Motown v. TreeTown II

So I might have been a bit hasty with my last post.  To paraphrase Kate Bush, maybe I have a little life in me yet.

I just finished a long-postponed entry on WDET’s ‘Move to Detroit’ survey.  I’m mulling over a post on my thoughts on the 2012 Apocalypse, aka what exactly is going to happen to Detroit when the city runs out of money in a few months.  Perhaps I should change the title of this blog to “On Motown From TreeTown” since I never really say anything about Ann Arbor anymore.  Part of the malaise about this blog that motivated my last post stems from my own sense of inadequacy compared to my fellow Ann Arbor bloggers.  Damn Arbor pretty much has the cultural, foodie, & bike porn beats covered;  TeacherPatti has cornered the market on beer; I can’t match Local in Ann Arbor‘s wonkiness and budget expertise;  and I wouldn’t even dare to compare my armchair bloviating to the heroic investments by the team of the Chronicle.  It astounds me how much intellectual firepower and civic passion there is in Ann Arbor.  It makes for contentious local politics, and a level of hair-splitting that I sometimes find tedious.  But it reflects a populace that is unusually engaged in its own affairs, with a corresponding degree of self-empowerment.  It gives me confidence that our community will continue to hold its leaders accountable in a way that Detroiters haven’t for decades, thereby ensuring competent management.

It is certainly a contrast to analysis of Detroit, which is mostly heat with very little light.  I was listening to Craig Fahle’s year-end conversation with Stephen Henderson and Bankole Thompson last week.  While gritting my teeth every time Thompson said “I mean” or “you know” (which happened pretty much every sentence) it occurred to me that neither of these supposed experts on metro Detroit affairs seemed to have any more of an idea what is going on in the region, or what would happen to the city, than I did.  The Metro Times has some pretty great coverage, but it only comes out once per week, and a lot of their staff focus on very specific beats (e.g. Larry Gabriel on weed policy, Detroitblogger John on the lumpenproletariat, the Wonder Twins on partying and local music, Lessenberry on cussing out politicians) leaving me plenty of room to explore.

So my New Year’s resolution for this blog is to set it free and see where it goes.  If it continues to be light on Ann Arbor & heavy on Detroit, well, hopefully that lights a fire under Ann Arbor’s ass to up its game (ouch, mixed metaphor, I know) and make some news.  I also have some pretty hefty reserves of polemic accumulating on the topics of density, zoning, parking, and the car, so stay tuned for some rants on those themes as well.

I also am still struggling with the whole issue of anonymity.  That might be what really kills off this blog.  It just feels shady when Ben, Vivienne & others are posting under their own names, and Maxine Berman lambastes and accuses of cowardice those who comment anonymously.  I’m still trying to figure out what to do about that.  Mainly I just need to settle on a good pen name.  I’ll buy a pony and a drink at the Village Pub for whoever comes up with the winning idea.

3 responses to “Motown v. TreeTown II

  1. Don’t be too hard on yourself. I really enjoy this blog and think you make valuable contributions to public discourse. That said, I understand it can be hard to strike a good work, blog, life balance.

  2. That’s why I picked TeacherPatti as my online handle…it doesn’t have my last name (which is Smith, btw, so good luck finding me anywhere :)) but is consistent enough and people get to know who I am. But I always do give my last name is asked for but again, it’s mf’in Smith :)

    Keep up the great work…I have one foot in the D too, as I teach there….

  3. So glad you hung in there! I stubbornly left you up on my blogroll when you announced your semiretirement, so once again my inestimable sense of what the future holds has been validated.

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