Weekly Roundup: Fools Rush In Edition

Would Donald Trump have “run towards the gunfire” during that Florida school shooting? Maybe not if there were bald eagles involved. Here at Riverside Green, I think the official position on running into schools during gunfire is entirely dependent on whether or not our kids are in the school. If my son is in the school, I’m going in. If it’s just David Hogg in there, feeding lines to his fellow student activists, I’m gonna pull a Broward County and work on my Candy Crush high score.

Meanwhile, look at what’s happening to the social-media startup Vero. It’s closing in on 3 million users, including your humble author, despite the fact that the Narrative has mobilized against it. We’re hearing all about how its CEO supposedly mistreated workers overseas — but has anybody ever taken any time to look through Facebook’s overseas operations? What about the fact that Apple’s “partner” in China has to string suicide nets around their production facility? The useful idiots at TIME are concern trolling about Vero hiring Russian programmers. Because Russians are bad, you know. They elected Trump. (They did not elect Mondale, even when they were asked to.) Has anybody ever looked through the demographic composition of Google’s programmers, including their best people?

I think a lot of my progressive friends were more than happy to hand over control of the converged media and Democratic Party to a small group of wealthy bankers, financiers, and tech people, because they correctly surmised that they would get their agenda advanced more quickly than they would otherwise. Look at how quickly same-sex marriage went from political poison to the law of the land. You can’t do that until you control both the horizontal and the vertical. Eventually, however, the bill comes due. Vero is outside the so-called Cathedral. So they’re getting the full-court press from all sides, courtesy of a bought-and-paid-for mass media. Thirty years ago, it would have killed Vero where they stood. Two years ago, it almost got us President Side O’ Beef. Now? Three million people, most of them younger than yours truly, have decided to ignore the headlines. The last bullet in the media gun will be to call Vero “racist”, but that is the political equivalent of colistin. In 2014 it could kill anything. Now there’s resistance.

Enough seriousness, let’s talk about cars.

Brother Bark was singing Bye, bye, Miss American Pie at TTAC.

Speaking of TTAC — After some discussion with site leadership, I’m dropping from three articles a week to one so the site can focus on its new writing talent and its new direction in the post-Derek era. I can’t lie — it makes me genuinely sad. With that said, it’s probably for the best. TTAC is not what it was when Robert founded it, or when I rescued it from oblivion four and a half years ago. The only constant nowadays is change. With that said, I’m going to work hard to bring one great article every week to my remaining readers over there. This week’s entry: offering advice to a man caught between two Buicks.

At R&T, I tackled the science behind triple-digit minivans and other freeway oddities.

Thanks, as always, for reading. Stay tuned, because this month I’ll be debuting two new print outlets for my work that have nothing to do with automobiles. Something something when a door closes a window opens — right?

47 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Fools Rush In Edition”

  1. Robert

    Um, what “writing talent” at TTAC? The site regresses towards the mean at the velocity of an unladen swallow.

    • Ronnie Schreiber

      I didn’t contribute much to the site in 2017 but I’ve been trying to change that. Being forced to waste time carefully crafting story pitches that were rejected 70% of the time by an editor who lied to me and likely sabotaged my relationship with McLaren soured my taste for writing. Now that I think of it, I haven’t gotten a press car since 2016 so it’s possible that he got me blacklisted in general. I’m not sure if the concern was, as stated, not appearing to be double dipping on review loans, or the possibility that if I got a press car that meant that the managing editor didn’t.

      The new guy seems to like my stuff and is much easier to work with and so far the comments have been mostly positive so I’m optimistic.

      That being said, in terms of quality, we’ve been spoiled because JB is such a good writer. I’m not bad – all of my writing gigs have been solicited by the publishers so I know that I’m skilled at doing research and putting words together, but Jack’s an artist. At best I’m a journeyman.

      If I had a budget to put together an automotive media company, I know who I would hire (I’d start with Jack, Chris Harris, and Alex Roy) but there aren’t that many people in the business today that I think have the talent and intelligence to make it good, entertaining, informative and provocative.

      • Thomas KreutzerThomas Kreutzer

        That site’s a wounded duck at this point. It thinks it’s dumping weight but its really shedding feathers.

  2. Scout_Number_4

    Sorry to hear of your reduced role at TTAC, Jack. Honestly, if the byline doesn’t say Baruth over there I don’t read much.

    • Aleksey

      I’ve been an avid JB reader since ~2009 and I first found him, and his brother Bark, on TTAC. I barely read anything over there unless it’s written by one of the two of them. The research and the writing is fresh and entertaining. Even when we don’t agree (which happens 10-15% of the time), I enjoy learning something new and being forced to think critically about my own feelings on a subject.

  3. Ronnie Schreiber

    You can’t do that until you control both the horizontal and the vertical.

    I know that I’m dating myself (but then who else would date me?) when I say this, but I remember watching the very first episode of The Outer Limits when I was in 4th Grade.

    • Rick T.

      I recall sitting in the dark on the living room sofa with my mother and younger brother watching that episode with those space ants and being scared out of my freaking mind.

    • sabotenfighter

      Oh, not dating yourself that much. I was in the 4th or 5th grade when the first episode of The Outer Limits was aired… though that was the 90s revival of it.

  4. stingray65

    Jack, Your recent contributions to TTAC are not in my opinion your best stuff, but they are still far better than anything from the new “talent”, and the only reason I regularly go to that site are for the reader comments and the occasional nugget from you and Bark. Your writings at this site are of the thought provoking quality that I remember of your best contributions at TTAC, and together with the interesting contributions from Bark, Tom, the occasional guest, and many thoughtful reader comments, have made Riverside Green a personal favorite.

  5. hank chinaski

    ‘The internet perceives censorship as damage, and routes around it.’ New platforms were inevitable. Gab is another. Hell, 4chan birthed 8chan after the former was sold. I’m not aware if anyone took up the mantle for DPR at Silkroad. They can’t even entirely scrub Anglin.
    Hopefully, Youtube will be next.

  6. tyates

    I will read anything Jack writes B, regardless of where it is, so writing for TTAC once a month means I’ll read it once a month. The commenters on TTAC are smarter than your average bear and the site has been a huge asset for me for learning about the products and industry, but its days are numbered if the writing doesn’t measure up IMO.

    If companies want to take their communities for granted they can get away with it for a while but it’s not all that hard to change your reading / posting habits especially if people you respect are making a case for it. I’ll join Vero this weekend and give it a look.

    • JustPassinThru

      I think Jack said it well, a week or so ago. Things are farked up over there.

      On the one hand they’re blacklisting talent. On the other hand, they’re shadow-banning commenters who don’t reflexively spew the PC Shibboleths as required.

      I’m done with them. Actually, in this age of Facebook censors and Twitter shadowbanning and Google screening search results for Political Correctness, I’m probably done with about 80 percent of the Web.

      I don’t even use Amazon anymore – my mailman, like his colleagues in this town of California expats…apparently uses Schedule 1 Controlled Substances, to excess. The last two Amazon orders, which required delivery confirmation, were not delivered – even though my bonded, tested, reliable Letter Carrier reported they had been.

      So be it. Life went on before the InterwebZ and life will go on after it’s gone. Unless you’ve invested your retirement in Bitcoin…

      • Bigtruckseriesreview

        Cryptocurrency is a funny thing.

        The run up between January 2017 and now pushed Bitcoin to $19,000 – gaining an average of $900 a month after August.

        right now it’s still above $11,000 ($10,000 was the psychological limit).

        I got into Bitcoin/ Ethereum and Litecoin back when they were $1000/ $40/ $30 respectively.

        My sister invested even more back then.

        We’ve been nothing but happy and still are way up.

        The people who invested after $10.000 rose and fell dramatically. The people in coin market scams like bitconnect got fucked royally (I suck with Coinbase).

        I cashed out my profits and left the equivalnet of $1000 US dollars in each, just in case they rise against. I’m still up.

        Bitcoin isn’t going away. People are still coin mining with expensive equipment (a reason to also hold positions in AMD and Nvidia).

        Blockchain will be the future whether the IRS likes it or not.

        Right now is the GROUND FLOOR of marijuana stocks. I’ve purchased hundreds of thousands of penny shares. If even one goes to $1 ( like my BLOZF) it will basically pad my retirement.

  7. Kevin Jaeger

    I find the strangest, most inexplicable development of recent years is sudden Russia hysteria and paranoia. Who would have thought the media would write articles with great concern about Russians engaging in birth tourism? Or writing software?

    But after so many decades of Russians supporting useful idiots in the west in things like peace movements, environmental protest orgs, anti-fracking and pipeline movements, etc, the media suddenly have a massive freakout over some internet trolls. Simply unbelievable.

    • Panzer

      The explanation is simple. The liberals think they can blame Hillary’s defeat on Russian intelligence. That myth is far more comfortable than the reality that they are no longer on the ‘winning side of history’

  8. Panzer

    “…because the Russians are bad you know”

    They are the fucking devil. But the electoral result is something they aren’t responsible for.

  9. Disinterested-Observer

    Apropos of nothing but I don’t “know” anyone else who would be as happy as I was about this: this weekend I travelled a great distance to see the Cowboy Junkies in a minuscule venue in a tiny town. The show was amazing, including a surreal, extended take on “I’m Working on a Building“ that was hard to believe was done without computers. The next morning at breakfast at the hotel my kid says “there’s the drummer.” We were sitting next to Peter and Joe Bird. My kids had a very nice conversation with Peter. Eventually Michael came down and sat with Peter but didn’t say much. Unfortunately Margo just waved and took a plate back up to her room.

      • Disinterested-Observer

        It’s been almost 30 years since they were on SNL and I had not seen any recent pictures, so it was a bit of a shock when she came on stage with snow white hair. She still looked remarkable though. I though maybe it was lighting and makeup but at breakfast the next day she still had that elven quality about her. I know she’s not that old but the biggest shock was how amazing her voice still is. They are touring now and worth seeing if they are anywhere you are going to be. As an aside, Ronnie should lend Joe Bird a Harmonicaster, that guy is amazing too.

        • Disinterested-Observer

          BTW I meant “elven” as in ethereal or otherworldly, not “elfin” as in manic pixie dream girl.

  10. Sonny Stitt

    Fuck David Hogg! Trump has bone spurs or he would Chuck Norris the shit out of those school shooters with his bare hands. I’m just glad nobody leaked the photos of those Sandy Hook victims. THAT would have really caused a shit storm.

  11. arbuckle

    I do have a small bone to pick with our gracious host for this week.

    On TTAC, you left this comment about Cadillac:

    But this was your write-up on the ATS-v back in 2015:

    Your biggest complaint in the R&T article was that the ATS isn’t really on message with the history of the Cadillac brand but you seem to praise the performance of the car overall. I get not bringing up CUE or rear seat room in a PCOTY test, but why no mention of the V6T being “miserable” or the transmission being dim-witted?

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      My comments regarding the turbo V6 in the ATS-V were edited by management.

      I didn’t complain about the transmission because we had a *manual* ATS-V for our test.

      • arbuckle

        “My comments regarding the turbo V6 in the ATS-V were edited by management.”

        Geez, what a bunch of spineless sycophants.

        On the transmission thing, the published test sheet on the ATS-V had both “auto” and “manual” circled so I thought maybe GM sent both over.

        Anyway, thanks for the reply.

      • Aleksey

        Jack just talked me out of buying any Cadillac automobile with that one comment. If the above commenter hadn’t linked to JB’s comment on the CLA review by Bark, I never would have seen it.

        This is pretty big. I’d love to get more unfiltered takes exactly like this one on other vehicles. Pithy, unvarnished and compelling.

  12. Widgetsltd

    I don’t understand the need to harshly criticize the Florida high school students who are speaking out about this most recent school shooting. The BS accusations of “crisis actors” demean the debate. These are KIDS who are asking the ADULTS to take steps to protect them. Not platitudes. Not “thoughts and prayers.” Action.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      If that were really the case they would be picketing the FBI or the sheriff. This is too closely reminiscent of the Feebs letting 9/11 happen because they were trying to find the next Randy Weaver.

  13. Widgetsltd

    So the protest isn’t valid because they’re not picketing the entities that you think they should picket? The message is: make the killing stop. This steady drumbeat of shootings has to stop. There has to be a way to make our schools and our public spaces (remember Las Vegas?) safer from this senseless violence.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      The protest isnt valid because children have no voice in adult society and thats as it should be. Children have no sense of reason. They are at more risk from chorizo, which causes cancer, than they are from school shooters.

      • Aleksey

        There was a school shooting in Marshall County, Kentucky one week before the Florida shooting. Why the hell didn’t the assembled press spend the last three weeks covering the crap out of that story? Maybe because it was in a poor, rural area in Flyover Country and CNN hasn’t gotten their immunizations and Passports updated. Maybe it’s because most of the parents and students in such a place would be in favor of arming weapons-talented teachers or hiring armed guards at the school. Maybe its because there would be too many people with a backwoods accent on the TV and that just doesn’t appeal to CNN’s core customer: an elitist, bi-coastal, trans-curious, holier-than-thou white liberal cisgender millenial.

  14. scotten

    TTAC is a shadow of its former self. I visit it out of habit (and the Baruth Bros) but frankly, there’s nothing there I can’t get somewhere else.

  15. Sean

    TTAC is at it’s worst right now. I don’t think this is the direction Farago wanted it to go. I appreciate the lack of snark but.. Wow is it boring.
    Honestly, four years ago the big two auto blogs were very different and much better than they are today. That’s a bit sad.

  16. Hogie roll

    Best righteous brothers songs:
    1. Unchained Melody
    2. Ebb tide
    3. Only fools rush in
    4. You’ve lost that loving feeling
    5. Soul and inspiration

    4 would likely be higher if we didn’t sing it a thousand times in college.


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