Thursday, January 28, 2016
Detroit decision makers--especially media people-- need to get it out of their heads that Detroit can be satisfied to exist as an adjunct of the media power of New York City. A poorly-respected stepchild of New York, at that. Detroit should be putting everything into establishing itself as its own power base.
Before he died, Gore Vidal made the argument that with the rise of the global economy, the world was returning to the situation which applied in ancient times. Vidal was quite the student of history, of course, which gave him the ability to see when patterns repeated themselves. His argument was that in the 21st century it will be not nation competing with nation, but city-state competing against other city-states. The power centers of the ancient world were cities like Athens, Rome, and Carthage. This is how we need to view the situation of the present day.
To control its destiny, Detroit needs its own media. Media centered in this town and controlled by those who live here, not by a competing place. We need to write our own narrative. More than this, media is like an ongoing advertisement announcing the Detroit brand. In this postmodern age, power is determined by how much noise you make. Noise equals power.
This means that Detroit power brokers-- the giant automakers, notably-- need to push to have one of the large networks based in Detroit. Or lacking that, they should be taking steps to create their own large-scale network. This would give them-- and this area-- enormous leverage in the ongoing international game.
Far-fetched? Not really, considering the leverage the automakers have through their ad buying. They may be the biggest ad buyers in the country, maybe in the world. Are they receiving full value and clout for their dollars? Truly?
We at NEW POP LIT are interested in print media. We want print culture-- and arts culture generally-- centered here. We envision a time when we'll be publishing an intellectual magazine out of Detroit able to compete straight up with an influential magazine like The New Yorker. Not just competing with, but beating, as we'll be the new model compared to old.
At the moment we have our hands full with our new literary journal. (Which can be purchased via the Buy Now" button on this page.) We KNOW that we can and will outdo any other literary journal based anyplace else-- including the well-funded journals in New York City. We know this because we know where to find exciting and talented new writers that cronyism-clogged New York won't even look at.
We"ll not be content to be a poor stepchild to anybody.
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
As Detroit remakes and reinvents itself, it needs to grab every opportunity to stand out to the world. This means grabbing every opportunity to show itself as a significant center of new art.
Plans are afoot from various parties for a new bridge to Canada-- whether near the Ambassador Bridge or further downriver.
Why not create the new bridge as an intentional work of art-- and thereby capture the imagination of the world?
This is exactly what was done in New York City 129 years ago when the Brooklyn Bridge was constructed. Its creators set out to create a bridge visually distinctive, unlike any that had ever existed. They wanted it to be as important as sculpture. An artwork. This included incorporating gothic arches in it, as a nod to Europe's gothic cathedrals.
Another classic example of engineering as art is the Eiffel Tower in Paris, erected as a symbol of the modern. The city became the center of artistic modernism.
Can Detroit become the New Paris?
Detroit's builders, politicians, financiers and artists need the imagination to be as ambitious as possible. They need to have the mission of making Detroit an arts city-- the surest way to attract attention, credibility, people, and investment-- along with the mystique and magic that accompanies art. A new bridge to Canada provides the opportunity to create a lasting foundation for future growth. The kind of architectural event that will be talked about for decades and centuries to come.
Will the city's (and state's) leaders grab this chance?
Wednesday, December 30, 2015
We have the best Detroit t-shirts going. They're not just cool and stylish, embodying unique Detroit edge. They're works of art! Click on the Buy Now button on this page. Be the first in your crowd to wear the special "Aloha from Detroit" style.
Wednesday, December 2, 2015
--along with other exciting products. Simply click on the "Buy Now" button to examine our line-up. From dynamic new pop-lit writing to the best Detroit T-shirts, we have it. We define cutting edge.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
New publishing in Detroit?Who would dare start new publishing in Detroit?
The people behind NEW POP LIT, for one.
They're out with their first title, a collection of stories, essays, and poems from the nation's best DIY writers.The title: NEW POP LIT Issue One.
The kickass cover is by Detroit artist Alyssa Klash. Our task from the beginning was to find writing to equal the cover. We believe we have.The writers include Detroit author Kathleen Crane; zine legends Jessie Lynn McMains and Wred Fright; small press publisher and novelist Delphine Pontvieux; underground filmmaker Pablo D'Stair; avant-garde "Pop Picasso" artist and writer Dan Nielsen-- and other unique talents.
Readers will discover a variety of approaches to the literary art. Not fully literary. Not quite pop. Approaches toward an elusive hybrid. A fresh start for readers and writers.More exciting "Made in Detroit" titles will follow!
Wednesday, September 16, 2015
Pictured: NEW POP LIT's Kathleen Crane (right) chatting with young Detroit go-getter Kendall Waterman.
With all the food vendors, beer sellers and t-shirt hawkers at Detroit's huge "Dally in the Alley" street fair, who was there to represent the lit game?
Read our official report on our appearance at the event right here.
Thursday, September 10, 2015
Here is an article by Douglas McIntyre of 24/7 Wall Street which discusses Detroit's failure to regain population. The thinking being that, because it's not gaining population now, it won't. An interesting and pessimistic premise, which is wrong.
First, Detroit is in the process of bottoming. A long-term bottom, one that took place over decades. The last "seller" of the city sold. Everyone was down on it. The city reached a point from which it had nowhere else to go but up.
A stock or commodity or market-- or a city-- usually spends time at a bottom. Meanwhile, it's accumulating latent energy; the strength and resources for an eventual comeback. That's happening with Detroit now. The rebound in population and business won't be immediate. That's not how nature with its laws works.
Second, a host of creative people are moving into Detroit. In absolute terms their number is tiny-- but in time, their presence will be felt.
Granted, it will take an unforeseen spur to jump-start the comeback and bring more people into town. NEW POP LIT believes art and literature will be that spur. See our blog posts on the matter here and here.
Is there a better city for creating an internationally-recognized new bohemian arts scene?
We have the necessary grittiness and authenticity. Street cred-- in multiples. Artists are gathering. Soon, so will writers.
But Mr. McIntyre of 24/7 Wall Street has the data! Numbers and spreadsheets. There, right in front of him. They show. He knows.
What esteemed Mr. McIntyre lacks is imagination and vision. Things never found on a spreadsheet. Also absent is a sense of history-- a sense which knows the world is in continual flux. Nothing stands still. The world we see now is not the world which will exist ten years from now. No one can predict the coming changes-- changes usually made by those who see a potential future and go about creating it. We at NEW POP LIT see that potential here and now in Detroit.
We also know that Douglas McIntyre is no gambler. Carefully-cautious pawn-progression chess moves only. No spectacular leaps.
If he were a gambler he'd bet on Detroit!
NOTE: If you're anywhere near Detroit this Saturday, stop by the NEW POP LIT booth at the huge "Dally in the Alley" street fair in Midtown aka the Cass Corridor. Hear more about our plans to set up new publishing in Detroit-- and take a look at our prototype lit journal. For more info about the event read our main site's most recent post.