Tuned In

Dead Tree Alert: Detroit Breakdown

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In lieu of my Tuned In column this week, I have a piece accompanying Bill Saporito’s cover story on the auto industry. As Time’s resident Michigan native (well, one of a few), I wrote what I might think of as the second in my Bob Seger series—looking at what it does to the culture of a state and a region when the decline of its industry is not just this week’s bad news, but a story its last two generations have grown up with: 

If you grew up in Southeast Michigan in the past four decades, as I did, you were raised among reminders that things used to be better, once, before you came along. The empty factories. The abandoned blocks in Detroit. The grade-school U.S. maps with the retro pictures, on Michigan’s mitten, of Model T’s and ’57 Chevys. The headlines from the 1970s read like the headlines of 2008: The mayor of Detroit was in trouble. The Lions were losing. And the auto industry was disappearing. …

Read the rest here. Or, you can watch my fellow Michigander-turned-New-Yorker Michael Moore (who chronicled the decimation of auto jobs in Flint in 1989’s Roger and Me) offer his plan to save the car companies by taking them over on Keith Olbermann.