Monday, April 14, 2008

I saw a dinosaur yesterday

As I was driving south on I 75 yesterday returning from the gym, I was amazed to see a dinosaur in my rear-view mirror. I wasnt sure what kind it was until it passed me, speeding by on my left going about 70 mph. At first I thought it was a Suburbadon. Those large boxy SUV's were usually brown, or grey. They were seen mostly during the 1990's and 00's, before gasoline began approaching $5 per gallon. But no, as it lumbered past, I saw that is was a Yukonasaur XL. (XL stands for extra large)

These beasts were prevalent when gasoline was still being squandered by Americans in the previous age, before the great gasoline shortages and oil wars of the 21st century. Today, of course, we laugh at such grotesque creatures. Reportedly the last of the giant SUV's were junked around 2016 at the end of the third Iraq/Iran war.

Young people today are amazed at what their grandfathers drove. Just as we make fun of the outlandish dress of the 1970's, people today marvel at the bawdy and oversize monsters spewing black smoke during the times before we understood the importance of conservation.

Today, of course, the Hummersaurs are extinct. They exist only in museums in Detroit, where they used to make cars. You can also see them on the History Channel.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

April Fools

Since Mother Nature played an April fools joke on us today with weather last night at a balmy 60 degrees before plunging to below freezing tonight with hail, I thought I might mention the worst joke being played on us all in Southeast Michigan these days.

Kwame Kilpatrick needs to just go. With all the problems that plague Detroit and to a lesser extent the whole state of Michigan, the last thing we need is another embarrassment to go national. But national it has gone. The sex and legal scandals to beset the region are now fodder for national jokes. Just as we started to make headway with our tattered reputation, the mayor's personal shortcomings and lack of ethics has smacked us back down.

While many of us push for green policies and regional cooperation on mass transit, the headlines get highjacked back to sorry and sordid scandals involving secret deals, wife-cheating, and clumsy obstruction of justice. While businesses try and return to Detroit with loft development, new hotels, casinos, and stadiums, the mayor throws away millions of dollars to protect his personal and now very tattered reputation.

Most of us care little if a politician gets caught with his pants down. It is the lying, cheating, hypocrisy, and dishonesty that makes us throw up our hands with disgust.

Born-again Fundamentalists buying hookers and male prostitutes, conservative senators cruising mens' rooms, governors paying for $5,000 call girls across state lines, even Presidents going after interns in the oval office. These are the headlines that prove our society's dissonance between sexual mores and sexual behaviors. A little honesty would go a long way here.

In the meantime, when one gets caught with their pants down, it is too late to run and hide.

That is the time to come clean. Fess up. Own your behavior. And for Kwame Kilpatrick, it means just go.