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Vol. 38 | Issue 20 | Feb. 21-27, 2018
News & Views News..................................... 10 Politics & Prejudices............ 14
Feature A growing number of metro Detroit millennials are turning to socialism.......................... 18
Publisher - Chris Keating Associate Publisher - Jim Cohen Editor in Chief - Lee DeVito
EDITORIAL Managing Editor - Alysa Zavala-Offman Senior Editor - Michael Jackman Staff Writer - Violet Ikonomova Dining Editor - Tom Perkins Music and Listings Editor - Jerilyn Jordan Contributing Editors - Larry Gabriel, Jack Lessenberry Copy Editor - Sonia Khaleel Editorial Interns - Mallary Becker, Malak Silmi, Anthony Spak, Miriam Marini, Jack Nissen Contributors - Sean Bieri, Doug Coombe, Kahn Santori Davison, Mike Ferdinande, Cal Garrison, Curt Guyette, Mike Pfeiffer, Dontae Rockymore, Dan Savage, Sara Barron, Jane Slaughter
Food Review: Bolero Latin Cuisine.................................. 26 These fishmongers are elevating Detroit dining...... 30
What’s Going On................ 32
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Music Deer Tick.............................. 40
Arts & Culture Film: Black Panther............. 42 Chico MacMurtrie ............... 44 Higher Ground..................... 46 Savage Love......................... 50 Horoscopes with Cal Garrison.......................... 54
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On the cover: Illustration by Eric Millikin.
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EUCLID MEDIA • Copyright - The entire contents of the Detroit Metro Times are copyright 2018 by Euclid Media Group LLC. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publisher is prohibited. Publisher does not assume any liability for unsolicited manuscripts, materials, or other content. Any submission must include a stamped, self-addressed envelope. All editorial, advertising, and business correspondence should be mailed to the address listed above. Prior written permission must be granted to Metro Times for additional copies. Metro Times may be distributed only by Metro Times’ authorized distributors and independent contractors. Subscriptions are available by mail inside the U.S. for six months at $80 and a yearly subscription for $150. Include check or money order payable to - Metro Times Subscriptions, 1200 Woodward Heights, Ferndale, MI 48220-1427. (Please note - Third Class subscription copies are usually received 3-5 days after publication date in the Detroit area.) Most back issues obtainable for $5 at Metro Times offices or $7 prepaid by mail.
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ON SALE FRIDAY
DITA VON TEESE MAY 10
TODD RUNDGRENâ€™S UTOPIA MAY 17 THIS WEEKEND
WITH TEE GRIZZLEY
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RODNEY CARRINGTON MAY 20
coming soon concert calendar: 2/24 - Lettuce & Galactic 2/25 - missio w/ welshy arms 2/28 - watain 3/1 - jordan rakei @ the shelter 3/2 - chief keef 3/3 - somo w/ caye 3/3 - jordan davis & jillian jacqueline @ the shelter 3/5 - taylor bennett @ the shelter
on sale friday:
w/ kami, melo makes music
3/7 - nothing, nowhere @ the shelter w/ shinigami, lil lotus, jay vee
3/9 - lights w/ chase atlantic, dcf 3/10 - soja w/ new kingston 3/11 - howard jones 3/14 - senses fail w/ reggie & the full effect, have mercy, household
apr. 19 injury reserve the shelter
apr. 25 moneybagg yo the shelter
3/15 - pigeons playing ping pong, joe hertler & the rainbow seekers 3/16 - papadosio w/ desmond jones 3/16 - neil hilborn @ the shelter 3/17 - movements w/ canâ€™t swim, super whatevr, gleemer
3/18 - walker hayes 3/18 - the hunna & coasts @ the shelter w/ courtship
apr. 29 vinyl theater the shelter
st. andrewâ€™s w/ the shelter people
3/20 - godspeed you! black emperor
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NEWS & VIEWS
An Airbnb in Detroit.
So it’s hard to understand how any councilmembers or officials thought the ordinance wouldn’t “limit Detroiters’ ability to use their homes or property to supplement their income,” or otherwise impact Airbnb hosts. And there are other questions about the city officials’ statements. Officials say there is no crackdown on Airbnb hosts and no cease and desist letters were sent under the updated ordinance. But it’s awfully strange that cease and desist letters started going out just after the city approved the new ordinance, even if it hadn’t gone into effect yet. Sheffield also wrote that the ordinance is in place to protect “elderly and vulnerable” residents. Certainly some regulation is needed and this is a group of folks the city needs to look out for, but we have to wonder how many dozens of other items are above “Airbnb” in the list of threats to elderly Detroiters. Finally, this is a good time to re-open the discussion about the often racist and classist motivations for zoning ordinances. COURTESY PHOTO
Detroit City Hall is playing dumb over the Airbnb fiasco, but it knew what it was doing By Tom Perkins
The blowback to Detroit’s
decision to prohibit Airbnb hosts from renting out rooms in single- and multifamily homes was stiff — so much so that officials backtracked and said they wouldn’t enforce the new rules, which were approved by the Detroit City Council in November and went into effect on Feb. 6. As part of that reversal, city officials released statements claiming that they didn’t know that the new rules would limit overnight rentals or otherwise impact Airbnb hosts. But that’s contradicted by video evidence that shows city council members and city officials knew the rules would bar Airbnb hosts from renting rooms. It’s worth noting that these are some of the same officials who wouldn’t speak with us in the days leading up to the story. To recap, on Feb. 8 we broke the news that the city approved new zoning language that prohibited room rentals in R1 and R2 zones. Reports in other local and national outlets stated that Detroit “banned” Airbnb. It’s unclear if that’s accurate. The new rules state that Airbnb hosts can-
not rent out rooms in homes in which they live. However, some officials say that hosts can rent out entire apartments and houses that they don’t live in. The new rules would impact about half of Airbnb’s 430 units. The changes were a part of a “cleanup” of the city’s zoning ordinance language, and the language in question was one sentence in a 200-page document. City council’s Planning and Economic Development committee (PED) discussed the document and Airbnb at its Oct. 5 meeting. On Feb. 9, a day after the story ran, city officials’ statements began trickling out. David Bell, director of the Building, Safety, Engineering, and Environmental Department wrote, “Detroit homeowners have been able to rent out a room in their homes for more than 100 years and we don’t believe the new ordinance was intended to take away that right.” In a separate statement, councilmember Mary Sheffield, who sits on the PED committee, wrote, “There was never any intention on behalf of my colleagues or myself to limit Detroiters’ ability to use their homes or property to
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supplement their income.” But video of Sheffield’s Oct. 5 PED meeting show that council members knew that they would do just that. In it (see metrotimes.com — the Airbnb discussion starts at 2:11:00) city staffers explain to Sheffield, councilmember Scott Benson, and councilmember Gabe Leland that the zoning changes will bar Airbnb hosts from renting rooms. A city staffer explains that city zoning law bars bed and breakfasts from operating in R1 and R2 zones. Staff views Airbnb as being similar to a bed and breakfast, so the staff member explains that Airbnb was already prohibited in R1 and R2. But he says there’s a loophole that allows Airbnb hosts to claim that their room rental is a home business and not subject to permitting. The new language, he tells Sheffield and Benson, would close that loophole. “[The new language] states that [Airbnb] is prohibited as a home occupation,” the city staffer says. “What this is attempting to say is that’s not one of the home occupations that would be allowed.”
Trump shirt-wearing WSU student suspended after brandishing knife on campus By Lee DeVito Wayne State University officials say a student was suspended after brandishing a knife and making threatening comments about immigrants on Tuesday. According to a witness, the student approached a table where members of the activist group By Any Means Necessary, or BAMN, were passing out flyers about immigrant rights. A video provided to Metro Times shows the man open his jacket to show off a “Trump 2020” shirt and pull out a switchblade. He then says, “I think we should deport or kill all illegals that don’t belong in our country.” Things escalated from there. One student yelled back, “So you’re a Nazi? Get the fuck out of here.” Another student yelled, “You want to kill somebody? Kill yourself.” BAMN member Kate Stenvig says this is the third time the group has had an altercation with the student, though it’s the first time things escalated this far. Previously, Stenvig says he shouted “Make America great again!” while walking past their table. “This is the kind of thing that has been emboldened all over by Trump’s presidency,” Stenvig says. “These kinds of racist incidents and these alt-right supporters have been emboldened by Trump and he needs to go. He needs to resign or be removed now and we have
John Conyers III.
to work to keep these racist attacks from continuing to happen in our communities and on our campuses.” WSU president M. Roy Wilson issued a statement after the video went viral on social media. “At Wayne State, we strive to create a physically safe campus community,” he wrote. “We are among the safest college campuses in Michigan and across the nation. As always, if you witness or become aware of incidents such as the one that occurred yesterday, we ask that you please call the Wayne State Police Department at 313-577-2222. In this instance, no one called the police.” “We remain steadfast in our commitment to building an inclusive campus community where intolerance — particularly when accompanied by physical threats — is not tolerated. While we encourage respectful dialogue and sometimes passionate debate about differing views and perspectives, there is no place for violence or threats of violence at Wayne State.”
John Conyers III announces his candidacy for his father’s old job By Michael Jackman The announcement, which had been expected more than a month before the candidate filed his official papers several weeks ago, still had a whiplash headline when it landed in our inboxes: “John Conyers Formally Announces Bid for Michigan’s 13th Congressional District” it read.
Huh? The longest-serving congressman, who stepped down in December amid allegations of sexual harassment and assault, would seem to be making another run for the office. Those who read on will discover it’s actually John Conyers III, the son of the former representative, who is seeking the office. The statement touts the qualities of the younger Conyers — his youthfulness, his energy, his emphasis on education, health care, and diversity in government that includes race and age. It has been anything but a smooth ride for the office-seeker. As the scion of a political family that brought you Monica Conyers, he’s been scrutinized since he was in college, and has been subject to criticism over foibles that would have induced shrugs concerning other young adults. The Chicago Tribune dismissed him in a headline as “a writer and a rapper with no political experience.” The campaign’s blog offers little to suggest otherwise. According to a report obtained by NBC News, his ex-girlfriend told the police that, during an argument, the younger Conyers cut her with a blade and “body slammed her on the bed and then on the floor where he pinned her down and spit on her.” Those are exactly the sorts of allegations that could make some observers think the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree — that tree being another highprofile member of the Conyers family, mother Monica, whose high jinks and shenanigans made national headlines. The Conyers name, though tar-
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NEWS & VIEWS nished down the years, may still help hoist the candidate — or his cousin, who’s also running — into office. All it takes is enough people going to the polls and, seeing the name Conyers on the ballot, smiling and whispering to themselves, “Wouldn’t it be nice if ...” and filling in the appropriate circle. That’s how we got such elected officials as the Rev. David Murray, Kwame Kilpatrick, and others hoping to trade on their parentage. And people have every right to fear the boost this phenomenon gives the ambitious and self-serving. That’s because the seat the elder Conyers held for a half-century — and largely kept warm for the last 20 years — should be occupied by somebody willing to advocate for rank-and-file Detroiters, embedded in daily life in our city. We’ve been impressed by Detroit lawyer and candidate Michael Gilmore’s insistence that the election for 13th District representative should take place without delay, tying the lengthy postponement to the racial imbalance of emergency management. We’re excited by the candidacy of the seasoned and progressive Rashida Tlaib, who’s thrown her hat in the ring as well. Compare these energetic Detroiters to the young Conyers, an officeseeker in his 20s who seems content to take selfies with political insiders and “divides his time between Detroit and Los Angeles.” In fact, this young candidate’s main offering seems to be his youth. “As a millennial candidate for Congress,” John Conyers III states in a press release, “I am adding my name to the list of proud young leaders, proclaiming that our time is now, not tomorrow. If millennials were fully represented in Congress, one quarter of the members of the House would be under 40. As of today, only a few members are millennials. We can change that.” Setting aside any debate that a millennials is anybody younger than 40, there is at least one sentence in the young candidate’s statement we agree with: “The people of the 13th district deserve a leader who is as resilient as they are.” Considering the district covers a broad swath of Detroit where so many young people have had few advantages, suffer crushing poverty, and still come out every day swinging, we’re not sure how that argues for the stylish, globe-trotting young Conyers and his bid for office.
Michigan was targeted by Russians indicted in Mueller investigation By Lee DeVito Two Russian nationals are accused of targeting Michigan and other swing states in the latest indictment as part of special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe into foreign meddling of the 2016 presidential election.
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According to the indictment released Friday, Russians Anna Vladislavovna Bogacheva and Aleksandra Yuryevna Krylova traveled throughout the U.S. in June 2014 “to gather intelligence,” making stops in “purple states” like Michigan, as well as Nevada, California, New Mexico, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, Texas, and New York. In total, 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities, including a “troll farm” called the Internet Research Agency, are charged in the indictment. Charges include conspira-
cy, wire fraud, bank fraud, and identity theft in an attempt “to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 U.S. presidential election.” The indictment details how the Russians are alleged to have posed “as U.S. grassroots entities and U.S. persons, and without revealing their Russian identities” by creating social media accounts, purchasing advertisements on Facebook, and staging political rallies.
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NEWS & VIEWS Politics & Prejudices
Needed: The law of the jungle By Jack Lessenberry
Want to serve in Congress?
Want a chance to snag a seat — even though you don’t have much in the way of cash or connections? Don’t despair! Now’s your chance, and you may never have a better one. Back In December, John Conyers, who had served in the House of Representatives for more than half a century, was finally forced out after allegations of a long history of harassment. With that, everyone decided to or is exploring the option to run for his seat: Brenda Jones, the city council president. State Senator Ian Conyers, the congressman’s great-nephew. John Conyers III, the old man’s son, notable for having the qualifications of a dragonfly. State Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo. State Sen. Coleman Young II, fresh from his humiliating defeat in the race for Mayor of Detroit. Former State Rep. Rashida Tlaib. That’s six, and there are bound to be a few no-names and maybe a couple others who climb aboard before the April 24 filing deadline. All these are Democrats, by the way. Someone will put a Republican name on the ballot, but thanks to extreme gerrymandering, even if it’s Abraham Lincoln with the papers to prove it, the GOP can never win here. No, the Aug. 7 Democratic primary is the only election that counts. With that many candidates, it won’t take a lot of votes to win, and turnout in Michigan’s August primary elections is always dismal; usually not much more than one-fifth of the registered voters. Four years ago, 48,701 were cast in the Democratic primary here; with this many well-known candidates, you possibly could win the primary — and a seat on Congress — with as few as 10,000 votes. That’s nice work if you can get it, most of it indoors. This is a narrowly black majority district, and was designed to elect an African-American congressman. But it is entirely conceivable that the vote could be so split that someone who wasn’t typical of the district, or acceptable to most voters, could slip into first place. Normally, there then would be a runoff, especially if nobody has anywhere near to a majority. But not in Michigan. Once you are in Congress, by the way,
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you suddenly have vast new advantages as an incumbent, and congressmen in Michigan tend to stay... and stay. Conyers, for example, was there almost 53 years, despite showing clear signs of something that looked like dementia for the past couple decades. John Dingell served for 59 years. Whoever wins this seat in November could be there till 2070. People deserve something better than a representative who may be the choice of no more than a tiny handful of voters. Well, there is a way to do that, though it would take a state constitutional amendment to move us to what is often referred to by the perhaps unfortunate name of a “jungle primary” system. Here’s how that would work: The top two finishers in any primary would face off against each other in November — regardless of party. That’s been happening for years in Louisiana, where November elections sometimes pit two Republicans against each other. They now have a similar system in California, the nation’s most populous state, where the GOP has become astoundingly weak. Two years ago, when Kamala Harris was elected to the U.S. Senate, she defeated a fellow Democrat, Loretta Sanchez, in November. Such a system would give voters better representation. Thanks to gerrymandering, most of our legislative and congressional districts are effectively dominated by one party. A jungle primary would also be better for voters in the Ninth Congressional District, where three strong candidates are attempting to succeed Sandy Levin. They include the congressman’s son Andy, a lawyer who now runs a
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NEWS & VIEWS clean energy firm called Levin Energy Partners, and who has held a number of appointed state jobs. He faces State Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton, 50, a patent attorney who went to Harvard Law School. In the legislature, she was especially known for diligent work exposing the failure of Gov. Rick Snyder’s Education Achievement Authority, or EAA. The third candidate, State Senator Steve Bieda of Warren, 57, also an attorney with an ability to work with Republicans in the legislature; he finally got them to pass a law to pay compensation to innocent people who were wrongly convicted and imprisoned. Levin has the advantage of his father’s name. Bieda is from Macomb County, where two-thirds of the voters live, and Lipton, recruited by Emily’s List, is the only woman in the race. A November runoff between the top two would make sense. But instead, whoever squeezes out a win in August will face a hapless Republican who, thanks to gerrymandering, is unlikely to get much more than a third of the vote. Up till now, few have shown any interest in trying to amend the Michigan Constitution to allow a top-two primary. But if we get some bizarre winners this year, and the Voters Not Politicians anti-gerrymandering amendment doesn’t become law, turning to the “law of the jungle” may look more attractive.
the contract to Trinity Services Group, based in Florida. They paid Trinity $13.7 million more than they had been paying Aramark… and they got lousy food, maggots in food service areas, and security so loose Trinity employees fraternized with inmates, smuggled contraband, had sex with inmates, etc. etc. Finally, Snyder at least changed course. No, he didn’t come right out and say he screwed up, majorly… he just said
Half a cheer for Snyder:
Republicans have few, if any principles, as the past year of getting behind their fuhrer shows. But they do have strong prejudices and half-baked beliefs, and one of their most holy is the belief that it is always better to privatize something than to have a nasty socialist government do it. Except when it’s not. Barely four years ago, to considerable fanfare, the Snyder administration announced they were outsourcing prison food service to a division of Aramark, the pricey, mediocre food provider for a bunch of institutional banquets. They signed a contract, and to make sure they made money on the deal, Aramark — which is based in Pennsylvania, no Pure Michigan here — hired only the dregs of society for largely next to nothing. In return, the prisons got lousy food, maggots in food service areas, and security so loose Aramark employees fraternized with inmates, smuggled contraband, had sex with inmates, etc., etc. After a year and a half or so, an exasperated Snyder administration switched
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“I don’t think it turned out to be a good solution.” Got to love that Ricky! That, however, was more of an admission than the governor made when he canceled his great scheme for saving the poor kids of Detroit — the EAA. Nearly forgotten now is that Snyder wanted to take the EAA statewide, and had asked the legislature to give him that authority. For once, they did the right thing and ignored him. But it took years of test scores dropping and cost overruns for Snyder to finally throw in the ol’ overdrawn checkbook. The 15 long-suffering EAA schools were quietly folded back into what’s now
called the Detroit Public Schools Community District. Ellen Cogen Lipton, now running for Congress, deserves massive credit for exposing what a scam this was. But Snyder deserves half a cheer too, for at least tacitly admitting both the EAA and prison food privatization were turkeys and pulling the plug. That’s more than a lot of politicians have been able to do with failed policies; look up War, Vietnam in the index.
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DSA steering committee member Naomi Campbell marches in an anti-fascist rally in Campus Martius following the violence in Charlottesville, Va.
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A budding force
Metro Detroit millennials are joining the Democratic Socialists of America in droves By Violet Ikonomova
On the first Saturday of the year,
more than 50 people were packed into a fluorescent-lit room at the Royal Oak Senior Center with the ultimate goal of overhauling the country’s economic order. The crowd was mixed in age — about a third of its members looked to be senior citizens and a third appeared to be in their 20s. Across the spectrum, quite a few people wore flannel. The gathering was a general membership meeting for the Greater Detroit Democratic Socialists of America, but its proceedings hardly suggested a revolution was afoot. Instead, leaders of the DSA chapter outlined modest initiatives that, at best, would help address some of the negative effects of capitalism. An early-30s, burly guy in a beanie and red flannel described a plan to impose stronger oversight on for-profit charter school authorizers. The group’s co-chair announced the next date DSA members would escort women seeking abortions to a local clinic where a small crowd of anti-choicers routinely gathers to shame them. An elder member outlined a plan to get young, newly registered voters to cast ballots in a primary election before going off to college, so they can vote absentee in November. An election was also due to take place at this particular Saturday meeting. The group’s steering, or leadership, committee had a vacancy. “I feel strongly about working for marginalized populations and working toward social justice,” said a young social worker vying for the slot. By the time she wrapped up her pitch, several latecomers had gathered near the entrance. “You can sit down, I’ll gladly move my stuff,” the co-chair, Catherine Hoffman, called out from the center of the room with a smile. “We’re all socialists, we’re friendly.” To that end, both the young social worker and her competitor went on to be elected to the steering committee after an elder member pointed out that the group’s bylaws allow for additional leaders. There are now 17 people leading the chapter — 9 are male and 8 are female. The equitable makeup of the leadership committee belies the demographics of the room, which is three-fourths male (and overwhelmingly white). The rest of the formal meeting is com-
prised mostly of votes on more mundane matters. David Bonior, a Democrat from metro Detroit who served as House minority whip in the ’90s, is releasing a memoir and has asked that the organization host a book signing on his behalf. The other DSA co-chair, David Green, a man with a trim salt-and-pepper beard who wears a tucked-in button up and jeans, explains that Bonior is known for having sponsored legislation that raised the federal minimum wage. The young membership isn’t sold on helping him. “What does he say about socialism in the book?” asks a young woman. Nothing. “What would it entail, resource-wise?” asks another member. Very little. “Is there a donation to the organization?” No, but proceeds from the book will go toward supporting young people in activism. After nearly 10 minutes of this, a vote is held. The ayes have it. Two years ago, it would have been unfathomable for a book signing for a former high-ranking Democrat to illicit so many questions. But the back-andforth is emblematic of the position the DSA finds itself in today: Its membership has more than quintupled, and many of those who’ve joined its ranks are young, idealistic, and unwilling to support partyline Democrats, or, to use a term that has become a pejorative — centrists. In light of that, the coiffed politician in a pinstripe suit who slinked in mid-meeting doesn’t look like he’s going to have much luck with the crowd. “I’m the only Democrat state senator from Macomb,” Steve Bieda, who’s mounting a Congressional bid and has come seeking support, tells those gathered. “I share your values.” At a table just feet from the state senator, a young member fiddles with his phone.
Packed meetings are a relatively new phenomenon for the Greater Detroit DSA. Nationally, the organization has seen a tidal wave of new membership since Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, mounted his presidential bid in 2015. Last year the DSA grew 32,000 duespaying members; it is now the largest
socialist organization in the country. Before the so-called “Bernie bump,” DSA’s ranks held steady around the 6,000 mark — the same number of people that belonged to the group when it was created via the 1982 merger of two socialist organizations that came out of the antiwar movement. That growth has been facilitated by a tripling in the number of chapters across the country. Pre-Sanders, there were more than 30 chapters nationwide — now, there are more than 100. In Michigan, a new chapter has been created in the Ann Arbor area and seeds for new chapters have been planted in Flint, Marquette, Lansing, and Grand Rapids. Greater Detroit, one of the organization’s original chapters, has seen its membership swell to about 300. While there’s no official count of how many dues-paying members there were before the surge, one longtime member estimates the local chapter peaked out at 100 people. Others say the group’s monthly meetings used to draw just over a dozen people. Now there are usually 40 to 75 people on hand. Among the new recruits is Naomi Campbell, a 28-year-old P.R. rep who grew up in Ann Arbor, and credits Sanders’ candidacy with helping shape her once-amorphous political beliefs. “It was the first time I heard things like Medicare for all, free college tuition, universal [basic] income,” she says. “Bernie introduced the language that made me be able to evolve my political ideologies.” A mainstream Democrat until last year — or “neo-liberal” as she puts it — Campbell voted for Obama twice before supporting Sanders in the 2016 Democratic primary and Clinton in the general election. After Clinton’s loss, Campbell looked to the Democratic party to embrace some of Sanders’ ideals. But when the party failed to pivot left, instead dwelling on the reasons Clinton should have won (see: Russian interference, sexism), she began to search for an alternative. “The Democrats put the nail in the coffin with the ‘we’re not as bad as him’ tactic,” she says. “It made me kind of take a step back and realize the party is either severely inept or disconnected from their voters, or, more obviously — they don’t want to back progressive policies because they’re beholden to special interests who are hurt by those.”
| February 21-27, 2018
A DSA member stands in solidarity with immigration activists at a January demonstration.
Saddled with student debt and worse off than their parents were, millennials are growing dissatisfied with or outright contemptuous of capitalism. In the DSA, Campbell says she found a group “actually committed to shifting power from capital to people.” “It was just kind of that simple ideology that is so difficult to land with Democrats, that really clicked with me,” she says. Smart, driven, and eager to make a difference, Campbell dove headfirst into socialism, gaining a deeper understanding of the underpinnings of the ideology through texts like The Communist Manifesto and a recently released book by the leftist Jacobin magazine, The ABCs of Socialism. She took on leadership roles within the DSA, getting elected to its steering committee and becoming co-chair of both its communications and reforms committees. As her worldview began to evolve, so too did her daily choices. Once a near-bumper-sticker-level devotee of NPR, Campbell has started turning to leftist media outlets, like the D.C.-based progressive news “co-op,” The District Sentinel. She watches less TV and avoids cable news entirely. When she does sit down for a show, she opts for programs
that “highlight our dystopian reality,” like Shark Tank. This month, her newfound ideology will give way to a full-on lifestyle revamp: Campbell has drastically reduced her living expenses and is leaving her job at GM to slow down — “capitalism has us going so fast,” she says — and refocus her skills “toward the larger effort of equality.” “When you come to that moment of clarity when you just see capitalism as oppressing everything and everyone, standing around the water cooler feels and is kind of devoid of meaning,” she says. Campbell’s sentiments reflect a newly discovered trend among millennials. Saddled with student debt and worse off than their parents were, the age group is growing dissatisfied with or outright contemptuous of capitalism and, by extension, has a far more favorable view of socialism than older generations. Numerous polls have identified this phenomenon, but one need look no further than the overwhelming young adult support for Sanders’ presidential bid: More than 2 million people under the age of 30 voted
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for him in the primaries and caucuses of 2016, more than all of Donald Trump’s and Hillary Clinton’s votes from that age group during the primaries and caucuses combined. It’s these disillusioned young people who’ve propelled the DSA’s resurgence and, in the process, utterly changed its face and tenor. Pre-Bernie, the group’s median age was 68 — today it is 33. The new members are enthusiastic and eager to get things done, but, perhaps most importantly, they view themselves as more militantly leftist than the organization’s longtime members. As an engagement coordinator for the Greater Detroit DSA put it, the young membership has breathed “life and confusion and consternation” into the once obscure organization. “They’ve been doing things the same way since the ’80s and it sometimes rubs people the wrong way,” says 33-year-old Jason Hackney. “We found that with this huge influx of young people a lot things that we want to do get bottlenecked. Like, we’re having all these issues over immigration. Where are we? Why aren’t we doing anything? So, there are some growing pains.”
In its leaner years, DSA was a littleknown group that wielded little influence. Since its founding during the Reagan era, it has sought to strengthen the “left wing” of the Democratic party and
promote progressive and socialist causes. Most of its members are socialists who believe in doing away with capitalism and bringing key industries and enterprises under social, or democratic, control. The idea is that true democracy cannot be achieved through only political democracy, as our current system operates — the economy must be democratized as well. But the Democratic party, unwilling to embrace socialism perhaps for its association with authoritarian regimes, has drifted rightward during most of DSA’s 35-year history. In the ’90s, it saw thenPresident Bill Clinton gut welfare and expand the prison system. Party elites favored neoliberal ideas until last year. To Bhaskar Sunkara, the editor of Jacobin and a DSA leader who worked in the group’s national office a decade ago, before the Bernie wave, the organization felt “bleak” and “utterly irrelevant.” Here in Detroit, a former chapter president who’s been with the group since it was created says he and other veteran members stuck it out “because, existentially, one wishes to struggle against the forces of evil.” “I was hopeful that at some point there would be an opening and if one wasn’t to organize one would miss the opening,” says Roger Robinson, a 72-year-old former labor organizer who helped found DSA’s predecessor organization, the Democratic Socialist Organizing Committee. “So to an extent, I had to wait a long time, but when that opening came, there was an organization that … was able to facilitate the organization of [tens of thousands of people].” Part of the reason that’s possible is because the DSA is set up as an “ecumenical, multi-tendency” organization that represents a broad range of leftist interests, as opposed to a political party with a distinct platform. Its membership has historically ranged from New Deal Democrats, or people who would prefer to expand the welfare state, to communists at the more extreme end of the spectrum. With the goal of a socialist state seemingly unattainable for the immediate future, the group’s members coalesce around reforms like those outlined by Sanders, which generally aim to weaken the power of capital and enhance the power of working people. DSA’s current agenda includes Medicare for all (otherwise known as universal or single-payer health care), free higher education, and a $15 minimum wage. Historically, the organization has supported cutting military spending to fund social programs and has opposed welfare “reform” and neoliberal globalization, which it sees as having strengthened corporate elites while weakening the working class, and by extension, the labor movement through which so many past societal
| February 21-27, 2018
Elections committee co-chair Roger Robinson stands outside his building in Detroit’s North End, a home base for DSA meetings.
gains have been achieved. But the organization has never had much influence in any of those areas. Before the Bernie wave, the group’s activities mostly involved attending protests and events planned by others as a show of solidarity, according to a Nation article published last year. At the state and local level, Robinson and other Greater Detroit chapter leaders say they were able to have some influence during the “bleak” years by using their small numbers strategically. The chapter credits itself for the passage of living wage ordinances in various cities before the Michigan legislature rendered them void, and says it has helped elect about 20 candidates who shared some of their ideals to mostly state level offices. All but two of those candidates were Democrats who did not openly identify as socialists. “We try to put people in office who meet some minimal threshold of what we consider broad coalition progressive politics, if not explicitly socialist politics,” explains Robinson, who oversees the group’s electoral efforts. Historically, that has meant backing leftist candidates in primary elections and more centrist Democrats in general elections in contested, or swing, districts. “Anything that stops the fascist hoard from continuing to roll over us is a victory,” he told prospective electoral committee members at the group’s first meeting of the year. “Even a witless, pedestrian slugworm Democrat at this moment in history is a victory — anything that rolls back the reactionary right wing forces and stops their … steamrolling of the welfare state.” But this strategy has been a particularly thorny issue as the DSA absorbs a younger, more radical contingent. Nationally, the organization requires candidates to identify as socialist to receive an endorsement, and several young Detroit members who spoke with Metro
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Times questioned why their local chapter even gets involved in races where a leftist candidate can’t win. “A socialist organization getting behind centrists or neoliberal candidates waters down our goals and loses us trust in the community,” says Nick Hayes, a 20-yearold who joined the group last year and co-chairs its reforms committee. “It expends our organizing energy on campaigns that have no firm policy stances and makes us complicit in allowing the Democrat establishment to continue forcing corporate candidates down our throats.” The debate, which is swirling as the 2018 midterms approach, represents just one of several fissures that have emerged in the organization’s new iteration. On the electoral front, some members would like to see the organization demand that the candidates it endorses openly identify as socialist. Separately, some elder members were dismayed last year when a resolution in support of the Palestinian-led Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions movement, which is against the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories, passed at the DSA’s national convention. The move prompted founding member Jo-Ann Mort to pen an essay suggesting that the organization had been commandeered by a “younger, more ‘anti-imperialist’ left that sees the centrist politics of their socialist predecessors nearly as much a part of the problem as the more mainstream democratic leaders.” Mort writes that today’s DSA is “not the DSA that was founded by Michael Harrington” — who was a supporter of Israel. If true, there are some who may not view that as a bad thing. A recent piece in Counter Punch criticized the old DSA as representing “socialism within the bounds deemed acceptable by the liberal wings of the Democratic Party and AFL-CIO officialdom.” The fractures between new and old
| February 21-27, 2018
Members of the Greater Detroit chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America regularly escort women seeking abortions into a local clinic.
members are evident in long-standing chapters like Detroit’s, where a small group of elder members has helmed the ship for decades. In my interviews with younger members, this faction was occasionally referred to as “the legacy members,” but sometimes, less kindly, as “the old guard.” In some chapters, Hayes says new members have orchestrated “full-blown coups” to usurp power from the elders. “A lot of people are just blowing it up and getting rid of them because they’re running into misogyny and sexism and zionism among older members,” says Hayes. In the absence of an election of chapter leaders since the Bernie wave, Hayes and Campbell have created a reforms committee to restructure the Detroit chapter to better harness the potential of its new membership. At a recent meeting of the committee, five people ranging in age from 20 to 35 gathered around a member’s Ferndale dining room over plates of mediterranean carryout to discuss creating a sexual harassment policy and the pros and cons of procedural norms like Robert’s and Rusty’s rules of order. The conversation eventually turned to Steve Bieda, the politician who turned up at the first meeting. “Who was the guy who came from Macomb?” asked Hayes.
Negative attitudes about socialist candidates have been thawing, and nationally, 15 DSA members were elected to seats last year. “Steve Beida, the [Senator],” said his comradde, Stacey Walters. “Like, I’m the only Democrat in Macomb, vote for me! Mr. ‘Let’s keep the military industrial complex!’” The group agreed they wanted fewer drop-bys from random Democrats, who often speak and take questions at the chapter’s monthly meetings in hopes of gaining its support. The reforms group would prefer to instead use the time to break out into issues-oriented focus groups. We ask, then — who let that guy in? It was the legacy members. “It’s the older guy thing of wanting to feel like you have connections and stuff with politicians and all that so it’s like come speak to this group — even if you’re not totally ideologically in line with me — then I’ll gain influence,” says Hayes. “One second, do you want to just vote on that real quick?” he asks, stopping the conversation. Like make that the formal
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recommendation of this committee?” “All in favor to, uh, recommend to the steering committee that we are going to have those meetings like we had in January say aye,” says Campbell, referencing the new format of issues-focused meetings. Five voices say “aye.” “All in — what is it?” she asks, still getting the hang of how to pass motions. “Opposed,” Hayes offers. “All opposed?” Silence. The motion carries, setting the stage for what the young members hope will mean a better engaged membership. Disagreement is inevitable in a “largetent” organization without a strict party line. But the democratic nature of the DSA has helped the group successfully incorporate some of the principles and strategies of its new members, even if there’s been some tension in the process. “The younger members’ displeasure [with centrist policies and candidates]
is legitimate and appropriate, but their experience is limited, and some of their critique, while intellectually sound, is not operationally, strategically, or tactically valid,” says Robinson. “That’s part of the dance that we have to go through as to how do we absorb different points of view and how do we integrate them into an organization that functions. I think we will pass the test.” Co-chair Hoffman, who has been with the group since 2000 and, at 37 years old, finds herself straddling the divide between new and old, says she’s “proud” of how well the group has managed the influx of new members. “There’s always going to be a few hiccups when you get all these new people together to work together, but generally our older members who’ve been doing this for years are really excited to bring in new people and show them the ropes,” says Hoffman. “And our younger members are doing a pretty good job of listening and trying to figure out where the older folks are coming from.”
DSA members who attended the Greater Detroit chapter’s February meeting were greeted by rows of folding chairs. Despite the recommendation of the reforms group, a Democrat Congressional hopeful was to speak to the
chapter. Rashida Tlaib, a former state representative from Southwest Detroit, is running for the seat left vacant by John Conyers. Most of the folding chairs sat empty, as just over two dozen members showed up. Some of those absent later said they thought the meeting’s format was to blame for the weaker-than-usual attendance. After delivering a 20-minute pitch that checked off quite a few progressive boxes — Tlaib works at the Sugar Law Center for Economic and Social Justice, and took on corporate welfare and polluting companies as a state legislator — the membership started firing off pointed questions to gauge Tlaib’s feelings on socialism. “DSA nationally as an organization has been looking to recognize socialist candidates — people who are running as open socialists. Will you run as a socialist?” asked a young woman. “Yeah, um it’s, it’s — we got to win,” Tlaib said with a laugh. “Honestly let me tell you, and somehow we got to hijack that back, but people have tainted that word, and honestly, going door to door, regular voters don’t really understand. They don’t even understand when I talk about the Green Party … [they think it’s] anti-Democrat.” She went on to describe the board at the Sugar Law Center as being comprised of “pretty much socialists” whom she “loves.” Tlaib said she did expect to be called a socialist by her opponents, but hearing that she may be the subject of so-called “red-baiting” tactics was of no comfort to the crowd. The organization has taken great pains to disassociate from the authoritarian regimes it says have abused socialism and tarnished its name. The “democratic” in DSA is intended to distinguish its brand of socialism from the Marxist–Leninist inspired socialism that allowed for dictatorships. DSA’s emblem includes a red rose, which has historically been an important symbol for anti-authoritarian groups. “When the opposition calls you a socialist, what will you do?” an older gentleman asks. “I say if I was, what would be wrong with it?” Tlaib says. “And I explain, the fact of the matter is the labor movement was founded on socialism … I try to explain that history.” Another member presses her further on the issue — pointing out that Sanders, who openly identified as a democratic socialist, ran a successful campaign in Michigan. “While I agree with you it’s a pretty dicey conversation when you go door to door, I do think that because you’re running in Detroit, I think in the context of what happened in Michigan
with Bernie, you should just give that some more thought,” the DSA member says. Tlaib reiterates that “there’s just a sense of fear because we want to win.” Negative attitudes about socialist candidates have been thawing as the DSA’s popularity grows, and nationally, 15 DSA members were elected to seats on everything from school boards to state legislatures last year. That’s on top of the 20 DSA members who already held some form of elective office. This year marks the first opportunity for a DSA member to secure a Congressional seat since the organization’s resurgence. After Tlaib leaves, the group has to vote on its candidate endorsement strategy for the coming election. The young woman who kicked off the socialist inquiry suggests that there be two tiers of support for candidates, with those who openly identify as socialist receiving more help from the group. The suggestion doesn’t go anywhere and the same strategy that the group has used in years past is re-adopted, opening the door for the Greater Detroit DSA to continue backing centrist Democrats in close-contest general elections. The motion passes with many young members who oppose this tactic absent for the vote. But there are a flurry of new initiatives that come out of the meeting as the group expands its efforts to reflect some of the ideas of its new members and to utilize the additional support they can provide. The chapter votes to create a working group to advocate for single-payer health care (state representative Yousef Rabhi has introduced legislation that would create a universal system in Michigan, while a Medicarefor-all campaign is ramping up on the national level), and a socialist-feminist working group and environmental justice group are also approved. When the meeting adjourns, about a dozen members head to a coffee shop for something that’s billed as a “socialism happy hour” but is really just a hang out (“Capitalism is isolating” and “socialism is social” are common refrains among the group). The days’ activities extend into the late afternoon, when half a dozen Detroit DSA members brave below-freezing temperatures to stand in solidarity with immigration advocates at a demonstration for the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. And so, the new Detroit DSA marches forward, with a little bit of old, a lot of new — and more powerful than ever before. firstname.lastname@example.org @violetikon
metrotimes.com | | February February21-27, 21-27,2018 2018 metrotimes.com
Bolero Latin Cuisine 51 W. Forest Ave., Detroit 313-800-5059 bolerodetroit.com 5 p.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Thursday 5 p.m.-11 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 4 p.m.-9 p.m. Sunday
Entrana de novillo.
South American way By Tom Perkins
Bolero Latin Cuisine
is a restaurant that fills a pretty big and obvious hole when you look around metro Detroit’s food scene, offering the flavors of South America. It started as the second project of Vicente Fox, owner of downtown Detroit’s Vicente’s Cuban Cuisine, along with executive chef Roberto Caceres and Caceres’ son, Robert Caceres, who served as general manager. They worked for about a year to open Bolero, but some sort of disagreement led to the Cacereses’ quick departure around a month after the restaurant opened in early December. (Both parties declined to comment.) Regardless, it’s the Cacereses’ recipes, who hail from Chile, and much of the menu covers turf in and around it. But as the name implies, this a Latin cuisine tour. “Latin” extends beyond South America, and at Bolero it includes Spain. And that’s arguably the geographical corner of
the Latin world in which the restaurant is at its best. Roberto Caceres brought over his paella recipe book, but included a new version called paella en tinta. As is the case with paella, this one is a bivalve-heavy jumble of rice, mussels, oysters, clams, lagonista, scallops, calamari, and aromatics like red peppers, onion, garlic, tomato, parsley, and much more. What sets this apart is the inclusion of calamari ink, which leaves the dish covered in a jet black tint. Of course there’s heavy presence from the aromatics and paprika. But what’s driving this version is the calamari ink, which holds glutamic acid and imparts a complex, umamirich flavor that is really, when it gets down to it, one of the more difficult things for a food writer to describe. It will, however, add a lot of depth to a dish that’s not known for being thin to begin with. And that makes for
26 February 21-27, 2018 | metrotimes.com
something worth exploring. Aside from the paella, Bolero pushes its ceviche, a Peruvian dish composed of sliced fish that’s “cooked” by marinating it in citrus — usually with some combination of lemon, lime, and orange juice — and flavored with cilantro, onions, peppers, and salt. Bolero serves its ceviche clasico with dollops of whipped sweet potato, corn, and a large piece of garlic bread. If you’ve tried ceviche in southwest Detroit, this is a little different — no imitation crab meat or other pre-cooked fish here. The menu also offers around a dozen tapas, or small plates, all of which come with fairly generous portions — a good thing, as each visit to Bolero cleared $100 for two people. The most interesting of the tapas is the Peruvian papas a la huancaína, composed of two medium potatoes that are coated in a mustard-colored,
creamy huancaína sauce that tastes nothing like mustard and is made with mild yellow peruvian peppers. It’s an intriguing presentation, as a hard boiled egg comes ensconced in the potato with a dollop of shredded black olives on top. The large stalks of grilled asparagus with citrus cilantro is another solid tapas option, as is the picanha. The latter arrives with a chimichurri sauce and comes in a large enough portion of slices of salty, tender top sirloin for three or four to enjoy as an appetizer. For the uninitiated, chimichurri is a staple Argentinian sauce made with olive oil, red wine vinegar, parsley, garlic, onion, and more that’s typically applied liberally on Argentina’s incredible beef. The chimichurri should also be coated thick on the entraña de novillo entree, which offers a sizable portion of Argentinian skirt steak. Back into the Peruvian part of the menu, the pollo latino arrives with big hunks of moist chicken in an herby and salty mix that puts the flavor of the Peruvian aji amarillo pepper on display. It stands out, even among the olive oil, cilantro, garlic, carrots, and peas, all of which is simmered in beer and chicken broth. Bolero’s menu is meat-heavy, but there are enough tapas and salad choices that a vegetarian could be satisfied — the ensalada de palmitos is a flavorful composition of Brazilian heart of palm arugula, cucumbers, pomegranate seeds, and more tossed with a balsamic vinaigrette. The wine selection is large, but if you’re familiar with Vicente’s then you know that they can mix a mean sangria, and the red and white are both good choices and arrive with requisite hunks of fruit bobbing in the sweet mix. For dessert, we tried the super moist, light, spongy tres leches cake, which is made from scratch inhouse, and stands up next to any I’ve tasted in Southwest Detroit. But like most everything at Bolero, it’s of a corner of the Latin world that’s less familiar in Detroit, and that makes it worth checking out. email@example.com @metrotimes
| February 21-27, 2018
28 February 21-27, 2018 | metrotimes.com
' ; BRUNCH
A Metro Times Event
WHAT COULD POSSIBLY BE BETTER THAN A BRUNCH With more than 20 restaurants under one roof?
| February 21-27, 2018
At Garden Bowl & the Magic Stick
Get your tickets now!
w/ DJ Erno & DJ Reed Boskey
Saturday, March 24 th 11am-2:30pm
Boozy Brunch Drinks & Complimentary Bowling!
Nothing fishy here
Meet the fishmongers who are elevating Detroit’s restaurant scene By Tom Perkins
Somewhere in the deep blue
waters off the coast of New Zealand, a roughly 15-inch, lollipop-red alfonsino fish with big, round eyes swims and feeds on crustaceans and cephalopods. It will be caught in a couple days, shipped to Detroit, and filleted before it’s poached, pan seared, or carved into nigiri. Once on your plate, you’ll find that alfonsino meat is silky, firm, and clean, while possessing an almost nutty flavor. Of course, that’s assuming that it isn’t old, previously frozen, or otherwise in some dilapidated shape. And that’s certainly a risk you run if you’re ordering fish in Detroit. But the odds that you’ll get secondrate seafood have been greatly reduced in recent months by Plymouth-based fishmonger Motor City Seafood. Coowner Matt Wiseman ordered alfonsino that’s now swimming off the Australian coast. The fish will be line caught, then immediately sent to the airport when the boat docks. The alfonsino’s flight stops for a customs and Food and Drug Administration inspection in Los Angeles before it’s quickly boarded on a Detroit
connector. A few hours later, Wiseman will meet it and other fish from around the world at the airport, pack them in his refrigerated van, and take them back to his Plymouth facility. His crew will scale the alfonsino, fillet it, and deliver it to any one of 25 top-tier metro Detroit restaurants that started buying from Wiseman since he and wife Staci launched the company in August. There are several points that need to be highlighted in the alfonsino’s journey to Motor City Seafood. First is the way it was caught. Wiseman will only deal with fisheries that use lines and care about sustainable fishing practices. Second is the short duration in which the alfonsino logs a high number of miles — Wiseman says he typically gets all his fish here at least 24 hours faster than other Michigan distributors. Third is the existence of the alfonsino in Detroit, period. Wiseman manages to find species we previously rarely — if ever — saw here, or in most other American markets. That sort of access to new, high quality, fresh product can mean a lot for a growing restaurant scene like Detroit’s.
30 February 21-27, 2018 | metrotimes.com
In fact, before Motor City launched, the region generally got what Mabel Gray Chef James Rigato calls “second-tier service and second-tier product.” “This is a great example of the food scene in Detroit legitimizing. It’s one of the criteria of a great food scene ... and the quality of stuff he brings in, that’s the stuff that’s going to separate us from a Chicago or a Cleveland,” Rigato says. “His fish is of unbelievable quality and variety, and he has so much knowledge ... so that ups our game tremendously.” He adds, “I don’t think theres another vendor that changed the market like this in six months.” It’s chefs like Rigato who get most of the glory when it comes to dining, but just as a reporter is only as good as their source, a chef is only as good as their producers. For that reason, more and more chefs are turning to Wiseman and Motor City. In six months his product list went from five to over 40 species that includes everything from a long pole-caught, Hawaiian bigeye and yellowfin to a New Zealand snapper to a rare-in-Michigan blue nose. It holds the aroma of scal-
lops and cucumber, is firm like a bass or grouper, and is one of Wiseman’s favorite fish. Motor City is building out a new 1,800-square-foot space now that its 1,200-square-foot facility is too small. The client list Wiseman built over the last six months — mostly through free samples and persistence — includes Bacco, Takoi, SheWolf, Sardine Room, Selden Standard, Bistro 82, Voyager, Toasted Oak, Chartreuse, Dr. Sushi, Mabel Gray, Joe Muer, and many more. At Corktown’s Takoi, chef Brad Greenhill says his crew was skeptical when Wiseman first introduced himself, but Motor City provided a few samples and “we were hooked immediately.” “The big thing is they are based locally and bring in product direct. That’s key,” Greenhill says. “There’s no other middlemen and the fish is as fresh as can be. The quality of the product and the great customer service and ability to meet our specs was paramount. It blew our previous supplier out of the water.” Motor City also recently brought aboard poissonier Marc Qualls — an enthusiastic master of fish carving and
filleting — and Wiseman says that the company will post seven figures in revenue this year. He says the success is simply a matter of ensuring a quality product line — in other words, he’s only offering some of the world’s most delicious species at a reasonable price — and ensuring that it’s all fresh, though the latter takes some real knowledge and effort. “At the end of the day, if the customers are happy, then the chefs are happy, so we’ve got to make sure we keep up the standard to make everyone happy,” Wiseman tells us. “So we vet everything to stop any rubbish from coming through the cracks.” That really starts with the Motor City flying fish into Detroit. Previously, most seafood you ate here landed in Chicago or Boston before a distributor trucked it, or even sent it via UPS for the remainder of the journey. And they usually did so after the fish hung out overnight in a warehouse. Once in Plymouth, Motor City transfers the fish from its packaging to coolers that are lined with ice and cold packs, then stored in a walk-in cooler at 28 to 30 degrees — a high enough temperature that they won’t freeze, but cold enough that they stay fresh, and that temperature is closely monitored. No Motor City fish are frozen, all are in
restaurant kitchens within several days of arriving, and Wiseman is at the airport around nine times weekly. His crew also scales, guts, and fillets fish in Plymouth immediately before they’re shipped out. The fillets degrade once they hit oxygen, so it’s critical to get them to the chefs soon after the fish is carved. Then there’s the sustainable component. When buying wild fish, Motor City will only take those caught on long lines, not with large drag or sea nets that do collateral damage. When selecting farms, Wiseman says he looks for those that don’t use GMOs, food colorants, or antibiotics, and that leave growing grounds fallow to replenish the stock. “We’re offering products that were vetted well,” Wiseman tells us. “We’re quite fortunate that we know people through the industry who work with people that use good practice, sustainability, and think about the environment, making sure there aren’t GMOs and antibiotics given to the fish. We’re really explicit about this stuff.” He also won’t buy endangered fish unless they’re ethically farmed. So that means no goliath grouper, an endangered but popular Pacific fish. The blue fin tuna Motor City distributes is corralled off Baja and individually culled on demand. The scallops, mussels, and lobsters Wiseman purchases come from the Bristol
Seafood Company in Maine, which offers the only Marine Stewardship Council and Fair Trade-certified scallop program in the country. This is all fairly new in Detroit, and these are the kind of producers that Chartreuse chef Doug Hewitt says we were lacking prior to Motor City. “Everything [on Chartreuse’s menu] has a story, whether it be a Recovery Park vegetable, lamb from Farm Field Table — every story has a producer,” he says. “For a long time, outside of some lake fish or some farming establishment, you never really understood the stories about our fish ... and that was something that was a void. We were really lacking fish and shellfish producers to talk about, and this dots the ‘i’ so to speak.” At Takoi, Greenhill says there have been seven or eight dishes built around Motor City’s seafood, like a scallop dish with young coconut, lime, mint, and lemongrass that’s been on the menu since the restaurant reopened. Others include whole fried New Zealand snapper with three-flavor sauce, a whole grilled branzino, or sea bream/orata, banana leaf barramundi, cured salmon with oro blanco, smoked steelhead trout laap, and goi pla with raw kampachi. What chefs say also sets Wiseman apart is his knowledge, and his willingness to work closely with them. Wiseman
notes that he’s worked in hospitality for 30 years, so he knows the chefs’ lingo and understands what they want. And he’s building trust with the chefs. Everyone benefits when the chefs we trust are working with vendors who they trust. “The guy — he works like a chef. He’s up at 4 a.m. heading to the airport, and he’s probably on the way to the airport right now to pick up my tuna,” Hewitt says on a recent Friday afternoon. “His knowledge is insane, and you can tell he give a shit about why and how these fish are brought out of the water ... and as a chef you know you’re getting the best product, and know with a ton of confidence that your guests are getting the best [seafood].” As Rigato puts it, he knows that Wiseman would “fall on his sword over 10 bucks.” “When you’re in the middle of Michigan purchasing ocean fish, you rely on vendors to communicate the market. We’re talking about a boat that’s 3,000 miles away, so we’re really doing this on honor, trust, and humility. Matt will tell you, ‘These guys are great. I stand by this fish,’ and you believe him. We really rely on our vendors to decode the industry for us. And we can trust him.” firstname.lastname@example.org @metrotimes
metrotimes.com metrotimes.com | | February February21-27, 21-27,2018 2018
CupcakKe, Thursday, Feb. 22, The Crofoot.
What’s Going On
A week’s worth of things to do and places to do them By MT staff
Bianca Del Rio
@ The Crofoot
@ Royal Oak Music Theatre
MUSIC Her Twitter handle is @ MarilynMonhoe and her videos have accrued over 46 million views — needless to say, there is nothing subtle about Chicago-based rapper CupcakKe — her hypersexual message may not be for the faint of heart. Though a slight departure from her Cum Cake and S.T.D. EPs, the raunchy rap queen’s latest LP Ephorize dives deep into her totally rational obsession with the “D.”
COMEDY Life is such a drag — and we’re totally here for it. The RuPaul’s Drag Race season six winner Bianca Del Rio made her mark with her sharp wit (and even sharper eyeliner wing). Now, she’s taking her onequeen show on the road as part of the Blame It on Bianca tour. And yes — she totally woke up like this (but only because she passed out like this).
Doors open at 7 p.m.; 1 S. Saginaw, Pontiac; 248-858-9333; thecrofoot. com; Tickets are $15-$20.
Doors open at 7 p.m., 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; 248-3992980; royaloakmusictheatre.com; Tickets are $39.50+.
32 February 21-27, 2018 | metrotimes.com
FRI, 2/23-SUN, 2/25
Musical Thrones: A Parody of Fire and Ice
Erotic Poetry & Music Festival
@ City Theatre
@ Tangent Gallery
COMEDY We all know that person. You know, the Game of Thrones superfreak who refuses to make plans on Sunday nights because, yeah, spoiler alerts are a thing. Whether you are that person or if they just reside in your friend group, like winter, Musical Thrones: A Parody of Fire and Ice is coming. Take a journey through the first seven seasons of Game of Thrones to laugh with (and at) some of the most beloved and hated characters in all of television. (We see you, Joffrey!) A savage treatment for a show of savagery, if you're waiting for the next season of GoT this performance is not to be missed.
FESTIVAL Valentine’s Day might be in the rearview, but eroticism is forever. The 31st Erotic Poetry & Music Festival returns with a titillating lineup that is sure to inspire arousal. Performances from Satori Circus, Emily Rose, and more are on deck, as well as a burlesque blowout starring a slew of seductive stripteasers (and, of course, poetry and spoken word performances that should come with a “parental advisory” warning). A feast for the eyes, ears, and all the bits in between, the Erotic Poetry & Music Festival will also have a handful of vendors slinging all the naughty things.
Opening night performance begins at 8 p.m., Saturday, and Sunday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.; 2301 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313presents.com; 313471-3200; Tickets are $70.
Doors open at 8 p.m.; 715 E. Milwaukee St., Detroit; 313-8732955; tangentgallery.com; Tickets are $15-$20 and a portion of the proceeds will support Paws With a Cause.
Musical Thrones: A Parody of Fire, Friday, Feb. 23 through Sunday, Feb. 25, City Theatre.
SUNDAY, 2/25 Happy Birthday, Gary Grimshaw
Ladysmith Black Mambazo
@ Fox Theatre
@ Lincoln Park Historical Museum
@ The Ark
ART Behind every great rock show is a great frontman or woman — and, thanks to artists like the late Gary Grimshaw, a poster. You’ve likely seen his acid-drenched, technicolor style promoting the likes of MC5 or Cream. An activist and graphic artist, Grimshaw, who died in 2014, would have been 72 this year. More than a posthumous birthday party, “Happy Birthday, Gary Grimshaw” is a celebration of his life’s work and his work’s impact. A slideshow presentation of his work will be presented as well as discussions lead by his widow Laura Grimshaw and fellow poster artist Mark Arminski. There will be family, cake, and special guests, and the Gary Grimshaw Memorial Series of Silkscreen prints will be on full display.
MUSIC Few artists embody just what the late ’80s sounded like quite as accurately as English songwriter Steve Winwood. Key up the synths and shoulder shimmying ballads — “Higher Love” is just within reach. Labeled his Greatest Hits tour, Winwood is sure to draw from his vast catalog — he’s sold over 50 million records over the course of his influential career that spans five decades. Before the feathered hair and radio-readiness of his solo stint, his work as the founding member of Traffic (one of the most influential rock bands in history) ranks among his most definitive. Or maybe it is the standalone self-titled Blind Faith record with Ginger Baker, Ric Grech, and Eric Clapton that changed everything. Either way, Winwood is an innovator.
Opening reception from 2 p.m-5:30 p.m.; 1335 Southfield Rd., Lincoln Park; 313-386-3137; lphistorical.org; Tickets are $20.
Doors open at 8 p.m.; 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-4713200; 313presents.com; Tickets are $30-$199.50.
MUSIC In 1986, Paul Simon’s Graceland introduced the world to the remarkably prolific and the culturally significant choral gift of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, originally formed by Joseph Shabalala in 1964 after he had a series of dreams in which he heard specific harmonies. Since its first incarnation, the band has endured tragedy, triumph, drastic shifts in the political landscape, Grammy Awards, and, above all, it has continued to spread the rich legacy of South African culture. With what can only be called an expansive anthology of work, the nine-piece will come together to deliver over 50 years of some of the most joyful damn music you’ve ever heard.
Doors open at 7:30 p.m.; 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; 734-761-1800; theark. org; Tickets are $45. email@example.com @metrotimes
metrotimes.com metrotimes.com | | February February21-27, 21-27,2018 2018
THIS WEEK friday 2/23
the brothers groove saturday 2/24
w/ DuDe & Mike galbraith (no cover) sunday 2/25
johnny cash birthday celebration
w/ rock harley as johnny cash wednesday 2/28
wsg: sun tribe thursday 3/1
Manny torres live band friday 3/2
hannah wicklund & the steppin stones +the high Divers saturday 3/3
w/ adrian + MereDith wednesday 3/7
ruMpke Mountain boys w/ kitchen Dwellers
FOR TICKETS & DINNER RESERVATIONS
Steve Aoki, Thursday, Feb. 22 at Royal Oak Music Theatre
LIVE/CONCERT Wednesday, Feb. 21 Architects 6:30 p.m.; St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $25. Big Something 9 p.m.; The Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; $10. Scott H. Biram 8 p.m.; The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $12.
Thursday, Feb. 22 CupcakKe 7 p.m.; The Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; $15$20. Frisky Whisky 7 p.m.; St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $45. Jazz on the streets of old Detroit 6 p.m.; Detroit Historical Museum, 5401 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $15-$20. Kanem X & the May Moons 8 p.m.; PJ’s Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; $7-$10. Khemmis 8 p.m.; The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $14.
345 E 9 MILE RD
FERNDALE, MI 48220
Michigan House 8 p.m.; The Blind
34 February February21-27, 21-27,2018 2018 | | metrotimes.com metrotimes.com
Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; $10-$12. Mr. Carmack 8 p.m.; El Club, 4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; $20-$25.
Raul Midon 8 p.m.; The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $20. The Real Deal 9 p.m.; Kapone’s Bar, 24301 Harper Ave., St. Clair Shores; free.
Steve Aoki 8 p.m.; Royal Oak Music Theatre, 318 W. Fourth St., Royal Oak; $31+.
Sick Muse 10 p.m.; Tangent Gallery, 715 E. Milwaukee St., Detroit; $5-$10.
Ten Strings and a Goat Skin 8 p.m.; The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $15.
Silverstein 6 p.m.; The Crofoot Ballroom, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; $18-22.
Friday, Feb. 23
The Brothers Groove 8 p.m.; Otus Supply, 345 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; $10-$12.
Blues Night 8 p.m.; PJ’s Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; no cover. Charenée Wade 7 p.m.; Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; free. The Fags 8 p.m.; Magic Bag, 22920 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $12. Bizarre of D12 and King Gordy Present: An Intimate Evening with Lars 7 p.m.; Shelter, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $5. Little Liars: Joan Jett Tribute 7 p.m.; Token Lounge, 28949 Joy Rd., Westland; $10. Pajamas 9 p.m.; The Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; $7-$10.
Twin Falls 8 p.m.; Kelly's Bar, 2403 Holbrook Ave., Hamtramck; no cover.
Saturday, Feb. 24 Allen Dennard Quartet 8 p.m.; Jazz Cafe, 350 Madison Street, Detroit; $10. American Nightmare 7 p.m.; Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $23-$25. Big Gigantic 7 p.m.; Masonic Temple, 500 Temple St., Detroit; $29.50-$35. Jeezy 7 p.m.; The Fillmore, 2115 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $35+. Les Nubians + DJ Cambeaux ; 9:30 p.m.; The Cube, 3711 Woodward Ave.,
Detroit; $15, VIP $49.
Lettuce & Galactic 8 p.m.; St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $35.
Ladysmith Black Mambazo 8 p.m.; The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $45.
Lil Xan 8 p.m.; El Club, 4114 W. Vernor Hwy., Detroit; $15-$89. Majid Jordan 7 p.m.; Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $30.50-$35. Michael Angelo Batiio Band 7 p.m.; Token Lounge, 28949 Joy Rd., Westland; $15. That 1 Guy 9 p.m.; The Blind Pig, 208 S. First St., Ann Arbor; $15. VIsta Kicks 8 p.m.; PJ’s Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; $8-$10.
Sunday, Feb. 25 Frontier Ruckus 8 p.m.; The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $12. Johnny Cash Birthday Celebration 7 p.m.; Otus Supply, 345 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; $15-$20. LP 7:30 p.m.; Majestic Theatre, 4140 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $22-$25. Lucy’s Brown Seville 8 p.m.; PJ’s Lager House, 1254 Michigan Ave., Detroit; $7. Maysa 7:30 p.m.; Sound Board, 2901 Grand River Ave., Detroit; $40-$50. Missio 6:30 p.m.; St. Andrew’s Hall, 431 E. Congress St., Detroit; $18. The Mowgli’s 7 p.m.; The Crofoot Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw St., Pontiac; $20-$22. Vance Gilbert 7:30 p.m.; The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $20.
Monday, Feb. 26
Laila Biali 8 p.m.; Cliff Bell’s, 2030 Park Ave., Detroit; $15.
PERFORMANCE Akeelah & the Bee 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 2 p.m. Sunday, continues through Feb. 24; The Whiting, 1220 E. Kearsley St., Flint; $18. Freedom Riders 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 27, The Whiting, The Whiting; 1241 E. Kearsley St., Flint; $35+. Glitter King 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, Grand on River, 5001 Grand River Ave., Detroit. Les Miserables 8 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturday, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sunday; continues through March 11; Fisher Theatre, 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Detroit; $65+. The Second City: Look Both Ways Before Talking 8 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23; The Whiting; 1241 E. Kearsley St., Flint; $35+. Shen Yun 7:30 p.m. Friday, 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday, 1 p.m. Sunday, Detroit Opera House, 1526 Broadway St., Detroit; $80-$160.
COMEDY Itty Bits 8 p.m. and 9 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, Go Comedy! Improv Theater, 261 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; $10. All-Star Showdown 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24, Go Comedy! Improv Theater, 261 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; $18.
OUR PATIO NIGHTLY BONFIRES ON
THURSDAY, FEB 22ND ~ HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARY T!~ FRIDAY, FEB 23RD
SATURDAY, FEB 24TH
NAGAZI, PAST TENSE, R.I.P. & FATE OF MISERY (METAL/ROCK) DOORS @9 ~ HAPPY BIRTHDAY DIANA F! ~ SUNDAY, FEB 25TH ~ HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEN DAVID! ~ MONDAY, FEB 26TH
FREE POOL - ALL DAY TUESDAY MARCH 6TH
PSYCHOTIC REACTION & LIMP WIZURDZ TUESDAY MARCH 13TH
SATURDAY MARCH 17TH
Mike Paramore 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 22, 7:15 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, 7 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24; Mark Ridley’s Comedy Castle, 310 Troy St., Royal Oak, $18.
INDUSTRIAL DETROIT: CERVELLO ELETTRONICO, SLEEP CLINIC & FLUXION A/D
Musical Thrones: A Parody of Ice and Fire, 8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, 8 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24, 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25; City Theatre, 2301 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $43+.
FRIDAY APRIL 20TH
Eidola 7 p.m.; The Loving Touch, 22634 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; $12.
Pandemonia 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., Go Comedy! Improv Theater, 261 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; $10+.
OPEN EVERY DAY INCLUDING HOLIDAYS INSTAGRAM & FACEBOOK: THEOLDMIAMI CALL US FOR BOOKING! 313-831-3830
I Set My Friends on Fire 6:30 p.m.; The Crofoot Pike Room, 1 S. Saginaw St.,
Ron White 7 p.m. and 10 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24, Michigan Theatre, 603
Deer Tick 7 p.m.; Magic Stick, 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $25-$28. Steve Winwood 8 p.m.; Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $30-$199. The Wind + the Wave 8 p.m.; The Ark, 316 S. Main St., Ann Arbor; $15.
Tuesday, Feb. 27
BAT, EEL, SNAFU & SHROUD
The Old Miami
3930 Cass • Cass Corridor • 313-831-3830
metrotimes.com metrotimes.com | | February February21-27, 21-27,2018 2018
Les Miserables, through March 11, Fisher Theatre.
E. Liberty St, Ann Arbor; $49+. Sunday Buffet 7 p.m., Go Comedy! Improv Theater, 261 E. Nine Mile Rd., Ferndale; $10. Trevor Noah 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 23; Fox Theatre, 2211 Woodward Ave., Detroit $25+.
SCREENINGS The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution 11 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20 and Thursday, Feb. 22, The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History; 315 E. Warren Ave., Detroit; free. 2018 Academy Award-nominated short films 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24; Detroit Film Theatre; 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; $7.50+.
ART OPENING Happy Birthday, Gary Grimshaw Reception from 2 p.m-5:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 25; Lincoln Park Historical Museum, 1335 Southfield Rd., Lincoln Park; $20.
February21-27, 21-27,2018 2018 | | metrotimes.com metrotimes.com 36 February
Paula Schubatis: Lifestyle Objects Collection: Pillow Edition 11 a.m.-6 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24; Next: Space, 3011 W. Grand Blvd., Ste. 475, Detroit; free.
ART American Landscape 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Arab American National Museum, 13624 Michigan Ave., Dearborn; free. Desire as Politics Noon-5 p.m. Wednesdays-Fridays, through March 10; Valade Family Gallery, 460 W. Baltimore St., Detroit; free. DÃ©troit Noir Through Feb. 28; Norwest Gallery of Art, 19556 Grand River Ave., Detroit; free. POW! Comic Art Exhibition Noon-5 p.m. Tuesdays-Fridays, noon-4 p.m. Saturdays; Northville Art House, 215 W. Cady St., Northville; continues through Feb. 24; free. Making Home: Contemporary Works 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday; Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit continues through March 4; continues through June 6; Free with museum admission. Monet: Framing Life 9 a.m.- 4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday; Detroit Institute of Arts, 5200 Woodward Ave., Detroit; continues through March 4; $19.50+. Ryan McGinness: Studio Views and Collection Views 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday-Sunday through March 18; Cranbrook Art Museum; 39221 Woodward Ave., Bloomfield Hills; free.
FESTIVALS Great Lakes Comic-Con 5 p.m.9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 24; Macomb Community College, 14500 Twelve Mile Rd., Warren,; $13-$20, free for children under 10. firstname.lastname@example.org @metrotimes
| February 21-27, 2018
UP FRONT Fast Forward
Cut & Threaded 1/8” thru 8” Valves - Fittings C.I. Fittings Radiohead Little Caesars Arena, July 22
Bill Murray, Jan Vogler & Friends The Fillmore, April 18, 7 p.m., $45+
Harry Styles Little Caesars Arena, June 26, 8 p.m., $29.50+
Modest Mouse The Fillmore, May 2 and 3, 6:30 p.m., $42.50+
Jethro Tull Freedom Hill, July 1, 7:30 p.m., $26
Dr. Dog Majestic Theatre, May 4, 8 p.m., $30
STYX, Joan Jett, and Tesla DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 6, 7 p.m., $25.50
Daryl Hall & John Oates Little Caesars Arena, May 20, 7 p.m., $49.50+ Vance Joy Fox Theatre, May 22, 7:30 p.m., $29.50+ Greta Van Fleet The Fillmore, May 22, 23, and 25, 7 p.m., $25+ Maria Bamford Royal Oak Music Theatre, May 25, 7 p.m., $29.50-$30
Pixies & Weezer DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 13, 7:30 p.m., $64+ Radiohead Little Caesars Arena, July 22, time TBD; Tickets on sale Friday Barenaked Ladies DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 14, 7 p.m., $21+ Foreigner DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 15, 7 p.m., $21+
Slayer Freedom Hill, May 27, 5 p.m., $29.50+ Big Sean Little Caesars Arena, June 2, 7 p.m., $30.50 Dave Matthews Band DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 6, 8 p.m., $41.50+ Paul Simon DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 10, 8 p.m., $31+ Kendrick Lamar with SZA DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 13, 7:30 p.m., $39.50+
Kesha & Macklemore DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 18, 7 p.m., $35.50+ Jim Gaffigan DTE Energy Music Theatre, July 28, 8 p.m., $29.50+ Jason Mraz Meadowbrook Music Festival, July 28, 8 p.m., $25+ The Melvins El Club, Aug. 3, 8 p.m., $22$24
Okkervil River El Club, June 13, 8 p.m., $20
Lynyrd Skynyrd DTE Energy Music Theatre, Aug. 10, 6 p.m., $25.50+
Shania Twain Little Caesars Arena, June 15, 7:30 p.m., $29.50+
David Byrne Fox Theatre, Aug. 10, 8 p.m., $37.50+
Thirty Seconds to Mars DTE Energy Music Theatre, June 12, 6 p.m.; $25.50+
Bruno Mars and Cardi B Little Caesars Arena, Sept. 15 and 16, 7 p.m., $79.50+
Whoopi Goldberg SoundBoard, June 15, 8 p.m., $57+
Ozzy Osbourne DTE Energy Music Theatre, Sept. 19, 7:30 p.m., $47.50+
Sam Smith Little Caesars Arena, June 22, 8 p.m., $35+
Maroon 5 Little Caesars Arena, Sept. 30, 7:30 p.m., $80+
38 February 21-27, 2018 | metrotimes.com
No Order Too Small
FEDERAL PIPE AND SUPPLY COMPANY 6464 E. McNichols
(Corner Of Mt . Elliott )
Hours: M-F 8-5:30 • Sat 8-5
| February 21-27, 2018
The party continues
The drunken dichotomy of Deer Tick By Jerilyn Jordan
Deer Tick appears to have
made it through the thick of it. The band has survived a decade of self-destruction, self-sabotage, and the pretentious menagerie of indie rock. For the rowdy, dysfunctional rockers, survival has little to do with luck or right place, right time happenstance and everything to do with having maintained their reputation as Deer Tick — the band that gets fucked up but never really fucked up. More than maintenance, though, the Providence, R.I. quartet have found momentum far removed from rock ’n’ roll’s thirst for glam, glory, and expiration. In fact, they’re pretty damn well-adjusted. 2017 ushered in a new era for Deer Tick following an incredibly uncertain four-year hiatus. Deer Tick Vol. 1 and Deer Tick Vol. 2 find the band facing their stylistic imbalance head-on, dishing out both an acoustic and electric
serving of its alchemic duality. It takes a double dose of frontman John McCauley’s malleable rasp to fully understand his career-long aesthetic that is in constant flux between weathered and yielding, forceful and sober — imbued, always, with a bit of sadness. “I hid it all behind my eyes/ Somewhere in a fog of a million pleasantries/ I kept my secret safe inside,” McCauley confesses in Vol. 1’s dreamy and sparse opener, “Sea of Clouds.” Cut to Vol. 2 and we find a more anxious transparency with “Look How Clean I Am” — “Waitin’ for the sweat to break/ Changing all my covers/ To the best that I can be” sings a confrontational McCauley, “I’m staring down the barrel/ Of a welladjusted legacy.” Ketchup and mustard grace the cover art, as if to suggest that Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 are either ingredients in the same recipe or divisive, complimentary fla-
40 February 21-27, 2018 | metrotimes.com
vors. An ambitious endeavor for a band whose future was threatened by time, space, and change of plans, the double album proves that Deer Tick is more interested in a natural progression than a prescribed one. McCauley and guitarist Ian O’Neil took a break from their double lives to chat about settling down, cleaning up, and why their short-lived Nirvana cover band Deervana was DOA.
Metro Times: John — you
recently said of Deer Tick Vol. 1 and 2 that “you just wanted to do something a little unconventional.” Has that, in some way, been the goal since the beginning?
John McCauley: I suppose so.
We’ve always followed our muse wherever that took us. It was never about what’s hip, and if somebody wanted to
peg us as one thing, our first instinct was oftentimes to go and do the opposite.
MT: How has the word “unconventional” changed in terms of the band since its inception?
McCauley: I guess our approach
to sustaining our career is unlike a lot of other bands. We could probably tour for a long time without putting out a new record. Not that that’s something we’d consider, but for us it’s really about our shows — not so much about having some lucrative record deal or anything like that.
Ian O’Neil: I would imagine from
an industry perspective, we’ve engaged in some unconventional decisions, but we’ve always done what our instincts have led us to do.
MT: Four years separated Negativ-
ity and 2017’s volumes. Was it always the intent to release two separate records? Were there any experiences that encouraged the reunion and inspired the material?
McCauley: Once I started writing it was pretty clear to me that I wanted to make two separate things. The idea of two records was hatched early on. A few months before we went into the recording studio we played our annual Newport Folk Festival afterparties. That year was a particularly rejuvenating experience for me and the band for some reason. It made us really want to do the records. O’Neil: John kind of said it all, but
from my perspective, doing two albums the way we did may have been the only way to pull us back together. It took a unique mission to get us up to another level, musically.
MT: How does the life of a rock band change when fatherhood, marriage, and mortgages come into play?
McCauley: I don’t like to be away from home for too long anymore. It sucks missing birthdays and stuff like that. It’s made me appreciate my job as a musician and songwriter a lot more. O’Neil: Being a husband and starting a family comes with some pressure to be home, but by and large I just have to separate music and business from time spent with my wife. That being said, she encourages me to work as much as possible. She shares the sacrifice. MT: The Twice is Nice tour celebrates the many sides of Deer Tick. One acoustic set, followed by intermission and an electric set. Does this require a different level of preparation? Why not integrate the songs into one set?
McCauley: Basically, our sound checks take all damn day and we never have a chance to eat dinner. It’s a pretty good amount of work putting on a show like that. Besides wanting the show to reflect how we released the records, I don’t really want to be running around, spraying beer everywhere during a song like “Let’s All Go to the Bar” with our delicate folk instruments scattered all around the stage. MT: I learned that “It’s a Whale”
from Vol. 2 is written from the perspective of a men’s rights activist. What’s the key to writing a euphemistic/ sneakily political punk song? Is there a pressure/responsibility as an artist
to address the orange elephant in the room?
McCauley: The words came pretty quick for that one. Not that there’s too many lyrics to that song. I suppose that sometimes it’s just too irresistible to lampoon a movement like that by screaming your head off. O’Neil: I feel no pressure to speak up. However, our politics are clear and inclusive. We don’t tolerate any discriminatory behavior or violence. In terms of writing, if you aren’t personally moved to address any singular topic, don’t try for fashion’s sake. MT: Was there ever a point where you considered Deervana fulltime?
McCauley: No, absolutely not. We got an offer to play a show for more money than Deer Tick ever made in a single show. That was the moment we decided that we’d had enough of Deervana. MT: Do you have a favorite Nirvana/ Kurt Cobain conspiracy theory?
McCauley: Nah, I don’t buy any of
O’Neil: I heard he was about to do an album with Michael Stipe when he passed. I would buy that! MT: In a 2012 interview with Noisey,
the journalist said, “As a band, Deer Tick is pretty much a band about alcohol.” As a band in 2018, what is Deer Tick about?
McCauley: Well, I still love my beer, but nowadays it’s more about putting on a great show, instead of putting on a shitshow. I’m at a place in my life where I’m willing to give it my all every night. As long as there’s no technical problems, I’m going to do it all and do it to the best of my ability. O’Neil: That was as inaccurate then as it is now. But I will say we have made music journalists’ jobs easier by perpetuating that image. Not much has changed, we still enjoy having fun with one another, but I firmly believe our music has always reflected our experience and it still does. Deer Tick will perform at the Magic Stick on Monday, Feb. 26 at 7 p.m.; 4120 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-833-9700; majesticdetroit.com; Tickets are $25$28. email@example.com @metrotimes
| February 21-27, 2018
Chadwick Boseman as Black Panther.
Black power By MaryAnn Johanson
“Wakanda forever!” It’s
a patriotic sentiment, a battle cry for warriors, and maybe it would be the slogan of Wakanda’s tourism board if it welcomed visitors. The small nation of Wakanda is a protected valley enclave in east Africa, hidden from outside eyes by some very advanced technology fueled by the alien metal vibranium, which arrived via asteroid millennia ago. As Prince T’Challa — whom we last saw in Captain America: Civil War as superpowered Black Panther — arrives home for his coronation as Wakanda’s new king, he sighs with joy: “This never gets old.” He means the descent by air through a false rainforest canopy and down among the skyline of the nation’s central city. We’re seeing it for the first time... and, my fellow nerds, let me tell you: I cried. The rest of the planet believes Wakanda to be a backward country of subsistence farmers, but it is the most advanced nation on Earth. That beautiful skyline, an architectural wonder of uniquely African design, is but the first taste of Black Panther’s gorgeous vision of what humanity might achieve, a society dedicated to science and peaceful progress, to
equality for all. And the fictional, fantastical Wakanda is also a harsh condemnation of reality: Imagine if Africa hadn’t been subjected to brutal colonialism, its resources and even its people stolen and exploited for the profit of others. How much have we lost? How much human potential has been squandered? Comic books are often power fantasies, and Black Panther is the biggest, boldest one yet to make the transition to movies. This is a pulp fiction dream to move and inspire not merely lonely or unappreciated individuals but entire cultures, entire peoples. Black Panther is a profoundly, powerfully badass exploration of all the things we love comic book stories for. The discoveries T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman) makes about his family involve secrets and betrayals and abandonments; it’s all positively Shakespearean. The personal challenge that comes with that is connected to the dilemma T’Challa is facing now that Wakanda has taken an inadvertent step onto the world stage after having kept itself isolated for so long. Nakia (Lupita Nyong’o), spy and foreign operative for Wakanda, is eager to use the nation’s resources to help outsid-
42 February 21-27, 2018 | metrotimes.com
ers. But T’Challa’s confidante W’Kabi (Daniel Kaluuya) worries about Wakanda being overrun with refugees. In the middle is T’Challa’s genius little sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), responsible for much of Wakanda’s high tech; she doesn’t seem to have much in the way of political opinions, but her toys are what make possible much of what Wakanda has to offer the world. This is all classic comic book stuff, the ultimate quandary about great power and the great responsibility that comes with it. This dilemma began to be played out on the world stage in Civil War. But Black Panther ups the ante tremendously: Here is an entire government, an entire nation that is superpowered, thanks to the literal mountain of vibranium it is sitting atop, and it isn’t quite sure what using it responsibly means yet. There are so many ways in which this movie qualifies as like nothing we’ve ever seen before, all of which are functions of the widening of perspective it represents, but this is a really important one: It ponders questions of responsibility on a collective cultural level, not just an individual one. How do we use our shared power responsibly for everyone’s benefit?
Black Panther Rated PG-13 Run-time: 134 minutes But if you must, you can ignore everything else about Black Panther and just enjoy it as spectacle. Director Ryan Coogler, who wrote the script with Joe Robert Cole, does a magnificent job with the action fantasy. At its heart, Black Panther has a fairly standard comic book sort of story: baddie Ulysses Klaue (Andy Serkis), one of the few outsiders who knows the secrets of Wakanda, and who stole a small quantity of vibranium decades ago, is up to no good again; he must be stopped by T’Challa, Nakia, and the absolute force of nature General Okoye (Danai Gurira), with an assist from CIA agent Everett K. Ross (Martin Freeman). Their first big punch-up, at a secret casino nightclub in Busan, South Korea, is a wonder of thrillingly kinetic action, a stunningly choreographed, seemingly uncut sequence that ranges all over a big space on multiple levels. And the movie only gets more viscerally exciting from there. But it’d be a genuine shame to ignore all the intellectual excitement on offer and see only this.
| February 21-27, 2018
CULTURE What border?
Artist Chico MacMurtrie works with U-M students to build a robot to cross Mexican wall By Lee DeVito
On Friday, Feb. 16, artist
Chico MacMurtrie gave a couple demonstrations in Ann Arbor of an inflatable, 40-foot robotic sculpture designed to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. The robot was designed over the course of five weeks with 16 U-M students from across different departments, including robotics, engineering, art, and design. An exhibition of MacMurtrie’s drawings and models is currently on view at the university’s Institute for the Humanities Gallery. We caught up with the artist to learn more.
Metro Times: Can you explain the origin of this project?
Chico MacMurtrie: I’m half
Irish and half Mexican. I was born in New Mexico, but I grew up on the border of Naco, Arizona, and Naco, Sonora, Mexico. In my childhood, my friends in Mexico used to come through a hole in the chain-link fence to go to school with us in America. It was a very “open” closed border in a way. There was sort of dual languages spoken and all that. I went off to college, and would come back every once in a while. That fence was a prominent image for me. We would have fights over that fence with like BB guns. But it was a really close-knit community that had access to each other. As I came back from college, there was the very first wall. They just slapped these things together to make this barrier. It was a very kludge-y, raw fence. On the American side, it was put together very crudely. On the Mexican side, often they’re painted very vibrantly and festively to try to cheer up this horrible barrier, you know. So that’s something that has always been a part of my life. In the last 10 years, I’ve been developing these inflatable architecture works.
I had been making metallic robotics for many years. But I fell into this material because I was interested in more of a gestural, softer quality. I started making these high-tensile fabric inflatables that could reach monumental scales. That’s why they’re called “inflatable architecture.” Ten years ago was when I first drew this sort of bridge form. And that evolved into this notion of an arc that could lift itself up into a tower and bend over something, in this case — the fence.
MT: How does it work? MacMurtrie: We built an auton-
omous vehicle, a vehicle that’s meant to be able to be programmed to chart a path. We’re trying to teach the vehicle a behavior and have it repeat it. Ultimately that would allow us to teach the machine to go to a given site — in this case, the border wall. It also has a series of onboard blowers, so it would end up being tetherless. The idea would be you could deploy it from a vehicle, or a truck, and then it wanders over to its location. It looks like a big pile of fabric, really. And then the big pile of fabric starts to grow exponentially and then push itself up in the air and form this arc. And then the last half of it projects itself out of the first half and bends over the border, and then it draws itself up, collapses again, and off it goes back to its vehicle.
MT: Do you envision this invention
44 February 21-27, 2018 | metrotimes.com
having a utilitarian purpose in delivering goods or otherwise thwarting a border wall, or is it merely symbolic?
MacMurtrie: It’s completely a
symbolic creation. It’s about unity and peace. My ultimate goal would be to build six of these, and the idea would be to have one on each side of the border and they would be deployed simultaneously and form this archway over the border. It’s a gesture to oppose all of this separation of countries and people and divisions. It just happens that our current government, the piece becomes more important because of everything’s that’s going on now. It’s kind of timely, but it’s been going on for years now.
MT: What has it been like watching the border debate since your childhood?
MacMurtrie: For the last 27 years or something, there’s been this surge of border patrol — certainly in parallel to the fragility of the Mexican economy due to NAFTA. There was a huge shift of Mexican immigrants coming to work here. My uncles came to work with my father on a stallion ranch in the ’30s and ’40s. Eventually they were able to become American citizens. But from the ’40s all the way up to now, and [especially] in the 2000s, there was just this surge of Mexican immigration across the United States, and it’s completely parallel to us helping to destroy
their economy. The Mexicans working in America helped create a whole new economy in Mexico by sending money back. Them coming here helped equalize it to a degree, but the suffering that occurred with what they’re going through now, with the DREAMers serving as a pawn for the government trying to get their way... it’s a pretty packed debate.
MT: What are your next plans for the robot?
MacMurtrie: We’re collaborat-
ing with the robotics department as well as the engineering and art departments. The robotics department is very interested in this thing going to this big [competition] in Detroit. I would be up to do that, especially to give the students this opportunity to perform it again. Ultimately what we want to do is get this project back to the desert to start running it out there and do some more trial runs. The first performance could be as soon as May of this year. MacMurtrie’s Border Crossers exhibition is currently on view from 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays at U-M’s Institute for the Humanities Gallery, 202 S. Thayer St., Ann Arbor; 734-936-3518; lsa.umich.edu/humanities; Exhibition runs through March 23.
| February 21-27, 2018
NEWS & VIEWS Higher Ground
Overruling the people By Larry Gabriel
The city of
Detroit has played coy on the issues of Proposals A and B, which voters approved in November, but on Friday struck a decisive blow against them — and liberal zoning for marijuana businesses — in Wayne County Circuit Court. Chief Judge Robert Colombo, who in September ruled against the city and forced the proposals onto the ballot, struck down Proposal B and parts of Proposal A in a surprising end-of-the-day move. The decision was surprising in part because, during an 8:30 a.m. proceeding, Colombo dismissed lawsuits against the proposals brought by VK Real Estate Holdings III LLC, and by Detroiters Marcus Cummings and Deborah Omokehinde, declaring they had no standing to file suit. During that hearing, however, the city of Detroit, which was a defendant in the suits, chose to cross-file and join the opposition. Colombo instructed city representatives to have their complaint in by the end of the day. Apparently that’s all that was necessary to kill the votes that passed both proposals with about 60 percent of the vote. Pretty much all that’s left is opting the city into the state’s new medical marijuana licensing system. On the other hand, all the stuff about how far a facility has to be from churches, parks, schools, etc., goes back to the city standards of 1,000 feet, and the stuff bypassing the Board of Zoning Appeals is all gone. All this happened because the city chose to fight the proposals. Before the election Detroit counsel Butch Hollowell said the city was neutral on the proposals and would abide by the will of the people. On Friday the city changed from defendant to plaintiff to give standing to the suits and ultimately torpedo the proposals. So much for the will of the people. This is a complicated and charged
46 February 21-27, 2018 | metrotimes.com
subject. It will continue to be that way for a long time due to the emotions and fears surrounding marijuana. The majority of voters clearly support a more liberal system of dispensing marijuana. Despite that 60 percent support, a look at voting precincts reveals some of the dynamics in the city. According to information from Lansing-based C-Systems Technology Group, Proposal A lost in 14 precincts and Proposal B lost in 22 out of the 490 voting precincts in Detroit. The biggest cluster of precincts that voted against the proposals are in City Councilman James Tate’s district, which is where the anti-marijuana group Metropolitan Detroit Community Action Coalition started off in reaction to the proliferation of dispensaries on Eight Mile Road. That group got the ball rolling that eventually led to Friday’s hearing in Circuit Court. The first thing Colombo did was admonish litigants for their letterwriting campaigns to his court. This has been a MCCAC tactic from their start. “I am sure citizens who wrote those letters do not understand how inappropriate that is,” Colombo said. He went on to say, “I decide a case based upon the law,” and opined that when those decisions are made based on “personal preferences, we’ve lost it all.”
| February 21-27, 2018
NEWS & VIEWS Then things seemed to go really well for the Citizens for Sensible Cannabis Reform, the group that put together the initiative for the proposals and the defendant in the lawsuit along with the city of Detroit. Colombo told both sets of plaintiffs, VK Real Estate Holdings III LLC, and the MDCAC’s Marcus Cummings and Deborah Omokehinde, that they lacked standing to bring their suits. That’s when the city of Detroit chose to cross-complain and join the other side against the proposals. Colombo indicated that it would be about two more weeks before he ruled on the new filing. And yet by the end of the day the city paperwork was in, and Colombo ruled against most of what was in the proposals. His ruling was based on the precedent established in Korash v. Livonia, a case decided by the Michigan Supreme Court that a zoning ordinance can’t be enacted by a petition initiative. This mostly leaves us where we were with the strict, out-of-sight zoning system which limits where a
marijuana business can locate. This is further complicated by the 180day moratorium on new licenses for marijuana businesses passed by the City Council last week. It’s another tap of the brakes on developing the marijuana industry in Detroit. The number of caregiver centers allowed in Detroit is capped at 62 for the moment, as that’s how many facilities already have permission to operate from the city and are in the process of applying for state licensing — which means it’s possible the state Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs could whittle the number even lower. The one positive out of Colombo’s ruling is Detroit opting in to the state licensing system. That’s because there are five classes of marijuana businesses allowed in that system — growers, transporters, processors, testing facilities, and sellers. At this point, the city has only allowed for retail sales outlets. Colombo’s ruling opens the door for other businesses in the city. Of course none of those other businesses can be licensed until the
48 February 21-27, 2018 | metrotimes.com
The opportunities for Detroiters and the city to capitalize on the new state system lessen each day. moratorium ends. There is plenty for the city to do on this, although it is clearly antagonistic toward the marijuana industry, the industry is moving forward, and the ruffled feathers caused by the proposals will not help. There was an undertone of “who’s in charge here” through the arc of the proposals getting on the ballot and passing. There were also, true or not, charges about “those people from the suburbs coming into the city and trying to impose their will on us.” That was fueled by the proliferation of establishments on Eight Mile and a history of suburbanites using Detroit as their sin city (strip clubs on Eight Mile) and retiring to their safe homes in the suburbs. All that talk was bandied about by angry citizens at a City Planning Commission meeting shortly after the November election. And it was
echoed in the hallways of the courtroom on Friday. There’s a lot of work to do, a lot of smoothing over, and probably a lot of fights to come. Tate is supposedly working on a new ordinance but he’s not talking details. Ostensibly it will address whatever other classes of business the city will or will not allow. In the meantime, the opportunities for Detroiters and the city to capitalize on the new state system lessen each day a grower or processor or testing facility owner decides to locate in a more welcoming community instead of waiting to see what is going to happen in Detroit. Little was settled, but when it comes to marijuana in Detroit, we know who’s in charge this week.
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| February 21-27, 2018
CULTURE Q: I’m an 18-year-old female. I’m
cisgender and bisexual. I’ve been in a monogamous relationship with my cisgender bisexual boyfriend for about a year. I’m currently struggling with a lot of internalized biphobia and other hang-ups about my boyfriend’s sexuality. I don’t know if I’m projecting my own issues onto him or if I’m just being bigoted toward bi men, but either way, I feel truly awful about it. But when I think about the fact that he’s bi and is attracted to men, I become jealous and fearful that he will leave me for a man or that he would rather be with a man. (I’ve been with men and women in the past; he’s never been with a man.) I know it is unfair of me to feel this way and he’s never given me any real reason to fear this. We have a very engaged, kinky, and rewarding sex life! But I worry I’m not what he really wants. This situation is complicated by the near certainty that my boyfriend has some sort of hormonal disorder. He has a very young face for an 18-year-old, a feminine figure, and not a lot of body hair. He orgasms but he does not ejaculate; and although he has a sizable penis, his testicles are more like the size of grapes than eggs.
He struggles a lot with feeling abnormal and un-masculine. I try to be as supportive as possible and tell him how attracted to him I am and how he’ll get through whatever this is. But he can tell his bi-ness makes me nervous and uncomfortable. I think that because he appears more feminine than most men and is more often hit on by men than women, I worry that he would feel more comfortable or “normal” with a man. I don’t want to contribute to him feeling abnormal or bad about himself. How do I stop worrying that he’s gay or would be happier with a man? I feel horrible about myself for these anxieties considering that I’m bi too, and should know better. —Anonymous Nervous Girlfriend Seeks Tranquility
“Many people who encounter us Bi+ folk in the wild just project their insecurities onto us with impunity and then blame us for it,” says R.J. Aguiar, a bisexual activist and content creator whose work has been featured on BuzzFeed, HuffPo, Queerty, and other sites. “As someone who’s bi herself, I’m sure ANGST know this all too well.” So if you’ve been on the receiving end of biphobia — as almost all bisexual people have — why are you doing it to your bisexual boyfriend? “This hypothetical so-and-so-is-goingto-leave-me-for-someone-hotter scenario could happen to anyone of any orientation,” says Aguiar. “But maybe because the potential ‘pool of applicants’ is over twice as big for us Bi+ folk, we get stuck with twice as much of this irrational fear? I don’t know. But here’s what I do know: Most biphobia (and jealousy for that matter) is projected insecurity. Built into the fear that someone will leave you because they ‘like x or y better’ is the assumption that you yourself aren’t good enough.” And while feelings of insecurity and jealousy can undermine a relationship, ANGST, they don’t have to. It all depends on how you address them when they arise. “We all have our moments!” says Aguiar. “But we can turn these moments into opportunities for open communication and intimacy rather than moments of isolation and shame. That way they end up bringing you closer, rather than drive this invisible wedge between you. The key is to understand that feelings aren’t always rational. But if we can share those feelings with the person we love without fear of judgment or reprisal, it can help create a space of comfort and intimacy that no piece of ass will ever be able to
50 February February 21-27, 21-27, 2018 2018 || metrotimes.com metrotimes.com
Savage Love By Dan Savage
compete with — no matter how hot they are or what they may or may not have between their legs.” As for the reasons you’re feeling insecure — that your boyfriend might be gay and/or happier with a man — I’m not going to lie to you, ANGST. Your boyfriend could be gay (some people who aren’t bisexual identify as bi before coming out as gay or lesbian), and/or he could one day realize that he’d be happier with a man (just as you could one day realize that you’d be happier with a woman). But your wonderful sex life — your engaging, kinky, rewarding sex life — is pretty good evidence that your boyfriend isn’t gay. (I was one of those guys who identified as bi before coming out as gay, ANGST, and I had girlfriends and the sex we had was far from wonderful.) And now I’m going tell you something you no doubt already know: Very few people wind up spending their lives with the person they were dating at 18. You and your boyfriend are both in the process of figuring out who you are and what you want. It’s possible he’ll realize you’re not the person he wants to be with, ANGST, but it’s also possible you’ll realize he’s not the person you want to be with. Stop worrying about the next six or seven decades of your life — stop worrying about forever — and enjoy this time and this boy and this relationship for however long it lasts. Finally, ANGST, on the off chance your boyfriend hasn’t spoken to a doctor about his symptoms — because he’s an uninsured/underinsured/unlucky American or because he’s been too embarrassed to bring up the size of his balls and quality of ejaculations with his parents and/or doctor — I shared your letter with Dr. John Amory, professor of medicine at the University of Washington. “An 18-year-old male with testicles the ‘size of grapes’ indicates an issue with testicular development,” says Amory. “The reduced testicular volume, in combination with the other features such as his feminine face and sparse body hair, also suggest an issue with testicular function.” It could simply be delayed puberty — some people suddenly grow six inches when they get to college — or it could be something called Klinefelter syndrome. “Klinefelter syndrome occurs in one out of every 500 males and is associated with small testicular volume and decreased testosterone,” says Amory. “This diagnosis is frequently missed because the penis is normal in size and the men are normal in most other ways, although about half of men with Klinefelter syndrome (KS) can have breast enlargement (gynecomastia) that
can be seen as feminizing. Bottom line: Small testes at age 18 means it’s time for a doctor’s visit — probably an endocrinologist or urologist — to take a family history, do an examination, and consider measurement of testosterone and some other hormones. This should help him understand if he ‘just needs to wait’ or if he has a diagnosis that could be treated. There is a real possibility that he has KS, which is usually treated with testosterone to improve muscle mass, bone density and sexual function.” Follow RJ Aguiar on Twitter @rj4gui4r.
I’m a 27-year-old woman whose boyfriend recently broke up with her. Along with the usual feelings of grief and heartbreak, I’m feeling a lot of guilt about how I handled our sex life, which was one of the main issues in our breakup. My now ex-boyfriend was interested in BDSM and a kink-oriented lifestyle, and I experimented with that for him. I attended several play parties, went to a five-daylong kink camp with him, and tried out many of his BDSM fantasies. The problem became that, hard as I tried, I just wasn’t very interested in that lifestyle and parts of it made me very uncomfortable. I was game to do the lighter stuff (spanking, bondage), but just couldn’t get behind the more extreme things. I disappointed him because I “went along with it” only to decide I wasn’t into it and that I unfairly represented my interest in his lifestyle. Did I do something wrong? What should I have done? —Basically A Little Kinky
All you’re guilty of doing, BALK, is exactly what kinksters everywhere hope their vanilla partners will do. You gave it a try — you were good, giving, and game enough to explore BDSM with and for him — and sometimes that works, e.g. someone who always thought of themselves as vanilla goes to a play party or a five-day-long kink camp and suddenly realizes, hey, I’m pretty kinky, too! But it doesn’t always work. Since the alternative to “went along with it” was “never gave it a chance,” BALK, your exboyfriend should be giving you credit for trying, not grief for supposedly misleading him. On the Lovecast, Dan chats with rival advice columnist Roxane Gay: savagelovecast.com.
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| February 21-27, 2018
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| February 21-27, 2018
CULTURE ARIES: March 21 – April 20
Dealing with “the lowest common denominator” could be a theme. This will show up on any number of levels. It can mean that you’re hanging out with lowlifes and scumbags whose ways and means of getting by are impacting your attitude and behavior. It can also indicate that you are interested in ancient history: either academic research, and/or a desire to penetrate your primary issues. Basic physical issues could be part of the scenery as well. Is it time to visit the dentist? One way or another, the 8 Ball says, it’s time to get to the bottom of things and clean up your act. TAURUS: April 21 – May 20
In spite of all appearances, you’ve got it made. The efforts of the last few years have turned a corner and readied you for what is to come. I suspect that there will be a changing of the guard. Many of the players who have been there for you are about to be replaced with newcomers who are more suited to the spirit who has had to live through a major personality shift. As the dead wood falls off the wagon, there are bound to be reproaches and accusations of unfairness. Be as kind as you can, but don’t let it get to you. Whether they know it or not, they need this more than you do. GEMINI: May 21 – June 20
This is one of those times when whoever, or whatever, is messing with your head needs to be put in its place. If it’s about specific individuals, coming out on top will require you to know more about their issues than they do. From the looks of things this won’t be too hard because you are way out in front when it comes to brains, and much more aware all the way around. Being savvy enough to realize that you can’t approach this directly is vital to your success. If this is about being hogtied by other forms of restriction, get centered, hold steady, knowing that this too shall pass. CANCER: June 21 – July 20
You have finally landed in what appears to be the perfect spot. If you are pinching yourself to see if this is real I wouldn’t be surprised. Whatever it is that has answered your prayers will fulfill them for as long as it takes for the truth to reveal itself. In all situations, the one thing you need to pay attention to are your delusions. If it turns out that you wind up being led down the garden path, you won’t wake up and smell the coffee for at least a year. That’s OK. In the meantime, throw your heart into whatever this is about and go whole hog until you get the lesson.
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By Cal Garrison
LEO: July 21 – Aug. 20
Putting up with people and their problems is creating limitations that are starting to weigh on you. It’s for sure that you’ve just about had it. Holding your breath until something comes along to change things could be where it’s at right now. If you are well aware that it comes down to an attitude adjustment, you’re not there yet. This is the end result of things that were done out of love. If what you expected to happen isn’t happening, keep your eye on the fact that somewhere along the way you overlooked the truth. Find your way back to it, and this will heal in a heartbeat. VIRGO: Aug. 21 – Sept. 20
The idea that everything comes from within is really starting to hit home. At this point you are clear that you’re better off when you mind your own business. With many things weighing on your soul, keeping your focus on the inner planes will support a greater need to pull yourself together all the way around. The daily grind will always be there. Give the devil his due and retain the better part of your spirit for things that are meaningful and true. As the next six months unfold, what grows out of this will lay the groundwork for goals that will support you for a long time to come. LIBRA: Sept. 21 – Oct. 20
The tables have turned on so many levels. If you’re too “busy” to come to terms with this, it would be good if you could slow down long enough to figure out where you stand. When one thing changes, everything changes, and the balance in your relationships and/or your perspective could use a bit of adjustment. There’s no need to go to extremes, but the “old you” has to catch up with the “new you” and shift enough to rearrange the scenery. Until this happens your current state of affairs will keep knocking its head against the past and the expectations of others. SCORPIO: Oct. 21 – Nov. 20
You have many things to consider. There is a new course of events coming into play and whether you know it or not, it’s time to switch gears. For many of you, a new location may be in order. Changes in the lives of those closest to you may require this. In other instances, this could be about picking up where you left off with goals that fell by the wayside while you got distracted by other people, places, and things. As the details begin to unfold, the bigger part of you needs to step into a bigger pair of shoes and be strong enough to make bold moves when the time is right.
SAGITTARIUS: Nov. 21 – Dec. 20
You need to take a good look at who you’re dealing with. You’re either giving people more credit than they deserve, or you’re totally clueless when it comes to recognizing their true worth. Waking up to the truth will require you to stop lying to yourself about what’s going on. On other fronts there’s a lot to say that you’d do well to take off your rose-colored glasses and do some soul searching. It’s easy for you to gloss things over and see what you want to see. In some situations that ability is a gift. At the moment, you’d do well to light a candle and pierce the darkness. CAPRICORN: Dec. 21 - Jan. 20
After wringing your hands over things that were starting to make you wonder if it was time to throw in the towel, someone or something came through and you are out of the woods. At the point where it comes down to failing miserably or winning the Olympics, the truth about who you are and where your heart lies is what’s on the line. Those of you who are breathing sighs of relief have learned a valuable lesson. What you take from this will be more precious than gold. If you happen to be on the other end of the stick, the lesson is just as valuable, but only if you learn from it. AQUARIUS: Jan. 21 – Feb. 20
You could be hard-pressed to know which way to go. There’s a lot to say that it’s time to fish or cut bait, and just as much pulling you to stick with the program. For the last year or so, things have shifted in ways that call you to reevaluate everything. Whether you know it or not all of your primary issues are up for review. At times like this, it’s impossible to see the forest for the trees. With that in mind, you’d do well to give every situation more time to simmer, and give people more time for their true colors to show. The tables are turning: This is no time to serve dinner. PISCES: Feb. 21 – March 20
Things are definitely coming to a head. Knowing how to ride the wave when it’s going over the top is what it comes down to. Dr. Phil can’t help you with this; neither can Oprah. There are no instructions in this neck of the woods, and it is definitely not a one-size-fits-all prescription. How you get through the next few weeks will depend on the extent to which you can remain true to yourself in the face of more than one illusion. You can’t put your faith in people whose motives are tainted. This could wipe you out if you keep seeing what you want to see, instead of what’s there.
| February 21-27, 2018