Ypsi/Arbor Exit Interview: Caleb Elijah Zweifler

If you’re planning to attend the DIYpsi art fair this weekend, be sure to swing by the table of illustrator Caleb Zweifler, who, early next week, intends to hitchhike his way out of Ypsilanti, the town that he’s called home for the past decade. Following is his official Ypsilanti exit interview.

MARK: What’s your full name, for the record?

CALEB: Caleb Elijah Zweifler, Circa 1989.

MARK: When did you first move to Ypsilanti?

CALEB: I moved here back in 2008, so my departure will mark approximately one decade of residence.

MARK: Would I be right to assume that you moved to Ypsi in order to attend Eastern?

CALEB: Yes, I moved from Munith, Michigan to study at Eastern. Funny thing is, I had my pick of colleges to attend, but EMU was the only university I applied to whose deadline for registration hadn’t already expired, so it was sort of a lucky byproduct of my negligence that I ended up here at all.

MARK: So you got accepted at a bunch of schools, and just didn’t… or couldn’t… decide until it was too late to enroll at any of them except for EMU? Were you just indecisive, or was something else going on in your life?

CALEB: I just didn’t really have a strong direction at that age. Still don’t. It’s something I’m still trying to figure out. And, at that time, I was preoccupied with graduating high school as close to the top of my class as I could manage. I’m pretty sure I ended up 4th overall. I was taking a lot of AP classes, and I was dual-enrolled at Lansing Community College, so it was difficult to maintain a 4.0 GPA. When I finished, I really had no plan past that. And the same was pretty much true when I graduated from EMU.

MARK: What did you study at EMU?

CALEB: Well, I was undeclared all the way to my junior year. At that point, I was considering dropping out of college to hop trains with my dorm-mate Kris Coley. But my financial advisor persuaded me to finish my degree first, since I was only a year away from having enough art credits to graduate with a BFA. I reluctantly heeded her advice and wrapped up my Bachelors in Drawing with honors. Not long after that, I started working as a dishwasher, and the rest is history.

MARK: By “financial advisor,” do you mean “financial aid advisor,” or did you come to Ypsi with a trust fund and someone to handle your affairs?

CALEB: [Laughs] Yeah, financial aid advisor. I’m not a trust fund kid outright, but I got A LOT of help. My Grandpa sent all of his kids to college on his dime, so my Dad took that burden on for his kids too. Therefore I had the SUPREME privilege of not having to shoulder my tuition personally. That said, by my sophomore year, I was on my own in terms of procuring my food and housing. And I studied rigorously to attain as many scholarships/grants as I possibly could to mitigate the cost. Eastern was pretty affordable in that regard.

MARK: You say that you graduated with honors and then became a dishwasher, but there’s more to it than that, right? I mean, you have made some progress toward a career in illustration. You’ve had some successes, doing illustrations for the old Ypsi Convention and Visitors Bureau (Visit Ypsi), and other clients…

CALEB: Oh, for sure. I’ve had a lot of success in freelance, but I’ve hated most of it. Visit Ypsi was an exception. The pre-absorption squad over there was amazing to me. But, for every good client, there were horrible ones. I’m still trying to sue one of ‘em for chrissakes!

MARK: I don’t want to go too deep down these particular rabbit holes, as I’d rather focus on positive things, but, just so people know what you’re referring to, when you talk about the “the pre-absorption squad,” you’re talking about the old Ypsilanti Convention and Visitors Bureau, before it was taken over by the Ann Arbor Convention and Visitors Bureau. And, when you talk about suing someone, you’re talking about a local restaurant owner, who, having purchased the rights to one of your illustrations for use at one of his businesses, began using it across multiple businesses….

CALEB: Right. I should also add, even though I strongly opposed the “merger,” the new CVB has still been supportive. They just have a completely different relationship with the city now because their budget and autonomy was stripped. So, as predicted, all of the amazing collaborations they were known for, especially with local artists, immediately dried up after. A couple of the original staff still work there, but many moved on. But, yeah, the lawsuit is not directed at anybody there. In fact, the new crew has already made it clear to me that they will do whatever’s necessary to back me in the case (testimonial or otherwise), which is a huge relief.

MARK: As long as we’re talking about your illustration work, how would you describe it?

CALEB: It’s traditional, first and foremost. Hand-drawn, graphite, pen & ink, watercolor. Subject matter is all over the place. Whatever I’m most passionate about at the time.

MARK: And what are you most passionate about now?

CALEB: I’ve been bogged down by some side project stuff recently but I’m almost done with a tribute to the epic fight between Conor McGregor and Khabib Nurmagomedov. UFC stuff… I’ve also been quietly working on a graphic novel titled ‘Becoming Myth’. It’s been an arduously slow process though because I’m really giving it my all. It’s ultimately where I want my career to go. Comic Book Creator. Trouble is I also really enjoy making music. Hoping to have a solo album to release by the time I return to Ypsi.

MARK: Back to your origin story… Having never heard of Munith, I just looked it up. Here’s what Wikipedia says about your home — “In addition to the post office, there is a township hall, a cemetery, a gas station/convenience store, the headquarters of Farmers State Bank, and zero stop lights.” Does that sound like a pretty accurate description?

CALEB: [Laughs] Yes. I fondly remember The Mill Pond Bakery too, which was around when I was a kid, but they moved to Chelsea for better business.

MARK: Had you seen a stop light before leaving home for Ypsilanti?

CALEB: [Laughs] Yes. I lived in Munith, but I went to school in Stockbridge. I believe they still have exactly one stop light.

MARK: Had you stayed in Munith, what do you think you’d be doing right now?

CALEB: Wow. I’ve never thought about that, actually. Statistically, I’d probably have gotten into some kind of construction or farming job. It’s a very rural, blue-collar crowd out there. Lotta rednecks (all due respect). My dad was a roofer around the time I was born, so maybe I’d be doing something like that.

MARK: What’s your first memory?

CALEB: I have a terrible memory. I think I just don’t have a lot of room for storage because I’m constantly inputting information. The sweet leaf has likely had an impact as well over the years.. I DO remember my first word, because my Mom has regaled me with the story many times. My first word was the name of our Bernese Mountain Dog, Elsa. Apparently I used to sit out on the porch in my diaper and yell at her to pass the time, “ELSA!”… “ELSA!”

MARK: What, if anything, did you know about Ypsilanti before moving here?

CALEB: The ONLY thing I knew about Ypsilanti was that my sister Jasmine was already living here. She had started going to Eastern after graduating from Stockbridge High.

MARK: So she hadn’t told you anything at all about EMU or Ypsi?

CALEB: I don’t really remember being all that curious. I think I just checked with her to make sure it didn’t suck. [Laughs]

MARK: A lot of people who attend EMU don’t get out much and explore the city? To what extent, as a new student here, did you get out in the community?

CALEB: That is, unfortunately, a very true phenomena. I did spend the vast majority of my time on campus. I was a full-time student in the art program, so I didn’t really have much time for anything else, other than the occasional rager. I spent more than a few all-nighters in the Sherzer Hall studios. [Laughs]

MARK: So, your experience in the EMU art program was a positive one? And what can you tell us about these late nights in Sherzer?

CALEB: [Laughs] Well I wouldn’t want to incriminate myself. I did get into some mischief in the printmaking darkroom one time, though. By and large, I was just drinking Redbulls and listening to Do Make Say Think all night, and into the morning, to get work done by deadline. I always used to say that Art majors aren’t too difficult in terms of mental-challenge in the way that studying to become a doctor, or a lawyer, or a physicist, would be; BUT, studying to become an artist (if taken seriously) requires more man-hours than any other field. Especially if you’re as meticulous (read ‘slow’) as I am.

MARK: It sounds like you liked the program.

CALEB: Yeah. I would definitely recommend the EMU Art program to anybody trying to improve their skills. If you are interested in making money, however, I would recommend literally anything else. [Laughs] The faculty there is top-notch, plus I believe many of the greats still work there: Amy Sacksteder, Michael Reedy, John DeHoog, Brian Nelson. Unfortunately many of them retired: Richard Rubenfeld and Richard Washington to name a couple.

MARK: When another EUM art student, Rita Jane Riggs moved away, I interviewed her here, and she described Ypsi as “a weird comic book town.” As someone who makes comic books, I’d like to ask you, “If Ypsi were a comic book, what would the plot be?”

CALEB: [Laughs] I often thought it would be analogous to the Peter Pan story.

MARK: Back to exploring Ypsi as a student, you were saying that you didn’t do much…

CALEB: I strayed as far as Depot Town for munchies at Sidetrack, and I worked at both Gamestop and Coldstone Creamery while I was in college, so I biked as far as Arborland or so in that direction. But, yeah, for the most part, I had no idea how culturally rich Ypsi was until I started working at Beezy’s. That place is sort of a centrifuge for all the major personalities in town. Or at least it was an excellent place to start.

MARK: How’d you come to start working at Beezy’s?

CALEB: Well, there obviously weren’t any jobs waiting for me when I got my diploma. I think I just liked the vibe of Beezy’s the first time I walked in. And I learned to really enjoy washing dishes as an adult. I’m pretty sure I sent in my application with the side note that “I love to wash dishes,” and, when I got my interview, Bee asked me if I was good at Tetris. I forget what my answer was, but it was enough to get my foot in the door!

MARK: Was the Shadow Art Fair still going on when you moved here? I should know this, but I can’t remember if we were still doing them ten years ago.

CALEB: I totally remember the Shadow Art Fair! I still remember the Death Metal Bicycle Machine that the guy from Minus 9 built for it. If I was rich man I’d pay top dollar for a contraption like that!

MARK: I was just trying to remember if you were ever a vendor, and if maybe that’s where I first met you.

CALEB: No, I would have loved to vend there, but my portfolio wasn’t very commercially viable at that point. I think our first substantial interaction was during your Ypsilantian of the Year nominations.

MARK: Ah, yes, you nominated Bee for the honor!

CALEB: Yessir. She deserved it too. If I was to pitch one again for this year, I’d give a glowing nomination for Cre Fuller. Y’all know what I’m talkin’ about.

MARK: So, why are you leaving now?

CALEB: Well, it’s not an entirely voluntary decision. All it really took was a string of a few unfortunate events. My relationship broke down a couple of months ago, leaving me without a place to live, as we shared an apartment, and then I was fired from my bartending gig.

MARK: So what are you going to be doing?

CALEB: My initial plan was to move back to Munith and build a log cabin, but, after living with my parents during a particularly acute manic episode, I quickly figured out that it would be unsustainable. I moved back into my old room and was under their roof for a couple weeks before I kinda snapped.. So, now, I’m just embracing my lack of things to lose, and plan on hitchhiking around the country.

MARK: So you may still build a house in the woods at some point. It just won’t be now, and it won’t be near your parents?

CALEB: Oh most definitely, if I can find a plot of land in a good spot that isn’t liable to be destroyed from climate change, then I would totally build a cabin. And I’m not necessarily ruling out building in Munith. I’d just have to come up with a temporary housing solution that doesn’t involve living with my parents. Or maybe I’ll be chiller at some point! WHO KNOWS!?!

MARK: How does one go about building their own cabin?

CALEB: Well, if I were to start right now, I’d likely be felling relevant trees for seasoning… You have to strip the bark; treat the wood with a combination of linseed oil and turpentine; and ideally leave the logs sitting out for a year for them to be properly aged before you start stacking them up.

MARK: Have you done this before, or have you just studied it?

CALEB: I’ve hardly done anything with my hands outside of art/restaurant stuff, but I came up with the idea to build one about a month ago, when confronted by the lack of housing and a job. It was at that point that I began reading a lot of library books about such things, and subscribing to various survivalist youtube channels. The My Self Reliance channel is a particularly fruitful resource for anybody interested in going off-grid.

MARK: So, if not for your current financial situation, you’d want to stay here in Ypsi? I mean, if you had a job, and if you could find someone to share expenses with?

CALEB: Yes and No. At this point in my life, I am deeply attached to the community here, but I’m also feeling claustrophobic about the emerging political climate. I am the opposite of a Trump supporter, but I’m also a staunch believer in free speech and I exercise language maximally as an American citizen and as an artist. I don’t censor myself. And, for a while, Ypsi was a good place for people like me. But the Times Are A Changin’!

MARK: Can you give me an example of what you’re talking about? It there maybe one specific illustration that you could share?

CALEB: I reserve the right to call a bitch a bitch. Whether you’re a girl or a guy. I’m an INTJ personality type, and I judge people on the content of their character. The PC movement gets into hot water these days because, in an Orwellian twist, they want to CONTROL speech. It’s ironic because many minorities gained civil rights from white men VIA free and controversial speech.

MARK: So you’re sensing a societal pressure to conform…

CALEB: Let me start by saying I agree with people here on most things… Fuck Trump, and racist people, and dudes who want to oppress women. But I think we need to learn how to communicate like civil citizens before there’s another civil war. Calling white males Nazi’s for having legitimate conservative opinions is not helpful. A lot of us had fathers and grandfathers who actually fought and died killing Nazis…. *face palm*

MARK: So, for the record, you don’t identify as a Nazi?

CALEB: Inglorious Bastards is a favorite of mine if that’s any indication. Also, I have Jewish blood, and one of our next door neighbors growing up on Waterloo Munith Rd. was Mr. Hohensee. He interrogated Nazis in Germany during WWII as an American spy.

MARK: So you just want to be away from people, and live the life of a garden hermit for a while…

CALEB: Yeah, at least for the time being. I’m just anxious to be rid of the societal oversight and emotional baggage of living in Ypsi for so long. As much as I continue to love this town, it continues to be a VERY SMALL PLACE. Not having to answer to anybody: friend, family, or otherwise, is what my soul requires right now. That said, I want to revisit Ypsi in April, around my birthday, and appraise my new standing/perspective. I may stick around for awhile if the road leaves me weary. Or I might just keep traveling.

MARK: When are you planning to leave? And which direction do you plan to head in?

CALEB: December 10th. My first move will be to head south to Cincinnati. The stoner-metal band Sleep will be playing at Taft Theater that night. From there, I’ll migrate to NYC (never been); then crossing back to Chicago to hang with my cousin; then a long clip over to Colorado; followed by Bisbee, Arizona; Oakland, California to see if I can visit my Capoeira Mestre; and finally Washington State. Ideally, I’ll be arriving in Washington between Xmas and New Years.

MARK: You’re not leaving yourself much time to explore, are you? Do you think it’s doable?

CALEB: Of course, every stage of the journey is liable to be stalled or thwarted entirely!

MARK: And how are you planning to pull it off, money-wise? Are you going to be using an app like Couchsurfing to find places to stay? Are you going to be camping alongside the highway?

CALEB: Well all of my plans hinge on making a decent amount of money at DIYpsi this weekend, which I’m reasonably confident I’ll be able to do. When money or luck fails me, I’ll be hitchhiking, train-hopping, camping, etc. I have a lot of friends and family all over the place, so my waypoints were determined by that distribution, and connecting the dots.

MARK: And what’ll you do once you make it to the end of the line in Washington?

CALEB: The plan is to get a job dishing at a Brazilian Restaurant to work on my Portuguese and save up for a plane ticket to Hawaii… Haven’t planned much beyond that.

MARK: I wasn’t aware that you knew Portuguese. How’d you pick it up?

CALEB: [Laughs] I know a very small amount from training in Capoeira. It’s the primary language in Brazil, so I want to acquire a functional level of fluency before I travel there, which has been a dream of mine ever since I signed up for the Capoeira class at Eastern.

MARK: If you’ve never read it before, you might want to take a minute and check out my interview from a few years ago with Pete “Dishwasher Pete” Jordan, who set out to wash dishes across the United States. Given what we’ve been talking about, I think you might enjoy it.

CALEB: Oh, I know about him. I’ve read his book, and I’ve watched all of his media. Big fan.

MARK: So, what are you hoping to find out there, once you leave? What would be the best case scenario?

CALEB: I think I’m hoping to find myself out there. I’ve never really tested myself in this way before. I was blessed to do a lot of traveling in my youth because my dad insisted on it, but that was all on his budget, under his coordination. If anything, the current wanderlust is probably just an outburst of following in my father’s footsteps. He traveled to Mexico as soon as he finished high school and spent all of his 20’s bummin’ around all over the world. My parents lived together in Jamaica for 2 years before they got pregnant with my sister… yada yada…

MARK: What took them from Jamaica to Munith of all places? Was one of them from there?

CALEB: My dad’s from Ann Arbor, and my mom’s from Detroit. They met at the wedding of my dad’s best friend and my mom’s sister. They had a motorcycle rental business that fell through in Jamaica. And my Grandpa helped secure the land in Munith to give them a place to raise us.

MARK: As this is the second time he’s come up, I’m curious about your grandfather. What can you tell us about him?

CALEB: Andrew Zweifler. For one, he is my hero. He was a Professor and Doctor at the University of Michigan. He had an award named after him, given to physicians who exhibit extraordinary care in their bedside manner. He also founded the non-profit Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence (PPGV). He also married Ruth Zweifler, founder of the Student Advocacy Center… So he’s pretty swell.

MARK: It’s going to be cold as hell on the road, making your way through the midwest, isn’t it?

CALEB: Right! Winter isn’t the ideal time for such things, but it is what it is. Fortunately I have amassed a fairly considerable stockpile of survival gear over the years. I started building my Bug-Out Bag around the time the Occupy Movement dissolved in Michigan.

MARK: Can I ask what’s in your Bug-Out Bag… not everything… maybe just five items that people might find interesting, unexpected, etc?

CALEB: Hatchet, H20 purifier, magnesium fire rod, a copy of Bruce Lee’s Fighting Method, corn cob pipe.

MARK: How would you like to be remembered here in Ypsi?

CALEB: [Laughs] I know how I would NOT like to be remembered! The tricky thing with bipolarity is that I have two very different legacies here in Ypsilanti. There’s Depressed Caleb, who, overall, is the most palatable version of myself. And then there’s Manic Caleb. He can be fun, but he’s a lot more egocentric and combative. They both have their pros and cons, but I hope people see me for the person I genuinely strived to be.

MARK: And which Caleb am I talking with now?

CALEB: Full Blown Manic Caleb. Firin’ on all cylinders!

MARK: Well, email me when the other Caleb comes out and I’ll do an exit interview with him too, OK? I’m curious as to how the two conversations will compare.

CALEB: [Laughs] It would be a very sparse interview I can assure you.

MARK: Back to your earlier comment about how you’d like to be remembered… You say that you’d like to be remembered as the person that you strived to be. Tell us about that person. Who were you striving to be?

CALEB: The majority of my life has been spent trying to figure out WHAT to strive for. The only consistent compass for that has been my instinct to create. That’s been true ever since I was a kid, growing up in the country. It was a secluded way of life. I spent a lot of time outdoors. And, if I was indoors, I didn’t have access to video games, until the later years, so the drawing started early. And ever since I’ve been doodling in the margins of my class notes… As for being remembered, it’s ephemeral, even if you achieve great things. Being forgotten is actually kinda nice sometimes.

MARK: But if people did remember you…

CALEB: If people did remember me, it would mean a lot to me if they… especially if they saw me at my worst…. thought about me in my totality. For every seemingly dumb, or hurtful thing I did, there was always a reason. This isn’t to say that I stand by every choice I made, but my hope is that that the people of Ypsilanti would understand that I was a mentally imbalanced kid in his 20s while I lived here.

MARK: So, I know you haven’t left yet, but, when you’re on the road, and your thinking back on your time in Ypsi, what memories do you think you’ll be looking back fondly on. Is there one that you think will stand out from the others?

CALEB: Trick question…. How about a list of things:

1) Putting on Nightman Cometh with Marisa Dluge and the gang. 2) Training Capoeira with Allan Edwards. 3) Archery at The McLeod Family Farm with Davey Jones. 4) Every Porch Show at JT Garfield and Emmet Cousino’s place. 5) THE FOOD: Dalat (RIP), Encuentro Latino, La Torre, Thai Thai (RIP), Lan City Hand Pulled Noodle, Pita Pita, Hana, Go! Ice Cream, etc. etc. etc. 6) Brian Little’s crazy group art installations. 7) Doodle Saturdays at Cultivate with Guillermo Lopez, Taru Sterling, and Jim Cherewick. 8) Skateboarding, playing catch, and otherwise goofin’ off with knucklehead Nate Hockman. 9) Any and every jam session with Ypsilanti’s seemingly unlimited and incomprehensibly gifted musicians/songwriters. 10) Julian Weisensel drinking me under the table on my 21st birthday at The Elbow Room (RIP) 11) My 5 years at Beezy’s Cafe. 12) Fighting the economically predatory assimilation of Ypsi Real by the Ann Arbor Convention and Visitors Bureau. A futile battle, but worthy nevertheless. 13) Kissing pretty ladies.

If I really could only pick one though. I’ll miss the lonely strolls in Riverside Park. Clearing my thoughts, watching the Huron River mosey on by to the tune of the trains passing through Depot Town.

MARK: So, is there anything you’d still like to accomplish here in Ypsi before leaving?

CALEB: I’m doing my best to catch up with all my buddies before I depart, but there’s simply too many wonderful people and not enough time. I’m mainly focusing on tying up all my loose ends. Reassuring everybody that I’m not ENTIRELY off my rocker.

MARK: If there were going to be a Caleb Zweifler statue erected in Ypsi, where would it be, and what would the accompanying plaque say?

CALEB: It would be somewhere beside, behind, and beneath the Iggy Pop statue that needed to happen yesterday. The plaque would say… “Put On Your Goggles, When You’re Goin’ To Snorkle”.

MARK: Let’s say that, when you leave Ypsi, you stay away until you’re 100 years old, at which point you decide to come back one last time, just to look around… What would you like to see?

CALEB: I wanna see my friends get happily married. Stay in the area. I want to see what their kids are like. I wouldn’t mind dyin’ in Ypsi.

[Curious as to why people are leaving this place we call home? Check out the Ypsi/Arbor Exit Interview archive… Also, I apologize if you might have taken one of the photos above. I generally ask first, but, as I wanted to get this posted before DIYpsi, so that people might have a chance to stop by and say goodby to Caleb, I just started grabbing photos from Facebook. If you’d like credit, or for me to take down a photo that you took, just let me know.]

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  1. Posted December 6, 2018 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    I like the phrase, “I wouldn’t mind dyin’ in Ypsi”.

  2. Posted December 6, 2018 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    This post has me missing the old Saturday Six Pack radio program. When I did it, I felt more connected to the community. Talking with Caleb for this exit interview kind of brought that to the surface, as I starting thinking back, trying to remember when I talked with him last, only to be reminded of his visits show. Without having a reason to meet and interact with people, I tend to stay home and just work.

  3. Anonymous
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    “Corn cob pipe smoking archery enthusiast to leave Ypsilanti.”

    It makes me sad to read these. I feel like Ypsi is becoming less interesting by the minute.

  4. iRobert
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Another great interview, Mark. Here’s to Caleb, and wishing him a fun, interesting and rewarding adventure.

  5. Six Pack fan
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 7:54 am | Permalink

    You should bring back the show. If you don’t do it, I might just do it myself.

  6. Dave Morris
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    Caleb – If you make it out to Seattle, look me up. I’ll introduce you to some of the Urban Sketchers out here. Mark has my contact info.



  7. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:18 am | Permalink

    I have never met Caleb but I think I would like him. I am down for anyone who calls-out the bullshit of pc culture and identity politics while simultaneously defending the necessity of free-wheeling-free-speech. Free speech is our only way out.

    Ypsi more than most places needs more people like him.

  8. Dave Fanslow
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    Great interview Mark. Caleb, I worked for your Grandfather as a simulated patient in the Clinical Skills program, circa 1989, training young docs on HIV risk assessment. Very rewarding experience.

  9. Free Press
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:32 am | Permalink

    Trump is for free speech! The press is the enemy of the people!

  10. Guy smiley
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Yeh six pack must come back

  11. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    Earhardt: “Is the press the enemy of the people?”

    Trump: “No, not at all, but the fake news…”

  12. Lynne
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Saturday Six Pack was amazing. I really loved it. It made me feel more connected with the community too. If I weren’t leaving town myself for a bit, I would ask Brian if I could host something similar :)

  13. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    You were so close to being ‘cute’, Mr. Free Press.


  14. M
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    You’re leaving town, Lynne?

  15. Elize
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:15 am | Permalink

    I ended up reading this whole thing. From another 2008 emu studio dwelling red bull pounding art kid to another- good luck out there Caleb. Thanks for helping us set up First Fridays and the art incubator from the Ballroom Collective days.

  16. Eel
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    Was that just Depressed Caleb leaving a comment for Manic Caleb?

  17. Free Press
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I stand corrected. Trump does not believe in free speech.

  18. J.T. Garfield
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for talking me into playing a solo set for the first time, Caleb. That, and working at Beezy’s, really broke me out of my shell, and opened me up to all sorts of performance and shows. I’ll never forget it.

  19. Lynne
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    M, yes I am. No exit interview required. I am coming back in May :) I just cannot stand another Michigan winter right now so I am going to California and I am not coming back until I am sure there will not be any more snow!

  20. Nate
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    Love ya cz

  21. T
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    Caleb, who “reserve[s] the right to call a bitch a bitch,” believes “we need to learn how to communicate like civil citizens,” and admires Bruce Lee’s disciplined fighting-without-fighting teachings, yet somehow also stands staunchly in support of his former coworker’s violent assault of another in an Ypsi kitchen—for calling him a “bitch.” How quirky!

    Caleb just wants us all to get along, unless you say mean stuff to his friends, then he’d “have tried to knock [you] out, too.” He says that if he stays in Ypsi much longer, he’ll “probably kill someone,” and who knows for what.

    Goodbye, and get well, Caleb.

  22. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 3:58 pm | Permalink

    Mr. Free Press,

    You can continue on with what sounds like some type of Abbot and Costello routine or you can offer evidence for your claim that Trump is against free speech.

    The worst statement Trump made against free speech, as far as I know, was when he said a person should not have the right to burn a flag and that they should lose citizenship for a year, or something like that….I don’t agree with that sentiment. I also think Trump was just using hyperbole to express how distasteful he finds flag burning….

    It is clear he does not want to shrink the protections by including hate speech as unprotected speech. It is clear he wants a robust free expression of religion. It is clear he wants to challenge pc culture.

    It is also clear that he wants to speak out against things he considers lies.

    So, what is your evidence? I want your ‘cute’ joke to work. Let’s make it work. Where is your evidence?

  23. Lynne
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    I have never understood why people have a problem with “PC culture” although I like to think of it by its other names, “politeness” and “basic human decency”

    It almost always seems to be white men complaining about it too. I am sure that is a coincidence.

  24. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:48 pm | Permalink


    IMO, it most often is an extension of a political power grab that has nothing to do with human decency and everything to do with power with no necessary orientation to morality at all . Alienation and disconnection results when we no longer have spaces where it is ok to make mistakes and express wrong-headed ideas…Universities used to be these types of “safe spaces”–safe for disagreement or even just unrefined thought. Now, like we saw here two years ago, we have people on mm.com judging middle schoolers for saying disagreeable shit during lunch hour…..

  25. Anonymous
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    I forgot that this was a post about FF.

  26. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

    Sorry Anonymous, but, once again, I fail to follow your bitch-ass logic. (I am using the term “bitch” for Caleb.) I am serious though: What is your point?

    I don’t know Caleb but what he hinted at resonated with me. Maybe Caleb would like to speak more about what he was hinting at in the very good interview, here in the comments section? I would certainly like to hear more of what he has to say on the topic…I have always thought the exit interviews were a great idea. However, the exit interviews are a waste of time if “Ypsi” fails to listen when someone tells “Ypsi” in a direct way one of the reasons why they are leaving “Ypsi”.

  27. ypsi gypsy
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

    Being INTJ doesn’t mean being a misogynist jerk who blames other people’s “political correctness” for his bad behavior. Have you ever heard anyone whine about political correctness when they weren’t trying to justify saying and doing offensive things?

    You poured gasoline on your bridges and set them ablaze, that’s nobody’s fault but your own. But, I hope the next phase brings you some clarity and insight, and that your travels are safe and enjoyable.

  28. Sad
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

    FF – Trump doesn’t want the ball players to take a knee. Because he’s such a fan of free speech?

    You’re disgusting.

    Sorry Caleb.

  29. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 7, 2018 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

    Trump thinks taking a knee during the national anthem is inappropriate. He doesn’t think it is unprotected speech does he? His expression of disgust is his protest of the protest. What is the problem?

  30. Jean Henry
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 1:38 am | Permalink

    Trump said the players should be fired. That’s suppression. Trump also said the press were the enemy of the people. Please stop giving him such an easy pass, FF.

  31. Jean Henry
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 1:41 am | Permalink

    “we have people on mm.com judging middle schoolers for saying disagreeable shit during lunch hour…..” –you mean the class that harassed latinx kids after Trump’s election? Teh kids who moved lockers and yelled, “build that wall” at Latinx kids? Yeah, we judge racism, even in kids. Although my recollection is most of the judgment was directed at the school administration.

    “disagreeable” — that’s rich.

  32. wobblie
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    Don’t forget there are “good people” on both sides,


  33. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:01 am | Permalink

    Wrong Jean.

    We had a commentor on here who suggested the 7th grader chanters of “build the wall” were like the equivalent of Hitler youth. The commentor literally said the seventh grade chanters “are the enemy of the people”; and suggested we should have “no sympathy for [seventh grade chanters]”; and further claimed anyone who had sympathy for the 7th graders should be considered “collaborators”.

    On the one hand, I think I was the only one calling out the commentor, which I found disturbing. On the other hand, we had people on here who defended that commentors idiotic and creepy judgments about the 7th grade children. There is a reason the many in the mm.com community think/thought it is normal to judge 7th graders and it not because you guys are on a path that is leading toward wisdom and human decency.

  34. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    Hey Wobblie,

    What was Deandre Harris and Corey long doing off camera at 5:33 of the Duerst is the worst video?

  35. Jean Henry
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    FF– I suggest you go back and re-read before painting everyone here with such a broad brush.

  36. Anonymous
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:31 am | Permalink

    FF, If you want others to give some grace, you should also be willing to receive it.

  37. Free Press
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    Racist speech is not disagreeable. It’s racist. I suppose these kids behind Dorothy Counts were simply disagreeable? Note how they are being egged on by an adult in the back. What would these kids have to say about that day now?


  38. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    Wrong Jean.

    I suggest you re-read it.

    I am using exact quotes.

    The silence from the mm.com community was real as was the defense of the creepy judgments. Read it. Don’t pretend like I don’t know what I am talking about. On that note, please show evidence that the royal oak incident involved moving lockers. I don’t remember that aspect at all.


  39. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 10:06 am | Permalink


    I do think “disagreeable” was poor word choice on my part. But your end game really is not to try to figure out what I intended to say, is it?

  40. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 10:19 am | Permalink


    Maybe we should follow through on your attempt at an abbot and Costello routine? You just said:

    “Racist speech is not disagreeable.”

    (I know what you mean though.)

  41. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Anybody else see the how the problems with pc culture manifest themselves so fucking easily? It doesn’t even need to be teased out. The problems make themselves obvious at every turn.

    What about Caleb? You are leaving town anyway. Would you like to chime in? I would like to hear what you have to say…

  42. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    It sounded like he was talking about people on this forum. I bet like many he will vote Trump in 2020. Just a little bit of housecleaning left and it will all be clear. Nothing can stop this. Nothing.


  43. Caleb Zweifler
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    Sounds like a lot of people didn’t bother reading the interview.

    I know our education system isn’t built to succeed, but I hope that one day they become literate. Peace in the Middle East Sheeple <3

  44. anonimal
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

    FWIW, you can’t even say latinx in spanish (theres not even an ‘ex’ sound in spanish). I don’t know any hispanic people who use that word (which is half my family). Its a kind of white liberal cultural imperialism.

  45. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 2:58 pm | Permalink


    Trump suggesting the kneeling players be fired when he does not have the authority to fire the players is not suppression it is an expression of his disgust. It is protest. What is the problem? The workplace has rules. The players certainly have legal protections if they want to boycott/ protest. It gets more complicated fast when we are dealing with partial boycotts. I am no longer following the issue. Is there a movement toward complete boycott? Why not? Police body cameras are revealing some interesting evidence, no?

  46. Jean Henry
    Posted December 8, 2018 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Trump is the president, your jerk.

  47. Frosted Flakes
    Posted December 9, 2018 at 10:10 am | Permalink

    I don’t understand what you are trying to say, Jean.

  48. Man Boobz
    Posted December 9, 2018 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

    Bipolar disorder sucks, but man, Caleb burned some bridges around here.

  49. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted December 9, 2018 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

    Its good that caleb is leaving, he’s probably libtad slim who can’t even read. He’s not gonna make it even to Ohio before running home to mommy

  50. Posted December 15, 2018 at 9:43 am | Permalink

    HW, you got a shoutout from the road.

  51. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted December 15, 2018 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    Next time I’m at the cemetary I’ll try to remember that. I would respond more harshly but he probably thinks I am the one he responded to here. Not true. You know that for a fact so why are you trying to instigate?

  52. Jean Henry
    Posted December 15, 2018 at 10:27 am | Permalink

    Awesome Caleb. Safe Journey.

    Anonimal– In describing other ethnicities I tend to follow whatever community advocates use. I don’t believe that Latinx as a term was coined by white liberals, but I’m sure it has been amplified by them. When the term of use changes I will follow that lead. I adopted it when I hear it used in the US by queer South and Central American activists. Not a fight I’m in. Very interesting that it’s unpronounceable to many native Spanish speakers. Seems like an alternative is in order. Again, I don’t make the rules. And I have no interest in making the rules. Maybe I’ll skew to Latin. We’ll see. Language evolves and that’s cool.

  53. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted December 15, 2018 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    I’m sure Dirty Pete Larson will be ecstatic to see Caleb’s reply to the phony post supposed to be by me. You are really going places Pete. Wowee, someone finally bit on your trolling and it made it all the way to facebook!

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