In which a veteran of cultural studies seminars in the 1990s moves into academic administration and finds himself a married suburban father of two. Foucault, plus lawn care.
I'm behind on my open correspondence, and busy enough to know that I can't really do justice to all of them. So in lieu of open letters, a series of open postcards.
Dear GM, Ford, and Chrysler,
You're kidding, right?
You people have been bleeding market share, and money, for years. This is directly due to your chronic inability or unwillingness to get a clue. Toyota and Honda have been eating your lunch since the seventies. This may have something to do with them building better cars.
Now you want a bailout.
Back in your profitable days, I don't recall a great deal of public spirited-ness coming from your corner. I recall aggressive lobbying for protectionism, against mileage standards, against safety standards, and against environmental standards. (I also recall the Bonneville, the Excursion, and the Sebring. Shudder.) Now you want a blank check to sustain you while you burn even more cash building cars and – especially – trucks that...follow my logic here...Americans don't want to buy.
Uh, that would be 'no.'
Yes, Michigan and a few other states would suffer in the short term, and that sucks. I'd be perfectly fine with some relocation and/or tuition assistance for the workers who lose their jobs. And I've gone on record many times favoring single-payer healthcare for all Americans, which would certainly include them.
But to go on building unwanted cars simply for lack of any better ideas? No. If you can't compete, clear out and make room for others who can. It's time to rip off the band-aid.
Dear XM Radio,
I have openly defended the practice of paying for radio, due mostly to my love of "Beyond Jazz." Now you've dropped the channel, and replaced it with – excuse me, I have to vomit again – new age?
The other day, on the way home from work, I hit the preset for Beyond Jazz, hoping to hear something funky or challenging, per usual. Instead, I heard – and honestly, this should just be illegal – Tangerine Dream?
There is no excuse for Tangerine Dream.
Worse, look at what you kept. "Watercolors?" Kenny *&^%$#@ G? You drop Kenny Garrett, and keep Kenny G?
No, no, no. That's just wrong.
I pay for the #$%^^&* radio, and get Kenny G? Um, no.
Dear Senator Ted Stevens,
Karma is a bitch.