Monday, February 13, 2012

Rise and Shine Detroit -- National Geographic Traveler

Rise and Shine Detroit -- National Geographic Traveler

This article appeared today and I could not just read it and leave it... so please read the story that is hitting the March/April Nat Geo with the now famous Chris Roddy. I was recently in the city visiting with some fellow Board Members from my suburban community of Oxford and we walked right into the Guardian and there here was. Christopher in his full humble glory waiting for us to meeted and greeted. He charmed the ladies in our group with his well... charm... and then offered to give us a tour... that is before... his job called him to the attention of a elderly visitor who had collapsed and was in need of medical attention. This humble servant of Detroit made his way to world wide attention... if only for a brief glimpse (two seconds at second 39-40) ... from his short video appearance in last years Super Bowl smash hit commercial featuring Marshal Mathers attempt to lift Chrysler Corporation on his back to resurrect the brand rising up from the ashes of the complete collapse of bankruptcy.

Yes... I just revisited this blog from February 2011 and I am willing to admit that it still gives me the goose bumpy chills when I watch it on YouTube. Funny how a year has passed and now that Marshall Mathers message of "This is the Motor City and this is what we do...." has been attempted to be topped  with another super star... from a different era... in Clint Eastwood and the "It's Half-time..." ad. Again... I will admit that this was again a goose bump spot on commercial.

I was not sure what to expect when I heard that Clint Eastwood had been hired in to do the spot this year. In fact... I missed it completely due to some running around and transporting kids that occurred at my own household half time. I did see the Madonna show... missed the bird that got flipped and then missed the Chrysler spot. Thank goodness for YouTube as my son and I cued it up the next morning and... again... a strong message that I did not think was as powerful as the Marshall Mathers message... but then again... Marshall is from Detroit or now lives out in the extended suburbs not too far from my neighborhood.

I was taken back a bit by the storm of controversy that followed the next day and has just now started to settle down this week. It appears that there are all types of conspiracy theorists at work on the hidden messages and meanings of this ad. The most outrageous one I have heard has to do with the theory that this is somehow Chrysler paying back Obama for the bail out loans that occurred. The theory is that "half-time" represents the half way point in Obama's attempt for re election for the next 4 year term.... and that somehow Clint Eastwood is paying it forward to Obama in this ad.

I heard an interview with local Detroit radio host Paul Smith and Sergio Marchionne on WJR Radio the Monday following the Super Bowl. Later that morning the dissection began taking place of the interview and some of the further conspiracies that were quite laughable. Marchionne is the head of Chrysler... who is now joined with Fiat... and this leads into the European influences on the entire ad campaign.

One thing I learned later that day... it appears that the NFL forced Chrysler to remove the ad since they had apparently violated some type of agreement and used a term that was either trademarked or propitiatory in the use of the words.... "Half Time". First Boise State threatens our local high school stating they have the rights to the words... "Blue Turf" and now the NFL says they own "Half Time"? Very soon we will not be able to say a word without infringing upon someones ownership rights to the words!

I will finish with one of my favorite catchy little toons that I think summarizes the entire Spirit of Detroit.... Sammy Davis Jr... we miss you!

"Hello Detroit" ... is a song that Sammy Davis Junior wrote about the D back in the day when he apparently felt pretty good about his experiences here in the Motor City. I don't know the story about how that song actually came to be... but Sammy belted it out and here it is...

Update:  March 8th, 2012

I caught this article on a local Facebook page for Digg Detroit from a visiting journalist who was in town to cover the Romney event at Ford Field.  He saw something in our city that many journalists have failed to see.... hope of a real sustainable recovery.  Please check it out....

  Two cities: two works in progress....

And... my reply to the comments posted....

posted 2 days ago
Thank you Richard for you thoughtful comments about your recent visit to Detroit. It is refreshing to see some more positive light being shined on a city on its knees. You see as an advocate for the fair City of Detroit...I read, watch and hear plenty of the bad news and poor coverage of the city. I caught your story on a Facebook page known as Digg Detroit and I recommend a visit there to get a vibe on what I am about to try to explain to your readers. As the first Chrysler superbowl ad said...most critics have never even set foot here. How can you pass judgement on something you know little or nothing about? Some of your reader comments are kind in thought but lack prespective from some current facts. I will direct you to some great web places for fuether thoughts on what is happening at the grass roots level... Visit Lemonaide Detroit and Google search Dan Gilbert...Quicken Loans owner and his continued investment in city gems long ago abandoned and under redevelopment. There is an entrepenurial renassance taking place very quietly and the nation needs to understand what happens when you have gone to hell and back...again quoting Chrysler super bowl ad last year.... You had better learn from the past mistakes or plan for the final chapter. Please also visit National Geographic online March April edition for a great story in 3ise and Shine Detroit...and see my favorite gem in the Guardian trust building...alive and well in 2012 dating back to the pre first depression boom and unfolding of the automotive explosion in the making. 5eroit was then known as the Paris of the midwest due to its ever expanding deco skyline. Now donkt let me leave you with the idea that I am not in touch with the was stated in the article...we have COMPLEX issues that are mind blowing. Last month each week a new more horrifying story surfaced of chilren being baby shot to death while sleeping on a sofa in a drive by...40 plus shots into a house...gang drug related. Those are deep dark issues that go way beyond any revitalization plan. Sorry about the typos...I am doing my best with Blackberry. Check my FB for more pictures and my personal committment to find the beautiful things in the D!