Fifty shades of nay, school house flop, and eatin' good in the 'hood 

Fifty Shades of Nay

I guess I'll be the poor sucker to step up (or down) and respond to Jeff Meyers' film review of Fifty Shades of Grey though I'm not too up in arms (like Ana is much of the time) taking into account that the book's writer, E.L. James, wasn't thrilled with the final outcome of the film either. C- seems a fair rating if we put Secretary (James Spader/Maggie Gyllenhaal) at the top and Exit to Eden (Rosie O'Donnell/Dan Aykroyd) at the bottom. But I'd like to help Jeff out a bit; he seems distraught.

The review came off as defensive, male-typical and expected. Sorry Jeff, but you're a guy and giving women a definitive, non-male perspective on sexual choices is frightening for most men. "What? Now women want all this planned creative shit in bed that we'll have to research?" I'm pretty sure it's not about the threat of the alpha-male (Gobzillionaire Christian Grey). Most men realize women don't need glider rides to be happy. We're all right with a coney dog and Netflix before you bed us. It's more like laziness. Men, just like Christian, usually don't do romance. They have no idea what it is even. "A rose? A candle? What the hell do they want from us?" Jeff makes fun of the hardware store scene as creepy, but I'm guessing a lot of men were more like, "Why didn't I think of that? It's cheap, easy and I've got all that stuff in the garage."

Jeff wonders, am I "missing some gender coded nuance..." Well, yeah, you are and "Is this what millions of American women find sexy?" Well, yeah, some of it is. The consensus is in: women (I'm generalizing here) have a different sensibility to sex and erotica than men and it's your job to find out what that is. Hey, for decades women have had to sit on the couch and crochet while being subjected to low-grade male-generated porno as a means to get in the mood. But some guys won't see this cause it's a "chick flick."

The set-up in all erotic/romance is contrived. It's meant to get you there, to feel something. That's a big A+ for many women (and men) who have long abandoned their sexuality between diaper changes and driving kids to soccer games. With this type of entertainment, Mommy gets to hang up her Mom Jeans in the back of the closet and embrace something that feels like sex again.

So yes Jeff, until that "absence of quality alternatives" is rectified, have a bit of compassion and let us have a little fun and you can go watch some quality flick like Charlton Heston's portrayal of Moses in The Ten Commandments ("Oh Moses!") or is that too Schlocky Bible? Consumer religion? Decorous spirituality? — Shelley Malec Vitale, Macomb Township

School House Flop

Curt Guyette's report "After six years and four state appointed managers, Detroit Public School's debt has grown even deeper" garnered a lot of responses.

What you don't know is that the debt is growing because the public dollars going to chartered and private entities are not being shared. DPS's dollars are shared amongst their schools but each private or charter receives funds for each individual school. With that all resources are not shared such as transportation. The debt continues to grow because the debt called Legacy Debt is paid off top from those same public dollars. Let's not forget the fact that some of the students who are enrolled in charter and private schools leave those schools and enroll elsewhere, but the dollars don't follow them so students are sharing funds, therefore creating more debt while trying to sustain a community school. The private and charter schools also receive 3% of those public dollars once a parent enrolls their child. DPS is still paying off debt from schools no longer in their possession as well. — Single Parent in 313

I think people are missing the point. Before the State systematically took over DPS, DPS had a surplus of $100 million. That's with the so-called "ghost teachers" and people getting health care who were not supposed to receive it. With all the corruption that was supposedly going on, DPS still had a surplus of $100 Million before the State took over. Now that the State has taken over, DPS has lost money every year for the past six years. ­— Why Detroit

Eatin' Good in the 'Hood

Alaina McConnell and Lee DeVito both posted blogs about the new Applebee's that will soon go up on Eight Mile and Woodward. Surprisingly, most people seem in support of the chain coming to the city.

This is not the end! This shows people think they can buy a franchise and make money in Detroit. Good. Then maybe when they succeed, some other guy wants to put a smoke shop across the street. Then another guy wants to open a tax office, then anything. Gas station, pawn shop, even less glamorous places are 3-20 jobs, they clean up a lot, paint a building, they pay for services, everyone on payroll pays city income taxes. They do not need a parade, they are not changing the world, but anyone plopping down a couple million dollar bet on Detroit should at least get a pat on the back and well wishing. These people literally bet no less than 1.5 million bucks. If this does not work, and they are not rich with a trust fund that lasts forever, they will be fucked if this fails. It might take them 10 years to bounce back if this fails. They gambled big. This should not offend anyone anymore than a Marathon gas station, or a McDonald's or Church's Chicken. — Javier Juan Manuel

People LIKE Applebee's. I will eat there, but I also like (and actually prefer) to meet with friends and eat with them at one-of-a-kind, neighborhood places. There is room for both kinds of experiences in Detroit, no doubt. ­ — Kristine Copeland

As with most major cities, the core and its outskirts are two very different places. No biggie if an Applebee's wants to open out there, but if they want to occupy a corner of a historic building downtown and bastardize it with their signage than there's cause for concern. Between the Hard Rock, 5 Guys, Buffalo Wild Wings, Bagger Dave's and McDonald's there's enough corporate mid level fuckery to dine at. The chains can do a lot of good for the outer limits of the city just like they have for the suburbs the last couple decades. — Steven Jabbori

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