was removed, and more. This week, the city says it has sold 13 site lots through BuildingDetroit.com, removed 570 tons of illegal dumping, and filed 57 lawsuits against abandoned property owners.  

    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.

Calendar

Calendar

Search thousands of events in our database.

Restaurants

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Nightlife

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

MT on Twitter
MT on Facebook

Print Email

Stir It Up

Waiting for Terry Jones

Reporting from Dearborn, our columnist has another run-in with Mulenga Harangua

It was easy to find the Islamic Center of America when I turned off the Southfield Freeway service drive onto Ford Road at about 4:30 p.m. last Friday. Twenty or more police cars with lights flashing served as my GPS in the gray, rainy afternoon. Police cars blocked access to the area and officers directed traffic onto the side streets.

I pulled into the parking lot of the Los Amigos restaurant and walked past the St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church to get to the mosque. The ICA is flanked by three Christian churches. I don't know about the spiritual energy around there, but it is apparently not exclusive.

I was there to see what Terry Jones, the Quran-burning Florida minister, would do in his planned protest in front of the Islamic Center. Right before I got out of the car, I heard a radio report that he was in court and a jury was deliberating on whether he would be allowed to carry out his mission. Jones had said that he would come, permit or not, so I joined the gathering of police and news reporters shivering in the cold near the front of the mosque. There were a handful of onlookers out on the berm off Ford Road.

A guy from the mosque asked for my press credential. I had none. He told me I either had to go inside or stand with the group out near Ford Road. I went inside where it was warmer and drier. On entering the building I was given a Quran and read a few lines as I walked the hallway past small groups of people mostly chatting quietly near the windows.

I began questioning folks, but the first few I approached didn't want to talk so I stopped. I overheard one man say, "If he is a pastor and he's coming in peace, why does he bring his gun?"

Indeed, Jones' .40-caliber handgun went off in his car the evening before, after leaving the FOX 2 television studios. He wouldn't be the first person to come to Detroit with his gun loaded and ready to go. On the other hand, I felt that if Gandhi came to town, he would not be armed. But then the Rev. Jones is no Gandhi.

The crowd had surged to some 40 or 50 people outside, so I headed back into the rain. As I approached the group, a guy in an oversized poncho and hood approached me. I jumped when he grabbed my arm.

"Relax, don't be getting paranoid on me," said Mulenga Harangua, my conspiracy theory-loving friend.

"Mulenga, what are you doing here?"

"I want to hear what Jones has to say. I'm not for the guy or against him. I don't want him to burn a Quran, but if he does, I want to see that."

"Even if he's trying to incite a riot?"

Mulenga looked dismissively at the soggy crowd. "That crazy bunch of rioters there? Let's go talk to them."

He grabbed my arm again and dragged me over to a guy carrying a sign that read: "I will debate you anytime, anywhere." Mulenga shoved my hand with the tape recorder in the guy's face.

"Sir, why do you want to debate Terry Jones?" I asked.

"I believe that our community has not given him clear answers. ... " said Haithan Kayed of Dearborn. "Jones is anti-sharia in America. We, as Muslims, don't want sharia in America. We want it in our homelands. God is a part of our legislative process. In this country there is a lot of fear among Muslims, and there are certain things that they shy away from saying. Islam is a complete way of life and ... an alternative to capitalism. That is one of the things they shy away from saying because it's one of these things that could label them radical or extremist. They are ill-equipped in presenting it in a clear and precise manner."

A guy walking past on the road yelled something like "Muslim radicals" at the crowd, which surged toward him. Police quickly escorted him away while a big guy from the crowd exhorted his compatriots. "Everybody say nothing. Let them say what they want to say. They want us to get arrested. Nobody touch anybody. Words don't hurt."

Those were certainly words of wisdom — especially if Jones actually showed up at the scene. I looked around. Mulenga was approaching an elderly white-haired couple. The man had a Bible tucked under his arm. I ran over to them.

"Why are you here, sir?" I asked.

"I want to support Terry Jones," said Rev. Lanny Raper.

"What about him do you support?"

"I want to support the protest and what he is supporting as far as freedom in America and the right to be able to protest and stand up for what you believe in."

"And what is he protesting?"

"Well, he is protesting the right, his freedom, the Fifth Amendment."

"He's protesting his freedom?"

"I'm supporting it. I think if they have the right to believe what they do. Basically I believe that America was founded as a Christian nation. One nation, under God, indivisible, and I still believe it. My dad he fought in World War II and my brother was in the Vietnam War. So I very much believe that America is a Christian nation."

"How does fighting in World War II and in the Vietnam War mean that America is a Christian nation?"

The woman with him spoke up. "It's not the war. It's the reality of the freedoms that we have."

About 7:30 p.m. word came that Jones was being held. Police told the crowd, which had peaked at about 100 people, to leave. Mulenga asked me for a ride home. As we walked back to my car we mulled over the issues.

"I wish he had come," said Mulenga. "I really wanted to know what he was talking about."

"He seemed to want to protest sharia in Dearborn."

"But Jones doesn't live in Dearborn. Aren't these conservative guys always talking about the supremacy of local law? Why should he be concerned about local law in Dearborn when he is from Florida? Why is he trying to tell us what to do?"

"I'm not sure," I said. "Maybe he wants to keep the rest of us from drifting into sharia. You start with halal meat and next thing all the women have to wear burqas."

"Hey, you're starting to sound like me. But that didn't happen with the Catholics."

"What?"

"Fish on Friday. There are all kind of places that serve fish on Friday because of the Catholics. And my niece goes to West Bloomfield High School. They get Jewish holidays off, and the cafeteria serves matzo pizza. I don't hear anybody protesting against that. Or thinking it leads to some kind of takeover."

"Well you've got a point there. Let me buy you dinner. I used their parking lot; I should spend a little money. I hear this place has great chile rellenos."

"Oh, man, don't get me started about the Mexicans and their food."

I shot him a questioning look.

"Well they already took over California and Texas."

We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus