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    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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Savage

Am I a Slut?

Why am I such a slut? Plus pervy etiquette and the Lesbians of Reddit.

Photo: N/A, License: N/A



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Q: Why am I such a slut?
—Girl, Corrupted

A: Are you a slut?

Or are you a woman who loves sex, has a high libido and has consensual sex with a lot of willing and grateful partners? Those are all traits for which culture wouldn’t conspire to leave you feeling conflicted or compelled to slap a pejorative label on yourself — if you were a dude: gay or straight.

Don’t buy into the sexist double standards, GC. So long as your sex life isn’t negatively impacting your relationship(s), your health, your friendships, your family life, your classwork or your career.
Don’t let shitty, sexist people make you feel like you have to slap a shitty, sexist label on yourself for the crime of enjoying sex while female.

Have fun out there, GC. Be thoughtful, safe, considerate of others’ feelings — and of your own. And remember: What works for you now — slutting around in the sex-positive, reclaiming-the-shit-out-of-that-word sense — i.e., a lot of healthy and rewarding sex, a lot of happy sex partners — may not work for you always.

Q: I am a 24-year-old gay man living in a major urban center. My question has to do with etiquette. One of my very good friends — I’ll call him Jerry — helped me out of a huge jam last summer by packing up my stuff and putting it into storage while I was overseas. Needless to say, I am extremely grateful, as Jerry has saved me a huge amount of money and hassle. Recently, though, I was house-sitting for Jerry while he was on vacation and found some intimate items of mine — a cock ring and a bottle of lube — that I thought had been lost in the move. In the interest of full disclosure, Jerry and I have fooled around before, but I find the fact that he took these items very strange, and I don’t really know what to do. Do I confront Jerry or just leave them as “payment” for helping me move? Or should I just take them back without saying anything and let him figure it out?
—Unsure In Canada

A: Two gay men living in the same city — with similar sexual interests (including an interest in each other) — could wind up owning two identical bottles of lube and a pair of identical cock rings. It’s unlikely, of course, and it’s even less likely that Jerry owns the exact same lube and cock ring as yours that went missing when Jerry packed your place up. But seeing as Jerry helped you out of a jam, UIC, you should repay his kindness by either giving him the benefit of the doubt or turning a blind eye to what amounts to a little harmless perving. Lube isn’t that expensive and that cock ring wasn’t from Tiffany’s — or was it? So, replacing them isn’t going to ruin you.

P.S. Assuming Jerry didn’t leave your intimate items out in plain view, UIC, that means you snooped. If you have the kind of friendship with Jerry where you can confront him about his theft, admit to your snooping, and have a laugh about it — and maybe put the lube and cock ring to good use — leave him a cheeky note in the drawer where you found your intimate items: “I see you like my cock ring. Let me know if you want to see me in it.”

Q: I’m a man who’s been reading your column for years and feel like I should know your answer by now, but I’m stumped. Recently I discovered Omegle, the online chat site that allows you to “talk to strangers,” and I’ve had some fun posing as a lesbian. I would talk to women my own age (mid-20s) about life, love and, of course, sex.

Like 99 percent of the time, these chats included role-play or sexy chat. We would both be masturbating on our respective ends and, from what I can tell, I’m pretty good at writing this stuff. (I want to be clear that this was just chatting.)

I wouldn’t trade pics, since I’m missing the goods the women I’m chatting with are interested in and it’s certainly not fair for me to accept pics without being able to provide them. I don’t keep in touch with my chat partners after our chat is over and I am pretty sure everyone is satisfied.
Here is my question: Am I an asshole for doing this? I made a post on Reddit to some real lesbians and they clearly feel like I am an asshole. One woman told me I need help. So, believe it or not, I stopped. I don’t like being an asshole, but I can’t help but wonder: Was this really that bad?
—Don’t You Know Everything, Savage?

A: Loathe as I am to contradict the Lesbians of Reddit — which sounds like the title of a ’50s lesbian pulp-fiction novel — I don’t think you’re an asshole, DYKES.

If you created fake personal ads; actively misled lesbians who contacted you; sent women pics that weren’t yours in an effort to trick them into believing that you were an actual lesbian; strung lesbians along via email for weeks or months — if you were doing any of that shit — then you would be an asshole. But spinning out a few masturbatory fantasies on a site designed to facilitate one-on-one conversations between people who are never going to meet? That’s not asshole behavior.
You found a way to enjoy your wannabe-lesbian fantasies without doing harm to any actual flesh-and-vulva lesbians. And yes, DYKES, most of the “lesbians” you chatted with on Omegle were other straight dudes.

Q: Is drag done by cisgender straight men for “humor” problematic? I thought drag was mostly about humor. I am acquainted with a bi-trans woman who thinks this is offensive, and at risk of further offending her, I haven’t asked why. Maybe you know? Haven’t we come a long way if straight men are comfortable enough with their sexualities to dress as women?
—Not Feeling Offended

A: “Freedom means freedom for everyone,” as a huge asshole once said. That means straight guys who want to do drag are free to do drag, NFO, and bi-trans women who want to take offense are free to take offense.

For the record: Good or funny or subversive drag is a burlesque on what it means to be male, not a denigration of what it means to be female. And, while gay men seem to have an innate affinity for drag, there are straight guys out there who do it and do it right. Instead of arguing with a bi-trans friend who wants to police the freedom and gender expression of others, get your hands on the DVDs of An Audience with Dame Edna and invite your bi-trans friend over to watch. mt

This week on the Savage Lovecast, Dan speaks with Daniel Bergner about foot fetish shame at savagelovecast.com.

Find Dan Savage’s weekly podcast every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Reach him at mail@savagelove.net or @fakedansavage on Twitter.

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