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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 Love

'She's twice my age'

May-December's younger member feels pushed away

Q: I'm from the other side of the country, but I'm sitting in my lover's San Francisco apartment wondering what I'm doing. I flew out here to spend five glorious days with her. We connect sexually (she's a Dom stone-butch top, I'm a queer femme sub), we connect intellectually, and we make each other laugh. I'm head over heels for her and for this city.

But she's literally twice my age. In no way does this bother me. She's handsome and wonderful, and I'm so proud to be with her. But she frets that she's too old for me and will die before me and it isn't fair to have the feelings we do.

I can hang on to this ledge, Dan, and not let myself utterly fall for this woman so that she doesn't break my heart when she says we must part as friends. I think that is what is coming. But I know she feels conflicted, and I can't see anything wrong with the two of us enjoying what time we have together. The future is unfixed for everyone; you never know what will happen tomorrow. Why deny something we both want, if it's what we both want?

If I have to just walk away from this with a slew of great memories of a loving introduction to the greatest city on earth, there are certainly worse things. But I wish I could convince her to at least let us have a chance. How can I do that, Dan? What on earth can I say? —Lost In Fog Everyday

A: Start with the clichés — "Age is just a number," "I could get hit by a bus tomorrow," "Someone's gotta change your diapers" — and finish with a grace note: You love her, and you want to be with her, and you hope you'll always be close, whatever she ultimately decides.

That said, and forgive me for this, LIFE, it's possible that although this woman is what you want, you're not what she wants — for reasons that have nothing to do with age. She may be pointing to the obvious age discrepancy because it's a convenient, face-saving out, a way for her to pull the plug while sparing your feelings.

So a word of warning: If she wants out and cites age, you may be tempted to press your case — and you should, up to a point — but press your case too far, and she may wind up telling you the inconvenient, face-squandering, feelings-spearing truth.


Q: I'm a bi male in a long-distance, long-term and hypothetically poly relationship, and I'm going to a speed-dating event soon.

Our relationship is "hypothetically" poly in that my boyfriend and I have not had a third in a few years. I've had a couple dates in that time (with both guys and girls), disclosed, introduced them to my boyfriend, etc., and done everything a good poly boy is supposed to do. I didn't end up dating any of them, just from lack of personality or sexual compatibility.

I've never been to a speed-dating event before, though, so I'm not sure about protocol. I think that bringing up bi-poly would make the whole five minutes (or whatever) about that, and I'd really rather talk about mutual interests, etc. Sexual orientation is a rather overdone topic to me, and talking about only that wouldn't let me figure out if I'm even interested in the other person. I'm not embarrassed by it at all (I'm completely uncloseted); I'd just rather talk about more interesting things.

So should I disclose during a speed date that I am 1) poly or 2) bisexual, or should I save it for a follow-up date? —Speed Disclosure

A: I tried to contact a few speed-dating businesses but couldn't find one with a contact phone number on its website — and that fact, coupled with the Mountain-Dew-swilling-teenager-on-MySpace quality of the sites themselves, kind of makes commercial speed-dating services look a little tawdry.

Anyway, SD, disclosure is called for when a routine, obvious and logical assumption is incorrect. Since most people are straight, the onus is on the gay person to come out. Since most gay people aren't morons, the onus is on members of GOProud to identify themselves before getting disrobed.

Other speed daters are going to make the reasonable assumption that you are 1) single and 2) gay or straight, depending on whether we're talking about a gay or straight speed-dating event.

That said, SD, due to prejudices beyond your control — biphobia, polyphobia — you may omit the bi-poly info about yourself on that first five-minute date. But you're obligated to disclose before a second date is arranged. Not to spare the women or men you might wind up dating from the unspeakable horrors of going out with a bi-poly dude, but to avoid wasting time on women or men who can't handle it.


Q:
I am a 19-year-old straight male who is only attracted to chubby girls, though I myself am rather skinny. It took a while, but I've learned to embrace this (though at first it seemed almost as scary as if I were to come out as gay). However, the problem I seem to have now is that the girls whom I find attractive — big girls — don't think of themselves as attractive, and that is a turnoff for me. Despite what seems like constant effort on my part to raise my exes' confidence in themselves, they never got any better and the relationships always ended. I'm not exactly bursting with confidence myself, either, but I tried my best to be a loving and supportive boyfriend. Yet time and time again, their images of themselves somehow seemed to actually turn worse, not better. I attribute a lot of their initial insecurity to the media, but I can't help but believe I somehow screw up and exacerbate it. —Troubled Horndog In Need

A: You're young and you've accepted your attraction to bigger girls, THIN, and that's great. But the girls you've dated — presumably close to your own age — are doubtless still struggling with all the shit that's been thrown at them about their bodies. To grow confident about something that caused you a lot of pain — to say nothing of being with someone who's attracted to you in large part because of that something-that-caused-you-pain — can take time.

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