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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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Fall Arts Issue

Designing Detroit

Expectations and revelations from the inaugural Detroit Design Week

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Mind the Gap aims to connect Detroit's in-between spaces

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Street art is the name of the game in the alley at the TAP Gallery

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notebook doodles come alive via Whimsical Wheatpaste


Clayson: As a Spartan it makes me proud to hear Michigan State was so accommodating, but geography and place is one of the coolest things about the festival because we didn't plan any of these events — we're actually calling them "happenings" — we just provided a platform and place for them to occur and connected them to resources as well as potential team members and volunteers. Really we're just ensuring the caliber of these happenings are worthy of a design festival that we hope will help Detroit's creative community self-identify. 


MT: What are three or four of these "happenings" that we definitely shouldn't miss?

Anderson: One that strikes me is a group that calls itself D's Creatures. The lead on the project, William Tyrrell, works for the parade company and went to CCS; some of the other team members are teachers. They're custom building these huge creatures, and the production will culminate with an unveiling at a fashion show on a Saturday. They incorporate technology and found materials to bring it to life. That'll be at the Quark Gallery at 6166 Woodward, in the old Dalgiesh dealership. Wayne State and TechTown loaned the space, and they've had free rein of the space to build out these creatures. I also think the design battles will be really exciting. Live music, art and design will unfold and fly around before your eyes. 

Kirouac: I think that rapper and DJ Nick Speed is presenting one of the most exciting happenings. He'd been attending our info sessions and we'd been thinking about the perfect venue for him to present his Nick Speed Orchestra (featuring rappers, DJs and techno artists the likes of Phat Kat, Stretch Money, Mad Mike Banks, Jon Dixon, DJ Sicari, Cecilia Sharpe, Boldy James along with a live string section). We learned that Black Star, a duo comprised of rap icons Mos Def and Talib Kweli, were going to be in town at St. Andrew's on Wednesday, the festival's kickoff. So we kind of pushed Nick Speed into the Shelter that same night. It's great to put our stars on the stage in the same building as these international stars in their genre. 

Clayson: And I really like the "Mind the Gap" competition. It was one of the very first ideas to come through the door and it's proved to be one of the most ambitious proposals. It's like a parallel tract outreach effort to engage the community in coming up with creative solutions for in-between spaces. So the Detroit Design Festival put a call out, Mind the Gap answered the call, and called out from that platform for more specific engagement in the community. 


MT: "In-between spaces"? What exactly are you talking about?

Clayson: In-between spaces are those often overlooked transitional spaces like alleyways, those diagonal paths you see cutting through vacant land, underutilized streets and parks. They're fascinating spaces that add context and fabric to the city. They're highly unique, but might not be appreciated. They need some attention and it looks like they're going to get just the right kind. 


MT: Before the announcement of the fest, you announced a class of creatives-in-residents — these sort of artful entrepreneurs — providing an incubation hub at the Center. The festival is big news. What's next? 

Clayson: Well, we're trying to find a way to use the momentum from the design festival to continue those engagement activities where, both live and online, these creative practitioners can be exposed to each other and to new markets. That's really our pipeline for how we're identifying the next level of talent that could be connected to our next project, a TechTown project, or our resident program. And it's a fair process. More so than us just tapping our respective immediate peer networks.


MT: Considering the breadth and scope of this inaugural design throwdown, what should success look like? Not for the DC3 but for the people who attend?

Clayson: Well, we'll have old-school metrics such as number of people who attend, happenings proposed and happenings that were produced. But I think the intangible, hard-to-track piece can't be measured for another two years, when we can then look at what design conversations are happening in Detroit as a socio-economic engine driving positive change. And I'm not talking about getting attention from the arts writers at The New York Times — nothing against them — but from the business writers in the Wall Street Journal and the Financial Times.


The Detroit Design Fest kick-off party happens from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 21, at New Center Park, 2990 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit. An afterparty with Nick Speed Orchestra is planned at the Shelter. See detroitdesignfestival.com for more info. 

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