The Critics Respond, Part Thirty-One


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


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


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


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



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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The Critics Respond, Special Ross Rapaport Edition


My regular Avoidable Contact column this week at R&T was entitled Why Diesel Needs To Die. It was primarily a discussion about how the European focus on CO2-as-a-pollutant led them to deliberately overlook the well-known health risks of diesel emissions.

The Internet being what it is, I’m not surprised that at least a couple of people took this as an opportunity to post the usual LOL BARUTH AND HIS KID ALMOST DIED IN A TOWN CAR LOL. I was mildly surprised to see that one of the loudest voices was someone who is, at least nominally speaking, a colleague of mine.

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