My parents moved our family out of Detroit’s Westside in the mid-’90s when I was about 8 years old to a home they could barely afford in White Lake. It is about as diverse a town as it sounds and we kids spent our poorly supervised days swimming off of neighbor’s docks and walking down dirt roads to the local IGA grocery store.
Idyllic you say? Try boring. As soon as I got my driver’s license I wanted to go explore the city I still visited in my dreams. I wasn’t really “allowed” to go to Detroit on my own until I was 18. Though we snuck south of Eight Mile plenty of times, the closest I could usually get to Detroit before I reached adulthood was reading the Metro Times.
Available for free almost anywhere I went, it was a constant source of intelligently written opinions and news and advice, not to mention its pages and pages of concert ads. These were shows I dreamed of attending, even if I barely knew the band. It was a small window into a world of music and politics that teenage me was desperate to be a part of. Every week I read it cover to cover, circling all the concerts I would go to if I could.
I didn’t realize it at the time, but the most important takeaways I actually got from the Metro Times
were ones I would apply to my future career in journalism: That journalism could cut like a knife through the bullshit instead of just blindly repeating it. That good journalism calls out the power brokers of our society in plain terms. That journalists not only could but should write the way their readers speak. That news writing can be funny and creative and opinionated, and those characteristics didn't detract from the reporting's importance.
The Metro Times
imparted to me a philosophy that I continue to hold near and dear to my heart. Today, I write for Jalopnik.com
, which is known for its own irreverent, take-no-shit style of journalism. It’s a fun, engaging style that would not exist without independent publications like Metro Times
, which are vanishing every day.
I’ve been back in the city now for over a decade and I can honestly say I wouldn’t be where I am today, writing irreverent words about the news from my own home on Detroit’s Westside, without Metro Times
. They continue to inspire and inform people throughout the metro Detroit area, including me. I can never forget what MT
gave me when I need it most, so I signed up for the Metro Times Press Club
. And you should too. Do it for yourself, your community, and all the weird lonely kids singing songs from bands no one else knows. It’s time to give a little back to the paper that has given and continues to give us so much. If you value these hardworking hacks as much as I do, throw your support behind them.
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