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  • 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 transwomen

    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 transwomen appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

  • Use this widget to find your polling place for Aug. 5 primary election

    Reminder: the August 5 primary election is coming up. Where do you vote? What’s on the ballot? All these questions can be easily answered by simply typing the address you are registered to vote at into this handy widget created by Pew Charitable Trusts and Google: You can embed this widget on your own website with the following code, and more information can be found at the Voting Info Project.: <script type=”text/javascript” src=”https://voter-info-tool.appspot.com/js/loader.js”></script> <div id=”_vit”></div> <script type=”text/javascript”>vit.load({‘election_id’:’4034′, ‘suppress_voter_id_rules’: true});</script> Read up on MT‘s election guide for Wayne county executive here.

    The post Use this widget to find your polling place for Aug. 5 primary election appeared first on Metro Times Blogs.

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Coming out online

When your closeted friend hits you up online, it’s time for a pat on the back

Coming out online

Q:

 I'm a 21-year-old gay male. My friend "Marcelo" is friends with "Chad." Everyone who meets Chad assumes he's gay. Never had a girlfriend, a dance major, dyes his hair blond/green/purple, got up at 2 a.m. to watch Kate marry William — I could go on. Over four years at college, this situation has gone from funny to sad as we realize he may never come out and could pull a Marcus Bachmann and live a miserable life with a miserable wife. Last night, Marcelo was on Grindr and got a message from a guy who turned out to be Chad! Chad sent a face pic, Marcelo sent a faceless one back, they chatted. It turns out that Chad is experienced enough to know his homosex likes and dislikes and carry on a detailed conversation about them with a guy on Grindr. Should we say something to Chad? Would letting him know he's been outed be the best course of action? Should we have a gayvention? —Closet Case Confusion

 

A:

 Chad hasn't "been outed," CCC, Chad outed himself.

Before Al Gore invented the Internet and ruined everything for everyone forever, a college-age closet case had to work up the nerve to visit the campus gay bar if he wanted some dick. (Or visit the cruisey bathroom in the undergraduate library, but let's leave that one alone for now.) The closet case knew he was running a risk by showing his face in the campus gay bar — even the gay bar three towns over — but going to the bar was the only way to get some dick. So the pre-Grindr college-age closet case would slip into a gay bar and, after pounding shots in a wildly successful effort to self-medicte against his inhibitions, wind up shirtless on the dance floor making out with some random dude.

There was a code of conduct for friends of closet cases when I was in college — which was, I'm sorry to say, just a couple of years before Grindr came along (cough, cough) — and a section that dealt with dance-floor make-out sessions: If you saw a guy who told you he was straight in class on Friday morning making out with some random dude on the dance floor of the campus gay bar on Friday night (or in the gay bar three towns over), you had a right — no, you had a responsibility — to tap him on the shoulder, smile, and say, "Welcome out, dude."

And if you had engaged in a little subterfuge — if you, say, ducked behind a post when you saw the closet case come in so he wouldn't spot you and flee the gay bar pre-shots and -shirtless-make-out session — that was an understandable impulse and forgivable sin.

What Chad is doing on Grindr — sending out face pics, chatting about his homosex preferences — is the Grindr-era equivalent of making out with a random dude on the dance floor of a campus gay bar. What Marcelo did was the Grindr-era equivalent of ducking behind a post. And now Marcelo has a right — no, a responsibility — to tap Chad on the shoulder and, without any sense of malice or triumph, say, "Welcome out, Chad."

 

Q:

 I'm an 18-year-old male who is weird in the way of a bit of crossdressing and pegging. My girlfriend endorses these interests, and I love her for that. Recently, a hot 22-year-old gay guy told me he was interested. I tried to tell him I was in a relationship, but we kissed. It sucked ass. His stubble hurt, he used too much tongue, and I got nothing out of it. Do I tell my girlfriend? I worry that telling will make her worry, and the worry will cause distrust, and that distrust will ruin a great three-year run. —Now Over Transient Bisexual Interests

 

A:

 First, after reading your letter, NOTBI, I was left wondering what would've gone down (you perhaps?) if the gay dude you made out with — after you tried so very, very hard to tell him you were in a relationship — didn't have a rough beard and use too much tongue.

Second, a girlfriend who endorses your interest in crossdressing and pegging is a girlfriend who might have endorsed your interest in a boy-on-boy make-out session. (Particularly if she could watch.) If you'd had the decency to ask for her permission, NOTBI, you wouldn't now be in the position of having to ask for her forgiveness.

Third, I think you should discuss this with your girlfriend, but I don't think you must. You're 18, you're not married, you (briefly) kissed a boy, and you didn't like it. If you think coming clean would destroy your relationship and you're sure it's never going to happen again, stuff this one up your memory hole.

Fourth, if you do talk with your girlfriend, NOTBI, you might not wanna emphasize the beard and tongue details. Not unless you want your girlfriend wondering the same thing I did after reading your letter: Maybe if it had been a different guy, with a different tongue, a lot more than his tongue would've wound up in your mouth.

 

Q:

 I (middle-aged, married, straight guy) recently attended a boring business conference where I ran into an old friend (middle-aged, married, straight guy). He came to my room for a moment, noticed a camera on a small tripod on the desk, and asked what I was shooting. Emboldened by a few beers, I told him about my hotel room routine: shoot myself naked and masturbating then upload pics to an amateur exhibitionist website. Since I had shared my little secret, he shared his: He gets naked in hotel rooms and masturbates while spanking himself with his belt. You can see where this is going. I whacked his ass while he took photos of me. There was no sucking or fucking — no physical contact at all — but his Catholic guilt came out afterward, and he started going on about how he had just had gay sex and cheated on his wife. To me, it was masturbation with a few toys (camera, belt, and, OK, person). So here's the question: Did we have gay sex and cheat on our wives? Or was this just a wank with a few toys? —Spank And Wank

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