Thank you, Shinola

What brand of merchandise wouldn’t want a shout out at the Academy Awards?

“Shinola watches! Unbelievable! They’re saving Detroit!” said “Green Book” director Peter Farrelly as he pointed at his wrist while accepting the award for best original screenplay.

Detroit Free Press

But the reaction of most Detroiters (in our best Deh-twah accent) is
au con·traire . My favorite is from our new Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib.


The marketing department swung into action threading this PR needle.

I would never pay $500 for a watch. When I need to know the time I look at my phone. But I know a number of people who wear Shinola as a proud pro Detroit statement. But many others bristle at appropriated “made in Detroit” cred. Detroit’s Storyteller, Aaron Foley captured the ambiguity in a 2014 article for Forbs Magazine

But it was the “Made in Detroit” ethos Detroiters began to hone in on next. Is it genuine, or co-opting a city narrative to sell a product?
Okay, so, maybe the potatoes shredded up at the Better Made plant might not have been grown here, but Better Made earned its stripes to call their chips a Detroit original. Those respects have been nonexistent with Shinola, as people began to pick apart the little things. The boxes for the watches are made in Minnesota. The parts for the bicycles are made in Wisconsin. The company has a $14.5 million flagship store in New York City! — say it like an incredulous cowboy in one of those old Pace salsa commercials. But what about the tinier Detroit storefront?

It was likewise not lost on many that this declaration of our so called corporate savior came from the director of the “Green Book” another movie about a white savior rescuing a Black man. I also had to chuckle at one of Spike Lee’s comments.

Every time somebody’s driving somebody, I lose.

Was the Green Book better than Black Panther, BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody and The Favourite. As Rashida would probably have said it, “No F*****g Way!”

What Were They Thinking?

I was sharing an older post from this Blog with a friend when I realized I haven’t written anything here since last November. Lack of inspiration? More like lack of simple discipline. Throughout my life I’ve been quite good in practicing the gentle art of procrastination. I’ve stumbled upon this observation by Oliver Burkeman.

Who says you need to wait until you ‘feel like’ doing something in order to start doing it? The problem, from this perspective, isn’t that you don’t feel motivated; it’s that you imagine you need to feel motivated. If you can regard your thoughts and emotions about whatever you’re procrastinating on as passing weather, you’ll realise that your reluctance about working isn’t something that needs to be eradicated or transformed into positivity. You can coexist with it. You can note the procrastinatory feelings and act anyway.”

Indeed. Most prolific artists, writers, and innovators are successful because they have work routines that force them to put in a certain number of hours a day, no matter how uninspired. Burkeman pointed out an observation of the renowned artist Chuck Close; “inspiration is for amateurs. The rest of us just show up and get to work”

In addition to procrastination I’ve been thinking about self destructive behavior. Any young actor come to mind? What was Jussie Smollett thinking?

One of the podcasts I enjoy is “Stay Tuned With Preet. Preet
Bharara is the former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York who Trump famously sacked after saying he was keeping him on the job. Bharara was asked why Paul Manafort would enter into a plea deal and then harm himself so badly by violating its terms? He observed in all of the prosecutions he’s been involved in that’s often an ongoing mystery. Why do Billionaires commit crimes for another million? Why do celebrity movie stars shoplift?

That made me think of Alfred Taubman the billionaire mall developer who was convicted of price fixing and served jail time when he was Chairman of the art auction house Sotheby’s. It’s estimated that Jussie was paid $125,000 for each episode of Empire. I guess it just wasn’t enough.

We are suppose to get a cyclone bomb. Winds as high as 50 miles per hour with anticipated power outages. Went food shopping today and I’m charging my devices and my charger and laying out batteries for my electric lantern. Local television loves to sensationalize the weather. Let’s see if it lives up to its hype.

P.S. From time to time we all do things that causes us to ask “What Was I Thinking?” For 30 years my favorite singer songwriter, Christine Lavin has been writing and rewriting a signature song “What Was I thinking”. Here’s the 2015 version regarding Kim Davis. If you have three more minutes give it a listen. If you like it then buy it.