Sunday, November 30, 2008

The destruction of Flint Michigan and many other industrial cities.

I'm from Flint Michigan, most of you know this. I have been reading about how the Big Three have been needing a bailout, and I am in favor of it. Not because I have any great love for the corporations themselves but because I know that the failure of the auto industry will cause Michigan's already failing economy to go belly up. Not to mention the fact that I have friends and family who would lose their pensions that they worked long and hard for.

I read that most people are under the impression that GM, Ford and Chrysler could just file for bankruptcy and then re-adjust everything, start over and they would thrive like K-Mart did. Well there's a difference between the big three and K-Mart. If you go to K-Mart and buy a TV you aren't buying their brand. You are buying Sony or some other brand so if they happen to go belly up and your TV goes on the fritz you can go to Sony and get the parts to fix it. People aren't going to reconsider buying from K-Mart because they know that they won't be holding a product that can't be fixed. If GM is in bankruptcy people won't want to buy a Buick because if GM goes under in two years they're stuck with a car with no way to get parts...see the difference?

Another thing that really pisses me off are the people blaming the average shop rat for all of the problems that the Three are having because of being "overpaid" and Union deals. What? Seriously? The average auto worker makes 25.00 an hour. Sure, he/she gets medical and such but why not? That pales in comparison with what lots of other people are being paid. 25 dollars an hour works out to about 50,000.00 a year. The average salary in the U.S. is 46,000.00 So that's about right. Lets put this into perspective shall we? The CEO of GM made 15 million last year. that works out to 7500 dollars an hour, that's 300 times what the average shop rat makes an hour and this is the dickhole who let GM go down the crapper. Yet people think it's the union's fault for demanding such high pay for the employees? That's all kinds of messed up. You want these corporation to do better? Stop letting them move jobs outside of the U.S. then expecting big tax breaks. Stop letting CEOs get huge salaries and then mismanaging the corporation knowing that they will be okay because they'll be getting a golden parachute.

Flint, Detroit, Allentown, Scranton, and many other industrial towns all through the rust belt are going under and no one seems to care. It breaks my heart.

Friday, November 28, 2008

I'm attempting Young Adult fiction.

I've never really thought about writing YA but I was looking at some typical YA and I noticed something odd. There are all kinds of vampire novels, there are lots of fantasy and space science fiction too, but no real cyberpunk or post-cyberpunk, (save for the original short story Cyberpunk by Bruce Bethke, but then I doubt he was writing YA, he just happened to write about teenagers). I wonder why that is. It would seem that teens would love a good cyberpunk story. Anyway, I've started it but just barely. I feel good about it though, so hopefully it goes somewhere.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

It's Thanksgiving and I 'm going to be cooking and cleaning all day.

Yep, I am the chef de la Maison here so I am going to be doing all of the cooking and most of the cleaning. I will be exhausted, however we will be eating well.

Thanksgiving day menu-
Roast turkey
Mashed potatoes and gravy
Sausage cornbread dressing
Candied sweet potato casserole
Fancy green beans with onions, mushrooms, and ham
Cranberry sauce
Pickle tray
Pumpkin pie with whipped cream.

I hope everyone has a great day, and gets lots of good stuff to eat. Best wishes.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Car Thief by Theodore Weesner

When I was growing up in my hometown of Flint Michigan I would watch TV, go to movies, and read books and they would be set in lots of different towns in the U.S.. I noticed that lots of towns some of them pretty small and obscure to be represented in the arts. Flint however, was mostly ignored, (except for the TV program called The Fitzpatricks an hour long drama series set in Flint about a steel worker and his family...wha?). Then, when I was in high school I came across a book by Theodore Weesner called The Car Thief. It is set in the early 60s and while it is never called by name the city in which the novel is set is clearly Flint. The road names, the descriptions and the landmarks are all Flint. Of course I was quite happy to read this book because I had always wondered why Flint wasn't used more often in fiction, or as a setting for TV and movies. We certainly have an interesting mix of people, and a colorful history. Well I started reading the book and my excitement that it was set in Fling was replaced by the excitement that the books was really well written and the story was amazing. One of the best novels I've ever read. I often list it as one of my favorites.

It's about Alex, a boy who lives alone with his alcoholic factory worker father. Alex is troubled since his mother left and spends his free time stealing cars and taking them on joy rides around the city. Soon he's caught for one of the thefts and is sentenced to spend time at the juvenile Detention Center on Pasedena Ave. The book is sad, and really a wonderful story. I recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good book about coming of age, or if you're from Flint and want to read a good book set in our hometown.