You should know by now that hardscrabble, downtrodden Detroiters lose their shit whenever: 1. A trendy store opens 2. A celebrity says something nice about the city or 3. A national commercial shows the city in a positive light. A recent Apple ad with No. 3 is putting our inferiority complex on full display this week.
You might have heard about an "iPad" digital doohickey that is kind of like a laptop "computer" without a "keyboard." Apparently Apple sells a lot of these "iPads" and would like to continue doing so, so they reached out to real people who use them to make a difference in their lives and others.
Jason Hall of Detroit is one of such people, and was handpicked by Apple for this campaign. He is the co-founder of Slow Roll, a weekly bicycle ride around the city where cyclists tour the city as the sun goes down.
("Oh, but isn't it dangerous to ride your bike in Detroit at night?" No — there are like hundreds of people in a crowd, you can't rob them all!)
Slow Roll has caused a bit of consternation among some people in Detroit because it's not officially sanctioned by the city, so sometimes they block traffic around some streets. (I'm obliged to mention that. Sorry, boosters.) But in the short time Slow Roll has been around, it's brought together cyclists young and old from all backgrounds and skill level, all getting to know Detroit a little bit better.
So Hall uses his iPad to make routes, check email, look at photos, connect with friends — all that. And boom, an Apple commercial. Hooray!
Here's why this is a good thing. It shows people doing good things in Detroit. And this is one of the rare times you see a black person at the forefront of one of the popular movements here. We've talked about this over and over again, that for as much good there is being done in Detroit, you only see young white people in the spotlight when everyone is doing the work. (And you didn't even see Slows in this ad!)
But why does it suck? Because you can't buy a fucking iPad in the city of Detroit. There's no Apple store here! WTF, Apple? In fact, there are no chain electronic places in the city. No Best Buy, no ABC Warehouse. Not even a Target or Walmart; you have to go to the suburbs to buy any Apple products (except iPhones, of course). Let's celebrate when I don't have to take my iMac up to Clinton Township for service anymore.