I’ve been on the road for the last few weeks and one of the places I was able to visit was the Smithsonian Institution’s Udvar-Hazy Center at Dulles International Airport located just outside of Washington DC. Unlike the National Air and Space Museum located on the national mall close to the capitol building, the Udvar-Hazy Center is an enormous facility and although I have visited other aircraft museums that have had larger collections on display, I think it is safe to say that the Smithsonian’s collection is second to none. The aircraft on display span the history of flight and include both military and civilian examples. More importantly, at least for the sake of this discussion, they come from every corner of the globe and as they sit there, lined up beside one another, it’s easy to compare the craftsmanship of one nation’s products against the next.
[Editor’s note: I want to be clear that, despite the unconventional, somewhat light-hearted tone of this post, the editors of TTAC take the right to drive very seriously. Sometimes, however, the absurdity of injustice can only be captured with more absurdity]
Najalaa Harriri lives in a sad little world where women are still forced to dress like Halloween ghosts. Besides spending a miserable lifetime as someone else’s property, Ms. Harriri was sentenced to ten lashes for the ultimate sin of driving an automobile in Saudi Arabia (the sentence has since been suspended by the king). I have to wonder about this. Was it a Yugo? A souped up Corolla that did powerslides? A car imported from Zionist occupiers who still give Muslims more rights than the Saudi monarchy?
No to all the above.
Like a highschooler puffing on its first joint, GM’s embattled corporate culture is sure it can feel something changing, and it’s eager to share its fresh perspective on itself. As with the allegorical proto-stoner however, when the need to appear altered is more important than an honest journey of self-discovery, strange hilarity ensues. To wit, this tidbit from the WSJ’s Bankruptcy Beat Blog:
“As we work to create the New GM with a new culture that includes personal accountability, our existing dress code seems outdated,” Mary Barra, GM’s vice president of global human resources, wrote in an employee memo earlier this month, according to the newspaper. “Going forward, our dress code policy is ‘Dress appropriately.’”
After giving its balance sheet a makeover in bankruptcy, it seems the company is finally ready for a cultural revamp too. It’s renaming its conference rooms – anyone up for a meeting in the “Groovy Room” or the “Zen Room?” – in an effort to promote risk-taking.
All of which leads to at least one troubling question: what is “appropriate” attire for a meeting held in the “Groovy Room?” I mean, how much “risk taking” are we talking about promoting? Also, as this video from a year ago proves, casual dress at GM was Rick Wagoner’s idea… sort of.