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It rained this week and there were no power outages to speak of. Somehow this was news.
The Belle Isle giant slide reopened this week and kids went flying. It was the same when I was a kid. But, somehow this was now news for three days.
There is a new fusion restaurant has opened near Eastern Market. That one made national news.
None of this, of course, is news. This stuff is ordinary. This is how things should be.
The news is supposed to be what is extraordinary and exceptional. The minute the ordinary becomes extraordinary is the moment you put the fork in it. It is akin to writing about the beach conditions in Odessa, Ukraine.
But that’s how too much news is around here. Somewhere we got lost. Somehow we’ve been convinced that the abnormal — the graft, and the sloth and the decrepitude — should be ignored, and those who dare to point it out should be taken to the electronic woodshed.
Haters gonna hate, as they say.
But if the abnormal things are not exposed, how does the life of anyone improve? How will the expectations of ordinary life return to being ordinary?
Last week, I wrote about runaway crime in Michigan, and metro Detroit specifically. So bad is it, that Michigan is home to eight of the top 41 most violent cities in America.
To my surprise, I was called everything from a racist to a peddler of misery. Why write that, they shouted from their keyboards? What about all the good things? What about the giant slide? What about the Q Line? It’s free. (But that’s only because it was quietly bailed out with COVID dollars.)
Why not write about the ordinary things, they ask? Because I’m not the chamber of commerce, that’s why.
Where in America is it okay for police to let a dope den remain open where seven were shot, two fatally, on a front lawn? In an actual neighborhood where a six-year-old lives next door and an old woman keeps potted flowers on the porch?
That’s abnormal. So I wrote it. And Minster Malik Shabazz of the Black Panthers marched. And four years later, the police finally emptied it out. And then the druggies went next door. And the police emptied that one out too. They’ll move to another, and the neighbors will once again light that one on fire. That’s not normal.
But at least for now, a woman and her daughter who live next to the dop house sleep a bit easier. And so that’s worth writing about.
An public school is located near the dope house where the seven were shot. Some kids on that block attend the school. Surrounding the school are a half-dozen abandoned houses, most of them owned by the city’s Land Bank Authority. How does a child thrive in these conditions? That’s worth writing about.
I’ve been on the city to clean it up for nearly two years. There used to be a dozen. Now there are only six. That’s something, but that’s not good enough. Nobody I know who lives in the suburbs would put up with this. So why should Detroiters?
Then there is the director of a nursing home who blew the whistle on the fact that the state of Michigan is still not monitoring COVID deaths in elderly housing facilities. He has been let go. Nevertheless, the state is still not monitoring these facilities. That’s not normal.
Look around. People can’t afford groceries. Or pencils for their school children. Or their electric or water bills. People are force to use both sides of the Charmin. So I’ll keep writing. Because that shouldn’t be normal in America.
In the meantime, haters should find something to do. Or at the least, find something to love besides the sound of their voices.

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