Herer PDL AE rant of the week

DateMONDAY, AUGUST 12, 2019 AT 02:52PM
By Peter M. DeLorenzo

Detroit. As this business – and life itself – hurtles toward inexorable change, the idea of “taking stock” seems to be a quaint notion from a different time and a different era. As in, why bother? What good does it do? After all, the march of time and the wheels of progress stop for no one.

Whatever is in store for this business - and we the people - is coming hard and fast, and to pretend otherwise is a fool’s errand. Thus, we are perpetually teetering between what once was and what could very well be.

The comfort is always with what we know, of course. We have seen it and touched it and lived it. We have etched the memories and the experiences in our minds and there they stay so we can tap into them whenever the need arises or the situation demands it. And it is good, at least for the most part.

The Future? That is another thing altogether. It can be disquieting and uncomfortable. The unknown can bring with it a fear that is palpable. It’s that old “life as we know it” chestnut writ large, reimagined and then warped into an unrecognizable shape. Futurists who dwell in such things are giddy with the fantastic possibilities, or gloomy with the ugly scenarios, depending on which part of the glass they occupy.

Yes, new discoveries and new breakthroughs have always fueled us in the past, so why not now and going forward? There will always be a place for “blue sky” thinking, correct? Indeed, we hope so. After all, accumulated knowledge has to count for something. And technological developments and discoveries are accelerating at a dizzying rate, so it will all work out somehow, right?

Yes, that could certainly be the case. But we’re not sure, are we? Doomsday scenarios are always popular, especially in this relentlessly tedious Internet age, and by the time we digest some of the leading theories about The Future, more than a few of us plan on staying in, basically for the duration.

Where do I land in all of this? My thought pendulum can careen wildly depending on the news of the day, as I suspect it does for most people. We can’t possibly survive any more of this (fill in the blank), can we? And then somehow, we do. I do sense, however, that there’s more gloominess than sunshine at the moment, that just seems to be the temperature of the times we live in.

I am hoping against hope that the pace of discovery and the accumulation of new knowledge will propel us to a new age of enlightenment and tranquility, or something like that. At least I hope that we get it together enough to protect this blue orb and the people and animals that inhabit it.

This column came about due to the fact that this week marks this country’s biggest celebrations of the automobile and its myriad contributions to our society and way of life at two vastly different venues: The majesty - and cubic money - that powers Monterey Car week, and the free-form, march-to-a-different-drummer irreverence of the Dream Cruise on America’s Main Road, Woodward Avenue, right here in the Motor City.