I've got no dog in the fight, to be sure. But this is the image that sticks in my mind when I think of Philadelphia:
And at the risk of antagonizing the inhabitants, this video does little to alter my perception.
I've always wondered just what goes through the minds of people who profess to be great champions of liberty because they favor obscenity. I listen with bewilderment to artists like Anthrax and Eminem sing songs painting themselves as martyrs against the oppressive hand of The Man because they aren't allowed to use F-words on TV or the radio, apparently following from the theory that you should just shower kids with profanity and let them decide for themselves whether to be offended by it. Freedom, see. Same goes for porn and drugs and voting rights and murder. Any restrictions on any of these things in polite company is a mortal blow against liberty.
I realize I'm a trifle young to be shaking my cane at the kids on my lawn—and maybe I shouldn't be mouthing off immediately after again seeing the 50s as depicted in Back to the Future—but there's a difference between freedom and anarchy. Once upon a time, Philadelphia was the spiritual capital of that kind of intellectual distinction. Now names like Jefferson are invoked to urge people in that same city to wash their hands after they "do".
And I can't help but think that it might have done the world some good if having Chase Utley scream an F-bomb to a prime-time live audience of millions led to some kind of, you know, scandal or something—or caused the feed to cut to a test pattern, or prompted the MC to quickly usher him offstage, or provoked a boo or two from the throngs, or something. Not just indulgent lionization.
Yeah, that's the solution to the domestic auto industry's badge-engineered-blandness-related woes:
But the craziness doesn't end there. GM Inside News also reports an even more surprising vehicle could get moved to the crossover platform: the Dodge Caravan, assuming of course that the General follows through on talks to purchase Chrysler from Cerberus. You may recall that GM abandoned the minivan market earlier this year in favor of its Lambda-based crossovers.
The Lambda platform must be extremely modular if it can be stretched enough to accommodate the size of the Suburban along with the people- and cargo-carrying capacity of a Dodge minivan. Also on the rumormill menu is a possible Chevrolet version of the minivan.
Yeah. More badge-engineering. Merge away a storied automaker, kill off most of the worthwhile and unique offerings, and then bring out more clones with different noses.
Because it totally makes sense that if a customer won't buy a particular car you happen to build, it's only because they don't like the badge and grille design. Just provide a variety of those and you're home free.
I'm inclined to think that if this is what the best and brightest can come up with as a way forward, maybe we don't deserve to have a domestic auto industry anyway. Yeesh.
I found myself musing, while observing South Jersey gas prices like these:
... that for all the hyperbolic magazine articles and financial wranglings and economic doomsaying centered around the idea of perpetual super-expensive gas from now until forever, we might well end up looking back on the summer of 2008 as a really bizarre, brief glitch.