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Wild At Heart

Wild At Heart

It was a mixed weekend in Detroit for sports fans like myself. The Detroit Shock were defeated by Indiana twice to end their bumpy ride to get back into the WNBA Finals. However, next year things are looking good since both Katie Smith (went out at end of season with back injury) and Plenette Pierson (went out in the first game of the season with shoulder injury) should be healthy again and Shavonte Zellous and Alexis Hornbuckle showed a lot of potential filling in. It looks like next year the Shock could be favorites again to win it all. The Tigers are still frustrating as ever as we lost another game to the White Sox who seemed to roll over to Minnesota last week. Luckily Minnesota lost but with only 7 games left in the season, Detroit needs to win 6 to clinch and we face Minnesota 4x and Chicago 3x so I am not resting easy here. College football is 50/50 as Michigan State lost it's third in a row making next weeks match-up with Michigan a must win if they want to seriously make the post season. Michigan is ahead of schedule with their 4th victory of the year thus beating their win record of all last season. A lot of maize and blue fans are breathing sighs of relief. And lastly the best sports news in the area is the Lions victory over Washington 19-14. I though Schwartz showed a lot of class when he told his team “We’re going to go back out the tunnel and celebrate a little with the people of the stadium”. That should allow the team to hold the victory longer in their memory and hopefully be the first step to changing the culture of the team. Oh yeah, no picks for Stafford. They still don't look pretty but you have to start somewhere. Thanks Washington for provided some celebration to the fans here.

When I was in high school, I went on a school trip in 1984 to the Rochester War Memorial where our class went to hear Ronald Reagan speak and while I don't remember everything he said, I do remember being impressed by his ability to speak in a way to inspire confidence. In 1988, he was the first president I voted for and at the time it seemed like a good idea though in retrospect it might not have been. Carter was seen as a week President because he understood the problems of our times. He warned against reliance to foreign oil, the need for environmental reform and talked about the problems of capitalism. These negative messages were replaced by Reagan's optimism as he pretty much reversed much of our economic and environmental progress that Carter and Ford and Nixon before him put in place and while at the time it didn't seem so bad, one can see the seeds of the gas crisis ($3-4 a gallon last year) and the collapse of Wall Street in his administation. The new Michael Moore film does a good job of glancing over this but I am writing about another documentary which also looks at his administration with sad eyes. That documentary is called "Earth Days" by Robert Stone which takes a look at a number of people who have been important in various areas of the environmental movement which started with the publication of the book "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson. Among these pioneers are Former Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall (includes the Wilderness Act of 1964 and the Endangered Species Preservation Act of 1966 as some of the many he has helped pass during the Johnson administration), biologist/Population Bomb author Paul Ehrlich (predicted that mass starvation would occur during the 1970s and 1980s if we didn't act now), Whole Earth Catalog founder Stewart Brand, Apollo Nine astronaut Rusty Schweickart (cofounder of the B612 Foundation which aims to defend Earth from asteroid impacts and renewable energy pioneer Hunter Lovins. The movie inself is a collection of interviews and
rare archival media that takes a look at both our achievements and missed opportunities in dealing with environmental issues. Not as expansive as I would have liked but it also strays from being overly preachy as documentaries like "Food, Inc" sometimes fall into. This is a good primer for getting kids into environmentalism and giving a starting point for future research. I give the documentary a nice B+ and recommend reading "Silent Spring" if youget the opportunity.

This week lawmakers in Lansing once again made efforts to put a 6% tax on all tickets to professional, college, minor league, theatre and entertainment tickets. The effort is to get an extra $100 million dollar a year from this tax. Seeing how various tickets have become more expensive, it is hard to buy that many tickets as it is on a fixed income (or lack of income). Seeing smaller crowds at various events as it is can only wonder if the tax would even further diminish these crowds. I for one prefer buying tickets at the door over ticketmaster which can add as much as $15 per ticket for various fees so I refuse to use it whenever possible. If this issue is of interest to you, you can help prevent future attempts of the tax by contacting you local officials or esp call or email Senate Majority Leader Bishop and thank him for his vocal opposition to the Ticket Tax. Tell him you appreciate his leadership in vowing not to allow the Ticket Tax to become law and will support him in his effort to fulfill his promise to Michigan. You can contact Sen. Bishop by phone at 517-373-2417 or e-mail him at

Right now, I would like to give out my concert picks of the week. I am going to see Brandi Carlile @ the Michigan Theatre tonight but the week has some other good shows. On Tuesday (8/29) there is the Moby show @ St Andrews Hall, the Orbitsons play @ the Hard Rock Cafe, Os Mutantes @ Magic Stick and Good Old War opens for the Honorary Title @ the Pike Room. I didn't really find anthing for Wednesday (9/30) or Thursday (10/01). However, Friday (10/02) is a big day with the eccletic Carolina Chocolate Drops @ the Ark (also playing Sat), the jam band Umphrey's McGee w/Macpodz @ Michigan Theatre, Cheech & Chong still getting stoned @ Caesar's Windsor Casino, alt rockers Manic Street Preachers @ the Magestic, local favs Macrame Tiger @ Vernor's Lounge, the wonderful Darling Imperial @ PJ's lager House, Bret Michaels @ Motorcity Casino, Uncle Kracker @ Machine Shop (Flint) and Mat Kearney @ St Andrews Hall. This Saturday (10/03) we have the Butthole Surfers and Built To Spill @ Royal Oak Music Theatre, local boy and Verve Pipe lead singer Brian Vander Ark @ Emerald Theatre and rockers Screaming Females (fresh off their tour with the Dead Weather) @ Majestic Cafe. Sunday (10/04) has the crazy Japanese pop band Peelander Z (a really fun show that features costumes and things like human bowling) @ Magic Stick or you can get tickets for the Marine Forces Reserve Band @ Dearborn’s Ford Community & Performing Arts Center (free show but need to get tickets ahead of time). Monday (10/05) starts the week off right with the fabulous Cowboy Junkies @ the Ark or Gaslight Anthem @ Intersection (Grand Rapids). October 2nd and 3rd are also the dates for the Motor City Blues and Boogie Woogie Festival which will be held at Callahan's this year and includes performances by Jason D. Williams and Kelley Hunt.

Have a good and safe week. I went to a taste testing at Ruth Chris's Steak House last week and will be writing a review of it next week so stay tuned for that and I'll have a movie review for the new Michael Moore documentary "Capitalism: A Love Story".