As we are boat people, I know what a bailout is, literally. A wave swamps the boat and all hands grab buckets. I don’t have to explain what bailing is, do I? If no more waves come and your captain knows what he’s doing, eventually the vessel finds an even keel again and all is well. If not, well…I hope you’re wearing your life jacket.
I thought of this when I recalled some of my earliest conversations with my friends here in Detroit, when I expressed wonder or frustration at the business practices of General Motors, Ford, Chrysler et al. The company was inevitably described as a battleship, an aircraft carrier, or some other very large seagoing vessel. And then they would add, “It can’t change direction quickly. But it can take a few hits and go through rough seas without too many problems.” I suppose that makes the credit crisis a Japanese torpedo hitting broadside. I hope $15 billion will buy enough buckets.
I mention this because Freep columnist Brian Dickerson makes a few good points regarding Detroit topic No. 1 today:
The primary reason to be skeptical is that the congressional enforcers tasked with holding Detroit’s feet to the fire have done a glaringly atrocious job reforming their own, ahem, industry. The same lawmakers lambasting the auto industry for promising its retirees more benefits than it can afford continue to promise their own constituents more benefits than the U.S. Government can afford. The same Congress that wants to crucify the Detroit Three for their preoccupation with short-term profits is notorious for strategic visions that extend only to the next election.
Um, yeah. But let’s not think about that now. You all want to talk about the Illinois governor, right? Rod Blago-unspellable. I’d like to talk about him too, but my mouth is so agape after hearing all the ugly details that I fear my only contribution would be buh-buh-buh. Even by the standards of the Illinois governorship, this resets the scale. Whoever said, yesterday, that the guv is stupid? I think that’s right.
Anyway, I have a doctor’s appointment early today, so I must away. Talk, instead, about Hank Stuever’s simple thesis:
We live comfortably, if strangely, in a pseudo-Sapphic era in which seemingly every college woman with a MySpace page has kissed another girl for the camera; but for men who kiss men, it’s still the final frontier.
So, James Franco, what was it like to kiss Sean Penn in “Milk?” (And no one seemed to ask him the question I want to know: What’s it like to kiss a heavy smoker these days? It’s been so long since I did that, I totally forget.)
I’m off to get prodded. Into the shower.