Don’t Be That Guy: Suburban Kryptonite

Originally posted 2014-09-29 12:23:06. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

“Maybe there are forces in this universe we don’t understand. But I still believe we make our own miracles.” – Huey Freeman, The Boondocks

“If I show up at your door, chances are you did something to bring me there.” – Martin Blank, Grosse Pointe Blanke

“This is why we can’t have nice things!” – every mother since the dawn of time

It is 2011.

44 years ago, riots broke out in downtown Detroit, and some say the city has never recovered.

They say that the road named 8 Mile, made famous by Eminem in his movie of the same name, is the Berlin Wall, or the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.  There might as well be barbed wire, guard dogs and machine guns lining the streets instead of sidewalks, or a swath of mines waiting for the slightest touch to go off…because it is a line that must not be crossed.  Each side must keep to it’s own, and never the two should mingle.

To them…one and all…I say: Seriously?!?!

We wanted to do something different.  Something cool.  Something fun.

So we put some legwork in and managed to get us booked in for the Rooftop Room at the Hockeytown Cafe.  On a game day for the Red Wings.  And then we managed to get a discount on tickets for the game setup.  It’s the Red Wings, people!  You have any idea what a pain in the ass it is to get a room booked at Hockeytown Cafe on a Red Wings game day, let alone get them to do a group discount…against a team like the Vancouver Canucks…like two weeks before the playoffs start?!

And yet what was the first response that we got back?

Maybe if you hired a bus we can ride on to get there and back some might be more interested? Nobody wants their car stolen. Seriously.

Once again, the almighty aneurysm threatened to occur.  You want “Seriously?”  Here’s “seriously”

– It’s seriously 2011.

– is seriously not a money making venture.  “Hire a bus”?  Please.

– We’re seriously talking about a get together at the Hockeytown Cafe and a Red Wings game.  We’re not proposing a rave in the warehouse district, or a trip to The Kandy Bar or the Dexter Lake Club (and if you don’t get either of those references…don’t bother speaking to any of us again until you’ve watched Weird Science and Animal House.)

– I have seriously had more adverse impact on my life from rich people in the suburbs than anyone inside a city.  And that includes the years when I lived in Washington D.C., Boston, and visited countless metropolitan areas over the course of my life.  I’ve gotten hammered with friends at bars in D.C., passed out on the metro, slept through my stop and wound up at the proverbial “end of the line” in the worst neighborhood D.C. has to offer.  I’ve been bombed in Boston.  Drunk in Dallas.  Lost in Las Vegas.  Nearly naked in New York (long story…buy me a beer, we’ll talk).  Feeble-minded in Phoenix.

Okay, I’m starting to reach now…I can see that.  But hopefully you get where I’m going here.

Not once…not once…in any major city that I’ve ever been in, has anything serious happened that’s had a major, significantly detrimental impact to my life.  Oh, sure, there have been the occasional dust-ups, bar fights, antagonizing conversations that nearly led to blows, screaming matches, a car stolen, two cars broken into, radios jacked, etc.

But you know what?  Bruises healed, insurance covered the damage and the loss, and all in all, everything was okay.

You know who seriously screwed over a whole lot of people in ways that they may never recover from?

These guys:

Ken Lay, That Enron Guy
Bernie Madoff, That Stock Guy

That’s right.  Two rich old white guys…that lived in the suburbs.  I would argue that those two prime examples of “That Guy” caused more widespread pain and suffering than any individual city’s riots.  Those two managed to lay waste to an entire national economy, and put in motion countless suicides, bankruptcies, foreclosures, and god knows what else…and they never stole a car to do it.  They never walked out of an alley and asked if you could spare a dollar.  They never ripped a GPS off your dashboard after shattering your driver’s window.

More to the point – do some basic math.  How do you expect the “metro Detroit area” to get any better…if you have no intention of helping what’s at the heart of that phrase – Detroit?  Do you not understand ripple effect?  Do you have no concept of simple economics and math?  Is basic anatomy beyond your understanding – like, say, it doesn’t matter if the suburban areas of your own body…your skin…aren’t marred by melanoma and cancer if the center…the heart…dies?

The city needs the suburbs…and, like it or not…the suburbs need the city. will be going to Detroit.  And we will keep going to Detroit.  We’re in the planning stages for a Pink Slip Party downtown.  We believe that downtown has a lot of great venues…and potential.  Just like every job seeker that comes to our event has potential.  We do what we do because we believe that you deserve a chance…and we’ll do events downtown because we believe that Detroit deserves one, too.

We want…no, we encourage you to come downtown with us.  Can we guarantee that nothing “bad” will ever happen?  Of course not.  But we’ve seen cars ticketed, towed and broken into in Royal Oak, so it’s not like there are guarantees anywhere in life.

So please…Don’t Be That Guy.

Until next time…

…don’t forget to check out our other Don’t Be That Guy entries:

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  1. Denise says

    While I’m a little concerned that I’m about to jinx myself, I’ve been working in Midtown for over a decade and haven’t experienced any crime in the city at all. I’m thrilled that you’re having an event downtown and it will be my first event because it is close to work and closer to home for me than any of your other events. I think anybody who hasn’t been to the city, especially the area around Hockeytown will be shocked at how great it is down there. I’m thrilled that you’re having an event downtown and that it is Hockeytown because parking is close and easy there too. Kudos to for venturing into the city for which it is named!

    1. Dave says

      Thanks Denise. Look forward to seeing you there. We’ve done downtown before…people just never seem to want to go…so we thought maybe this would work. Hopefully it will, and it’ll help get people to future ones as well.

  2. Jimbo says

    As Obi-Wan Kenobi said:

    “The suburbs and Detroit form a symbiotic circle. What affects one, affects the other.”

    “Seriously”, your car is not going to get stolen at the Fox garage next to Hockeytown.

  3. tz says

    I find it ironic every time someone wants to equate the downtown “Fort Detroit” downtown area. If your point is that Detroit is like something out of a dystopian SciFi movie between 8 mile and a short radius of the RenCen, you’ve made it very well.

    Also, you are omitting a bit of history. Hizzonor Coleman Young basically told a lot of people to head across 8 mile and don’t come back. And it worked.

    Going to a major sports venue in one of the economically healthy areas won’t help Detroit, so I’ll wait until you suggest holding a meeting where they need help – where it isn’t hard to get a reservation.

    There are other cities that have declared bankruptcy and are in receivership but you aren’t going to Highland Park.

    The converse is the patronizing, condescending, limousine liberal. Don’t be that guy either.

    1. Dave says

      Baby steps, Thomas. Baby steps. 😉 In all seriousness, suggest some venues. I’m more than happy to look into whatever suggestions anyone has…like I said though…baby steps. 😉

      Thanks for the feedback, it’s appreciated. Now don’t be a one-hit wonder. Make sure you come back with those suggestions, and keep us honest. 😉

  4. Bob says

    I always enjoyed Alvin’s next to WSU when I went there. Afraid the regular DetroitNet group might overwhelm the place though! Attic Bar in Hamtramck? Any of the restaurants in Greek Town willing to host a group? The people mover gets you quick access to a bunch of places from there.

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