Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's A New World

I woke up this morning in a new world.

Last night, I learned Michigan used to be on the equator. It was completely covered by warm, salt water just 350 million years ago. My attitude toward the Great Lakes and the little town I live in changed overnight.

I live where a great ocean used to be.


Decidere said...

And once Michigan produced lots and lots of profitable cars, and Battle Creek was known for its hamburgers and candy factories and other kinds of packaged junk foods. In those days, the Upper Peninsula was the Lower Peninsula, and the Lower Peninsula lived near Niagara Falls when it wasn't travelling in a minstrel show. Back then, the equator wasn't so straight - it was known to smoke a joint or two and hang out with the guys, but then it got married and got a "real job" to take care of a real mortgage, and even started singing in the church choir, though he said it was his wife's idea. Once the Great Lakes weren't so great, as they were kind of submerged, but you could tell them by the warm pee feeling you got standing in the shallows of the Great Universal Ocean. History changes us, unnoticeably but constantly. However I try to keep my take on Michigan, my snapshot in time, I'm either drawn to its prehistoric past or its undelectable future.

quinn the eskimo said...

I'd just like to point out the last two Word Verification offerings:

- Extrudodog

- Cottony Underpants

Either Glad's messing with us, or Des' entries are completely buffalo'ing the software.

Billy Glad said...

Looking out my window, I can imagine waves, lapping at the trunk of the big maple tree I'll have to cut down if I add a bedroom and bath to the house.

It seems to me the auto bailout has ended up about where I expected. A collossal pass-through to Obama's union base that, unfortunately, is far from over. The sad thing about American culture is that people who were getting $65,000 per year and a ton of benefits to assemble cars weren't able to save any money or get out while the getting was good.

Now it's Ann Arbor that's known for its hamburgers.

Billy Glad said...

By the way. Back off of Battle Creek. That's where my Captain Midnight decoder ring and Ovaltine mug came from. Also my Lone Ranger silver bullet with a secret compartment. You can piss on the Great Lakes, but never think that applies to Battle Creek!

Decidere said...

Hey, I'm down with Battle Creek *AND* A2, even though it's gone from the Hash Bash to Burgers&Hash. Particular ties that go back generations.

Decidere said...

And "The Road to Wellville" is autobiographical - all those people? They're *ME*!!!

Billy Glad said...

We're making a road trip next month, just to get a burger.

And did you know Michigan has a plan to turn the Detroit area into Hollywood in the Midwest? Remember Robocop? T5 and T6 can be set in Detroit!

Tom Manoff said...

I should have kept my 55 Chevy. Bought in 1963 from my girlfriend's parents for $75 which is what a dealer offered them. Three on the column. Gave me 60,000 miles. Then I had to have a Thunderbird. And the nonsense began. Of all those cars, I'd take the chevy.

This post deals with cars right? Michigan. Passing of American culture. Bye bye Mrs. American Pie. Look for the Union Label. Duck and Cover. Right ?

Not reptiles.

Billy Glad said...

That's the best part! As far as I can tell, there were no early Devonian reptiles! There may have been sharks, though. I hate them, too. Don't even get me started on sharks. I'd club a baby shark as quick as I'd club a baby Komo.

quinn the eskimo said...

I may target Michigan for my new fast food - sorry, "swift serve" - idea. Times of change, a man's gotta innovate to survive.

1st off, it'll be "Walk-Thru" - 'cause all the cars are gone.

2nd, we'll serve tall, cool, "Shark Shakes" 'cause we need some kinda outlet for Glad's mayhem.

And 3rd, as the Coup de Ville, we're gonna have hot, steaming Extrudo-Dogs for the kids! I donno where that brainwave came from, but when you put extrudable dog food and unemployed autoworkers together, it can only spell one thing - "Former GM Town."

Christ. Could I sound any more bitter about this? The whole GM thing just feels like a gutting to me.

Billy Glad said...

I wonder if there is any place in the United States where the two Americas are more evident than in Michigan.

Decidere said...

No swift-serve for a friendly Komogator?

Tom Manoff said...

So. No one talking to me again. So long boys. I'm done.

Billy Glad said...

Maybe you should read the comment thread again, Mansky. But, as a matter of fact, you're lucky anyone does talk to you, considering the fact that you stiffed us on the door pics, failed to justify eating Tillanookie, and dissed the Thunderbird, favorite car of blondes.

Decidere said...

I thought this post was about primordial forces and the reptilian drive that makes me want to attack '55 Chevies and people who look like Richie Cunningham.

And of course I'm mostly just talking to myself, which if this were a bar, we'd all be cool with, but hard to find a drink on the Internet for all its pluses.

quinn the eskimo said...

I can't talk old cars. Never owned a car. Which, more than anything else in our culture, marks me as a freak. Where I relate to this Michigan shite is knowing what it's like to be from a place where the economy is gone. Just gone. And it's part of what makes me want to beat the bejesus out of liberal-Dem writers who wax nostalgic about it. Suuuch pretty words, sooo caring, and not God's own first fucking clue what it means.

N.S. used to be a fucking TITAN in transportation. You guys may not give a damn, I donno, but you wanna understand Michigan? Go see how life shifted in other places that fell. NS made ships. The greatest sailing ships the world's ever seen. Fuck the Romans and the Vikings and the Phoenicians. We built the fastest ships that ever went under sail. Wiki: Bluenose.

And not just at one or two big yards. Every little cove imaginable had shipyards. My village is 480 people. My beach has little pieces of soft brown wood sticking up 4" from the sand. We NEVER KNEW what they were from. But my Dad dove and swam off the end of the dock they were once part of. And HIS Dad was Harbourmaster. 5 miles down the road there were these incredible shipyards, and 12 miles down the road, and so on. They cut every single tall tree in the whole province, to build the British Navy. I remember how shocked I was at how TALL trees could grow, when I went to the States. There were none left in NS.

And after that, the great emptying began. Because we never had the political power to force re-investment in new shipbuilding. (This sounding familiar?) Nobody gives a rat's, but get this. Nova Scotia NEVER voted to JOIN Canada. We knew we'd be crushed. So NS voted separatist from 1867 into the 1930's. Some elections, every single MP was a separatist. And Queen Vic said, "If you don't like it, you can fight your way out." We'd seen the Civil War, so we said no thanks. So our only option was to negotiate better terms for the dole.

Which means our culture, for 100 years, was poverty, the dole, fading nostalgia for these beautiful ships. Just like your beautiful big cars.

And then... we all "went down the road." I donno if that phrase means anything to you guys, but every Canadian understands it. There's a movie, "Goin' Down The Road. Wiki it -

"Peter and Joey drive their 1960 Chevrolet Impala from their home in the Maritimes to Toronto with the hope of meeting up with their relatives in the city who can find them a job. However, their relatives hide from what they perceive to be their uncouth behaviour, and they are set adrift in the city. The men find minimum wage jobs ($2/hour for a 40 hour week) - which still pay much better than anything they could find back home.

They soon turn their good fortune into residency in a small apartment. Both men start romances, and Joey decides to get married when he gets his girlfriend pregnant. He pursues a lifestyle undreamt of at home with his new wife, but the larger apartment and payments on his new stereo and television strain his finances. He becomes desperate as his child's birth approaches and the expenses mount.

Disaster strikes when Peter and Joey get laid off at the end of the summer. Unable to find steady work and having bills to pay and a baby on the way, they come up with a harebrained scheme to rob groceries from a Loblaws supermarket, which inevitably results in disaster."

Now multiply that by hundreds of thousands of people. i.e. Every single family, every single one, lost kids who had to move thousands of miles away. And these people were Scots, Irish, who'd already come through this shit ONCE. And now, because of political maneuvering, had to do it again.

You think it's hard to say goodbye to ice cream stalls and assembly plants? How about saying goodbye to the Sea. Ship-building. Land you frigging owned. Your family. And all of it on land your family considered Holy Salvation itself, after starving in Europe.

While this shit is still happening all around us, fuck nostalgia.

quinn the eskimo said...

Just looked it up, to check memory. "Goin' Down The Road." Apparently, it's Cinema Verite. Shot for $26,000. Always makes the Top 10 Canadian Films list. Pauline Kael loved it. Said it showed up the forced honesty of Cassavetes. Hmmmm, that may force a viewing from someone. ;-)

And it still makes me want to kill somebody. Down Home, the Dust Bowl lasted 100 fucking years. Which is why saving GM, in some form, and making stuff like the Chevy Volt WORK, is so fucking important.