Archive for June, 2008


Round-Trip White Flight, Detroit Style

Ty Cobb

(Above: Detroit’s Ty Cobb spots a black guy in the stands at Tiger Stadium)

So the lady and I took off to Detroit last week to catch the White Sox play the Tigers at Comerica Park. It was our first visit to Motor City, and now I know why.

After the Sox’s 2-1 loss in the 9th inning courtesy of Octavio Dotel’s hung slider to Miguel “Not Orlando” Cabrera, resulting in a home run to left center and 3-game sweep for the Tigers, the crowd filed out onto Woodward Avenue, site of Martin Luther King’s 1963 march. We were sporting Sox black and white colors in a sea of Tiger orange, which prompted the following first-innocuous-then-horrifying exchange:

Group of white Tigers fans: Hey, that sweep’s gotta hurt.

Us: Yeah, Kenny Rogers brought his stuff today. But hey, what’s the use of being out in front of the division if you can’t drop three on the road?

Group of white Tigers fans, walking away: Well, thanks for bringing your race. We love your race.

Us: (flummoxed, stunned silence)

We were just…thanked…for being white people.

I knew Detroit is a legendarily messed up place. It did not escape my notice that in a city sporting an 81% black population the only African-American faces inside Comerica were behind the concession stands. It wasn’t a surprise that Comerica is a park built for the enjoyment of white suburbanites.

You know, it’s just like Wrigley Field.

Taking in the city at large, the scars of the ’67 riots were plain, as was the whiplash effect of driving north on E Jefferson and crossing Maryland Avenue, of moving from blight (or “bloit”, a term I coined) to manicured lawn in the blink of an eye. The landscape spoke volumes about the sorry situation on the ground. As unintegrated as much of Chicago is, Detroit’s bunker mentality set a standard of white flight that Chicago couldn’t come close to matching, thank god.

But…thank you for being white? Hey, I’m fat and lazy too, where’s my trophy?


I Ain’t Got No Call To Hurt No-body

Seeing dear old Greg Dunlap post comments to RW370 is such a treat, it forces that most rare of RW370 events: a multiple-post day. I know! If you need to take a minute to collect your bearings, I understand completely.

Greg: as a fan of Sling Blade, I know you will appreciate what I named my XP image under Parallels:

There ain’t no gas in it.


New SIRS 7″ Single “Billy The Kidney” Uses Notes Including “A”

Imagine Chalmers Johnson wielding a Mexican Telecaster…

In the tradition of Suicide (the band, not the act) and Neurosis (the condition, not the band) fledgling vinyl label Unicut Records has released the debut 7″ by my band Sirs. Referring to the label and the band separately is pretty stupid, since the label and the band are composed of the same two idiots. But anyone who knows me knows also that I never let a little stupid get in my way.

Unicut is in talks (really) with recording artists near and far toward assembling a release schedule through ’09 – all on beautiful vinyl, and all to capitalize off of recent trends in the headlines. Finger on the pulse or what? Eh? Eh?

Something else that sounds like bullshit but isn’t: these songs were recorded at Unicut HQ in Chicago’s historic Deagan Building, where in 1921 the US musical instruments industry settled on a universal value of 440 Hz for the note “A”. That worked out pretty well. So we’ve got that going for us, as Carl from Caddyshack might say.

See you on the road.



rob [at] warmowski [dot] com

@warmowski on twitter

Rob’s Bands

Rob Warmowski entry at Chicago Punk Database
1984-89: Defoliants
1991-94: Buzzmuscle
2001-05: San Andreas Fault
2008- : Sirs
2008- : Allende

Rob at Huffington Post

June 2008