Wednesday, December 21, 2011

It was gonna be this..

So I was eagerly planning to write about all the music I've been finding lately.I hate you best of lists, but sometimes you attribute to a few new albums in my listening experience. Sidenote: I found a record store in Baltimore that reminds me of all the affordable vinly shops that I love in Detroit. Damn, someone got the price and selection right. El Suprimo!

Anyways, my plan was put to the side when I read this story. I've mentioned Detroitblogger John before. I believe he is a modern day historian for the Detroit area. I don't necessarily want to feel hopeful or angry when I read a story about the city. I don't need or want a hero to fly out of the pages(screen) to awaken my senses or rescue me in some way. I just want it to be real. I just want to read. I want to read a story about people in the city. Corktown, midtown, etc. are a small section of the city with lots of exciting promise. Great but, um, What is everyone else doing, living, seeing, working, not working, getting by? Perception of the city cannot be seen through the lenses of the art community. Development and the emergence of new neighborhoods and residents is great, but like the shiny developed areas lining Foxtown, it subsequently allows you to forget about the stretch of neglected neighborhoods and residents. The not so shiny. DetroitBlogger John doesn't forget, or at the very least, he doesn't want people to. He finds a good story in the everyday man or woman and I have to agree. I hope you read this.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Some kind of Revolution(and Revelation)

This wasn't a quiet year.

People weren't passive, mother nature was rowdy, active and destructive, Music fans received a few more options and politics got..weird(er). Politicians easily blurred the lines between religion, morality and getting the job done(which, you know, they didn't).

But what stood out for me were the people. The Revolutions. The active participation in the middle east, greece, nyc etc. were a mindful and encouraging process to see unfold. It wasn't all pretty and the aftermath and future may not be ideal for some, but in the moments when the people reached their limits, they did something about it. I like focusing on that moment and not the details.

I think a lot of us felt a personal satisfaction witnessing a crowd of a few hundred grow to tens and hundreds of thousands. Meaning, we all have the desire to be heard, understood and respected. Even more, I think a small part(some bigger in others) wants to be active and say, "this shit ain't right" or "What can I do about this...." . Even if Tunisia or Syria have nothing to do with our day to day, it felt personal because it's a shared desire. They loudly reminded of us of our freedom and liberties that we kick back and take for granted at times

Seize the day. Stand on your desks and be heard. Yea, it's just a late 80s Robin Williams film(or 90s?). But maybe not to everyone.

I know I lived vicariously through those individuals. I admired their stamina, principles and determination. Until The Occupy movement began, I felt Americans would remain the apathetic and self serving country. I guess I enjoyed seeing how the world affected US, the most powerful nation in the world, to wake up and take hold and not the other way around.

We're active and loud in personal conversations(me especially) and blogs and social networking. But those are just whispers or light small talk over coffee with a buddy. It's just not the same and we can't deny that. We witnessed and are witnessing something great. So, I'm proud of this year.

I know those fading dark images in the background are buildings or homes, but the massive crowd seems never ending...A symbol of a never ending movement or a consistent new way of thinking and acting that will evolve for miles upon miles. I think the crowds will multiply for a long time.

On a yearly musical note (awww, i said note after music), The Marvelettes are some of my favorite singin' ladies. They were the original girl group at Motown and this release makes me a happy girl.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

No, not the bag.

I spent most of my older teenage and college years living with my family in the mostly affluent suburb of Troy(my family is far from affluent..respectable wages and a hardworking, college educated immigrant middle class family). I don't particularly like Troy. I certainly don't hate it, but I do not prefer it. It's sterile, doesn't boast any creativity or life. Just an average and otherwise "safe" strip mall filled suburb and that's fine for some, but not for me. While I find it to be more diverse than other Metro Detroit suburbs, it's disheartening that that diversity is not spotlighted throughout the city. Hooters, burger king, burger king, cvs, burger king, walgreens, walgreens..uh, yea that's about it. Oh, there's a library that people wanted to close down.

I consider myself open-minded, and with age, surprisingly becoming more liberal . So I found it troubling that a public official representing my other hometown(first being sterling heights) spewed some venom. Fine, maybe not venom to all. Maybe just a silly and careless comment on Facebook to some. But guess what? YOU REPRESENT TROY. Sure, this was before she became mayor. Does it matter? Are we comfortable knowing she is 1. unintelligent enough to post hateful comments on a social media site and 2. That she believes and shares these sentiments. And Daniels is gonna "return her I heart NY bag because the queers can marry there now." Honey, I'm sure NY would be happy to take it back.

She represents Troy on a political level, but I was happy to read that a good percentage of Troy residents condemned her actions. And told her so.

Stewie speaks the truth.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

I choke on your pretension.

It is safe to say that writing your personal opinion in your personal blog is not the same as writing a piece for an online publication. Take note, dear: pretension is not well received. It is also far from encouraging.

I'm talking about this.

***I have to say that I wrote this after reading an extremely long thread on facebook in regards to a conversation on The Craig Fahle show on WDET in Detroit. P.S. That Rabbi had some serious ignorant comments(yikes). If you get a chance, you should listen.

While I understand a fraction of his point (come to Detroit, it's cool and stuff!), bashing the burbs and making wide generalizations about attitudes and people specifically is plain ignorant. I've done this, I have. It is based mostly on my own experiences with people from the suburbs(and city), discussions, emails, comments etc. And sometimes(not always) I'm a judgemental jerk and I make harsh generalizations about people with different interests and lifestyles than me. But by no means should I write a freelance piece for the Huffington Post stating my sometimes narrow minded and misplaced anger and frustration towards the suburbs/city. I believe he had good intentions, but there was some serious "sitting on my throne" shit going on there.

Look, plenty of well minded people love the city in many ways and maybe they don't support it in the "cool" way this writer has so inappropriately stated. Dude, take a step back from your "hip place to be" list and realize that you may be creating a deeper rift in this ridiculous Us vs. You game. And trust me, you didn't attract new people to the city by this column. Wasn't that the point? Or was it just to wave the "we are better than you" flag? I guess I don't understand how the conversation has turned to who or what is an expert on Detroit..better yet, who loves Detroit more, who gets to be part of the almighty exclusive club while the rest of us point and make our final decision on your love and loyalty to the city? State your case here. Please.

The city has a sad and sordid racial past, let's have real discussions and MOVE ON. Generalizations and underhanded comments just aren't going to cut it. Don't generalize long time residents or weekend visitors, it's not going to get us anywhere. It's not going to bridge any gaps..and we need them filled.

I hate ignorant notions about Detroit, too. Yes, come experience it, EVERYONE. If that means going to Joe Louis Arena and Greektown Casino, so be it. It's not my favorite place to go and personally, I think you sell yourself short by not experiencing more of what the city has to offer.. but that's just me. If you want to experience it by living in Ferndale or Troy, but visiting, spending and loving it in your own way, so be it. Just remember to keep your mind and heart open. Don't dismiss it because of whatever your read or heard.