Detroit's Distress, and the 'Curious Unevenness' of American Blessings'

Indelibly American.

With the city bankruptcy news, a reminder of the best Super Bowl commercial ever -- yes, including '1984.' From two years ago, with Eminem.

I hardly know anything first-hand about Detroit, but this ad succeeded in making it seem indelibly American. In the automotive spirit, and while noting that Detroit's municipal bankruptcy filing came on the same day that the Dow Jones average hit an all-time high, I am also reminded of this passage from John Kenneth Galbraith's The Affluent Society:
"The family which takes its mauve and cerise, air-conditioned, power-steered and power-braked automobile out for a tour passes through cities that are badly paved, made hideous by litter, lighted buildings, billboards and posts for wires that should long since have been put underground.... 

They picnic on exquisitely packaged food from a portable icebox by a polluted stream and go on to spend the night at a park which is a menace to public health and morals. Just before dozing off on an air mattress, beneath a nylon tent, amid the stench of decaying refuse, they may reflect vaguely on the curious unevenness of their blessings. Is this, indeed, the American genius?"

Indeed. And that was 55 years ago.

Update: Want to know who the fabulous narrator of the "Imported From Detroit" ad is? It's this guy, Kevin Yon. Congratulations and thanks.