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Summer Olympics Provide Opportunity Discuss Detroit Failings

Add another distinction to the long list of things Detroit is bad at (starting with safety and public transit). The New York Times took the opportunity last Friday to remind us that we suck at bids for the Summer Olympics. Detroit is the only city to bid on hosting the games a whole seven times without success. They hone in on the year we almost made it, 1968, and the propagandistic video that was supposed to help called The Detroit You've Never Met. What's amusing about watching it is that, dead politicians aside, it could pretty much have been made today. There's that same spirit of boosterism present that veers back and forth from hopefully hopeful, to comically overzealous. The announcer proudly claims, "The only dirt on Detroiters’ faces is the dust kicked up by dedicated men rolling up their sleeves to do a job and do it well.” Ah yes, just roll up those sleeves! We've essentially had Eminem and Clint Eastwood tell us the same thing. The difference, of course, is that the city actually had a balanced budget at the time. The Times calls the whole video pitch "amusing, sad, frustrating and stunning," which could probably be said for the entire state of the city at the moment. Though we might also add "funny," because if you can't laugh at yourself, well, you would have been perfect for this commercial.

· Flashback Friday: Detroit’s Olympic Dream [NY Times]