This spoof on Grosse Pointe's Village is oddly most responsible for this web series. The first Pure Michigan video I did was on Fishflies, and I had no intention of doing more. So I sent it to my good friend and he kindly told me that he thought it sucked. That's what good friends do. So I thought, okay, we were both raised in Grosse Pointe, so I'll do one on GP and maybe he will approve. I also was hungover when I shot it, and when I am hungover, I give very few fucks. Sprinkle on top of that I never loved Grosse Pointe, having moved there from Detroit when I was 5 years old, and...yeah, I was probably looking to piss off some GP folks.
So June 2010 I posted the video and it was really going viral in my Facebook circle of quasi-friends. Then I had an email from the Grosse Pointe City Manager at the time (I unfortunately have forgotten his name, that lucky bastard) and he asked me to take the video down. I said no thank you. The next email was from a Grosse Pointe City police officer saying that I showed minors in the video and the parents complained so I need to take it down. That's actually a legit complaint, as I should have known better than to shoot minors, much less let their faces be seen. Especially when the line you hear when you see them is "The Village is a great place to people watch, especially if you're a pedofile." Okay, fair enough. So I pulled the video and blurred their faces and put the video back up. The officer then wrote me back and thanked me for cooperating, and added, "By the way, we love the video at the station."
This hit me. It told me a few things. For one, very likely no parents complained and it was a local shitty politician flexing and making the officers back him. But the approval from the cops strangely told me...I was onto something with these videos. It told me that pissing some people off and stirring up the controversy is not always a bad thing. Take notes, young assholes out there.
The comments at the time started getting harsher, which is always fun. But I'll never forget one comment - that said the video was racist. In the video, you see a couple black kids on their bikes crossing the street and the voice over line says "And sometimes, not often, but on a rare occasion...you might even see some black people." For all you slow or overly-woke folks out there...that is not racist. It's the opposite. That is pointing out a racial disparity in a community like Grosse Pointe. But I realized people often see and hear what they want, not what is really there. You see this now more than ever in our ever-woke world. But thankfully, with age, you give fewer and fewer fucks what randoms think.
In the end, my good friend did like the video. And, honestly, that was maybe all I was going for.