Monday, May 04, 2009


A Singer's View of Detroit

My old friend TallTenor is in Detroit to sing with the Michigan Opera Theater. I have found his reflections on the city fascinating. TallTenor most recently sent me a message yesterday which I thought reflected some interesting ideas, and is copied below:

I was writing someone earlier today that the decline of "Detroit" (speaking metaphorically about the auto industry more than about the city itself) seems to me to be very much like my father's decline as he aged. He tried so very hard to hold on to all the activities and interests that he'd had (as opposed to letting them go gradually, once he could no longer do them) that when the cracks started to appear, his whole life kind of shattered at once.

Though I've not had to deal with my own aging - yet - I hope that I will be able to realize over time that it's better to embrace the things I will still be able to do, rather than become bitter about the things I can't. As for "Detroit," it seems to me that while both the labor unions and upper management bear the blame, more of it lies with upper management, which had neither the vision nor the desire to think outside the box and look toward a viable future.

Which, if you think about it, is kind of the American Way since the 60's... live for today. I cringe when I watch Wall Street types on the news or business news channels, talking about which companies are good long-term, buy-and-hold investments... when these are the same guys who tank a stock that doesn't do better than it did last quarter, or than in the same quarter a year ago.

Those yahoos are talking out of both sides of their mouths, telling us to do one thing when they're doing another, all to shave a few extra dollars of profit for themselves.

Sorry... here endeth the sermon. Gotta get ready for today's musical rehearsal w/orchestra, anyway.

Thank you Tall Tenor. You are right on point.

With regard to aging - learn the lesson now so you don't forget it later. I have more than a few friends that are not handling the 'aging' thing well. It is as frustrating to watch as I am sure it is to be in their shoes.
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