It’s So Cold In The D

Ronnie Schreiber sent me this and suggested that I post it; the lady is a friend of his who has been out collecting blankets for the homeless. I don’t know if she’s monetizing the video in any way; I hope so.

Click a link for a reminder of why I used this title.

It’s actually fairly interesting to watch these two back to back; the subject matter is basically the same, from the mention of homelessness to the concern about family. They’re just expressing themselves differently. But here’s the million-dollar question: which effort is more “authentic”? Which is more authentically black? Is that a question that can even be answered? One that should even be asked?

15 Replies to “It’s So Cold In The D”

  1. Kevin Jaeger

    Thanks for posting that Tosha Owens video. She’s a lovely and talented musician that I’ll definitely make an effort to see next time I’m in the Detroit area. That video does a good job of capturing the desperate feeling a homeless person in Detroit must feel on a miserable winter night.

    As for the second video – well, not everyone can be as talented as Tosha. I certainly am not. I’m reluctant to criticize it as I’m sure it was a sincere effort made after an unfortunate death. I don’t think I’d say it’s more authentically black, but I guess you could say it’s representative of a certain segment of blacks in Detroit.

  2. Joe

    They are both authentic expressions of Detroit, first vid is more Motown, second video is more this century, both impart a very real loss and a sense that Detroit is home.

  3. Orenwolf

    Authenticity is in the eye of the beholder. My authentic road-trip experience is in a suburban towing a three-axle airstream because that’s what I grew up doing. My authentic summer experience is the midway because my family owned one and that was my summers from 11-22.

    “Culturally” my summer “authentic” experience should have been summer camp and baseball, neither of which I remotely identify with or would consider an authentic representation of me OR my culture.

    Your question really seems to be asking “which of these videos fits YOUR view of an “authentic” expression of a foreign culture?” Which I suppose is an acceptable tool for discovering bias but serves little purpose otherwise.

  4. Orenwolf

    A surprisingly large number of people believe that. 😉

    In fact, it gets stupidly hot in Toronto. Our weather is nearly identical to Chicago’s, which means cold winters and hot summers. 🙂

    It’s a shorter season though – my families’ midway/carnival used to run from May 24th weekend (a holiday up here) until Canadian Thanksgiving (second week in October), but realistically June -> Labour Day were the “summer months”. July is scorching. Working outdoors 12 hours a day SUCKS in July’s sticky humidity,

    • Will

      Chicago isn’t so bad summers though and not that much humidity. Southern Winnipeg (aka Minneapolis) does have amazing summers though. I haven’t been in a Toronto summer so I’ll take your word for it.

      I agree that authentic is in the eye of the beholder, but there are caveats to that.

      I love linking to this:

    • CanuckGreg

      I LOL’d at the notion of “cold winters” in Toronto. You guys usually have green grass year round. Those of us in the National Capital Region tend to wear out a snowblower every 3 years and dress like Yukon Cornelius from September through April.

  5. MrGreenMan

    I worked in one of those office structures one winter. It was the “new style” where they don’t believe in insulation because they’re cheap jerks. It was incredibly cold at night – the wind would blow through the structure – but we were supposed to enjoy suffering for being “in the city”.

    It’s the only office building I’ve ever been in where they had nonpotable water in the kitchenette and bathroom, and you could only drink out of one drinking fountain.

  6. Disinterested-Observer

    Saw the headline and thought it was a reference to “Stephanie Says”. How authentically New York was Lou Reed? What about Warhol?

  7. -Nate

    Clearly the old saw About no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American Public is dead bang on .

    One good video here, two of average people deliberately acting stupid and thinking it’s cool .

    Blankets for Bums is a good thing, we do it here in Los Angeles but the bums themselves when viewed up close and personal are not overly photogenic nor sanitary….

    Few ever volunteer twice to drive the bum van during cold snaps .

    Those beautiful old houses going to rack and ruin bothers me greatly .



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