Like many geographers, I found myself intrigued by the Super Bowl advertisement that Chrysler ran, a two-minute piece featuring musician Eminem and trumpeting the city of Detroit. It’s an interesting ad for a number of reasons. Certainly part of the intrigue comes from Detroit’s position as the butt of jokes, and the focus of umpteen photo essays of its landscape of decline. The left points at the city as evidence of the failures of capitalism, while the right claims its decline was caused by strong labor unions and too-big civic governance. Either way, with a city population rapidly declining — down below 900,000 by latest estimates, less than half its 1950 peak — and the associated economic and fiscal problems, we can all agree that Detroit has its problems. Continue reading “Detroit, Eminem and Chrysler’s Geographic Imagination”
This year marks the first time that I haven’t sat and watched the Super Bowl in memory. The earliest one I remember is, of course, the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XX. Now, 25 years later, I’m skipping one. Why? Not the whole concussion debate that’s given me a slight distaste for a sport I love. Not the overarching consumerism (and associated brain damage) that each Super Bowl represents. Not even the fact that this game was so clearly cursed, given the people injured by falling ice from the stadium (ice in Dallas in February?) or the several hundred people who came to Dallas with tickets but weren’t allowed in.