The Critics Respond, Part Thirty-Six

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Never believe what people tell you they want. Yesterday’s No Fixed Abode was widely reviled as being inside-baseball journalist-drama time-wasting — yet it did more traffic on Day One than any supercar review I’ve done on TTAC has ever seen. In that article, I mention my time as a fast-food worker, leading “VoGo”, one of our more prolific commenters, to write the above.

I don’t require that anybody agree with me, ever — which is why I value VoGo despite his steadfast opposition to the vast majority of what I write. When I read the comment above, however, I realized that Mr. VoGo and I inhabit very different worlds.

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The Critics Respond, Part Thirty-Five

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Imagine this guy’s disappointment when he opened Moby-Dick for the first (and last) time, only to find that there was no video of a dick.

As Strother Martin once, said, “Some men you just can’t reach.”

Yet let me flap this bug with gilded wings for a moment, because I think this is a good jumping-off point for a brief discussion about why video hasn’t quite killed the journalism star.

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The Critics Respond, Part Thirty-Four

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What would you call somebody who turns down a challenge to a race then tries to snitch on you to your employer? You’d call that person a coward, if not worse.

Yamaha’s Bruce Steever is a coward, if not worse.

And he has wayyyyy too many skeletons in his closet to be a snitch.

Let’s take a look.

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The Critics Respond, Part Thirty-Three

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Let’s take a moment to be honest with ourselves. Is the kind of lazy, sloppy, corrupt writing that plagues automotive journalism really a problem? When MotorTrend reviewed the current Viper, Lieberman ranted that “luxury and driveability have been sacrificed” and that “driving the manual is hard” and that the Viper is “hot inside”.

None of that is even remotely true. I’m not even sure Jonny is stupid enough to believe the lines they’re having him read. I think the “creative” team at MT understands that videos like this get a lot of YouTube clicks. A click from someone who hates you pays the same as a click from somebody who likes you. That’s the business.

So what? So what if MotorTrend slanders the Viper? In the immortal words of our next President, what difference does it make?

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The Critics Respond, Part Thirty-One

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My editorial for R&T yesterday on the uninspiring nature of electric “performance” cars generated all sorts of responses, at least a few of which somehow decided from reading nothing but the headline that I was in favor of electric cars and proceeded to call me an idiot for it. And then you have this fellow above, who thinks I should check out a Yamaha RZ350. As fate would have it, I did check out a Yamaha RZ350, some thirty-two years ago.

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The Critics Respond, Part Thirty

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This past Monday night, I sat down and wrote two quick pieces that did not, at the time, seem terribly controversy-inducing to me. The first one, for TTAC, discussed the fact that middle class families cannot afford new cars. The second one, for Road&Track, explained why you shouldn’t disable stability control while driving on the street or during your first few trackdays as a novice. Insofar as I supported the first article with a lot of numbers, mostly sourced from other, reasonably well-respected sources, and I drew on twelve years’ worth of experience coaching trackday drivers for the second article, I didn’t think that either one would cause too many people to break out in the fookin’ fury.

Boy, was I wrong, mostly because I didn’t pay enough attention to Sigmund Freud when I was younger.

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The Critics Respond, Part Twenty-Nine

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Surprise! You probably thought this was going to be about my long-hair-don’t-care article, which went flat-out viral over the past twenty-four hours and at one point held the top spot on at least three major “subreddits” at once. It’s generated several thousand comments across the Internet, nearly all of them falling into one of two camps: women saying “yes, this happens to me all the time” and men saying “OMG WHAT A LIAR SJW FAGET I COULD BEAT HIM UP FROM THE COMFORT OF MY GAMING CHAIR USING THE POWER OF MY SOUL.”

Truth be told, I wouldn’t even know where to begin sifting through all the traffic, drama, and conversation that post has generated. I’ll get around to it once the storm subsides. In the meantime, there’s a more important thing happening: a woman on the Internet is saying that I’m a lousy lay.

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The Critics Respond, Part Twenty-Eight

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Yesterday, having expressed my disgust with the “Ferkel” incident on these pages in sufficiently forthright fashion, I provided R&T with a less furious version of my opinions on the subject.

In a sane world, the discussions in response to that article might have included questions like, “Should an event that gathers more than a quarter-million dollars’ worth of entry fees have all the flag stations manned?” or “Is it really a great idea to let people race against 169 other cars on a tricky pro-level track when they’ve never done so much as take a one-day NASA HPDE session?” In this world, it degenerated into “FUCK JACK BARUTH AND I’M SO GLAD HE WAS IN A CAR CRASH AND HE’S NOT WELCOME TO RACE NEXT TO ME BECAUSE HE’S TOO WORRIED ABOUT GAY-ASS SAFETY AND STUFF.”

Last night I stayed up a bit past my bedtime and wondered: Why should I even care about safety in LeMons? I don’t have any plans to run anything besides NASA, SCCA, or AER in the foreseeable future. Why should I care if these idiots run into each other? What difference does it make to me if a bunch of people who self-select into being career participants in what is fundamentally a non-competitive race series don’t have flag coverage or safe driving standards or even a reasonable number of vehicles on track with them? There’s also the fact that every time I sound the alarm for more safety in driver’s ed or LeMons, R&T suffers a series of troll attacks from people who profit, financially or otherwise, from the current state of affairs. To quote the Big Dog, my old business partner and spiritual advisor: Is this the hill I want to die on?

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The Critics Respond, Part Twenty-Seven

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NO, ALEX! IT IS YOU WHO IS WRONG ABOUT PADDLES!

That, however, is not why I’ve chosen to feature this comment in “The Critics Respond” this week. It was the amateur semanticist within me, not the “professional” racer, who demanded that I use Mr. Antonoglou’s post as an example of how words can both lose and gain meaning when people are sloppy about understanding what they’ve read.

Also, I FB stalked the guy and came upon a really scary picture. Click the jump to see it.

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