Welcome to Detroit, where the forecast, as always, is muggy, with a chance of murder.
When you’re trying to breathe a little life back into your year, this is not the place to visit. And not just because they use more white chalk at crime scenes than they ever did in the schools.
Classy. Tyler, over at the always excellent The Triple Deke posted about this and included the douchebag's email adress. So I decided to take action and email him. Going for some sarcasm on my first attempt. Here is my email to him:
Dear Mr. Tychowski
I write to you from Oslo Norway to congratulate you on choosing the oldest joke ever for your article today. It shows real class to beat down on and crack jokes at a struggling city that has been hit hard by recession and that is full of hard working men and women doing their best to get their lives and the city on the right track. Nevermind that the murder rate in Detroit has gone significantly down since the 80s and 90s and that you write this in a piece about a hockey game, it is still a classy, nice touch. Sets the tone nicely. I'm proud of you and hope you can continue to write pieces where you get off topic to make old jokes and laugh at struggling, hardworking people. Kudos
Mr. Tychkowski responded less than two minutes later with this charming and classy reply:
Feel free to walk the streets here at night. I'll notify the next of kin
I felt that I needed to point out his ridiculousness and replied:
Sure, there are areas in Detroit where you shouldn't go at night. Yes they have problems. But I don't see where this gives you a license to take cheapshots and make jokes at a city full of people trying to change it for the better. Especially not in an article about sports teams. I am pretty sure Edmonton and every other major city in North America has a higher rate of violent crime than the one I was fortunate enough to grow up in, but none of this gives me the right to make jokes on the expense of those cities.
Furthermore, it's just so extremely unoriginal to write the same old intros that make Detroit sounds like it's Johannesburg or Bogota. If you really want to set the mood and do a good journalistic job I am pretty sure there is a lot of good stories you wouldn't have to dig deep to find. Storylines about the Wings signifying a hope that the inhabitants of a struggling city can rally around, something about the efforts to make the city a better place. Or you could stick to what you know and write about hockey and hockey only.
The citizens of Detroit, and those of us who have fallen in love with the city and it's sports teams from a long distance, see shots at Detroit every day. And while it's easy for me to shrug off and the pride of my friends from Detroit is strong enough to shrug it off, it feels tiresome, unoriginal and beaten to death. And you also excelled by probably going further than any writer I have seen in painting the city as black as possible.
I haven't heard back from him yet. Maybe he just went to bed, who knows? If I hear more from him I will edit this article and include all further correspondence.
If you want to email him you can do so at firstname.lastname@example.org