Detroit Public Square: Critics' Picks
Best Non-Story About Clocks
Shinola clock in Midtown being tagged a day after it was installed
Published: April 9, 2014
You'd think the way Detroit (sort of) overreacted to the opening of a Whole Foods that we'd calm our nerves a bit about Midtown's new glitz. Perhaps not: When watchmaker Shinola, one of Detroit's biggest business success stories in the past year, declared that the company would install a handful of street clocks for Detroit as a gift, the media went bananas. But the shouts of joy turned to groans of shame after just one day because some amateur taggers spray-painted the Shinola clock at Canfield and Cass. The audacity! It gave outsiders an opportunity to sneer, again, at Detroit — that, of course, the clock would get tagged immediately. Some suburban commenters joyously crowed, 'We told you so!' In truth, however, this sort of thing happens everywhere: Boneheaded, untalented hacks spray-paint something irrelevant across something all the time. Even Shinola's CEO understood how boring this non-story was, telling The Detroit News: 'I don't think it was a big deal. It's just some graffiti. I'm not concerned. These things happen all over the world.' We can appreciate that worldly level-headedness from Shinola HQ. In other cities, people just rub it off and move on. We can too.