WDET’s Annual Festivus Airing of Grievances for 2021

We had a lot of problems with 2021, and now you’re gonna hear about it.

Just as we all thought things would get better in 2021, we’ve racked up a lot of grievances ranging from the ongoing pandemic to Metro Detroit’s favorite snack. 

“I think we have more self-respect than to tie our entire identity as people to chili on a hot dog.” –Ryan Patrick Hooper, WDET

Host Stephen Henderson and some friends of Detroit Today look back on the major frustrations, little victories and petty inconveniences of the past year. 

Listen: Detroit Today’s 2021 airing of Festivus grievances.


Candice Fortman is the executive director of Outlier Media. Some of her 2021 grievances include:

  • Having to join the Festivus episode over the phone once again. “Honestly my eye rolls are going under-appreciated.”

  • Men. “What didn’t you do?”

  • Government accountability. “We had government officials unwilling to participate in public conversations about their jobs.”

Ryan Patrick Hooper is the host of CultureShift on 101.9 WDET-FM. Some of his 2021 grievances include:

  • Being good but still paying for other people’s carelessness. “Where’s my cookie?”

  • The pandemic sigh. “It’s a downtrodden vibe like an Eeyore.”

  • The coney dog’s hold on Metro Detroiters. “I think we have more self-respect than to tie our entire identity as people to chili on a hot dog.”

Bill Nowling is executive director of strategic communication at DP+. Some of his 2021 grievances include:

  • Shameless self-promotions from elected officials. “This is not about you.”

  • Self-proclaimed experts. “The kind of people who … they’re not a doctor but they did stay at a Holiday Inn Express once.”

  • Woke nodders. “When you talk about issues … they have this concerned look on their face and they nod.”

Trusted, accurate, up-to-date.


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  • Detroit Today
    Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.
  • Nora Rhein
    Nora Rhein works with the production team on "Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson" on 101.9 WDET. She's very proud to be a public radio nerd.