Infantile Narcissism And Its Discontents

If you read this blog often enough — and I hope you do, we’re clocking along at very close to that sacred break-even point where the fiscal rewards for my online babbling precisely match the sunk costs of making said babbling available — then you know that all, or at least many, roads lead to The Last Psychiatrist and his recurring focus on narcissism as our modern disease. Periodically, we will have a smarter-than-thou reader who will cast a weary, jaded eye upon all that is discussed here and airily condemn it with some variant of “Yeah, yeah, whatever, people have always been narcissists, there’s nothing new under the sun, there’s nothing to worry about.” The first two assertions are probably correct; the third is probably not.

Want proof? Would you like to see just how addicting and powerful narcissism can be? Then let’s start with a conversation between two people who think it’s just hilarious to nearly kill innocent people through deliberate stupidity.

Remember that “Cannonball record” where the guy put a bedpan and two leaky gas tanks into a used AMG Benz then rode that sweet cloud of loose-floating shit smell and aromatic xylene into the imaginary record books, endangering the lives of hundreds or even thousands of people, some of them children, along the way? If you don’t, then just take my word for it that something along those lines happened and that the fellow behind the “record run”, Ed Bolian, now runs some kind of business called “VINWiki”. Recently, Ed made a very long and tiresome video where he complains that Alex Roy and I “cheapened the craft” of long-distance turd-riding when we pulled an April Fools’ prank in 2015.

He really says that. He really says we “cheapened the craft” of swerving down a freeway at 140mph while sitting on a bedpan. Four years later, he’s still upset about it.

(You can see Mr. Roy’s thoroughly appropriate response here.)

This week, “VINWiki” sat down with a fellow named John Hope Bryant. Mr. Bryant is a very important fellow; just give him a minute, and he’ll tell you all about it. Anyway, Mr. Bryant did a “VINWiki Story” about how to make endurance race officials angry. He’s an amusing and somewhat gifted storyteller and I’m sure many people were thrilled to hear his tale of woe. I’ll spare you the click and break down his assertions:

  • He was a customer, driving a rented BMW M3 in an AER race, and
  • He misses a couple of flags
  • But he doesn’t really do anything bad, he just makes a few slow passes
  • His team tells him not to come in
  • Eventually they start shaking the black flag at him
  • He comes in…
  • and is DISRESPECTED by a race official who RAISES HIS VOICE at him
  • Therefore, he and his rich friends, including Henry Ford III, are going to make sure the “old boys club” at AER goes out of business.
  • He also implies that race is a factor, because everybody hates racism.
  • The end.

This is Mr. Bryant’s second appearance on VINWiki; in the first one, he talked about how he crashed his Lotus Evora because he received bad instruction from the right-seater provided by Chin Motorsports. It wasn’t his fault. It was the instructor’s fault. Naturally, this AER situation, although TOTES HILARIOUS, is also someone else’s fault. The team lied to him. The flags weren’t that visible. Someone disrespected him in the pitlane. He’s the victim in all of this! But despite that, he still “owns his mistake” like a man. Inspirational, right?

In response, AER released a statement and the video, which is shown below, moved up to the 48:00 mark where the problems began.

So here’s what really happened.

  • Bryant is driving around at full race pace during a full-course-yellow situation.
  • His “full race pace” is between 8.5 and 11 seconds below that of his co-drivers, just to put this in perspective.
  • Although he is 10 seconds off the pace of his co-drivers, he’s running a prepped M3 in a series filled with four-cylinder cars, which happen to be moving at the reduced speed appropriate for a full-course-yellow, so he starts passing people.
  • He passes nine cars under yellow and tries a divebomb pass which fails.
  • At the 50:20 mark, Bryant swerves around a single-file line of traffic at over 100 mph, coming within about five feet of track safety workers who are attempting to put a disabled car on a rollback trailer.

There had been a corner worker killed at Road Atlanta several months before this race, so as you can imagine people still had that very much on their mind when ol’ Juan Fangio Bryant went blowing past unprotected recovery personnel at triple digits. This was very, very bad. People could have been killed or seriously injured. Mr. Bryant’s actions would warrant suspension from pretty much every race series on the globe and permanent license revocation in many cases. There’s nothing funny about it. He put lives at risk for no good reason.

Luckily, he has an excuse: the same “laser focus” that has made him such a success in this world has also rendered him incapable of seeing flag stations. I’m serious. That’s his excuse. That’s him “owning his mistake”.

Can you see why I prefaced this discussion by mentioning narcissism?

I have no idea what Mr. Bryant is like off the track. He’s been appointed to a diversity of positions and he’s received a lot of public money so perhaps he is a genuine inspiration to people who need his words and example. On the track, however, he is a fatality waiting to happen. And it’s worth noting that his “laser focus” operation of a Class 5 E92 V8 M3 resulted in laptimes approximately equal to what Seamus Erskine got out of a Class 1 Honda Fit at the same race. (AER has five classes; the fastest is, you guessed it, Class 5.)

Mr. Bryant’s narcissism literally blinded him to the flags, and it figuratively blinded him to the fact that he came within a few feet of killing someone who just wanted to help out at a racetrack. And why not? True narcissists don’t really “see” other people. They consider the people around them as mere characters in their story. It can be chilling to observe this philosophy in operation. I assume Mr. Bolian felt the same way about the families and motorists around him when he rode his vomit comet to a dubious “record”.

And yeah, there have been times in my life where I failed to take the safety of others seriously myself. God knows I’ve had enough moments of faulty judgment in my life to fill a dozen novels. However, Mr. Bryant isn’t a 17-year-old trying to max-out his VW Fox at 98mph on a downhill stretch of I-71. He’s not even a 35-year-old making a few sketchy passes around the Hocking Hills. He is a 53-year-old “thought leader” who presents himself as a moral example to young people and others but who cannot be bothered to look up from the dashboard of his $100,000 rental racer long enough to see the “little people” putting recovery hooks on a car mere feet from his fenders.

Furthermore, Mr. Bryant expects that he will be automatically forgiven by everyone involved for “owning his mistake”, even if his mistake had potentially deadly consequences, and if the “owning” in question amounts to blaming the situation on the team. This is how children, specifically pre-teen children, have been taught to think in 2019. It is paternalistic: As long as you admit you were wrong, everything will be alright. I never followed this line of parenting with my own son; mistakes have consequences, whether those consequences are a missed podium spot in a BMX race or a LifeFlight ride for the woman sitting next to you in a Town Car. I can “own my shit” as much as I want to but it doesn’t unbreak bones or uninjure people. Nor does it put anyone’s mind at ease regarding potential repetitions of the incidents in question. Adults are judged on results, not on feelings — that is, unless your particular circumstances in life put you in a position to endlessly benefit from paternalistic third parties who view you as a child to be alternately pampered and disciplined. Let’s not open up that particular can of worms right now.

For me, however, the most fascinating, and most damming, aspect of Mr. Bryant’s mindset is the fact that he never questions, not even for a moment, how he went from being easy meat for the bulk of AER drivers to being the fastest guy on track. Around the 17:30 mark, as an example, you can see him get blocked and shoved around by an NA Miata and an E30 convertible before an M235i appears out of nowhere and leaves him for dead — but half an hour later he’s sailing around all these folks on full throttle while they seem to be standing still.

Any vaguely competent race driver would notice this. Even an incompetent driver who has some passing acquaintance with reality would notice this. When my son was eight years old, he was able to watch for flags on a kart track — but more than that, he was able to accurately judge where he and his kart stood compared to the competition. Had he magically passed everybody in a single lap, he would likely have come in and asked what the problem was.

Mr. Bryant, however, accepts this magical change of circumstance as his just and proper due. What happened in his life to make him think that all the barriers to his success would be magically removed, and that his path would be made smooth and straight by external circumstances? It’s beyond the scope of this blog to ponder such questions, but it’s worth noting that he never does so much as cock an eyebrow at his good fortune. He just turns on that laser focus and dive-bombs a group of cars tootling along past the waving yellow and white flags.

I think there are two appropriate passages from the TLP definition-of-narcissism piece here. The first one:

The narcissist believes he is the main character in his own movie. Everyone else has a supporting role– everyone around him becomes a “type.” You know how in every romantic comedy, there’s always the funny friend who helpes the main character figure out her relationship? In the movie, her whole existence is to be there fore the main character. But in real life, that funny friend has her own life; she might even be the main character in her own movie, right? Well the narcissist wouldn’t be able to grasp that. Her friends are always supporting characters, that can be called at any hour of the night, that will always be interested in what she is wearing, or what she did.

That guy putting an E30 on a rollback? He’s a supporting character. Oh, and there’s this:

the goal in development is to become the one with the most power. Hence, narcissists can be dogmatic (“adultery is immoral!”) and hypocrites (“well, she came on to me, and you were ignoring me at home”) at the same time. There is no right and wrong– only right and wrong for them. He’s an exaggerated example: if they have to kill someone to get what they want, then so be it. But when they murder, they don’t actually think what they’re doing is wrong–they’re saying, “I know it’s illegal, but if you understood the whole situation, you’d understand…”

Narcissists never feel guilt. Only shame.

I think Mr. Bryant’s endless name-dropping and self-referential listing of accomplishments is meant to both assert power and to deflect shame. Which is fine. That’s why a website like VINWiki exists: for narcissists to congratulate each other. There’s plenty of room for Bedpan Bolian and John Hope Bryant on VINWiki. When it comes to real racing, however, I suspect that the room, and the patience of everyone involved, has run out. Shame on him.

55 Replies to “Infantile Narcissism And Its Discontents”

  1. AvatarNeil

    His behavior on the track was inexcusable, as is his belittling of the whole situation. I am glad AER responded to put the whole situation in perspective. I hope he never goes onto a track again until he learns how to obey the rules.

  2. AvatarWidgetsltd

    What is it with clueless rich and/or powerful guys? I wonder if anybody is going to add this incident to his Wikipedia entry…
    Also: Does AER usually have so many BMWs on track? I think that I saw one Miata (GRM’s car I think) and one 944 in the video – otherwise all BMWs!

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      The genesis of the series was in BMWCCA — it’s not uncommon for half the cars to be Bimmers, particularly on the East Coast.

      • AvatarErik D. Griffith

        Well said, but I think it was an E46. 😉

        -‘East Coast BMW CCA Guy’

        Srsly, thank you for your analysis. It is unfortunately why he will never see the error of his ways.

        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          The AER site has it listed as an E92 but as a former e46 owner I should recognize the dash!

  3. AvatarEric H

    That was some piss-poor driving.
    If anyone drove our race car like that they would be permanently uninvited to all team functions.

    He spins a good yarn though.

  4. AvatarShortest Circuit

    “Um, about my lap times. I’m sure my fully prepped BMW had what they in the industry call ‘con rod bearing failure’, which is a known fault of all BMW V8 engines, so I had to contend with that and all those people trying to hold me back.” – Mr. Laser Focus

  5. Avatarstingray65

    I say cut the guy some slack. The legacy of slavery is clearly reflected in his actions, as driving fast symbolically represents finally being unshackled from the chains of white oppression. Meanwhile the fascist, racist Trump administration has no doubt made him extra edgy about maintaining his freedom.

    • AvatarDaniel S

      Way to inject a shitty racial bias on an otherwise shitty situation.

      This color of this mans skin has fuckall to do with any of this.

  6. Avatardejal

    “I dinado nuffin”.

    Years ago I used to get the GrassRoots Motorsports magazine. They decided to profile a local to them guy that ran I think his own vinyl decal business. He wanted to go racing. I think he got a Honda CRV prepped for the local Florida tracks. He gets in a race and gets in an accident that was his fault and says “That was kind of cool!!”. The magazine didn’t pull many punches on his attitude and neither did the readers. You cost someone else time and money and thought it was cool? By the end of the series though it sounded like he had smartened up a bit.

    BTW, what’s up with that Miata around the 48 minute mark? The roof cap looks like an illegal aerodynamic device.

  7. AvatarDoug

    I am just surprised the guy slowed down on pit lane and did not pass the BMW slowing down for the tow truck. What a moron, I can see missing that first flag or so but I guess the dude thought he had finally gotten in the groove and was proving that he was indeed faster than everyone out there.

  8. AvatarFrank Galvin

    Textbook narcissism, possible anti-social personality disorder. The amount of lying, grandiose delusions, lack of empathy, expectation of special treatment, and arrogance is amazing.

    At the one minute mark, he’s prattling on about his racing experience, with real race cars. Prototype win in South Africa, Winning races in South Africa, and Norway. Mentions his USA racing license. Okay, so he’s established that he possesses the requisite experience.

    Cut to him introducing AER, all of the sudden its “new car, never raced, in the rain, missed practice.” But he’s not blaming, oh no, he “owned” his mistake. However, he wants all of us to know that AER missed a “leadership moment” and this was a “missed opportunity.” And he was quite worried about the track official having a heart attack, with the yelling that did not affect him because of his never having a self-esteem issue.

    His characterization of the pass under speed of the flatbed, pay no attention to that. He was at “50 mph”, it wasn’t like he “hit anybody” or “scratched paint.” How insane is that – he’s excusing his conduct, because no contact occurred between he and the safety people or other competitors when he was at 90 mph.

    (As an aside, my racing experience is watching and having my ass handed to me by my 10 y.o. budding kart driver. As an observer, what really put me on edge about this whole incident is how his actions incredibly exacerbated the likelihood of harm to the drivers under the caution. Its been rightfully pointed out that the clean up and recovery crew was exposed to the near miss, and he could have run into another competitor, but what of the mindset of the racer under caution? When you take the yellow, local or full course, does the mindset change a bit? Is your guard relaxed, as in your focus is not on position, but maybe talking with the crew, taking a water break, not constantly checking the mirror, but merely following the car in front? And if this clown was suddenly moving to overtake a racer under caution at speed, what are the chances that a new, semi, or experienced driver might make a sudden move that could lead to contact? I’m curious.)

    It was interesting to see how he deflected the main issue, that his gross negligence (the actual legal definition – his conduct was so careless it showed a complete lack of concern for the safety of others) could have injured or killed. Right away, he pivots to his perception of AER’s failure – that they missed a chance to “train, educate, inspire, and create an advocate.” At this point, I’m wondering if narcissism is secondary to the psychopathic behaviors.

    The name dropping of HF3 is interesting. He tells VinW that “this is the first time” that he’s telling this story, but he was so quick to note that HF3 was the first call he made after being dressed down and publicly shamed by AER officials. The call to HF3 was notable. It was to punish. He dropped the Fortune 500 reference pretty quick, noting that this was “not toxic or viscous” but wanted to make sure that we plebes knew that his important circle of CEOs knew his version of events in order to punish. This goes beyond narcissism.

    This guy is a litigator’s wet dream – the sheer volume of lies one could compile in a depo would be breathtaking to the average person. Its also the reason why so many employment litigation cases involving senior management or high performers are settled and never see a courtroom out of the need to protect the company from an unfavorable verdict and publicity.

    He should never be allowed to compete in a sanctioned race after this. He does not possess the ability to understand that the rules apply equally to all, expects favorable treatment, and can not see the harm in his actions. He started off by listing his qualifications, pedigree and accomplishment and in doing so, shred his credibility later on. His actions exposed himself, the arrive and drive, AER, and the track to massive liability. Keep him out – every racer is better off with him not present.

    • AvatarJdog5280

      Ditto! If he has a race license, he should be well aware of what the flags mean and that if a black flag is pointed at YOUR car it means YOU. It’s all excuses for the inexcusable.

    • AvatarRicky

      His license is an SCCA competition license. Anyone with a few grand and a few spare weekends can earn one. I don’t want to say they’re a cracker-jack prize, but SCCA (and NASA for that matter) don’t measure one’s ability to endurance race — hours on track takes a lot of focus and energy. It’s really hard to impress upon people just how much work it is to “sit there and drive a car.” This is why I make the analogy of “juggling kittens”. For many, that’s not even one… it doesn’t like you, and it certainly doesn’t like being tossed in the air. Racing requires befriending dozens of kittens.

      You’re absolutely right. Once I’m under FCY, my situational awareness all but shuts off. I’m eyes up, wide focus on the track and cars ahead of me, not so much behind. Notably, who might be walking inside the barriers, what might’ve been dropped on the track (fluids, even bits of car(s)), stationary vehicles, and most important: THE STATUS OF THE FLAGS… FCY _could_ become a BFA, or *knock on wood* RED. [given how homeslice was driving, he would’ve been the cause of the RF] Notice where homeslice dive-bombs and passes at T7 near the safety crews: both yellows and white are vigorously waving, if you catch a few frames of the workers in that box, they. are. not. happy! He’s passing and speeding up to pass more cars!

      Once I’ve passed two double yellow stations, I assume, and expect!, everyone else — and I race with actual inexperienced (as in NONE) novices — has noticed everyone is slower, not trying to pass, single-file, on the racing line… because we’ve all seen those big yellow flags hanging from every station. Racing has stopped; take a breather, enjoy your sunday drive. I’ve seen people miss the flags for a station or two, but they’ve always realized no one switched on “God Mode” and are immediately aware of the mistake and why that black flag is now waving at them. The only acceptable words are “I should not be driving anymore. I will park it or give to someone else to drive now.”

      Yes, passing under FCY is very dangerous. No one is expecting to be passed. No one is giving space to be passed. Doing so means you may be passing excessively close — and if you aren’t about to “drop two off” giving safety crews space, you’re too close — and excessively fast. For the record, homeslice (not that he’s reading this), a 25mph impact can kill.

      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        The best way to think of an SCCA license is this: it’s your license to learn how to race.

        Go to any SCCA regional and you’ll see people in all stages of that journey.

        AER and the other “affordable” series warp the frame a bit because you’re not surrounding the SCCA rookie with 20 seasoned SCCA racers; you’re surrounding him with people who have very little idea how to handle any out-of-the-ordinary situation.

    • AvatarMike Langlinais

      I am now thankfully retired, but worked for many assholes like this during my business career. I honestly could never figure out what combination of BS could propel some people to “leadership” (not even close to actual leadership, just “upper management”) roles within some of the companies I worked for. I guess that being mostly unburdened with talent, I had to work for what I got….

      I do road race cars, have for years. I think I’m good, but always try to remember that there is a hug gulf between being “good”, and being “REAL good”. I’m there to have fun, not embarrass myself, and make sure to come home with everything, including me, in the same condition as when I arrived at the track. At age 65, it is unlikely that whoever the Ferrari F1 team manager is, is looking for my contact information – nor anyone else who does not fit the.00001 percent of the racing world. With that as the reality, aren’t we all there to have fun?

    • AvatarDavis

      I think maybe he’s related to hf3…..
      Henry the firsts wife was Clara Bryant before she became Clara ford.
      It’s likely he’s a distant cousin and that’s the only reason he knows any of the Fords.
      And that would totally fit the narrative here

  9. AvatarChris Tonn

    His Wikipedia page has been appropriately updated. Assuming he edits it, here’s the relevant text:

    “He was removed from an AER race event at Road Atlanta on February 17, 2018 under black flag for passing nine competitors and stopped emergency vehicles at speeds of up to 99 mph. Bryant continued to travel at or near his race pace while ignoring twenty-five yellow flags; AER ejected Bryant from the event and his team was not allowed to compete for the remainder of the day. [8][9][10]”

    • Avatarrambo furum

      It’s great that you put this in the opening paragraph, but I got a bigger chuckle from whomever tacked this in at the end of his seemingly self-listed Honors and Awards:
      “February 2018 ejected from American Endurance Racing event at Michelin Raceway Road Atlanta for egregious failure to obey to corner workers for 2 laps and grossly endangering the safety of corner marshals and emergency response crews [22]”

      I know almost nothing about racing, and saw no flags on first viewing. I did notice the trucks and the sudden lack of competitiveness all around him. On second watch I figured out where to look for flags and was amazed at how frequent and visible they are. This is akin to obliviously blowing through multiple red lights on the street.

  10. AvatarNoID

    I can’t fathom why he was passing cars. They’re clearly running at reduced speed and not in a competitive manner, even if he didn’t see a flag clearly something is amiss.

    Also, you can’t claim to be going up against the good old boy’s club and name drop Henry Ford III.

  11. Avatar-Nate

    “my racing experience is watching and having my ass handed to me by my 10 y.o. budding kart driver. ”

    ? Sobering, isn’t it ? =8-) .

    I bought my Son his first Motocycle when he was 12 and sent him to MSF’s “Iron Horse” Motocycle training, he learned faster than I ever did .

    I’m not really a fast driver/rider, more _quick_ .

    He’s gone so far beyond any dreams of speed I ever had it’s amazing .

    He was a track instructor @ Willow Springs for a while but the jerkwads like this boob who couldn’t accept his modified VW Beetle passing their color coordinated Porches and refused to move right, passed under yellow flags and so on pissed him off so he moved on .

    In the end, he’s also gained a bit of this bad personality trait and it bothers me greatly .

    Now he’s into off roading and beating his Wife’s Jeep into junk and readying a 1961 (?) Willy Station Wagon on a Chevy K10 (?) frame, I rode in it once or twice, don’t think I’ll do so again .


  12. Avatarbluebarchetta

    From the AER statement:
    “After the fact, as cooler minds prevailed, the official apologized to Mr. Bryant and even invited him out to dinner.”

    “After the fact, the official realized that having a dispute with a wealthy and politically connected person of color could result in being labeled a racist, which in turn could result in being socially shunned, doxxed, and even fired from his day job. So the official apologized and invited Mr. Bryant out to dinner, even though the official was 100% in the right.”

    Welcome to 2019.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I’m afraid you’re right. Some people are above criticism in 2019. We have effectively resurrected lese-majeste and applied it to 80% of the population.

    • AvatarE. Bryant

      I’d like the AER official to apologize to all of us for his unwarranted apology to Mr. Bryant (no relation). Bryant’s general ignorance put the track crewmembers’ lives at risk, and he deserves absolutely no apology for whatever may have been said to him in the pits immediately afterwards. If anyone pulled that same sort of crap at the circles tracks I’d occasionally visit during my youth, they’d be lucky to leave the track without any new bruises.

      • AvatarEric H

        AER was right to apologize. You shouldn’t get emotional when ejecting an idiot from the race.
        The should have found him and calmly explained that he endangered the lives of the safety crew and is no longer welcome at any AER event.

          • AvatarEric H

            You don’t have a corner worker do it, you have the race organizer do it.
            It;s highly unlikely that the race organizer would be out on the track with the recovery crew.

    • AvatarCJinSD

      If Bryant and his friends succeed in bringing down AER, I am not particularly likely to be upset by it after reading about the apology.

  13. AvatarBaconator

    The first 15 seconds of the VINWiki video are amazing: “I’ve started 40 successful companies.” Uh, no. No you haven’t. Nobody has personally had a meaningful role in 40 startups – those of us that have been involved with such things know each one takes a ridiculous all-consuming amount of time and effort.

    If you’re 52, maybe you’ve had a meaningful role in three, or five. Ten at the very outside. But 40? You’re completely full of shit, and taking credit for work that real entrepreneurs did while you were swanning around the boardroom eating sandwiches.

    Just one more indicator that this guy is an entitled asshat.

  14. AvatarBaconator

    But also, explain to me again why Ed Bolian’s cross-country dash was a narcissistic example of reckless endangerment, but Alex Roy’s attempts are somehow above moral reproach? The installation of one’s fuel tank or pee bucket doesn’t matter much if you rear-end someone going 120-150 MPH, which both attempts certainly made a possibility.

    I don’t see any daylight between them that matters.

    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      Rewriting other people’s work is part of the job. Sometimes your editor tells you to write about something. Sometimes it’s a press release, sometimes it’s an article at another site. At Hagerty I have to mention a source even if I link to it, even if it’s to a competing site. Perhaps his bosses don’t want him linking to Jack.

      In any case, the art is retelling the story in such a way that if you put the two works side by side, you wouldn’t be able to tell that one has been rewritten from the other. If a reader, or worse, the original author, can tell you get accused of plagiarism which is embarrassing – unless you actually copied stuff, then the words used are more likely “copyright infringement”.

  15. AvatarNick D

    This reminded me of an incident at Sonoma where a former EIC of an automotive publication revved his engine at a child crossing the road on his way to re enter the track, then explaining to horrified onlookers that “he was there to win races, not make friends.”

    Driver’s wristband was immediately removed.

  16. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    There are degrees of narcissism, which from a psychological standpoint does not mean self-love but rather a lack of empathy for others. I have some expertise on the matter, having been diagnosed by a board certified psychiastrist as being “narcissistically impaired”. I suppose that means I have a conscience, but it’s flawed.

    It seems to me that The Last Psychiatrist may be talking about extreme cases, people with narcissistic personality disorder when he says narcissists have no feelings of guilt, just shame. People with NPD are completely ruthless and if you run across one, run fast in the other direction.

  17. AvatarMike B

    I still remember the day. At 12 years old, I was having a particularly insightful moment after looking up from my book in the back seat of my parent’s Nissan Altima. Traffic was stopped on the other side of the highway while we blasted along at 75mph. The logjam never ended, and I thought, man it would suck to be in that traffic, without the control or choice to do anything about it. And for the first time in my life it HIT ME. A humbling A-Ha moment. There were real people, tons of them, just like me, with that exact frustration just across the median, experiencing that feeling at that moment in the first person. I didn’t feel superior to them, or pity them. I just felt aware. Aware that I wasn’t the center of the universe. I’m not sure why I could never empathize with anyone before that day, or why that particular day became the day I realized I may always be the star in my own movie, but also that everyone else is in their own movie… one in which I may be a supporting cast (or not exist at all) rather than the main character. All I know is my consciousness grew that day, and even though I can still confidently say “I” today, it comes with the understanding that everyone else can say “I” as well.

    At the far extremes of the narcissism scale, other people either don’t matter to you at all unless they serve your interests, OR you feel like you don’t matter enough to others to feel like an individual. YMMV.

  18. Avatarsafe as milk

    i’ve always enjoyed ed bokian’s stuff and thought he was very clever using the mercedes active suspension to handle 75 gallons of junk in the trunk. i now realize, thanks to this piece, that these cross country runs are not something to celebrate. even considering ed’s lack of judgement, it’s stunning that he would run the interview uncritically of this asshat bryant. i can’t imagine what he was thinking.

  19. Avatar-Nate


    As I buzz across the Mojave Desert I think about this article and wonder : why not do it on on of the many, _many_ jerkhoff White guys ? .

    Sure, this guy is a complete asshole but, you knew going in that many here would focus on the Black part just as he cowardly tires to use it as an excuse .

    I hope this dim bulb not only gets banned (before he kills someone0 but also get widely shamed publicly .


    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Well there’s a dumb white guy in this, too… the fellow who gave him the platform. But to answer your question directly, I am not aware of anyone else, white OR black, who has done something quite like this.

      • Avatar-Nate

        Jack ;

        I remember some similar asswipe who tried to scare John when you took him carting,’warning you’ how aggressive his son was going to be (as if) .

        Every time I go to any driving event I meet another guy like this, you’re right it could have been an Asian or Hispanic guy too but 90 + % of the time it’s White or Black guys are like this .


    • AvatarCJinSD

      The article is primarily about the guy who did it. He used being black as an excuse for being judged for his behavior and you are suggesting that the story should be about some hypothetical white guy who possesses all the negative traits you imagine white men having. I’m sure you’re white, and I’m sure of a bunch of other things about you. Race doesn’t matter. You’re either a decent person with decent values or you’re not.

  20. AvatarMike

    This is an interesting story. He does a lot to help people, the LA based Operation Hope gave 82% of its 2017 revenue to the programs it supports. He paid himself 3% of that revenue or $500k in 2017 for being the CEO of Operation Hope.
    It looks like he built a nice little empire for himself in the 501c3 world. He is enjoying the fruits of his labor on the racetrack, but he should also realize that the rules are there to protect everyone. In this instance he seemed to bend the rules to promote himself.
    I wonder how many rules were bent to promote the building of his empire, I have a hunch this behavior is not limited to the racetrack.

  21. Pingback: A familiar driver | Blog of the Nightfly

  22. AvatarDavid Maher

    You and alex are still salty Ed beat your record. Must be exhausting thinking about another dude all day every day for several years. Move on you’ve never even met the guy…


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