"From Day One, the real essence of Autoextremist.com was the fact that I said what others were merely thinking, or would only discuss in 'deep background' and in 'off-the-record' conversations. It was never a 'touchy-feely' publication that coddled its readers and genuflected at the feet of the car companies. There's plenty of pabulum in this world. And if becoming a lifetime member of the 'Milquetoast & Crumpets Afternoon Tea & Automobile Society,' while sitting around the fire chatting about Renault Dauphines floats your boat, there are plenty of other automobile publications out there to satisfy your primordial need for blandness. But that's not Autoextremist.
Born out of a defiance and frustration with the status quo that I believed was stifling creativity and squeezing the very life out of the automobile business - particularly as practiced here in the Motor City - and then fueled by my passion and vision for how great the business could become again and what was necessary in order for it to get there, Autoextremist.com was not only a labor of love for me personally - it became an influential force to be reckoned with in this industry with an impact far beyond my most vivid imagination." - From the introduction to The United States of Toyota.
So that’s the Deal on Detroit on this 10th day of October. Is this a tough town? Unquestionably. Are things on an upward trajectory? If you’re purely looking at the automobile industry that lives here, absolutely. But when looking at the health of the city and its environs, and the deep-rooted problems that plague this city and its educational system, the ones that are preventing this city from doing anything but a dismal two-steps forward, five-back self-defeating dance of "progress," then we indeed have a long, long, long way to go.
Yes, as a town and as a region we do have a long way to go. But this is who we are and this auto thing is what really matters to us. We don’t need sympathy and the glossy stories of late are nice but they will never define us, or what it’s really like to be here and be from around here.
We’re a state of mind that’s filled with countless contradictions and our great history is offset by some lurid realities.
We’ve contributed much to the American fabric yet we have a historical propensity to make things brutally tough on our day-to-day well-being.
We’ve brought this country a sound like no other and a gritty, gutty context that’s second to none, yet we’ve created countless problems for ourselves, most all of them self-inflicted.
We created the “Arsenal of Democracy” when our country needed it most, yet we allowed a movement based on fairness to become a disease based on entitlement and rancor.
We’ve contributed much to this nation's progress and standing, yet we can’t seem to get out of our own way at times, which is infuriating and debilitating.
But thankfully, the story never really ends for Detroit. At least not yet anyway. We’re still standing, warts and glaring faults and all. And you can forget the recent glory stories about our renaissance because we don’t really need ‘em to validate us.
We know who we are. And we know that the perception isn’t often favorable. And we get that. But still there’s an exuberance and spirit here that no trendy Super Bowl ad can ever capture.
It’s a Detroit thing, or if you must, a Dee-troit thing. And we’re proud of what that means.
As Paul Simon so eloquently put it once in Papa Hobo:
It's carbon and monoxide
The ole Detroit perfume
And it hangs on the highways
In the morning
And it lays you down by noon
Got a hell of a hockey team
Got a left-handed way
Of making a man sign up on that
Automotive dream, oh yeah...
Mr. Simon probably had no idea as to the truth of what he was writing at least as this town is concerned, but he did manage to stumble upon the state of mind that defines us. (“The Deal on Detroit.” 10/12/11)
"La vita e troppo corta per non guidare Italiano."
(Life's too short not to drive Italian)
"Hey, Johnny, What are you rebelling against?"
(Marlon Brando responding to an inquisitive barmaid in "The Wild One")
"Pete, do you ever get tired, of the driving?"
"Lately, I sometimes get very tired, you know? Very tired."
(Yves Montand as Jean-Pierre Sarti, talking to James Garner as Pete Aron in "Grand Prix")
"Ben, this whole idea sounds pretty half-baked."
"Oh, it's not. It's completely baked. It's a decision I've made."
(William Daniels as "Mr. Braddock" questioning Dustin Hoffman as "Benjamin Braddock" in "The Graduate")
"Thirty years from now, when you're sitting around your fireside with your grandson on your knee and he asks you, 'What did you do in the great World War II,' you won't have to say, 'Well... I shoveled shit in Louisiana.' "
(George C. Scott as General George S. Patton in "Patton")
"Well, the real reason that you've been sent over here is because they wanted you to be evaluated... to determine whether or not you are mentally ill. This is the real reason. Why do you think they might think that?"
"Well, as near as I can figure out, it's 'cause I, uh, fight and fuck too much."
(Dean R. Brooks as "Dr. Spivey" conversing with Jack Nicholson as "Randall P. McMurphy" about his mental evaluation in "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Next")
"Forget it Jake. It's Chinatown."
(Joe Mantell as "Walsh" telling Jack Nicholson as private detective "J.J. Gittes" to walk away from the climactic murder scene in "Chinatown")
"I was going to the worst place in the world and I didn't even know it yet. Weeks away and hundreds of miles up a river that snaked through the war like a main circuit cable plugged straight into Kurtz. It was no accident that I got to be the caretaker of Colonel Walter E. Kurtz's memory any more than being back in Saigon was an accident. There is no way to tell his story without telling my own. And if his story really is a confession, then so is mine."
(Martin Sheen as "Captain Benjamin L. Willard" talking to himself in "Apocalypse Now")
"Anything I wanted was a phone call away. Free cars. The keys to a dozen hideout flats all over the city. I bet twenty, thirty grand over a weekend and then I'd either blow the winnings in a week or go to the sharks to pay back the bookies.
Didn't matter. It didn't mean anything. When I was broke, I'd go out and rob some more. We ran everything. We paid off cops. We paid off lawyers. We paid off judges. Everybody had their hands out. Everything was for the taking. And now it's all over.
And that's the hardest part. Today everything is different; there's no action... have to wait around like everyone else. Can't even get decent food - right after I got here, I ordered some spaghetti with marinara sauce, and I got egg noodles and ketchup. I'm an average nobody... get to live the rest of my life like a schnook."
(Ray Liotta as "Henry Hill" at the bitter end of "Goodfellas")
"When you love someone, you've gotta trust them. There's no other way. You've got to give them the key to everything that's yours. Otherwise, what's the point? And for a while, I believed, that's the kind of love I had."
(Robert De Niro As "Ace Rothstein" in his opening voice-over in "Casino" - right before his car blows up.)
"This guy could fuck-up a cup of coffee"
(Joe Pesci as "Nicky Santoro" lamenting the declining capabilities of a fellow wise guy in "Casino")
"Sometimes you gotta say 'What the Fuck' and make your move, Joel. Every now and then, saying 'What the Fuck' brings freedom. Freedom brings opportunity. Opportunity makes your future. So your parents are going out of town? You got the place all to yourself?"
"What the fuck."
(Curtis Armstrong as "Miles" urging Tom Cruise as "Joel Goodsen" to cut loose while his parents are out of town in "Risky Business")
"Let me give you a little advice so you know. In times of economic uncertainty, never ever fuck with another man's livelihood. Go have fun now. You know, fun... time of your life? Maybe if you follow that, I won't have to come back here."
(Joe Pantoliano as "Guido the Pimp" warning Tom Cruise as "Joel Goodsen" not to move in on his territory in "Risky Business")
"It's been my experience that having friends is overrated."
(Michael Madsen as "Rudy Travis" talking to Jennifer Tilly as "Fran Carvey" in the "The Getaway")
"That's how you become great, man. Hang your balls out there!"
(Copy store clerk talking to Tom Cruise as Jerry McGuire in
"Yeah, well. The Dude abides."
"The Dude abides. I don't know about you but I take comfort in that. It's good knowing he's out there. The Dude. Takin' 'er easy for all us sinners. Shoosh. I sure hope he makes the finals."
(Sam Elliott as The Stranger responding to Jeff Bridges as The Dude in
"The Big Lebowski")
"This is unbelievable. Who put the fuckin' cameras in this place?"
"Who the fuck are you?"
"I'm the guy who does his job. You must be the other guy."
(Mark Wahlberg as "Dignam" talking to a Police Camera Tech in "The Departed")
"What's the secret, Max?"
"Yeah, you seem to have it pretty figured out."
"The secret? I don't know. I guess you just gotta find something you love to do and then... do it for the rest of your life. For me, it's going to Rushmore."
(Bill Murray as "Herman Blume" questioning Jason Schwartzman as "Max Fischer" in "Rushmore")
"Paramount Pictures presents 'The Freak.' This movie won't just scare you, it will fuck you up for life. I want to know how the fuck the word 'fuck' gets in the New York fucking Times!"
(J.T. Walsh as "Drucker" seeing an ad in The New York Times placed by his ad agency and yelling at his creative group in "Crazy People")
"We can't level, you crazy bastard, we're in advertising!"
(Paul Reiser as "Stephen Bachman" in "Crazy People")
"You don't know me, you only think you do."
(Delroy Lindo as "Bo Catlett" talking to John Travolta as "Chili Palmer" during a confrontation in a restaurant in "Get Shorty")
"You wanna be president? Lemme tell you the first rule of politics; Always know if the juice is worth the squeeze. You know what that means? It means you don't steal my girl unless you're ready to accept the consequences."
(Timothy Olyphant as "Kelly" the porn producer talking to Emile Hirsch as "Matthew Kidman" in "The Girl Next Door")
"Mike! You do not come to Las Vegas and talk to a man like Moe Greene like that!"
"Fredo, you're my older brother, and I love you. But don't ever take sides with anyone against the family again. Ever."
(John Cazale as "Fredo Corleone" getting shut down by Al Pacino as "Michael Corleone" in "The Godfather")
"What the fuck happened to the Delta I used to know? Where's the spirit? Where's the guts, huh? This could be the greatest night of our lives, but you're gonna let it be the worst. 'Ooh, we're afraid to go with you Bluto, we might get in trouble.' Well just kiss my ass from now on! Not me! I'm not gonna take this. Wormer, he's a dead man! Marmalard, dead! Niedermeyer..."
(John Belushi as "Bluto" talking to his Delta House brothers in "Animal House")
"It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark, and we're wearing sunglasses."
(Dan Aykroyd as "Elwood Blues" setting the situation for John Belushi as "Joliet Jake Blues" before their flat-out run to downtown Chicago in "The Blues Brothers")
"Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son."
(John Vernon as "Dean Vernon Wormer" telling Stephen Furst as "Kent Dorfman" aka "Flounder" about his 0.2 grade point average in "Animal House")
"You're just going to have to trust me about this one thing. You need a lot of drinks."
"To break the ice?"
"To kill the bug that you have up your ass."
(Jack Nicholson as Astronaut "Garrett Breedlove" telling Shirley MacLaine as "Aurora Greenway" that she needs to loosen up in "Terms of Endearment")
"Should I bolt every time I get that feeling in my gut when I meet someone new? Well, I've been listening to my gut since I was 14-years-old, and frankly speaking, I've come to the conclusion that my guts have shit for brains."
(John Cusack as "Rob Gordon" in "High Fidelity")
"Fifteen years on the tour and you're still a fucking pussy."
"Thirteen years on the driving range and you still think this game is about your testosterone count."
(Kevin Costner as "Roy 'Tin Cup' McAvoy" chastising Don Johnson as "David Simms" for laying up instead of going for the green on a 250-yard shot over a water hazard in "Tin Cup")
"I have to go home. "
"You are home. "
(Patrick Fugit as "Warren Miller" talking to Kate Hudson as "Penny Lane" in "Almost Famous")
"I'm from Miami-fuckin'-Beach and you wanna show me the ocean, huh? And what about sun, does it ever shine around here or is this smog around all the time?"
"They say the smog is the reason we have such beautiful sunsets. "
"That's what they say, huh? What a bunch of fuckin' bullshit."
(Dennis Farina as "Ray 'Bones' Barboni" giving shit to his limo driver (Harry Victor) after being picked-up at the Los Angeles airport in "Get Shorty")
"To begin with... everything."
"The 1961 Ferrari 250GT California. Less than a hundred were made. My father spent three years restoring this car. It is his love, it is his passion. "
"It is his fault he didn't lock the garage. "
(Alan Ruck as "Cameron Frye" telling Matthew Broderick as "Ferris Bueller" the importance of his dad's Ferrari in "Ferris Bueller's Day Off")
"No, I... I like to think about the life of wine."
"How it's a living thing. I like to think about what was going on the year the grapes were growing; how the sun was shining; if it rained. I like to think about all the people who tended and picked the grapes. And if it's an old wine, how many of them must be dead by now. I like how wine continues to evolve, like if I opened a bottle of wine today it would taste different than if I'd opened it on any other day, because a bottle of wine is actually alive. And it's constantly evolving and gaining complexity. That is, until it peaks, like your '61. And then it begins its steady, inevitable decline."
"And it tastes so fucking good."
(Virginia Madsen as "Maya" telling Paul Giamatti as "Miles" what she loves about wine in "Sideways")
"At this point, you may be asking yourself, why am I holding this 30 pound cinder block in my hands? You might also ask yourself, why does this cinder block have a long piece of string tied to it? And finally, why is the other end of this string tied securely to your penis?"
"And the answer ladies... is trust."
(Luke Wilson as "Mitch Martin" posing the question and Vince Vaughan as "Bernard 'Beanie' Campbell" answering while instructing a gang of misfits about to pledge their bogus fraternity in "Old School")
"It's because it's what you love, Ricky. It is who you were born to be. And here you sit, thinking. Well, Ricky Bobby is not a thinker. Ricky Bobby is a driver. He is a doer. And that's what you need to do. You don't need to think. You need to drive. You need speed. You need to go out there, and you need to rev your engine. You need to fire it up. You need to grab a hold of that line between speed and chaos, and you need to wrestle it to the ground like a demon cobra! And then, when the fear rises up in your belly, you use it. And you know that fear is powerful, because it has been there for billions of years. And it is good. And you use it. And you ride it; you ride it like a skeleton horse through the gates of hell. And then you win, Ricky. You win! And you don't win for anybody else. You win for you, you know why? Because a man takes what he wants. He takes it all. And you're a man, aren't you? Aren't you?"
"Susan, I've never heard you talk like that... Are we about to get it on? Because I'm as hard as a diamond in an ice storm right now."
(Amy Adams as "Susan" urging Will Ferrell - playing race driver "Ricky Bobby" - to stop being a thinker and go back to his driving career in "Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby")
"Why is it you work your butt off for your whole life just to get ahead and it takes a couple of nitwits about ten minutes to screw the whole thing up?"
(Rip Torn as "Buford Pope" complaining to Jeff Bridges as "Vernon Hightower" and Kim Basinger as "Nadine Hightower" after they screwed-up his whole plan in "Nadine")
"I could have you disbarred for that."
"It was worth it."
"A romantic divorce attorney."
"You fascinate me."
(Catherine Zeta-Jones as "Marilyn Rexroth" talking to George Clooney as "Miles Massey" - after he unexpectedly kisses her - in "Intolerable Cruelty")
"You know, when you get old, in life, things get taken from you. I mean, that's... that's... that's a part of life. But, you only learn that when you start losin' stuff. You find out life's this game of inches, so is football. Because in either game - life or football - the margin for error is so small."
(Al Pacino as coach "Tony D'Amato" speaking to his team before the championship game in "Any Given Sunday")
"I just don't know what I'm supposed to be."
"You'll figure that out. The more you know who you are, and what you want, the less you let things upset you."
(Scarlett Johansson as "Charlotte" wondering out loud about life to Bill Murray as "Bob Harris" in "Lost in Translation")
"You are probably going to be a very successful computer person. But you're going to go through life thinking that girls don't like you because you're a nerd. And I want you to know, from the bottom of my heart, that that won't be true. It'll be because you're an asshole."
(Rooney Mara as "Erica Albright" dressing down Jesse Eisenberg as "Mark Zuckerberg" after breaking up with him at the beginning of "Social Network")
"And you know Steve you get the feeling that Billy Chapel isn't pitching against left handers, he isn't pitching against pinch hitters, he isn't pitching against the Yankees. He's pitching against time. He's pitching against the future, against age, and even when you think about his career, against ending. And tonight I think he might be able to use that aching old arm one more time to push the sun back up in the sky and give us one more day of summer."
(Vin Scully playing himself talking about Kevin Costner as pitcher "Billy Chapel" in "For Love of the Game")
"Man, you are one twisted fuck."
"Nope, I'm just an ordinary guy with nothing to lose."
(Kevin Spacey as "Lester Burnham" responding to Barry Del Sherman as "Brad Dupree" in "American Beauty")
"It's a great thing when you realize you still have the ability to surprise yourself. Makes you wonder what else you can do that you've forgotten about."
(Kevin Spacey as "Lester Burnham" in "American Beauty")
"Life doesn't care about your vision. You just gotta roll with it."
(Harold Ramis as "Ben's Dad" talking to Seth Rogen as "Ben Stone" in "Knocked Up")
"What if I don't want this?"
"Oh, don't be silly. Everyone wants this. Everyone wants to be us."
(Anne Hathaway as Andy Sacks talking to Meryl Streep as Miranda Priestly in "The Devil Wears Prada")
"I felt like we had a secret, just the two of us. Like that thing where you just wanna be with one person all the time. You feel like the two of you get something no one else gets."
(Christian Bale as "Irving Rosenfeld" talking about Amy Adams as "Sydney Prosser" in "American Hustle")
"We fight and then we fuck, that's our thing. She was the Picasso of passive-aggressive karate."
(Christian Bale as "Irving Rosenfeld" talking about Jennifer Lawrence as "Rosalyn Rosenfeld" - his wife - in "American Hustle)
"Let me tell you something. There's no nobility in poverty. I've been a poor man, and I've been a rich man. And I choose rich every fucking time."
(Leonardo DiCaprio as "Jordan Belfort" in "The Wolf of Wall Street")