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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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Savage Love

Sizing up size queens

Are my equipment requirements out of proportion?

Q: I suppose you are going to call me an asshole once you have finished reading my letter, but I hope you have some advice for me regardless.

I am a 45-year-old heterosexual male. My last relationship lasted nearly seven years. I am currently single. I am discouraged. One of the reasons for my discouragement: I have to get too far into a relationship before I can determine if it will work out with any particular woman. An awful lot of emotion, time and effort are required to get that first look into a woman's panties. And this is where my problem lies. A woman can have the sweetest personality, she can be pretty and hardworking, but if her pussy isn't bald and her "little man in the boat" doesn't fit comfortably in my mouth, I am not turned on. I require a shaved pussy and a big clit.

I have asked women with whom I've become close to go bald. If the answer is no, there is no need to return. I respect a woman's control over her own body, of course, but I like a big clit. She may or may not be bald, but if the clit isn't big enough, there's no sense in returning. I have heard women say that they were disappointed to find that a man's dick was too small or too large, or they didn't like that it curved to the left or right. Do I have a right to a similar preference? What do I do? Is there a way to ask about these issues before emotion, time and effort are invested? —Call Me Asshole

A: Knowing that she could be disqualified due to the size of her clit, which she can do nothing about, or the presence of pubic hair, which she can do something about (but might not want to), is information a woman might want before she invests a lot of emotion, time and effort in you, CMA. Or any emotion, time and effort. But there's literally no way to ask a woman to show you her clit or to verify either her "baldness" or willingness to go bald in advance of that crucial first date. Even women with 6-inch clits who suffer from neck-down alopecia (credit: www.tinyurl.com/5vle95) are going to run screaming after hearing a request like that.

Don't get me wrong, CMA: It's a fine thing to have preferences, to be aware of them, and to be able to articulate them. And most people would prefer to be with someone whose preferences roughly jibe with their attributes. But most of us would also like to think — even if it's not true — that our personalities are so winning that our partners would love us even if, say, our clits were tiny and our pubes towering.

So what do you do? Well, CMA, since being up-front about your very particular, deal-breaking preferences would result in your never seeing another pussy again in your life, I think you keep your mouth shut. You're just going to have to date and invest the time. And then if you discover once you get into her pants that her clit is too small or her pussy is too hairy, CMA, just make up a nice, polite, it's-not-you-it's-me lie. It wouldn't be fair to leave her wondering what the hell is wrong with her when in actual fact there's something wrong with you.


Q:
Kinky female here, age 26. For as long as I've been sexually active, I've been ridiculously turned on by guys with huge cocks. I love the way they look and feel in my hands and when they're inside me. This isn't to say that I'd date a guy purely on cock enormity alone; I wouldn't. But I'm not sure what to do about my current situation: I'm dating someone now who shares my same values — he's flamingly liberal and actually enjoys RuPaul's Drag Race — but we don't have the greatest sexual chemistry. Some of it's because he's pretty vanilla, although he's GGG, but a lot of it is that his dick is average. Sadly. Am I wrong to want a guy with the lower half of a horse? If so, can I retrain myself to accept, and even want, an average or below-average penis? —Female Phallophiliac

A: You don't say how long you've been dating this guy, FP.

If you've been fucking him for a while and you still haven't found a groove, well, it might be best to move on. Liberalism and RuPaul's Drag Race are nice, but they're not enough to sustain a long-term romantic relationship.

But if you've been dating him a short time, FP, and there's been some noticeable improvement on the chemistry front, you might want to stick around. Sometimes the chemistry is there and obvious from the start; sometimes chemistry kicks into gear after a few weeks or months. If you dig him — and it sounds like you do — then he's worth the investment of a little time. As for the little dick, well ...

How big is his forearm?


Q:
I'm a partnered gay man who happens to have a small cock. When I was younger, I was often embarrassed, but I have gotten used to it and I can't change it and I know how to enjoy it now.

Among my friends, small-dick jokes are common. Not directed at me, but generic jokes and comments suggesting that guys with small dicks aren't real men, or should always bottom, or aren't worth dating. Stuff like that. And it has begun to make me feel much more self-conscious, especially since a couple of the guys I've heard making these jokes are intimately familiar with my cock. They know I'm small. It wasn't an issue, because they initiated the sex and wanted it more than once. I had a six-month fuck-buddy relationship with one of these guys and I topped him, so I know he didn't have an issue with my size.

So my dilemma is this: Is this just some self-esteem issue that I've been unaware of and need to deal with? Or should I say something, at least to the two guys I've had sex with? They are my closest friends and know that I struggled with my size when I was younger. —Sensitive Matters And Lessons Learned

A: You should definitely say something to the two ingrates you've had sex with, SMALL, and to anyone else who makes small-dick jokes in your presence. You don't have to volunteer to men you haven't fucked that you happen to have a small dick yourself. Just point out that in any group, there are going to be guys with smaller-than-average endowments and that it's just not cool to make those guys feel bad or inadequate — particularly when studies show that the partners of men with smaller-than-average dicks report higher levels of sexual satisfaction than people whose partners have larger-than-average dicks.


Straight rights watch:
Indiana's right-wing Republican governor signed a bill into law that strips Planned Parenthood in that state of federal funds. This is going to lead to more abortions in Indiana, not fewer, but facts don't matter to right-wing shit-piles like Mitch "Social Issues Truce" Daniels. Now would be a good time to make a donation — even if all you can afford is a small, symbolic one — to Planned Parenthood of Indiana. Go to ppin.org, and click "Donate Now!" Then do everything you can to defeat the GOP in 2012.

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