Saturday, February 12, 2011

Them Changes

I'm trying to fool around with the best way to share a video on this blog.  I tried a couple of different ways and this one seemed to work best.  This is the Super Bowl ad created for Chrysler featuring rapper Eminem talking about the city he grew up in, to the beat of a song I love, Lose Yourself. (warning, explicit language.)

Ten years ago, if you had told me I would be praising Eminem in any context, I would have told you that you were sadly mistaken.  In those days of the early 21st century, parents of school aged children dreaded any mention of Eminem.  He was evil.  He corrupted the young with horrible, violent lyrics.

Later, as a teen, my son had his poster in his room.  I did not comment.  Wise parents pick their battles with their teens.

Then, I listened to his more recent music.  Especially "Lose Yourself".  Hmmm.....

This is one of the main lessons aging teaches us.  People change, and we change.   And, things aren't always what they seem to be.

The auto industry has had to change, just like so many of us here in America, to survive.  Detroit (which I have never visited, but I have been to Flint) has been through some very rough times, and this commercial can not disguise that their struggle has a long way to go.

You see, I live in a "burnt out industrial town", too.  Not on the scale of Detroit, but we've seem hard times here too.  Some places, especially nearby Johnson City, boast more crumbling, vacant factories than open, vibrant businesses.  If you want to see them (and trust me, you probably don't), just drive a block or two off of Main Street and there they are, in all their former glory.

Sometimes I get so frustrated that people here dwell on the glory days of Endicott-Johnson that they don't spend enough time in the present.  Detroit had to learn that the hard way with their auto industry, too.

A year or two ago, I  blogged about walking around downtown Binghamton during a First Friday (first Friday of the month "art walk") and overheard a young couple comparing Binghamton, not kindly, to Detroit.

So, in a way, I took this commercial very personally.  I can only hope that Detroit does rise from the ashes.  If it does, some Americans may be very surprised how, and also many be surprised at the ethnic groups that make it happen. But we will just have to wait and see.

There is one P.S., though:  my husband and I have only owned one American car (a Saturn) since 1976.  The other cars have been imports, ranging from Germany to Japan to Korea.  There's a reason for that.  We never found much to like in American cars.  Many of our generation felt the same way. 

But in the meantime....of the various relatives that condemned us for owning imports....well, guess what many of them own now.

Yes, times do change.

And soon, they are going to change even more.

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