Sunday, April 08, 2007

Fear, Compromise, Capitalism, and WDET -Pt.2

Fed to the wolves.

I know I am not the only one upset by what's happening at WDET lately, and it might appear of little consequence compared to what's happening in the city as a whole:more school closures, the constant stories of violence(and my own encounters), more suspicious fires and the continued destruction of green space. All that has got me down lately, but I consider this a serious blow. I've said it before, music is what keeps me going, it's the thing nearest to my heart's beat, so with local dj's music programming so seriously attacked last week, I took it hard. Listening to CJAM now, that is when I can get it in, makes me want to move to Canada, seriously.

I am not even sure what it's about since no notice or information was provided on the DET website last week, when it mattered, and I have yet to check out the MT to see if they have the scoop. It appears obvious enough though, the music(locals) goes and national programming stays. Whatever the station has done, it has certainly validated those who protested a year or so ago when our only Detroit NPR station fired so many dj's and apparently left the other half til now. To me WDET's turning it's back on the community, again, and the attack on the music is akin to the developers who bulldoze the green spaces so the can build-they take from us irrespective of what we need, because they can and that is how they will survive. Acres of old dense trees stands, the ones bordering Rosa Parks from MLK to Grand River I am specifically thinking of, will never be ridden through again, just like I will not hear Liz Copeland, W. Kim Heron, Mick Collins, Ralph Valdez, Michael Julian, Chuck Horn, nor Robert Jones again. Though, to be accurate Reverend Jones has survived this round of cutbacks, but I'll not be hearing him either; his new slot is Sundays 6 am to 8 am as of today. Happy Easter Reverend Jones...

Fucked over.

Up until February when I got electricity in my place, especially alone at night, it was the local DET dj's on my shitty battery powered radio that kept me company. There was no listening to cd's, old tapes, and vinyl and reading by candle light was too much, so it was just the radio and my thoughts on long dark and often bitter cold nights, and I was thankful. SO, just like when I rode through, even drove by those stands of trees feeling like there is hope and this is what makes Detroit a healthy place to live, sometimes I would listen to a show and know that the culture and history of our city's music is still alive. Of course it was not perfect, but I listened and gave it props because the dj's gave me hope.

Getting rid of most of the local dj's reminds me of what's been happening somewhere else too, in NOLA lately. In Detroit we said it, (acknowledging the differences too), but Detroit has had our Katrina happening for decades now. I can not see any other explanation other than they want us out. The people who are trying to rebuild and survive in the neighborhoods are a problem when it comes to making large profits. The things that are good for the long time residents and the ones who have a sense of what we need to feel whole must go. IF you believe me wrong, PLEASE respond, because I am happy to state my case.

Offered scraps and told it's the only thing, while you see the lavish meal layed out before your very eyes.

The other reason this pisses me off so much is not that a station challenged financially has chosen to go the way of more national programming as it is supposedly less expensive, but the way they have upped their spots to give them money ahead of the upcoming fundraiser. They knew we would be pissed and are trying to manipulate us with spots that talk about how much we learn on WDET and should value this...service. Excuse me, I need to appreciate what? Never owning up to what they have done. It's so obvious. It's so devious and manipulative. It's so...corporate.

I got an idea. How about rather than give everyone the boot there is some discussion in the community as to what some of the possible solutions to the problems are? It's advertised as a community station right? Why not go the way of a volunteer army of local DJ's (even if just from WSU) that are not paid, and slim down on the paid management while you're at it. Too late. And, PLEASE, just to mention regarding some of the new programming, take that new money and finance show off before someone gets hurt, seriously. It's local, but it will not touch the issue of class with a ten foot poll, so I'd call that one a program for the new Detroiters and an insult to boot.

"one fine day, when i'm strong enough, i'll stand up out of this chair and walk away"nomeansno

While the weather last week indicated that it is indeed Spring, regardless of cold nights, how quickly the tables turn. I shaved my beard and head ready to meet the change head on (no pun intended)rather than wait for it to get to me first, ah burned again. I was so wrong, and now so confused. Am I less ready for changes this drastic than I previously had been? I feel like I used to be ready to adapt and flex like a long piece of bamboo. One piece in a clump of bamboo born to grow like grass and be more useful, inspiring and full of mystery than most humans will ever realize. Regardless of all that, as the song goes "if you ain't ready, you betta git ready", but i'm thinkin', no,how about a change of scenery and weather altogether...

My last blog entry ended with a cry to stay in Detroit and build a good life here, but just like the weather's harsh return, lately I have rather suddenly felt like the opposite and more like quitting Detroit. Quitting my collective projects, quitting this city, quitting the life I have been living for nearly 10 years here and beyond that. When I lived in Arcata it was really just to prepare myself for what I wanted to do here. I apologize for this fit, but I am dumbfounded at the amount of harsh reality that is hurled somewhere in my general direction lately, but seems to always end up right on my lap. Indeed it seems to be saying "it's going to get worse before it gets better". All I know is I need a break.

This city gets fucked over and over and in turn the people end up learning that's the way it's done and do it to others, how American. A bunch of sweet talk and than nothing but abuse. No, how just like the USA, not America. The Americas are not the home to Capitalism, but this country is, no matter how global it gets. The gears of the machine continue to turn, cycle after cycle. Detroit, the true "American" city, then and now. When will it end?


At 11:41 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your blog keeps getting better and better! Your older articles are not as good as newer ones you have a lot more creativity and originality now keep it up!


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