Like an archaeologist scouring the desert for an ever-elusive cache of jewels or some lost artifact from a fallen civilization, I have searched the sprawling terrain of Mount Pleasant for high culture and have admittedly come up dry.
As a former resident of Canton, a cozy little town nestled comfortably between Ann Arbor and Detroit – two massive hubs for culture in southeastern Michigan – finding something eccentric to do on any given weekday could be accomplished with surprising ease.
If I wanted to go out to a club that was playing something other than Top 40 electronic dance or rock music, there were at least 15 different parties going on around the city – on a Tuesday.
Comedy clubs abounded, fine art museums were plentiful, and going to a local shop to buy a used record could be done without pulling up driving directions.
Sure, there were bars, hookah lounges and restaurants back home, things Mount Pleasant has plenty of, but those were auxiliary options for a good time at best.
I am a stranger in a strange land, and I feel lost among the barrage of structured sports and academic organizations.
I understand full well that mainstream students value these events above all things, but what of the music junkie needing an after-school fix? What of the painter seeking refuge among the great masters of old?
Last week, I met a local girl and a former student of Central Michigan University. Her kick was comics and Japanese culture, and she made many friends through the university’s Anime Club. Yet this student found no local sanctuary to engage in her hobby, saying that the local comic book shop was a joke.
Nerdy and eclectic students, to you I say this: Demand more from your college town and its business owners.
It pains me to say that this town needs a salty culture enema, and fast.