He is, of course, referring to Jobbie Nooner, a gathering — for lack of a better word — that occurs every June on an island in Lake St. Clair. It’s basically the closest thing Michigan has to Sodom and Gomorrah.
Macomb County Executive Mark Hackel and his able team of assistants have focused intently, from day one, on marketing the county as a great place to live and do business.— Dennis Lennox
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Overall, the economic development plan is to make Macomb more cultural and cosmopolitan — a cool place to be. Maybe we can land a children’s museum or the arena that will eventually serve as the new home for the Red Wings. Perhaps a casino is in the mix. Whatever it takes to attract people here.
But it seems we’ve still got a long way to go . . . consider the Macomb County event that attracts more media attention than any other — the Jobbie Nooner. This annual sleazy escapade in drunkenness and nudity received perhaps more news coverage than ever before on Friday.
Some in the media have willingly latched onto the event label, “The Mardis Gras of the North.” All we have to do is build a French Quarter on Gull Island and that fantasy may come true.
Do we really want to be known as the place where fat, shirtless, bald guys, each with a constant beer in their hand, engage in chants that encourage college girls to expose their breasts?
Is this our cultural event of the year?
In his first 18 months in office, Hackel’s biggest gaffe has to be his infamous August 2011 comment that favorably compared the Jobbie Nooner to Oakland County’s Arts, Beats & Eats festival.
None of this may seem consequential, but it certainly is when the administration is trying to attract people with money to spend and businesses to build.
The ripples spread far and wide.