ANYWHERE IN MICHIGAN BUT DETROIT – They come with all the bloat and bravado associated with the boomer generation and they leave a wake of garbage and economic despair that is… also associated with the baby boomer generation. Plopped down in their oversized lawn chairs they create a low tech flash mob robbery. However, instead of robbing one store they systematically target entire cities, crushing commerce and strangling the right away from the citizens that paid for, maintain and depend on the most important road in Michigan.
Naturally some businesses are immune: Restaurants may receive a bump in business but most store owners will tell you the most the Cruise contributes to the local economy is an occasional bottled water purchase, a handful of left over 10 cent bottle returns and whatever they deposit in the restrooms and discard onto the floors. And just like the boomer barons that disassembled all the good work of the New Deal for the glory of greed in the 80’s and 90’s they take far more than they originally negotiated for. The Saturday cruise quickly took over Sunday, Saturday and Sunday soon engulfed Friday and later swallowed Thursday. Now you can see them camped out on M-1 in the wee morning hours on Thursday. Waiting. Waiting for fancy traffic.
They’ll tell you they’re recapturing their youth… a simpler time when they didn’t need prunes, toupees or blue pills, a time before they sold out the American Dream in trade deals with communists and corrupt banana republics. A time before they ran like cowards to the suburbs rather than be forced to integrate with their fellow human beings burning racial bridges and creating unsustainable sprawl in their state and tax holes in the cities they orphaned while still collecting fat city pensions. The Happy Days.
They’ve even erased their memories of Detroit. “We never cruised south of 8 mile back in the day” is a lie you’ll hear if you broach the subject. They’re still too cowardly, or guilty to do anything but make a U Turn as soon as they see the 8 Mile sign.
By Sunday evening they’ll leave and Generation X, Y and the Millennials who make up the communities and neighborhoods they pillage will be left to clean up their mess. Although we could use the practice. After all this is the first American generation to be both worse off and more responsible than their parents. Might as well roll up our sleeves and pick up those empty Ensure cans. We can go back to dealing with the Great Recession and Climate Change next week. It’s just too bad our grandparents are no longer around. We could use their advice.
Brief update for 2016: The boomers have given us their greatest gift yet this year – Donald Trump’s campaign for 8th grade class president and Nixon in a Pantsuit. That may sound unfair to Hillary but many of her policies are actually right of Nixon’s so it’s almost too kind… and she’s the one I’m voting for. As you can imagine I’m over the moon about it.
Also – here’s a dumb Dream Cruise t-shirt I made. It’s just $14 bucks through the weekend. https://www.teepublic.com/t-shirt/642075-woodward-dream-cruise-dreaming