We aren't sure what Detroit did to deserve such tribulation, but it's like every time there is a bit of good news, fate come along and drops a steaming pile on the Motor City. This week we learned that terrible milquetoast singer Michael Bolton decided that Detroit needs Michael Bolton to produce a documentary about Detroit's comeback. Bolton decided while talking with Dan Gilbert. Seriously. Let's be honest, we always suspected Gilbert was the type who "celebrates the guy's entire catalog."
The parachute celebrity championing Detroit's comeback--pay no attention to the systemic poverty--is an old story that follows a predictable script. To help get this Michael Bolton does Detroit thing over with quickly, here's a suggested (probable?) outline for Bolton's documentary set to his terrible, terrible music.
Detroit was once a bustling city, the global center of the industrial economy and home to Motown Records. To set the mood, here is Bolton's cover (obvious to its inherent irony) of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's hit "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing."
But then something went wrong. The 1967 riot exposed deep racial divisions between Detroiters. Decades of mistrust and anger followed.
Then people started to leave. Well, ok, people were leaving before 1967 and the Detroit population story is more nuanced than it looks at first blush. But we're trying to appeal to a Michael Bolton audience, let's keep it simple. People left after 1967.
As the industrial economy globalized, the factories and industries that were once Detroit's strength suddenly became like an economic prison that kept the city locked to the past.
Detroit was in a funk. It missed the good times. Cameo by Kenny G.
But despite all the hard times, there's no quit in the Motor City. Detroit's soul lived on.
And Detroit's sports teams lifted the city's weary spirits.
Then, something amazing happened. Dan Gilbert showed up.
Gilbert is personally rebuilding Detroit. The comeback. It has begun.
Others are following Gilbert's lead. They're learning to love Detroit again, cherishing and caressing this great American city.
In the end, Detroit is stronger for the struggles it has endured. The city is a better place, with character and grit. The love Detroiters have for their hometown is a beautiful thing.
So, yeah, expect a shit storm of shallow thinking and adult contemporary music. If you will excuse me, researching this piece has left me all kinds of dirty. I need to take a shower in bleach and battery acid. And then listen to Metallica. Lots and lots of Metallica.