Saturday, July 25, 2009

In Detroit, 1942

Race relations. Often strained in Detroit and everywhere else. This photograph is courtesy of the Library of Congress, and has to do with housing wartime black workers. Nice.

Have we made progress since 1942? Yes, but it's been tough going. Is race more culture or skin color? The human race is one, so what's up? What about someone with "mixed blood," like Salma Valgarma Hayek Jiménez (Salma Hayek)? She may pave the way for the future, when we can all get along.

-- PM.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Detroit During Wartime

Detroit has had its share of troubles, especially during wartime. 1812. 1943. 1967. 2009.

1942 was a time of severe housing shortages for emigrant workers in Detroit, especially for African Americans. Here's a photo (courtesy of the Library of Congress) of soldiers with fixed bayonets patrolling the perimeter of the Sojourner Truth Housing Project. Not hard to believe -- not at all.

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Saturday, July 18, 2009


Eine kleine nachtmusik

Cosi fan tutti

The symphony bridge

Between the Uzi and the Mac 9

The crescendo of the bass AK

With the overlay of the

Semi automatic Glock

filling in the string tempo

the symphony is

a lovely thing

just a little Detroit

night music

to lull you to sleep.




Sunday, July 12, 2009

It All Starts In Detroit

"What's your tool?" the motivational speaker in HBO's new show, Hung, asks a group of disenfranchised Detroiters searching for ways to make money. One older man says offers advice, maybe he could charge for it. Another woman who has lost her Poet in the Schools job says she wants to make bread with poems in it -- lyric loaves. Our protagonist, a washed out baseball player and teacher at the high school he attended, thinks about it and realizes the only thing he has that is exceptional is his big, umm, appendage. I have a friend who calls motivational tapes/seminars/etc. sunshine enemas. I have to laugh because his characterization is correct. He and my sister listen to The Secret audio cds for laughs. The voice and accompanying massage spa music is perfect grounding for such bon mots as "Avert your eyes when you see an obese person. Do not look at that you do not wish to become." Jeez, and I thought it was all those twinkies I was stuffing in my mouth. My mistake.

At any rate, Hung's pilot is funny. The poet finds lyric loaves not to be the money-making endeavor she'd hoped so she agrees to pimp out our protagonist whose first attempt at selling himself is an ad in the Detroit Examiner (a stand-in for the Metro Times)that offers women endless enjoyment with "Big Donnie." He could use a wordsmith and she could use the money. There's an ex-wife, twin children, and a new husband who makes a lot of money, a fire. It seems like the kind of show about lowered expectations and sadness that I enjoy. I've always liked the line we're all in the gutter/ looking at the stars (Oscar Wilde/Chrissie Hynde -- take your pick of source), but I often find myself in the gutter, looking closely at the gutter. There's a lot to be said at being where you are, not where you wish to be. After all, the stars are reflected everywhere, even in the most unlikely places.

-- mmb