Documentary: Johnny Knoxville on Life in Detroit

For some reason Palladium Boots and Johnny Knoxville made a documentary about Detroit.

It’s actually kinda awesome.

You can see all four parts at this link. The general premise is, we’ve heard about the problems in Detroit. Now, what are the positive things happening there?

This is not exactly a new thread, but the videos are well done in my opinion. Detroit comes across looking like the fascinating, hip, dysfunctional place that it is.


So Levi’s has branded Braddock as cool and masculine and hardworking. Now Palladium gets to use Detroit’s magnificent decay to sell boots. Is this a trend?

By the way, I’m totally ok with it, as long as they do a decent job like this.



Filed under Art, Featured

3 responses to “Documentary: Johnny Knoxville on Life in Detroit

  1. Sean Posey

    One thing I’ve noticed about the panoply of documentaries and media specials on Detroit is the lack of historical perspective; Detroit’s situation is far more complicated than the headlines. Many of the city’s problems have been and continue to be aggravated by governmental neglect, race based politics, and the utter failure of modern economic policy. However, since a critical look at these socio-economic developments would naturally call into question the myth of American exceptionalism, free market motivations, and the “color blind” theory of America we are now all inundated with, it won’t be addressed by mainstream films or documentaries.

    Anyone seeking to understand the state of Detroit would do well in picking up Thomas Sugrue’s “Origins of the Urban Crisis.” There hasn’t been a more in depth look at why the city is where it is today. And until we address the reality of the evolution of those problems Sugrue outlines, the city is unlikely to change.

  2. Special K

    Here’s another company using Detroit to market its products: Dickies pants:

    On the one hand, I guess it is good to see attention being brought to Detroit and proceeds from the sales benefiting the community.

    But on the other hand, using a city’s distress to market it as “authentic” leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    It’s like, “Industrial decline is cool!”

    At least these pants say they are made in America.

  3. schmange

    Ok. I have to say I am kinda fascinated by what Palladium did here. They essentially commissioned a documentary to be passed around virally on the internet for advertising. Genius! I had never even heard of Palladium. Now I want to buy their boots. This could present an interesting and promising new dynamic between journalism and advertising.

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