Assignment Detroit: The Drinking Game

In the landmark 1941 essay The American Century, Time Magazine publisher and future LSD fan Henry Luce envisioned a world molded by American missionaries preaching the dual good news of liberal democracy and free enterprise. American Exceptionalism would lead the world to peace and prosperity, Luce believed. Sometimes a great notion, indeed.

Famous Stalinist and Theosophist weirdo Henry Wallace thought Luce was full of shit and offered instead the Century of the Common Man, which had something to do with corn. Nearly 70 years later, Luce’s work provides the philosophical underpinnings of neo-conservativism, and by extension the Iraq War, while Wallace’s dreamy idealism wrought high fructose corn syrup.

We tell you all this because, while Detroit’s common slobs can find a virtual smorgasbord of corn-based crap food in any ghetto liquor store, American Exceptionism (nearly a decade after the American Century ended) has only now arrived in Detroit. Time and CNN kicked off their historic Assignment Detroit project this week. We must greet them as liberators, with flowers and song.

Time has already profiled development superstar Brian Holdwick. One only needs to look around Detroit to see what an amazing job Holdwick has done at the DEGC. Sigh. They’ll learn.

We’re stuck with the Time/CNN folks and, for better or worse, they’re stuck with us. It’s like a family gathering. The only way to survive is to drink. A lot. That’s why we’re offering Assignment Detroit: The Drinking Game. Here are the rules:

1. Every Detroit as New Orleans post-Hurricane Katrina reference, drink.

2. For every mention of landmarks demolished or soon to be demolished, drink. If the landmark in the Michigan Central Station, drink a boxcar.

3. If the demolished (or soon to be demolished) landmark is used as an allegory for the city itself, drink again. The MCS boxcar rule still applies.

4. Anytime Super Bowl XL is mentioned, drink some domestic macrobrewed beer.

5. Every time they use a picture of the Renaissance Center, drink

6. If they report that professional sporting events lift our weary spirits, drink.

7. If you spot a Time/CNN reporter at Honest?John’s, drink a shot of Kessler.

8. For every reference to urban farming, urban prairie, urban pioneers or anything else that sounds like a bizarre miscegenation of Welcome Back, Kotter and Little House on the Prairie, drink.

9. If they drop tired booster memes such as creative class, cool cities, $100 houses, drink a Pabst.

10. If they drop tired jargon such as gritty, blue-collar, hard-working, or brawn, drink a Strohs.

11. For every photo of a redevelopment cropped to hide a gapping eyesore, drink OR every photo of a gapping eyesore cropped to hide a redevelopment, drink. If Slows is cropped out of a picture of the MCS, eat a plate of brisket while drinking.

12. If they solicit the opinions of Kid Rock, Eminem, Jack White, or Brian “This Time” Vander Ark, drink. Twice if it’s Vander Ark.

13. When a Time/CNN reporter is a victim of a crime, finish your drink and start a new one.

14. Every time the dullards at DetroitYES complain that Time/CNN is being mean to Detroit, drink.

15. Every time Time “discovers” a little-known neighborhood haunt, struggling to get by in this tough, cruel world - some obscure, out-of-the-way place like the Cass Cafe or the Magic Stick, drink.

16. If they write about the ‘84 World Series riots, drink to the memory of the late Bubba Helms.

17. Anytime they write about the 1967 riots, drink a Mickey’s 40 oz, refill it with gasoline, stuff a rag in it, light it, and toss it at a police car (don’t actually do that).

18. Every time they use the phrase “murder capital of the world”, drink.

19. If they mention your favorite bar, run quickly to drink there for the last time before it is chock full of suburbanites and German tourists.

20. Every time they mention the Pure Michigan ad campaign as a reference to the state’s beauty, drink from the Rouge River along the banks of Zug Island.

21. If they mention Motown…drink the same wood alcohol that fucked up Martha Reeves.

22. If they mention Dave Bing’s basketball history and whether he can “translate” those skills to help the city, drink.

23. If they write about Brooks Patterson without mentioning the Pontiac bussing battles of the 1970’s, drink an Irish car bomb.

24. Any reference to either Coleman Young or Kwame Kilpatrick as “hizzoner,” drink Courvoisier.

25. Every time they note that Detroit’s dailies are (1) shrinking, (2) struggling, (3) home-delivered only three days a week, (4) incubators of talent that leaves…drink at the Anchor Bar.

26. Every time the trials and tribulations of a “noble savage”-type character, preferably an older woman who’s the bulwark of a declining neighborhood somewhere on the far east or far west side, is used as a stand-in for Detroit! itself!, go to church. Then drink. If the old woman has a catchy nickname, have two drinks. If the old woman has a large family and a knack for cooking soul food, drink thrice. If the old woman has no family, and fends for herself in an increasingly dangerous neighborhood, pass her the bottle first. Then drink.

27. When they sing the DEGC/DDA/P&D’s praises, purchase a bottle from a Frank Taylor restaurant bankruptcy auction and then drink.

To submit your Drinking Game Nomination, click HERE and post in the "Comments" section.


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