23 years ago in Metro Times: John Grant takes a satirical look at a fictitious "Gambling World Theme Park" being built on Belle Isle. Attractions include a hotel and gambling complex, which somehow lacks beds — or actual gambling. "The mayor calls it 'the thrill of gambling, but without the risks.' ... In a cost-cutting measure that especially pleased church leaders, the hotel rooms will not have beds. The no-bed policy resulted from an in-depth study of Las Vegas hotel room use which revealed that patrons rarely slept and when they did, it was usually in someone else's bed." Other rides and attractions include the Tunnel of Love, Marriage & Divorce, and the House of Whores, a museum filled with artifacts from the world's oldest profession. Add in multiple shooting galleries and that's fun for the whole family! What was happening: The Psychedelic Furs at the Fox, Branford Marsalis at Orchestra Hall, Billy Idol at Pine Knob and the Neville Brothers at Alvin's.
14 years ago in Metro Times: Jane Slaughter and Peter Werbe investigate recent high school and college graduates' hunt for jobs. Students looking at graduation are faced with a roughly 5 percent unemployment rate. Werbe talks with William Bridges, author of The End of the Job, who says, "Half of us will soon be working 60-hour work weeks and the rest of us will be unemployed." Contradicting him, author Jeremy Rifkin says this could lead to a "greatly reduced work week and new opportunities to work on socially useful projects outside the realm of the market economy." Facing current Michigan college graduates today is a daunting 14.9 percent unemployment rate, the highest in the country, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, prompting a recent headline in The Onion: "New College Graduates To Be Cryogenically Frozen Until Job Market Improves." What was happening... Kid Rock at the Blind Pig and the Suicide Machines at St. Andrew's Hall.
8 years ago in Metro Times: "For a brief period in the mid-'60s, Detroit was a model city. Newspapers and magazines coast to coast wrote admiringly of its young, progressive mayor, interracial civic committees, anti-poverty programs and apparent promise. Then came the disastrous riot of 1967," W. Kim Heron writes, delving into how Detroit has increasingly been investigated by historians for its intertwined issues of class and race. Some of these authors are former residents, such as former Detroiter and associate professor at University of Massachusetts, Kevin Boyle, who tells Heron, "Detroit's become this symbol, this way of exploring urban problems — which is sort of a sad thing in some ways — and particularly the problem of race. It's this laboratory." What was happening: The White Stripes play two shows with the Detroit Cobras, Whirlwind Heat, the Clone Defects and the Buzzards at the Royal Oak Music Theatre, and Usher is joined by Nas at DTE Energy Music Theatre.
Special thanks to editorial intern Pietro Truba for his assistance with this column.