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I just finished listening to CSPAN Q & A featuring Heidi Ewing talking about her latest film Detropia. I am anxious to see the film. However, there were some moments in her interview on CSPAN that were chilling for me. Of course the following is a combination of my impressions and my paraphrases of her interview.

At one point she is talking about the Auto union and its workers. She states that, some years back, the compensation for auto workers was "bloated." She gives an example of the auto workers' children being able to get help with homework from a service that was contracted as one of the conpensation packages of the auto workers. She does say that all sides were at fault and described extensive compensations for management and points out management's poor strategic decisions on car models. However, then she comes back to say that the union had to make a concession at some point and that now new auto workers make half of the senior people-period. She just cooly says the union has taken their "lumps." After reporting the drastically reduced wages, Heidi further says, with no emotion, that it is not known whether this will be enough to save the auto industry. Then she talks about some Federal money helping Detroit and then wondering if the money for Detroit is just another bailout. Finally, she openingly wondered if maybe we should tear Detroit and put up something new. She seems detached. But that may be why her film is said to be so remarkable. I really can't wait to see it.

I have, in a nutshell, pointed out my "chilling moments" and therefore my opinions. Heidi said her father was an entrepreneur. Heidi reminds me of myself in 1984. Looking at the recession with some empathy but not really able to "feel" it. She makes no remark about the scene where the workers are taking even more pay cuts. In fact her commentary on the workers demanding too much came after the scene where workers are taking lower wages in all categories. I don't know ....but some how I feel after that interview that the workers were just supposed to accept the lower wages and go on. Of course her thesis may have been narrowed to reporting "what is" not "what can be done." Heidi and Detropia may have left the solutions and the doing up to us. Like I say....I am looking forward to seeing the movie. I just think she did not express much empathy for her subjects --including Detroit--at least not for this "heart on the sleeve" girl. Though I did not see the interview--I know she is much younger than I and it may be a generational communication style that I am not understanding as well .

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Faroutman, radarlady

    A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. Joseph Campbell Justice is what love looks like in public - Cornel West/MLK

    by leftinhamlet on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 01:02:38 AM PST

  •  I lived in Detroit area (4+ / 0-)

    when the auto companies were on top of the world. As far as I am concerned they were infested with arrogant and inept management that failed miserably to produce cars that competed with the Japanese and German imports.

    They responded with the Vega and Pinto, two pieces of junk.
    The quality of the cars at that time was bad too. You could see obvious flaws on the exterior of brand new cars.

    The auto workers have sacrificed a lot because of the competition from the world not being adequately addressed. Yes, the car companies were saved but many jobs were lost anyway and wages and benefits will never be what they were.

    The Fierce Urgency of Later

    by Faroutman on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 01:21:04 AM PST

    •  I was a little kid in the late '70s... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Faroutman

      ...and I loved playing with Matchboxes and imagining myself driving the cars. In a variation on that classic game that I would not appreciate until decades later, I distinctly recall I always used to pretend I had a terrible time trying to get my car started. Hey, that's the way it really was with my parents ('75 Ford Granada) and most of my friends' parents as well!

      Certaines personnes disent qu'il y a une femme à blâmer, Mais je sais que c'est ma faute sacrément.

      by RamblinDave on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 01:33:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Tipped for reminding me of the Vega, which I'd (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Faroutman

      forgotten. During that time, Japan was producing Datsuns and Toyotas etc. that would run forever and barely drink any gas.
      I haven't seen the entire movie, "Gran Torino", so I'm not sure what symbolism is represented by the car but that was a piece of junk, too. In 73 Ford also built one of the last true pickup "trucks", which was featured in the Charles Bronson film "Mr. Majestyk". The physical abuse heaped on it during the film was a popular ad campaign.   I had one of those about 10 yrs ago, with just 49,000 miles on it. Minimal pollution control, drank gas easy to fix, heavy steel body and frame,  tough as a dump truck.

      The declining availability of oil and the rising price produced a radical change in America, which we are still observing.
      CEO's and leaders are finally learning the lessons of adaptability, agility and responsiveness.
      We're on the cusp of a new era, luckily we're going to have Obama at the helm. If we play our cards right, we can set our country up for good things for decades. Global warming will be no picnic, but we can survive it if we adapt and move on it.

      You can't make this stuff up.

      by David54 on Mon Nov 05, 2012 at 04:23:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Discussion of Ewing's interview and film (0+ / 0-)

      Thanks for your comments on my diary related to Detropia film. My reply is on my latest diary for 11-7-12 referencing Ewing.

      A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. Joseph Campbell........... Justice is what love looks like in public - Cornel West/MLK

      by leftinhamlet on Thu Nov 08, 2012 at 02:51:19 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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