Car prom! Took my camera! Let’s get started:
The North American International Auto Show is held in the vast space of Cobo Center, which may not be as vast as your city’s convention center, but is pretty big. The show runs for two weeks — the first couple of days is the media preview, followed by industry days, the Charity Preview (aka Car Prom) for one night, and then the show opens to the public, and once it does it’s no longer possible to be handed a flute of champagne by an Italian beauty at the Maserati space, which goes to show you the public always takes a screwing. But Alan worked a week’s worth of hours and then some in about three days, and deserved a pleasant night out. That’s what we got.
So let’s go to the show. Hi, Miss Michigan USA!
As you can see, some people took the black-tie designation seriously and some people went with the modern designation. Everybody looked fine, if a little Fellini-like under the lights. But no matter, the wine is flowing and let’s stop for loyalty’s sake at the hometown heroes, Ford.
That’s the 2013 Ford Fusion, one of the hits of the show. The auto writers called that grill “aggressive,” apparently because it protrudes a bit, which along with the squinty-eyed headlights gives it an aggressive, don’t-mess-with-me face, a new feeling for a mid-priced mid-size sedan. The female Ford car models, er, “product specialists” all wore those white dresses. They looked sharp.
Over to Lincoln. This is the MKZ concept, but mostly it’s just me trying to do something with all the shiny in the frame:
The Cadillac ATS:
They’re touting this as a competitor for the BMW 3 series, which made BMW scoff, I’m told. Whatever. I’d market it as a domestic-made luxury sedan for patriotic Americans who want to support the 99 percent. Domestic is back, baby.
Speaking of luxury, this is a Maserati SUV which will be made in Detroit. Yup:
Side view at the link. I guess I was taken with yet another set of squinty headlights. Also the idea of a Maserati SUV. Someone call LeBron.
If Kate had rich parents, they’d buy her this for a Sweet Sixteen present:
Too bad for her she doesn’t. It’s one of the redesigned Beetles, made a little flatter and less cute, now with guitar-y rock’n'roll-osity. Maybe it’s because I remember the special-edition lemons of the ’70s — anyone for a blue-jeans Pacer? — but I think they’re all kind of silly. The King Ranch interior package for the Ford trucks and SUVs has been around for a while; some people found the cup holders a good place to leave their empties:
The many open vehicles made for a nice place to take a load off. I think this was a Mini Cooper I was sitting in:
Speaking of cute little cars, here’s the front end of that Smart pickup-truck concept from last week:
Look, it’s smiling at you! Aren’t you all ashamed of all the mean things you said about it? It’s like you were picking on a kitten or something.
A few odds and ends. I seem to recall one of you regulars is a foot man; here’s some eye candy for you:
I can’t remember if that was on a guest or one of the product specialists.
Black tie on the People Mover:
Finally, the afterglow at the Ren Cen, where the view from the glass elevator (how ’70s!) was of America Junior across the river:
And this is your correspondent, signing out:
But no, we have some bloggage first:
Joe Paterno speaks, to Sally Jenkins at the WashPost:
Paterno’s hope is that time will be his ally when it comes to judging what he built, versus what broke down. “I’m not 31 years old trying to prove something to anybody,” he said. “I know where I am.” This is where he is: wracked by radiation and chemotherapy, in a wheelchair with a broken pelvis, and “shocked and saddened” as he struggles to explain a breakdown of devastating proportions.
…How (Jerry) Sandusky, 67, allegedly evaded detection by state child services, university administrators, teachers, parents, donors and Paterno himself remains an open question. “I wish I knew,” Paterno said. “I don’t know the answer to that. It’s hard.” Almost as difficult for Paterno to answer is the question of why, after receiving a report in 2002 that Sandusky had abused a boy in the shower of Penn State’s Lasch Football Building, and forwarding it to his superiors, he didn’t follow up more aggressively.
It’s worth reading for the account of how he was fired alone.
Every audience-member’s nightmare — one’s cell phone goes off during a performance of the New York Philharmonic — turns the culprit into the culture-pages version of That Guy Who Cost the Cubs a Pivotal Game. You can see why he insisted on anonymity. I recall a profile of Wynton Marsalis from a few years back, which described a similar incident. Marsalis, without missing a note, picked up the tune of the ringtone, wove it into his improv and wove it back out to the exact point where it went off — the last two notes in “I Don’t Stand a Ghost of a Chance With You.” And that’s why he’s Wynton Marsalis and everyone else is just a player.
Oh, I can’t wait until campaign season ramps up, so we can see more ads like this. Evil French!
The week awaits. If you have the day off today, enjoy it.