Young People In Detroit Can Be Absolutely Insufferable Sometimes

Illustration for article titled Young People In Detroit Can Be Absolutely Insufferable Sometimes

I won't use "the M-word" that kind of sounds like "trill annuals," but the youngsters of Detroit — myself included, this generation of overly optimistic at any expense, particularly the expense of everyone else not like them — are doing everything possible to make the simplest things ridiculously offensive.

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There's no reason why a video promoting a refurbished apartment building should reek of smarm, self-satisfaction and the kind of smugness that'd make even the most cynical among us wince. But here it is in this video for "The Albert," a renovated high-rise in the controversial Capitol Park section of downtown Detroit.

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I say "controversial" because Capitol Park is Dan Gilbert's next extension of the transformation of downtown Detroit into full-on Gilbertville as he purchases buildings left and right in the neighborhood. (Yes, Detroit boosters, feel free to correct me on how many buildings Gilbert actually owns, but let's not act like he doesn't own a bunch of them.) Just a month ago, the hot topic in Detroit was artists being pushed out of cheap spaces in favor of newer, Detroit Regional Chamber-approved artists. And yes, that situation has its own issues — the artists weren't paying market rent, there are plenty of places for them to move, the building was a piece of shit, et cetera and et-friggin'-cetera, but still. You can't argue that this video arrived at an ideal time.

Everything you need to know about why the young people of Detroit can just be so delusional and ignorant of the concerns of others can be siphoned from in the first 20 seconds of this video.

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"Detroit is my generation's city."

Er...what? My generation, young lady?

It's this attitude — Detroit belongs to me, not you, but me — that makes people raise holy hell on social media (and on blogs!) and elsewhere about what direction this city is going in. When we say that this city belongs to one population, but not the others.

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It's not white vs. black — props to The Albert for including the court-mandated token black guy, though. It is, however, old vs. young.

Let's not forget that it's not just artists being moved from Capitol Park, but fixed-income seniors who don't have the wherewithal to crash in some empty duplex in Woodbridge or whatever until the next artistic movement takes shape. What, exactly, kind of message are we sending when we, the next generation of Detroit, flaunt a new residential complex with only hip (sans -ster, mind you), young trendies saying that the city is ours alone?

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Are we pushing out the generations who built this foundation we rest on today? In short, yes. I won't even get into the argument about whether Detroit needs more black people instead of hipsters. How about just people? Preserving the ones that are here already? Thanking them for staying here while our young asses take residence alongside them — instead of telling them where to go and how to live?

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Why, fellow young people of Detroit, do we have to be so brave and courageous in every single thing we do? Is living in Detroit akin to being a Girl Scout? Are we all wearing sashes, collecting our Detroit badges for each milestone?

Consider this announcement from Our/Detroit, a local vodka distillery that's not technically local because there's a French company behind it, but who's got time for those kind of details, right? And "Detroit" — day-twah, if you please — is French!

This premium vodka uses only fine local ingredients and is distilled right here in Detroit. We're launching this business as a catalyst for meaningful community conversations, inspiring exchanges and of course, the occasional party.

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Why in the everlasting fuck would I want to have community conversations while I get drunk on vodka? The only conversation I want to have is who's might be able to drive me home after I knock back this sixth vodka soda.

No, seriously! Why? Why is a vodka distillery on some kind of mission from the high heavens to improve the lives of (younger, trendier, disposable income-laden) Detroiters? Can't we just keep it 100 and say that the only reason you're building a distillery is to make profits from selling vodka? I'd be far more impressed if you'd just hire local workers to make it without the savior complex.

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God, I hate being young in Detroit sometimes. I just want to live in this city without Whitney Houston's "I Didn't Know My Own Strength" playing in the background every time I come to my car and it hasn't been broken into. Must everything in this city be so narcissistic?

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DISCUSSION

Sounds like you spend too much time around Wayne... ;) I guess guys my age just don't see what you see because we knew Detroit before the new stadiums, before the casinos, and even before they redid the Fox/State. If you think you've seen real change in the city or your friends do, you should have seen it from 1993-2003 or even 2003-2006... The young has always been there, it just wasn't as safe for us to go walking down 2nd/3rd or Woodward or Michigan Ave for that matter. ;)

As far as the race/age thing goes… The poor are getting squeezed out bottom line. There isn't a place for them in the area that's being created in and around downtown and that's the truth. If you are really from around here you should know full well what it looks like in the rest of the city (exception being places like Mexican town or Palmer Park or Indian Village or…). It still looks like a warzone in most of the city and while downtown has been on an upswing, these other areas just keep getting worse.

Detroit is an interesting place, but the fact of the matter is when you take away downtown it has done nothing but gone downhill since I've been alive. All too often people forget that downtown is what, 1/30th of the entire city?