Detroit Seen


Fifth Estate # 289, January 24, 1978

Rather than try to reconcile the obvious disparity between a newspaper that indicts the entire edifice of civilization and the technology it has developed with the fact that the FE mail subscriptions have just been converted to a computer list, we’ll just take another sip of beer. We think the transition (required of us by our mailing house) went fairly smoothly, but if there are any serious errors, please bring them to our attention….

Cops at Detroit’s Fifth Precinct must have anticipated the centerfold poster in this issue (“Did You Ever Want To Kill Your Boss”) when a plot was discovered this month among several patrolman to murder their supervisor. The stickler, however, is that rather than being motivated by a hatred of authority (what a laugh) these bodyguards of all bosses were driven by race hatred because the Lieutenant in question is black. Well, as long as they’re shooting each other….

City, a dismal little tabloid trying to pick up where the ill-fated Detroit Sun left off, was never worth a mention as their only contributions to journalism were vacuous articles on entertainment. However, their latest issue contains an editorial affirming the “free enterprise” system which qualifies their paper for use as a garbage wrap and cat box liner. Since the paper is free, you can grab whole handfuls for such use….

Detroit has seen a succession of “hip,” trendy, entertainment oriented tabloids come and go in the last several years, all trying to imitate the success of similar ventures in other cities. Look for the next entrant in the get-rich-quick schemes of aspiring newspaper magnates to be the brainchild of the current editor of the Wayne University student newspaper which carries a weekly entertainment section called The Metro. The idea is after a dry run period of publishing at the University at taxpayer expense, The Metro will then be launched as a private venture. Although it should quickly finish off City, there is no reason to think its long-range prospects for success will be any greater than the long list of failures which have preceded it….

Well, some assholes finally picked up the Nazi franchise for Detroit, and opened up an obnoxious White Power Bookstore at 7608 W. Vernor, complete with huge swastikas on the exterior. The liberals have been, of course, outraged and the entire left, of course, has been having a field day forming anti-fascist front groups and having demonstration after demonstration “protesting” the presence of an organized bunch of cretins who call for the extermination of whole populations. Actually, with groups like the Communist Labor Party protesting the Nazis while the CLP has taken to reprinting Beria, Stalin’s concentration camp chief, one hardly can tell the difference between the two sides. Once in power neither of these competitors for the carcass of capitalism would have a program that would differ much from the other; however, the Nazis have the short-run tactic of creating race riots while the CLP tries to maintain its leftish posture. The Nazis certainly must go, but so should their competitors in the mass murder race—the Stalinists and Trotskyists…A side note to the whole Nazi affair is that the head Nazi in Detroit is one Bill Russell who may be remembered by Fifth Estate readers of a few years back as the auto worker who camped out on the lawn of the Ford Motor Co. headquarters to protest his dismissal. Russell brought his story to the Fifth Estate which ran two articles on his fight against Ford back in 1972 and an FE staff member even went out to Dearborn with him to support his vigil. The FE really knew how to organize in those days, eh?…

Paul Harvey, that Kava drinking spokesman for the Right, defender of the family and apple pie, aired his views on political “terrorism” during his twice daily radio show on local station WCAR. In his most concerned voice, Harvey told how “we,” the American people should “fight terrorism on our terms and not theirs.” Harvey went on to say “when terrorists threaten to kill their hostages if we don’t release their imprisoned comrades, we should kill ten of their kind for each hostage,” and summed up by saying that “the animals are taking over the zoo”—and Harvey is the zookeeper’s best friend….

Seen on a windy, rainy Monday morning: the sidewalk in front of the General Motors world headquarters is being torn up and workmen are planting 15-foot trees (the beginnings of their new “mall”). Maybe the workmen will get carried away in their fervor and tear down the entire monstrosity of the building and plant trees in its place….

Helpful Hints Dept.: A recent issue of the Detroit Free Press carried an irate article about the growing theft among department store employees. Apparently stealing by the “help” increases tremendously during the Xmas season (got to fill those stockings). Stating that employees account for an incredible 75% of company theft losses, the article went into great detail describing the many methods used to rip-off stores, probably giving some great new ideas to the long-time practitioners (we hadn’t heard of some of them) and inspiring some new ones along the way…

Some players will be hitting the Easy Space Theater with four plays on the first weekend of March. The main features will be an adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s “Fortitude,” about people who become robots. The other will be a mimed Surrealist piece consisting of puppets, demons and electronic music. The emphasis in the show will be on the bizarre, but be prepared for some earthly humor in the smaller pieces…