Art, Autos, Trucks, & Models Converge @ the 2016 NAIAS

DETROIT — Opening day and night for the 2016 NAIAS was pretty fun. After walking from one of the Detroit casinos to Cobo, I went in search of a free lunch, like any respectable journalist would do. (Okay, I took Journalism my first term at U of M and dropped it after less than a month; but for a while there, I planned to minor in it.)

Highly attuned to the impeccable standards of both the auto industry (let’s not talk about that Sado Island gold mine of Mitsubishi that they sealed shut at the end of WW2, resulting in the murder of 387 Allied POWs, okay?), and, the mean of global journalism (let’s not talk about Al Jazeera being the mouthpiece of Osama bin Laden, either), I’ll first plug the motor vehicle company that gave me lots of free little cheesecakes!

What a great division of Obama Motors aka GM(2) is GMC! I did like the look of the trucks and SUVs. Rugged-looking. The Sierra HD3500 is a one-ton beast!

Seeing the Northern Lights up close is on my bucket list. Had I won that bill and half, I’d probably be looking at them right now! To see them, you need to go to the Arctic or Antarctic Circle in the wintertime for the best odds. Thus, you need a 4 x 4 SUV or better to do it smartly.

I’ve been to Alaska in August; and it snowed when I was at Denali National Park. I was lucky to see Mt. McKinley the next day. I think Obama changed its name back to Denali. Like any President would. Derp.

To go to Alaska or Lapland up in Norway and Finland, you damn-well better have a 4 x 4. It’d help if I could take Falon from GMC or Carrie of Subaru with me, too! I must say, Honda had a stunning blonde model wearing Louis Vuitton black high heels with red on the bottom. I liked the way she absently moved her feet around as she seemingly stood still during their big press conference. Yowza! It was amazing – but I digress…. It takes more than stunning beauty for me to fall in love; but eye candy is a wonderful thing!

Carrie was cool. When I asked her and another model what constellation Subaru was Japanese for, she knew. (It’s even in their logo.) The Pleiades. Homer mentions them in one of his epic poems. At least in the brilliant translations of Robert Fagles. She posed statuesquely in front of a sleek BMZ for me. It looks like a pretty cool little car.

Subaru is very cool. I’ve admired them a lot ever since they sponsored a PBS show about the attack on the USS Liberty during the Six Day War in 1967. No American car company had the cojones to do so. Read up on it. Make sure to read what the captain of the ship thought about it. Don’t let some hack journalist or politician plant a conclusion in your noggin. They’ll try. I was pleasantly surprised to see that Wikipedia actually mentions (after the political whitewash of the event, of course) that the survivors of the attack have a difference of opinion regarding the incident from the official accounts. Do they now? But what do they know, right?

Wikipedia is much more timid when it comes to their entry on David Bowie’s first single off his new album. If you read the entry on “Blackstar,” you unfortunately won’t see that Donny McCaslin, the lead saxophonist on the album (Bowie played some sax, too), reported to Rolling Stone in a recent interview that Mr. Bowie told him the song was about ISIS.

Just because long time collaborator Tony Visconti wasn’t told this tidbit doesn’t mean David didn’t disclose the dish to Donny McCaslin. Derp. Why they’re afraid to mention Mr. Bowie said to Mr. McCaslin the meaning of the song is anyone’s guess. My guess is the male staff of Wikipedia have testicles so small that you need an electron microscope to see them; but, again, I could be wrong. The song repeatedly mentions “on the day of execution,” by the way. But what does Donny know? He only worked on Bowie’s last-ever studio album. Double derp.

Wikipedia left an entry up that listed me as having Asperger’s for God knows how long, and never told me who posted it, by the way; so if you think Wikipedia is infallible, you’re mistaken. I’ve never been diagnosed with that malady. If anything, I may be a bit neurotic, a condition Bowie once said is the root of genius, I might add, lol. It was probably some rabid Eric Smith supporter who posted it, and I will find out, if I can.

They also removed my entry on Wikipedia, even though my artwork “Ashy” has been mentioned in the Chicago Tribune. Wikipedia can suck it, lol.

That night, I went to an auto show-related party at Camilo Pardo’s art studio/gallery on Woodward. Some pretty cute models and a very good jazz quartet entertained the guests — as did the veggie pot stickers and Satay Chicken. I loved the Steve McQueen and space age lady artworks a lot! Camilo Pardo is right up there with me when it comes to living artists! LOL!

Lastly, I headed to Nissan’s opening night party at Cheli’s. I was pleasantly surprised to see Herschel Walker posing in his Heisman stance with partygoers. I took a pic with him sans stance. I didn’t feel like being a ham. I blinked. Oh well.

Later, when the line subsided, I told him about when the Chicago Bears played my grampa’s semi-pro team the Detroit Indians in 1933 at Chandler Park on the East Side of Detroit, and how my gramps hit Red Grange out of bounds. Red told him curtly, “That’s Bush League.” My grampa stood his ground, and said, “So you’re the Great Red Grange.” I think Herschel took Red’s side. I can see why; but I can also understand my grampa wanting to get Red good! LOL! I think the Bears must’ve wanted a decent scrimmage game on the Wednesday before playing the Lions; and the Indians were a solid semi-pro team that year — first place and all. The Bears won 30 to nothing. Maybe my grampa wanted to be able to at least take one nice memory away from the game.

Before I left the party, I watched some of the national championship game up in the cigar room with Herschel. He was sitting on a cool couch with cute ladies on both sides of him. We were both rooting for Clemson. I can’t root against an undefeated team. Herschel pointed out a nice block one of the quarterbacks made on a running play. Maybe next year, Clemson, if it isn’t Michigan! Go Blue! LOL!

Carrie poses statuesquely with a Subaru BRZ. She knows her constellations! (Mike Wrathell/


Rear of the Subaru BRZ (Mike Wrathell/


The Borg-Warner Trophy commemorating the winners of the Indy 500 Race and pretty girls. (Mike Wrathell/


The Michelin Man (John Dillon/


Falon poses pleasantly with a Sierra one-ton truck with dual tires in back. (Mike Wrathell/


WP_20160111_004’s Jason Rzucidlo with the 2016 GMC Sierra 3500HD. (Mike Wrathell/


Three of a plethora of models at the Camilo Pardo art and auto exhibit on Woodward. (Mike Wrathell/


Mr. Pardo’s art studio had some motorized models, too! (Mike Wrathell/


I never saw this lady on The Jetsons! (Mike Wrathell/


Steve McQueen made an appearance at this year’s auto show on the artistic plane. (Mike Wrathell/



AmericaJR’s Mike Wrathell poses with the inimitable Herschel Walker, one of the greatest running backs of all time. (Mike Wrathell)


The Great Red Grange. (ESPN)


My Grampa Harvey Wrathell and Gramma Ilo Wrathell are on the far right of the photo. He was a homicide detective with DPD after his football days ended. He was also a captain in the U. S. Army during WW2.


Ashy” mocks U. S. Attorney General John Ashcroft for being excessively prudish. A Chicago Tribune review of a group show on censored art I was in outside Chicago in 2006 mentions this artwork.


The Great David Bowie died the day before the 2016 North American Auto Show opened. His album’s title song is about ISIS. (Artwork by Mike Wrathell)


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