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:

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

• Every mention of landmarks demolished or soon to be demolished, drink.

• If the demolished (or soon to be demolished) landmark is supposed to be an allegory for the city itself, drink again.

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

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

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

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

• 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.

• If they drop tired booster jargon such as creative class, cool cities, urban experience, drink a Pabst.

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

• For every photo of a redevelopment cropped to hide a gapping eyesore, drink.

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

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

• Every time the dullards at DetroitYES complain that Time/CNN is being mean to Detroit, drink (this rule alone will get you shitfaced and quick).

In the spirit of Web 2.0, feel free to offer your own rules in the comments section and we’ll periodically update the official rules. With a little creative class ingenuity and blue collar grit and determination, this little urban prairie can spend the next year good and pickled. (Assignment Detroit)

Categories : Big Important News


One more idiot with an opinion and a keyboard
September 21st, 2009 at 10:16 pm

Every time they compare Detroit of today to 1970s Pittsburgh, drink.

Every time they mention “craft brewing” as a local growth industry, drink a Ghettoblaster.


Note to self: write Time and ask them if they’ve looked into our awesome microbrew scene. Because while I have never ever dealt with anything but the worst hipster douchbaggery at Motor City Brewing Co., I do love me some Ghettoblaster.

Hmmmm…any time they write about a neighborhood that is either not the most desperate bombed-out area that’s a horrifying outlier even for Detroit OR not 1) Indian Village 2)Lafayette Park 3)Midtown 4) Woodbridge 5)mayyybbbeee Corktown, drink whatever we drink up here north of Six Mile and south of Eight. Which based on the people I know is probably Trader Joe’s house brand wines.


Validating DetroitYES by mentioning it here isn’t helping anyone.


You forgot the riots. Anytime they write about the 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.

Also…speaking of burning police cars…if they write about the ’84 World Series, drink a toast to the memory of the late Bubba Haines.

And if they publish pictures of Devil’s night…drink a double.


One more…every time they use the phrase “murder capital of the world”, drink.


@grandcircus: I disagree. We should never shy away from an opportunity to mock that dump truck of stupid.

One more idiot with an opinion and a keyboard
September 22nd, 2009 at 9:24 am

Every time they use a picture of MCS (or the Packard Plant) in a photo essay, drink at Slows (or LJ’s).


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.


Just reading this list got me stinking drunk.


Welcome MLive readers!

Thanks for the feedback and keep it coming. Feel free to call BS on any rule as well. I’m going to create a drinking game page so this will remain evergreen while Assignment Detroit continues.

One more idiot with an opinion and a keyboard
September 22nd, 2009 at 10:43 am

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. One sip is guaranteed to fuck your shit up.


The drinking game page is a good idea, but I’m still holding out for Dyspathy: Sports.


Every time someone writes a “In Defense of Detroit” piece countering the criticism of an article, drink a shot with a beer back.


If they invoke comparisons to Beirut…drink.

If they mention Motown…drink, but you have to fill your glass with the same wood alcohol that fucked up Martha Reeves.


If they mention Mitch Cope, buy a house for $100 and drink from a biodegradable cup.

If they mention being guided around town by Scott Hocking, drink with Scott Hocking.


If they mention getting mugged while reporting a story, carjack them and drink.


Don’t forget the flipside rule to “For every photo of a redevelopment cropped to hide a gapping eyesore, drink” which is “For every photo of a gapping eyesore cropped to hide a redevelopment, drink”. I’d add that if it’s a photo of the Michigan Central Depot with Slow’s cropped out, drink a shot and a beer then chow some BBQ.


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


If they mention how Mike Ilitch single-handedly ‘saved’ downtown by reopening the Fox Theater, drink.


Some obvious misses: Every time they run a photo of MCS drink a Boxcar.

Any mention of Slows, drink an $11 beer three hours later. If you can, do it with while pretending to be an underwear model.

Any mention of the Big 3 conspiracy to kill mass transit drink an oilcan of Fosters.

Every day they don’t mention the NAG and Brooks connection drink a carbomb.


If you want to make an expensive beer joke, you need to be making it about the Book Cadillac.

For example, every time they mention the successes of the DEGC, drink a $9 draft at Roast.

Even Slows stops the madness at like $6.

Every time they mention the successes of the DEGC, have a $7 Bud Light at a bankrupt Frank Taylor Restaurant.


Mitch Albom? take a drink.


Correction: Mitch Albom? Beat Mitch senseless with a hard cover remaindered copy of Tuesdays with Morrie, then shove him down an elevator shaft, then drink.

One more idiot with an opinion and a keyboard
September 22nd, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Every time they ask Charlie LeDuff why he is slumming it here, drop down the same elevator shaft and drink over Mitch Albom’s frozen body.


No love for text messages or Hizzoner in post-Detroit analysis coverage? I’ll be taking a drink in about three hours, no matter what is mentioned.


Every time they mention a convicted felon former politician take a drink.

Every time they mention a politician who has yet to be convicted of his or her felony, take two drinks.


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.


Any mention of the burning Packard plant drink a Flaming Dr. Pepper.

Any mention of the salt mines drink a margarita.

Any mention of Antoine Cadillac drink a French Whore.

Any mention of the Hudsons implosion drink a Harvey Wallbanger.


Any mention of Vincent Chin drink a Kamikaze.

Any mention of 8 Mile strip joints drink a jaeger at Strawberry’s grave.

Any mention of the Manoogian party drink a gin ‘n’ juice.


Anytime the story is about one of your friends, who is miraculously a normal person living in the city or running a small business in the city, and is somehow a symbol of how things here are normal or recovering or whatever, make them buy you a drink at a place you drink at that they haven’t found yet.


Every Poletown mention, drink a shot of Jezy.


When a property crime occurs at their new headquarters uncork the finest of California wine while playing Wii.

When they point towards Robb Bobb as a model fixer to the system drink a Shirley Temple from the toilet bowl of a stall with no doors at your local DPS school building.

When the Hamtramck/little slice of Europe comparison gets rolled out pound a Zywiec.

When they lament the loss of Tiger Stadium drink a 3.2% beer from a plastic cup.

Detroit Rock City mention? Vodka and O-range juice or Cold Gin!


every time a Time photographer tries to avoid creating ruin porn by shooting some eager black children smiling for the camera in some safe, public location, have a 5o’clock and red pop.

substitute out the red pop if it’s the wizened black senior citizen keeping the neighborhood together from his/her front porch perch. make it a smirnoff if there’s a folksy reference to the wisdom of corporal punishment.


Every reference to ‘shot-and-a-beer town’ — have a shot and a beer.

‘Rust Belt icon’ works, too.


I love that one of the “Detroiters” who Time has blogging about the city doesn’t even live in Detroit anymore. Don’t they have any friends at The Philadelphia Inquirer to tell them to stay away from Darrell Dawsey. Oh, and he’s not a “freelance writer” like his bio states. He’s making 6 figures from the suburban advertising agency that is on Chevrolet’s tit. Make it both tits.


Every time a facebook friend posts an Assignment Detroit link, drink.


Any mention of Oakland County (or places therein), and the separation of wealth/races between it and Wayne, drink. If the reference is to Somerset, drink Dom Perignon.


Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.


Every time “the end of an era” is used in reference to the closing of a local business, drink a pull-tab Stroh’s Signature.

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