I hate TV commercials and all other forms of advertising. There have been a few commercials/ads that I thought inspired, but on the whole I let my remote control fast-forward through the TV variety, and divert my eye from the printed versions.
I dislike most American cars. Soon I may need to rethink this one. Those car folks seem to have finally gotten the message.
I've been to Detroit several times – all in the late 1960's and early 1970's. I didn't like it then, so I know I'd really hate it now.
I don't care for Eminem.
But I love the Dee-troit commercial. No matter how bad times may be, when people have pride in the place in which they live they tend to take better care of it, vote regularly, and with some intelligence, pick up trash, and in general be a good citizen/steward.
If this commercial could make me feel a bit better about Detroit, it must have made Detroit-ers (what do people in Detroit call themselves?) swell up all over.
Haven't been lucky enough to see the commercial? Look no further:
So Steerpike, what's the buzz about this commercial up there?
Everyone else: could your city/town/community benefit from this type of emotional grab-you?
"Speramus Meliora; Resurget Cineribus". Detroit's motto. Make it so.
"…you just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake."
I watched it--hadn't seen it before. Nice. Good to see something that makes Detroit look good. We lived in Detroit the summer of the mid 50s, in my uncle's house while they vacationed up north on the lake. I used to take the bus downtown to the Hudson Dept store. It was quite different in those days. We did settle up north in Rochester village for about five years after that. Then to Florida and eventually to California, which we love.
It first aired on the Superbowl, and most people from Michigan thought it was great. I like it too, though the general feeling is that the car it's advertising isn't really all that terrific, which does hurt the ad's credibility.
Speaking as someone born and raised in Michigan I grew up assuming that most of everyone's family worked in the auto industry. The problem we have with this state, which has the highest unemployment in the country, is that any idiot could have seen coming years ago what's happening now. The American auto industry got too big, it owned too many things unassociated with autos, it never innovated, it never really prepared itself for the future. Now a bazillion of those jobs are gone and there are still people here trying to convince themselves that they're coming back. They are not. The state has to diversify or things won't get better. And it can diversify - Michigan has more engineers per capita than any other state, a huge industrial base, and plenty of top-quality educational institutions.
As to Detroit specifically, it has been governed by corrupt machinery for something like 50 years. Heck, we all thought Kwame Kilpatrick was going to be a huge wind of change - young, energetic, former teacher, seemingly eager to do right by the city. And anyone who watches American news knows how that turned out. Of course, the only real difference between Kilpatrick and his predecessors in the Mayor's office (as well as everyone on the City Council) is that most politicians are conniving, subtle criminals; Kilpatrick is a thug of the more obvious variety.
I don't live in Detroit and never have, though of course I've been there hundreds of times. Great theatre. Great art institute. Great symphony. Jazz. Greektown, which is super-awesome. Hamtramck (ham-TRAM-ick), an independent city completely surrounded by Detroit, also really cool. You can get to beautiful Windsor via the Bridge or Tunnel, one of the few places in the world where you drive south to get to Canada. Something that will strike you if you ever visit Detroit are the thousands of beautiful homes - mansions, almost - in the many neighborhoods downtown, all standing empty. Each is a unique architectural marvel. You can buy one for about $10,000 if you look, though the city has finally committed to tearing down 30,000 a year for the next five or six years.
Michigan people and Detroiters have pride in the city, to the point where some of them get a little weirdly defensive when we think the outside world is looking at us. There was a lot of uproar over that Detroit 187 show, people afraid it would portray Detroit in a bad light; no one ever complains when homicide shows are set in New York or Vegas or whatever. They actually did a nice job of being pro-Detroit, though I think it's been cancelled.
Detroit has a lot in common with Pittsburgh, except Pittsburgh has been able to turn itself around and Detroit, so far, has not. The city needs a massive political enema - the new mayor seems okay but the machinery of government there is broken, and it needs the big universities to invest in it. And it needs to be more than just the motor city. It has the potential to be more, and it needs to be. I drive a Nissan.
The ad was well-done, and I think courageous, and made Detroiters feel better about themselves. Which is always needed. Remains to be seen if that will galvanize us into action. Like most other states the idiocracy ruled the last election and gave us a governor who's in a froth to cut cops, schools, and firefighters rather than costs that should be cut (thank you, Tea Party), and transformation takes money. Money is not something the state or city has right now, but I do think there's hope, long-term.
Life is the misery we endure between disappointments.
I just worked a couple of days on a commerical by the same people who made the Eminem Chrylser commerical. This one was a story about a young guy from the 'hood in Portland who made it big in pro football. They showed us the Eminem commercial as reference though I doubt they will catch lightening in the bottle again like they did with Detroit. They tried to play him up as coming from misery and making it... [Image Can Not Be Found]. Portland is hardly Detroit. Yeah right...fighting your way up through a nice middle class neighborhood to a nice upper class mansion.
I don't get to watch much TV. Heck I've missed almost everything in the past 4.5 years (except The Wire, Serenity, and at least the first half of Battlestar Galactica).
But Spike I gotta say this just based on your subject line. It's one of my all-time favorite quotations from 1 of my 3 father figures: every time you think you weaken the nation!
Ah I remember my mom laughing at the 3 stooges. Dead now 31 years. She was a good person.
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