What Brings Us Together


Is it okay to feel sorry for Detroit?  The latest cover story in Time magazine shows the Motor City like an old combustion engine that’s dried out, rusty, and in need of a total rebuild.  I’m not a Detroit historian, but it’s apparent you can’t blame the city’s problems completely on the demise of the US auto industry, or the most recent economic crisis.  For a long time, Detroit has been a punchline as America’s armpit.  In the 1970’s comedy/parody film “Kentucky Fried Movie,” the evil foreign leader Dr. Klahn sentenced one man to beheading, and another man to something worse… wait for it… Detroit.  But not all is lost for Motown.  The Time cover story, “The Tragedy of Detroit,” optimistically suggests the city can once again build something America wants.  And next to that dramatic headline on my coffee table was an inspirational Sports Illustrated feature on how the Detroit Tigers baseball team is unifying the city and bringing hope to the hopeless.  At first, I found it ironic to receive these contrasting covers in my mailbox in the same week.  Then I considered both publications are owned by the same company, Time Warner.  Not such a surprise anymore.  What struck me the most is that, while politics and religion seem to divide us, perhaps the two strongest cultural icons that unite us are tragedy and sports.

One Response

  1. Well written. I liked this commentary and agree with your analogy. 🙂 I bet we could feel even more united, though, if we cut a portion of the players salaries and handed them out as a sort of “bleacher bailout” to the fans… Players keep their jobs with incomes still $999,999 more than the rest of us…attendance soars…and the fat lady sings. There. It’s finally over. I just fixed the nation with peanuts and popcorn.

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