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  • 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.

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Q:

 I am a 22-year-old college grad who has been living at home for the last year. My parents are divorced, so I've gone back and forth from one place to the other. The other day, I was using my father's computer, and the history came up on the search engine. It turns out that while I am in the house, my father views pornography that involves incest fantasies. I felt quite disturbed by what I saw — it made me physically sick — and I'm wondering if I should continue to have a relationship with my father.

In a week, I start a new job in another country — so I can get away from him for a while and think about my options. What should I do? Should I tell him that I know about it and I'm not interested in having a relationship with him anymore? Do I tell my friends or family? Should I trust what my gut is telling me and pack up, jump in a cab, and never talk to him again? —Disturbed And Distressed

 

A:

 There are people who are turned on by incest scenarios — hypothetical dads seducing hypothetical daughters, fictional moms seducing fictional sons — who are nevertheless revolted by the idea of actual incest, i.e., nonhypothetical fuck sessions with their own nonfictional family members. Many of these incest fetishists have sent me letters over the years, DAD, wondering what's wrong with them. Or wondering what's right with what's wrong with them, I should say, as they're turned on by incest fantasies but not, as they're invariably relieved to add, by incest realities. So what gives?

It's the thrill of violating a taboo, not a child; it's the power dynamics that have been eroticized, not the parental dynamics — but that's for another column. You wrote, DAD, because you don't know what to do about your dad.

Unless your father has given you reason to suspect that he actually wants to fuck you — unless finding your dad's porn helped you to identify a pattern of inappropriate behaviors on your father's part with but one possible interpretation (he actually wants to fuck you) — let's give your father the benefit of the doubt, shall we? Let's assume that one of the many letters I've received from incest fetishists was written by your dad.

I'm operating under an assumption: Again, that your father has never done anything that made you feel unsafe. If your discovery had led you to connect a bunch of deeply creepy dots, DAD, that's surely something you would've mentioned in your letter. Which is why I'm not just urging you to give your father the benefit of the doubt, however revolting his taste in porn might be, but also to take what you found out about him and stuff it down the memory hole.

Don't say anything to your father, DAD, or to anyone else. You no longer have to live with your father — or use his computer — and I see no need to terminate your relationship with him, or to go nuclear on his reputation, over a deeply creepy kink that your father neither asked for nor has ever attempted to act on.

 

Q:

 1) Thirty-year-old gay man here. I was briefly dating someone until he was a huge asshole to me. I have since not had any contact with him. However, I have been Facebook stalking him and obsessing over pictures of the guys I assume he's dating now. Why am I having such a hard time getting over him? Our relationship was so brief! He's a major asshole!

2)  It may help you to know that I lost my virginity by being raped when I was 19. I started dating only last year, because I thought sex was scary and never wanted to feel like that again and/or make anyone else feel like that. (The guy who raped me went on to become a born-again Christian!) This guy is only the second person I've ever dated. Do you think that's relevant?

3) I used to have stretched-out earlobes. When I took my plugs out, I did get "earlabia," but only for a few days, and then they closed up and no one really noticed. —Normal Earlobes Now

 

A:

 1) I can't know for sure! But it sounds like you might still have feelings for this guy! Just a hunch!

2) I'm sorry that your very first sexual experience was so traumatic, NEN, and indeed it strikes me as relevant. You were violated and powerless during your very first sexual experience and now, 10 years later, your relationship ended in a way that left you feeling violated and powerless. Stalking your ex on Facebook gives you a feeling of power over him, NEN, but that power is bogus, stalking him is making you miserable, and it's pushing back the date that you're finally over this guy. Knock it off.

3. You've given me hope for all the otherwise cute boys I see wandering around with stretched-out earlabia.

Q:

 Hipster boys! Keep stretching your earlobes! I'm a hipster girl and stroking the silky texture of a nice stretched-out set of earlobes gets me insanely wet. And tongue-fucking a stretched piercing is enough to bring me most of the way to orgasm. If there are chicks with a kink for something, then surely there must be dudes who have a kink for it too.

I stretched my own earlobes 20 years ago for mostly sexual reasons. I like the way it looks, but I did it primarily because I get off on having my ears fondled and licked. I figured that if someone licking the outside of my earlobe felt so good, imagine if someone could lick the inside of my earlobe! Now they can—and it's bliss!

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