Quicken is your new Albert Schweitzer, Paul W. Smith doesn’t want to debate this, and Rochelle Riley talks about herself


Have I mentioned the Hour Detroit article about local bloggers, where they called Dyspathy “a Detroit-focused print-version of The Daily Show?” Well, they did. And in that story I disparaged the quality of local punditry. Today’s State of the State is devoted to the chattering class’ worst offenders. – WF

Tom Walsh must’ve done something awful, and Dan Gilbert has the pictures
Corporations like to do public service. Donations to good causes, employee service days, participation in fund drives or mentorship programs, it’s all pretty standard stuff. Except when Quicken Loans does it. Then it merits a 600-word Sunday column from Tom Walsh. A man who, despite all evidence the contrary, believes Quicken only sold “plain vanilla” mortgages. Anyway, Quicken’s good works will save Detroit. Jesus Christ. Detroit needs many things. However, one thing Detroit doesn’t need to a few hundred flannel-suited Babbitts “saving” the city when they aren’t pitching smartARMs to the hoi polloi. (Freep)

Paul W. Smith doesn’t care for your brutish “debates”
Everyone is so upset because famous nerd Rick “Michigan” Snyder is too busy to debate Lansing anger bear Virg Bernero. Fortunately, both candidates will appear together on Paul W. Smith’s middling homage to the J.P. McCarthy Show. But it won’t be a debate because, as Smith explains in his dreadful newspaper column, the joint appearance will be a “civilized” affair. Political debates are ungentlemanly. That’s why Springfield, Illinois’ proper society shunned Stephen Douglas and Abraham Lincoln after their unseemly series of debates. (DetNews)

Mitch Albom does a topical column
Noted fabulist Mitch Albom isn’t all bubble gum sports columns and trite novellas about how everything will be ok after we die. He has important things to say about serious issues. Like poverty. Everyone feels poor because, thanks economic downturn, everyone is poor. People don’t you understand? Are we too blind to see that even the fictional struggling sales manager is connected (by way of several other fictional archetypes) to the fictional angry young man in the ghetto who (according to Mitch) wants a gun so he can steal a moving truck on a cold and gray Detroit morn. And his momma cries… (Freep)

Rochelle Riley totally deserves this
Good ol’ Rochelle has lived in Detroit (by which we mean Oakland County…correction…Ann Arbor) for ten whole years! Such an accomplishment deserves to be recognized. With a party. At Mosaic. Where Mrs. John Conyers took bribes from Mosaic’s owners. Rochelle Riley would like you to know this wasn’t just a party. “This was a declaration of independence from anger and frustration at a city that works your nerves but pulls at your heart.” Is Detroit a city, or a hooker with a heart of gold? It’s like Dyspathy invented Rochelle Riley so we’d have something to mock. There’s just no other explanation for her drivel. (Freep)

At least Pat Caputo’s lunch isn’t on his shirt
So, ugh, the Oakland Press’ everyman sports columnist has sumtin to say about the Lions and stuff, ok. He’s angry the Lions are 0-2. Even though by all rights they should be 1-1, and no one thought this was a playoff contender anyway. In a video in the middle of his column, Caputo says the Lions blew a 17-7 lead against the Falcons yesterday at Ford Field. That’s really weird since the Lions were playing the Eagles. The Falcons were busy thumping the Cardinals. 720 miles away. In Atlanta. Caputo should maybe think about a second take with those YouTube things. (Oakland Press)

Categories : State of the State



Rochelle Riley DOESN”T even live in Oakland County. She moved from the mean streets of West Bloomfield to Ann Arbor two years ago.

But that hasn’t stopped her from pretending for years she lives in the D.

Like the time her house got broken into — in Ann Arbor — and she wrote a column cleverly impugning the police’s disinterest in solving the caper. Like they would in Detroit. Or her agonies about whether to send her daughter to private school in “the city.”

Free Press has known and tolerated this fraud for years.


woodward’s friend i like/
but mitch albom, not so much/
i say, f@#! that guy/


Just for the record, I currently live in the burbs. But you won’t hear me pretending that I’m “in a war to save a city” or extolling the virtues of “mov[ing] here because everyone doesn’t get a chance to rebuild a city, rebuild a school district, rebuild hope…”

It’s hypocritical and ignorant for Rochelle Riley to pretend her “Detroit experience” is comparable to the experience of people who actually live in the city. Actual Detroiters don’t have the luxury of considering shutting down DPS and reopening it “under new management” as an abstract concept that, while both impractical and silly, makes for good copy.

And let’s be honest about why she’s allowed to get away with her horseshit. White suburban readers enjoy having a sassy black lady friend from the safe distance of a newspaper column. Somewhere in Brighton a bored soccer mom is reading Rochelle right now thinking: “Racist? Deary me, no, why I just think the world of that Rochelle Riley woman and her many ideas for Detroit. It’s nice to see at least some of those people trying to do the right thing.”


There’s an actual black person living in Ann Arbor?


Oh man, WF just came out of the Suburban Closet. Which I imagine is full of Ed Hardy/Affliction.


Come on grandcircus,everybody knows WF was out of the suburban closet even when he lived down here. That was one of the worst kept secrets in the region.


So Mitch Albom equates “feeling” poorer to the 1 in 7 Americans actually living in poverty?

Based on his historical commentary, all it takes for Albom to “feel” poorer is for our socialistic government to end tax cuts for the wealthy-class and spread it around when it comes to health care and all that, leading me to think there’s at least one autobiographical archetype in there. Like “the distracted, upset driver” whose portfolio is down: “It is the third year in a row that his money can’t make money.” When you put it that way, it’s completely understandable that poor Mitch and others similarly situated are anxious about where the next meal is coming from, you know?

And this one: “He feels he is going backward; he’s working harder, but getting poorer.” Like how he actually hit the streets and talked to some getting-commoner feeling-poorer people instead of tapping into the fiction that is his brain?

Maybe it’s easy to “feel” poorer when you’re morally bankrupt, I dunno. But leave it to Mitch to find the silver lining in otherwise very depressing news: “Hey, it’s not SO bad, we’re ALL feeling your pain.”


Pick on Brighton, whydon’tcha? No seriously. Pick on Brighton.


You know, I’m sure this’ll get me pilloried around here but what the hell. I know it’s fashionable to shit on Quicken Loans here on Dyspathy, and I know this isn’t even really the point of the post there, but all those people who bought SmartARMS are every bit as responsible for their situations as the people who sold those loans. When my wife and I bought our house in ’03 our mortgage lender (from Countrywide God help us) tried to sell us on an ARM and we knew it was a scam all the way back then. I’m not defending shady business practices, ’cause selling those loans was total bullshit, but it’s also up to consumers to educate themselves about the product they’re buying.


Aren’t the defending NFC Champs the Saints?


I have never gotten exactly why Rochelle Riley is a marquee columnist for the Freep, and she needs to just come out and admit she’s never lived south of Eight Mile since she came here. Because that shit pisses me off. I remember the “I got broken into” column and it seemed she was wanting people to believe her home was Detroit. I also remember the columns about her daughter, because I thought it proved the axiom that whenever two or more Detroit parents are gathered the “school conversation” happens. In her own way, her fake Detroiter stance just as patronizing as every word Mitch Albom commits to print.


When paying for gas this weekend, I noticed among the junk for sale on the counter genuine Ed Hardy hand sanitizer. For reals.


Something else Quicken stenographer Tom Walsh doesn’t have the balls to tell his readers: That motivational film, “Facing the Giants,” Quicken screens for employees? It’s evangelical prosperity gospel propaganda. How is that appropriate in a workplace environment?


Relenlentless positivity, yeah, Detroit’s never had any of that Tom Walsh. It is always fascinating to watch that get crushed.

And grey flannel suits? At Quicken? The only suits I’ve seen on that lot are some seriously ill-fitting off-the-rack numbers, fabric content TBD.

Oh and I’ve got 14 “I got broken into” stories as of last week if Rochelle needs any help finding the subject for a new column.


It’s right there before your eyes WF, in the Pledge of Quicken.

“I pledge Allegiance to the Quicken
of the mortgage scammers of America
and to the sham for which it stands,
many cons under God, indefault,
with Fannie and Freddie for none.”

Oh George, not the livestock.
September 20th, 2010 at 3:24 pm

Sometimes when you make fun of Rochelle, I have to go read her column to see if she actually wrote it as badly as you describe. You’d think I would catch on at some point but, when I read it here, I just can’t believe that those are her actual words.


Rochelle is as dumb as a stump, but she has a journalism degree from UNC Chapel Hill (and likes to remind people).


On the Qwiken loan thing – a private employer can play the Red Army Anthem every morning and at noon and it’s not an infringement of anybody’s constitutional right. A man holding your paycheck can pretty much control the playlist.

But the Qwiken folks dress awful, this is noticable even in a downtown not noted for great fashion sense. Is this what working in Livonia doees for you? It’s like someone just opened up a community college near Campus Martius. Where did the money from all that loan frauding go? A nation down the tubes for ill fitting jeans.

Finally, say it ain’t so – Rochelle doesn’t live in Detroit? What next – no Santa Claus?

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