D Spot has moved and transmogrified…

•August 25, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Hey folks.

As you have no doubt noticed, I haven’t been posting here for quite awhile. Been meaning t, but I guess the steam was just running out.

Anyway, I’ve decided to move this site to Posterous. The new site will be named Detroit Monster, and all the old posts have already been shifted over.

The new home is still incomplete right now, missing a few planks and some bricks, but I anticipate having it up and running within a couple weeks around mid-September, if not sooner. For all of you who have supported this blog in the past, many thanks. Hopefully you liked what you saw enough to follow the evolution. I think it’s gonna be some fun.

Easy.

Not that anybody cares, but murders are way down in Detroit

•July 7, 2010 • 6 Comments

Naturally we, as Detroiters are neither amazed nor amused when at least slightly hopeful stories don’t manage to gain much traction beyond 8 Mile Road (that would be the barrier between city and suburbs for the uninitiated), but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t still at least try to spread the good word whenever possible.

And when it comes to significant decreases in how many Detroiters are being murdered each year, then we need to do more than try. Because between last year and this year, according to a recent story reported in The Detroit News, Police Chief Warren Evans’ strategy appears to be doing exactly that. The fact that he is making this kind of an impact with so much less money and so many fewer officers than what he needs, is nothing short of remarkable.

“Detroit — It’s been nearly a year since Warren Evans took over as Detroit’s top cop, promising to use a proactive approach to fighting crime.

According to statistics released by the city last week, his methods seem to be working.

Homicides and nonfatal shootings in the city have plummeted, figures show, reflecting a national trend.

There were 140 homicides from the start of the year to Wednesday, a 27 percent reduction from the same period in 2009. Nonfatal shootings were down 22 percent during that period.

Granted – and this cannot in any way be ignored – there have been widely reported concerns that the Detroit Police Gang Squad has been wreaking some serious neighborhood havoc in the midst of their efforts to curb violence. Gang Squad has been credited as being largely responsible for the steep drop in homicides, yet the level of citizen complaints against them is near astronomical. You might say it defeats the purpose of fighting crime if it comes at the expense of terrifying the residents. You’re not supposed to fear both the thugs and the cops.

Still,  although my heart aches for the recent and highly-publicized death of young Ayanna Jones, who was accidentally killed by Detroit police who were raiding her home to apprehend a murder suspect who was apparently being sheltered by the girl’s family (don’t ask, man, just don’t ask), I think this story of fewer murdered Detroiters just might deserve some attention too.

SHAMELESS PLUG: Check out my wife’s blog @ The “D” Spot Redeux.

Parents could be locked up for not being good parents

•June 30, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Just getting caught up on a few things here, and one of the top on my list is a story that appeared a couple weeks ago in the Detroit newspapers where Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy was suggesting that parents of schoolchildren who couldn’t make time to attend at least one parent teacher conference a year ought to pull some jail time. In other words, either you care about that damned kid or else.

Of course, one of the first questions I had about this proposal was, well, who’s gonna take care of the kids while the uncaring parent is behind bars for not caring enough? Just a thought.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy is determined to make parents care about their kids. By any means necessary.

But then there’s another thought, because as easy – and tempting – as it is to rag on Worthy for trying to grandstand by even proposing something as ridiculous as  tossing parents into the big house for such a relatively lightweight offense (at least compared to the out-of-control murder rate) as missing a parent-teacher conference, I must admit I understand where she’s coming from. It’s highly doubtful Worthy will get much traction with this is my guess, if for no other reason than because the jails are already overloaded with much more serious threats to society. But that doesn’t mean the issue she is attempting to highlight isn’t more than deserving of a blindingly bright community spotlight.

Look, we’ve got the worst school system in the nation, and just last week the semi-illiterate president of the school board had to excuse himself for yankin on his johnson in front of the school superintendent. God knows I wish I were making this up but even my overly fertile imagination couldn’t grow bullshit this rich.

So these are the examples the elders are feeding their young, and that’s bad enough. Then you have those parents – not the majority by any stretch – who can’t seem to fit the welfare of their own kids onto their lazy-assed schedules. Maybe if it was programmed somewhere on the remote!

Anyway, I’d imagine someone like Worthy, who has to deal with the consequences of this crazily dysfunctional scenario everyday, some days becomes so insanely frustrated with it all that she begins to cook up ideas like this. Something. Jesus anything.

So, yeah, maybe it doesn’t stand a chance. True. But then again just maybe it takes something this ludicrous to get somebody’s attention. Because the first step toward a solution is to get somebody’s attention. By any means necessary.

On masturbating school board presidents and jailbird mayors

•June 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

In Detroit we’ve got this bad habit of fretting over what everyone else thinks about us, as if who we are as a community depends on the judgment of others who may not have ever even been to this community except through the headlines. This habit usually kicks into high gear whenever another news story breaks highlighting yet another bizarre example of our dysfunction, such as a functionally illiterate president of the school board (now former president) who first decided maybe he should step down after it became public that he was playing with himself in a one-on-one business meeting with the superintendent – and then decided to try and retract that decision and keep his job. Or the equally bizarre example of another school board member who characterized his former colleague as a “young man” who just strayed a wee bit from the path of righteousness for an unsupervised moment and should have been given a second chance. Or the example of a former mayor, already in prison for one set of charges, now indicted on 19 counts of mail and wire fraud – for starters.

So then the question becomes, what do Detroiters think of Detroit right about now? Because we’re the ones that have to deal with this shit, up close and way too damned personal, day after day after day.

Dateline NBC’s Chris Hansen assassinates Detroit

•April 21, 2010 • 6 Comments

I don’t guess anybody has ever referred to Dateline NBC as a ‘news’ program recently, at least not with a straight face, at least not for quite some time, so the more I’ve thought about it the more I’ve come to understand that this is most likely the reason why the producers of this show opted not to break any new ground when Dateline Big Dog reporter Chris Hansen aired his piece on Sunday night’s April 18 episode focused on the trials and tribulations of Detroit: “America Now: City of Heartbreak and Hope”.

Hansen has received all sorts of  glowing, gushing accolades for various reporting exploits throughout his career. The one most familiar to viewers  is his “To Catch a Predator” series of pieces which targeted online sexual predators. I always thought the series was more about Chris Hansen than it was about catching any predators, but maybe that’s just me. Anyway, he did win two Emmys for a piece he did in 2004 on child sex trafficking, so he does deserve some props I suppose.

Saying all this to say that when you take a glance at the guy’s track record you might get an initial sense that he is probably pretty good at what he does. And considering the fact that Hansen grew up in the Detroit area, there were some of us who made the fatal mistake of being hopeful that Homeboy Hansen might at least try to present a balanced portrait of what is going on with Detroit in his Sunday night piece. Because if that had happened then, truly, it would have been breaking news of epic proportions. Because no one ever reports the full story of Detroit.  Which is why, for the past 40 years, we have essentially been reading the same continuously looping story  that we have all gone to hell and there is no hope for us, the damned of the ‘D’. The ‘D’ is, in truth, Dante’s Inferno.

So even though I happen to know for a fact that Homeboy Hansen was led on a four-hour hand-held tour through Detroit by ARISE Detroit! President and founder Luther Keith, a tour which included the terrifying and appalling as well as the hopeful and the beautiful, Hansen just couldn’t bring himself to tell the whole story when all was said and done. Not even when he was presented face first, up close and personal, with both sides of the tale. Because the shocking and the horrid, after all, does offer much better visuals. Hell, why bother letting viewers meet middle and upper-middle class Detroiters who live in areas such as Rosedale Park, Palmer Woods, and Indian Village when you can show blasted out, boarded up catastrophes? Why interview the well-spoken when you can feature an elderly gentleman who shoots local  raccoons for food with a rifle and then sells the meat to his neighbors? I mean, seriously, which do you think makes for more entertaining viewing?

So I get it. After all this time it’s hard not to get it. Infotainment is the best you can hope for with most so-called television ‘news’ magazines. The nightly headline news isn’t much better, local or national. But even in the cotton candy realm of infotainment I would have thought that offering up something relatively new might have some appeal. But no. Instead what we get is Homeboy Hansen pasting a new wig on top of a 40-year-old headline and then labeling it intrepid journalism.

To say that the piece was a hit job would be accurate, but it still would not completely define the damage Hansen’s little urban  journalistic adventure has done to our city. Because who in their right minds would want to invest in the future of Detroit after seeing that? What Hansen did was willful and deliberate character assassination of an entire city. It’s slander. Hansen knows he and his camera crew possess the full story amidst the discarded ruins of their unused footage, but instead of writing the full story Hansen decided to construct his piece before he ever set foot in Detroit. Hansen planned this hit job well before his arrival, which begs the question why he bothered coming back ‘home’ in the first place? The man could have patched that crap together from past hit jobs – better done hit jobs – and then faxed that shit in from wherever he was on the road.

Because wherever you are today, Homeboy, there are a considerable number of us in Detroit who would prefer that you stay there and make it your ‘home’. Because if home truly is where the heart is, then it’s quite obvious your heart has been absent from the ‘D’ for quite some time. Go home, Chris. And stay there.

SHAMELESS PLUG: Read my wife’s blog @ The “D” Spot Redeux

U.S. hockey team battles Canada in the Olympic “Thrilla in Vanilla”

•February 28, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Some of you boxing fans may remember the Muhammad Ali vs. Joe Frazier fight billed as “The Thrilla in Manila” (Ali vs. Frazier III). Well folks, I do believe we may finally have a follow-up battle complete with a whole skating rink full of  helmeted pugilists on ice. This afternoon millions of viewers (including this viewer who isn’t even a hockey fan)will be tuned in to  witness the U.S. battle the Canadians  for the Olympic gold medal in “The Thrilla in Vanilla”.

Think about it for a sec…

Rock 'em sock 'em hockey

“Thrilla in Vanilla”

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SHAMELESS PLUG: Read my wife’s blog @ The “D” Spot Redeux

Happy OSF! Romance dance songs

•February 26, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Man, there’s a LOT to choose from for this category. I’ve been running like crazy this week so I haven’t had enough time to research and reflect on this one as much as I would have liked. But one that just jumped straight at me outta te memory banks comes from my boy Rick James…

And Teena…

Lord.

Rick, Rick…

We miss ya boy.

SHAMELESS PLUG: Read my wife’s blog @ The “D” Spot Redeux

 
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