(Double) Weekly Roundup: The United States Of Dogwaste Edition

Sorry it’s been slow here at Riverside Green; I’ve had to visit the western time zones two separate and distinct times in the past ten days. One of those times gave me the chance to see the White Sands National Monument and to take a quick walk through the dunes. A bit of advice, should you ever try the same trip: don’t wear horsehide Crockett&Jones Pembrokes to do so. It’s no trouble to walk across the dunes on slick-soled shoes; it is tremendous trouble to come down off a twenty-foot dune to the parking lot while wearing them.

Enough about that; it takes a particular idiot to insist on wearing “grownup” shoes in an era where the billionaires wear polyester athleisure and $99 Allbirds. Instead, I want to talk about what I saw as I walked across these utterly pristine dunes, rendered free of footsteps and impressed with a waveform pattern thanks to the consistent action of the New Mexico wind: strings of little black rocks, encrusted with white sand and deposited seemingly at random both high and low on the sand structures.

“Is that some sort of… obsidian or quartz?” I wondered, looking closer. No, it wasn’t obsidian, and it wasn’t quartz. It was dogshit.

And as I stood there in the bulldozed-gypsum parking lot, waiting for a friend to finish all his extensive multi-lensed nature photography, I saw the dogs, and their owners, returning from their walks. Nearly as many dogs as people. Millennial couples, both straight and non-straight, always with a dog to replace the children they’re too afraid or just too selfish to conceive. And individual women with their hundred-pound shepherds or American Staffordshires, dogs to replace the men who don’t call them back after the disconnected Tinder nights.

They had tents, walking sticks, ladder-frame backpacks, athleisure, every piece of plastic-based crap you can buy from Patagonia or Arcteryx or The North Face. They had cameras and monopods, hats with flappy ears, sleds they dragged behind them. They had everything but the clear plastic bags you’d use to pick up dog waste.

I’ve seen these same people doing the same thing everywhere from Delicate Arch to Stone Mountain — but somehow the dogshit just matters less in a forest than it does in a place where you can distinguish footprints at six hundred feet. John Updike’s Rabbit At Rest, which takes place in 1989, had a Toyota executive lecturing the protagonist about it:

In California, dog shit much surprise me. Everywhere, dog shit, dogs must have important freedom to shit everywhere. Dog freedom more importation than crean grass and cement pavement… Too much disorder. Too much dog shit.

Updike’s Mr. Shimada wouldn’t believe how we do things nowadays. This nation is obsessed with dogs. There are just twenty-one million married couples with children under 18 in this country, but there are ninety-four million dogs here, each of them faithfully defecating a few times a day, usually outdoors. The sheer volume involved is impossible for the human mind to conceive without resorting to hyperbolic-but-factual comparisons: America’s dogs could fill a supertanker every two days, the Titanic in half a day.

You smell it in five-star hotels, see it in parking garages. What does it mean, exactly? Is it just there to normalize the inevitable San-Fran-style cascade of human waste that will be everywhere once this country is socially re-engineered down to a facsimile of Calcutta? Or is it a gradually-fossilizing reminder of Western society’s decision to self-euthanize into the sunset on a wave of Peak Television, RU486, and SSRIs? “European ethnics hated their children,” a lecturer will intone during a history class at Manhattan’s Madrassa PS 161, “but they loved their dogs… many of whom could be found feasting on their dead bodies later.”

Perhaps I am overcomplicating it. A dog is a wonderful companion for a young boy, but it is an even better companion for a narcissist, and we are creating those by the millions nowadays. You can’t beat a dog for unearned affection. Perry Farrell once sang, “…if you want a friend, feed any animal.” I guess we all just need a friend, and nobody has time to be a friend. Too much dog shit in our lives, metaphorical and otherwise.

* * *

For Hagerty, I wrote about Lincoln resale and C8 markups. For Robert Farago’s new watches website, I reviewed a recent purchase.

93 Replies to “(Double) Weekly Roundup: The United States Of Dogwaste Edition”

  1. AvatarRyan

    I didn’t know that they were doing screw-back G-Shocks again. When my grandpa retired, he gave me the DW-5700 (gold buttons, 691 module) that he wore every day at work. I was able to score a replacement NOS face and band some years back off of eBay, but haven’t worn it since the original battery died 5-6 years ago.

    Always thought they were cool watches, even as a kid.

    Reply
  2. Avatar-Nate

    When I visited White Sands I soent the entire time in the museum looking at bombs and reading the collected journals of the Air Force posted there back in the day ~ fascinating stuff .

    I’m hoping I never have to wear those silly plastic shoes all the yuppies and rich folks were ~ it’s not that hard to clean and polish my leather shoes once a week .

    I had dog shit too ~ my dogs never leave so they don’t make any public mess , to – day I of course stepped in a mess one of my jerkoff neighbors left on my parkway….

    Dogs are far smarter than most realize ~ my two rescue pups have trained me to stop whatever I’m doing and give them belly rubs upon demand….

    I was waxing my new trucklet this morning and I hate getting dog hair in the fresh wax but when they roll on their backs and wave their little feet in the air what the hell am I supposed to do ? .

    -Nate

    Reply
    • AvatarGreg Hamilton

      It is said the only living deity is man as viewed through a dog’s eyes. I inherited my ex-wife’s dog and believe that to be true. I am of course unworthy.

      Reply
  3. AvatarJoe

    When I am walking my dogs, I carry those little bags, they are pink actually, they come on a roll, I have gotten over the fear of picking up the dog crap in public, it beats the alternative. White Sands sounds beautiful

    Reply
  4. AvatarCJinSD

    My family lived in the Netherlands in 1984. At the time, it was revolting to a suburban American family to see five piles of dog crap on every block of sidewalk. I doubt it would be a culture shock issue today.

    I live in a pet-free condo development, which is great. Psychopaths qualify for therapy dogs though, and there’s no keeping those out. There are millions of conventions, rules, regulations, laws and bylaws that apply to people who still have shame. Practically none of them apply to people who don’t have shame.

    Reply
    • AvatarNoID

      CJ, your last two sentences about regulations and shame belongs in one of those daily tear-off calendars with quotes for each day.

      Reply
  5. AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

    Even better than dodging dog claymores on the ground; have you been on a flight when someones emotional support critter takes a dump? I was a couple years ago on a flight from Baltimore to Detroit. It made an already miserable event all the more unpleasant. It was a few rows away from me. fortunately, and I guess the plus was it didn’t shit on anyone or a seat. I’m glad we were only about 30 minutes from landing and it wasn’t a completely full flight.

    Reply
    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      The FAA just announced a crackdown on “support animals”. People are now going to have to produce some kind of medical documentation, and do so well in advance of seating.

      Reply
  6. AvatarJohn C.

    I really loved the Lincoln piece. Some of the best I have read by you.

    I also like the intro with the Toyota executive complaining about our dog piles. I am not familiar with the Updike book it was from. Was the character on the way to or coming from the strip club when he said it. I suppose it doesn’t matter, the important this is that we learn the lesson and take it to heart. The best part of being a colony is when the outsider comes in and so easily diagnoses all our problems. That way we can get to work on them while he converts the better world Jack describes in the Lincoln piece into one that can most efficiently transfer the output of our labors to him.

    Reply
  7. Avatarstingray65

    Just read that dog owners actually have more children than non-owners, so dogs don’t appear to be kid substitutes, but the unanswered question is whether dog owners who are not responsible/thoughtful enough to pick up their critter’s poop have the right stuff to be good parents to their kids.

    As for emotional support animals, unless you are a veteran suffering from shell shock/combat fatigue/PTSD from combat or have a legitimate need for a service animal, you have no excuse to bring an animal on board a plane. Given that 90%+ of the emotional support animals I have seen at airports or on planes seem to be owned by women with no visible physical handicaps, and I suspect very few are combat veterans. On the other hand, 90+% of those emotional support animals seem to behave better than most of the young children and infants, and a stinky Pamper is no joy to sit next to.

    Reply
    • AvatarJordan

      I was recently on a Southwestern flight and there was a particularly fit woman in a wheel chair waiting to board ahead of everyone else. She certainly didn’t appear to need the wheelchair but I figured she may have had surgery or something that wasn’t visibly apparent.

      NOPE! When we got off the plane she walked fine. I followed the family (she had kids so wonderful example she’s setting for them) just by happenstance to baggage claim and even rode the shuttle to the car rentals with them. This last had no mobility issues at all.

      I didn’t really get angry, just amused at the lengths someone would go to so they can board first. Pretending to have a medical handicap… Talk about no shame.

      Reply
      • AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

        Last year on one of my Southwest flights, there were 10 Boy Scouts and 2 adult male troop leaders waiting in the “pre board” area. These boys were all in their mid teens, the troop leaders were maybe max of 50. I’m A list preferred so am always in the first 5 of the A group to board. I watched in amazement as this group was boarded ahead of everyone with the exception of the folks in wheelchairs. Kinda pissed me off so the next day when I had time, I called Southwest to ask about their qualifications for getting pre board.

        All you have to do is ask for it. You don’t have to provide any reason, no doctor note, no proof of a handicap, no nothing, just ask. So in theory, and probably practice, anyone who buys one of the cheap fares for $49 each way will be boarding before me that paid $400 for the same flight.

        I thought about requesting pre board. Hell, I have 2 bad knees, both ankles are a mess due to breaking them too many times and I’m 62 years old. With the size of some of the larger airports, it will sometimes take a brisk 1/2 walk to get to my gate, even using the moving sidewalks IF the airport has them (many don’t). The fact that I’m carrying about 30 extra pounds doesn’t help either. So far the only thing that has kept me from getting the pre board is pride. Until the time comes when I actually NEED a wheel chair, I’ll just keep waddling my out of shape self to the gate under my own power.

        Reply
        • AvatarCJinSD

          You shouldn’t have mentioned your discovery. A meaningful percentage of the comments here suggest that you’ve just ‘enlightened’ at least a few people who will use this information. They probably know others who will be happy to as well.

          Reply
    • Avatardanio

      It might surprise most people to know that there’s next to no scientific evidence to support psychological benefits associated with “emotional support” animals. The very idea tends to fly in the face of the idea that psychological treatment should center around methods that help patients cope independently.

      Reply
      • AvatarCJinSD

        Telling a woman that she can have it all will be as good for her as standing in the way of someone who believes in the greater good would be. You don’t really think that any cultural Marxist idea is about helping anyone who doesn’t have a personal relationship with the devil, do you?

        Reply
  8. Avatarrambo furum

    As someone with four watches that realizes this is twice too many, I was expecting to hate reading about yet another watch. Shockingly a fairly compelling case was made for the product, as I care much about weight, bulk, and comfort, and not at all about the hokums of typical prestige mechanical timepieces. I completely agree with the closing paragraph.

    Reply
  9. Avatarhank chinaski

    If only the Conti’s exterior styling wasn’t regulated into being so bland. I’m seeing local listings for used ones (base, low miles) dipping into the high 20’s. Not that it helps the brand, but perhaps it’s 90% of the car for a third of the money. (Gawd, what a typical TTAC, Jalop response)

    Between dog walkers, dogsitters, ‘doggy day care’ and yard cleaning services for the ‘claymores’ (Front Towards Enemy, heh), thar’s gold in tham thar piles.

    I’d blink out like Marty McFly if it weren’t for a particular canine, generations past, with a nose for CO.

    Reply
  10. AvatarShocktastic

    “Sorry it’s been slow here at Riverside Green;”
    -when your content is low I infer you are living an interesting life: driving, parenting, working, or otherwise doing interesting stuff. I enjoyed the watch link. My old 1989 GShock is so worn that the plastic casing wore off; on its second band and only third battery. Your titanium one will outlive the Holocene.

    Reply
  11. Avatarpsmith

    Didn’t know you were into Gshocks, just read through the rest of the columns. What’s the screwback you can get for under $200?

    Reply
  12. AvatarJordan

    Rather than criticizing those of us who are too afraid, selfish, and narcissistic to have children, how about giving us some credit for being self-aware. Growing up all saw all too many parents who had children but shouldn’t have. They were always yelling at their kids and didn’t seem very happy to have them in the first place.

    I always thought I would want kids but, as of my mid 30s, I feel no desire whatsoever to have them. As it is, my fiance can’t have children anyway. So, win-win for us. Who knows, maybe I’ll feel differently one day and we’ll adopt, but I don’t see that happening.

    As to not picking up your dogs shit, that’s just rude and inconsiderate. I always pick up my dogs shit and even carry spare bags in the car. To me not picking it up is worse than if you threw down a McDonald’s wrapper.

    Reply
    • Avatarbenjohnson

      >>afraid, selfish, and narcissistic

      Honestly, in my opinion, that’s a miserable way to go though life. Adopt kids, they’ll help you fix yourself.

      Reply
      • Avatarjc

        Yeah, we’ve all seen how well that works.

        In a world with seven billion plus people and more every second, and labor surpluses in every nation, we don’t need any more humans. It’s time for our societies to quit guilt-tripping or otherwise trying to make people have children when they don’t want to.

        Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          I’m not sure about this, largely because human beings have widely varying levels of value to society. If you could vanish three billion randoms from the gutters of the Third World and replace them with a hundred people who are capable of winning a Fields Medal, that would be a real benefit.

          Since you can’t predict ahead of time with certainty who is going to win the Fields Medal, however, your best bet is to encourage the >120IQ crowd to reproduce at a rate that is at least a tangible fraction of the reproduction being done by the <90IQ crowd.

          Any other course of action will have the few decent and thoughtful members of the generations to come buried beneath a wave of garbage.

          Reply
          • Avatarjc

            What I was arguing against was the idea that people with psychological problems who recognize that they shouldn’t become parents will somehow be “fixed” by having children. No, but it’s a good way to create more messed-up kids. The world is not so desperate for more humans that we need to guilt-trip people into having them.

        • AvatarVegan Shark

          People who can’t or don’t accomplish anything in life, who bore everybody they come in range of, and have no hobbies or interests can console themselves by having children! It makes them feel so much better. And better still to guilt-trip anyone who makes a different choice. Or rather, who makes a choice, since so many breeders don’t, they just have kids because they’re “supposed to.”

          Reply
  13. AvatarGreg Hamilton

    I for one would like to see a piece on how you transitioned from a Brooklynite to a Midwestern BMX racer. Maybe you already wrote such a piece. I know alot of Brooklynites none of whom ventured off into the Midwest. I’m sure it would be a colorful and interesting one.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      Not at all, sadly. My father bought a brokerage in Upper Arlington, Ohio. I was too young to have veto power!

      Reply
  14. AvatarJames

    Your “stealth middle-class” line describes a large part of the G-Shock appeal.

    You previously wrote about how it’s impossible to configure a truck with every option, while any car can be ordered “fully loaded”–every smart watch does everything (the only difference between smart watches is how well they do it), but choosing a G-Shock is a series of trade-offs, beginning with the display (analog? digital? ana-digi?). A G-Shock appeals to the same mindset as a truck, in this respect–the satisfaction of having made the right choices, of having everything you need and nothing you don’t.

    And, as you pointed out, G-Shocks are also proudly middle-class. While Casio is rolling out expensive versions (like the square you reviewed!) of cheap watches, they’re also rolling out cheap versions of expensive watches (the whole GG series, for example). Casio makes almost no effort to make expensive G-Shocks look expensive–as you noted! If you live in a community where not everyone can afford a Rolex, there’s something nice about noticing some other guy’s G-Shock, while he notices yours, without worrying about class entering into the picture.

    I bought my cheapest G-Shock for $20; the most expensive are over $2,000. Very few people can keep up with Casio’s pricing structure–read the forum questions asking the difference between MR-G and MT-G (and now we have G-Steel as well?), and note that it took you an entire article (enjoyable to read) to explain why an otherwise identical watch costs $1,000 more in titanium than in stainless steel. Some brands encourage price obscurity to protect the high-end–don’t want the rich customers thinking about how little the proles are paying–but Casio seems to be protecting the low-end, which in its way makes buying at the high end satisfying, because you end up paying more because you want the feature (scratch-resistant case, for example), rather than because you just feel you should.

    Reply
  15. Avatarstingray65

    Watches must be the coolest stupid product there is. Virtually no one needs a watch because virtually everyone carries around a smart phone that not only provides accurate time, but can give you calendars, weather reports, and directions (and even make calls). Of course any cheap $10 quartz from Walmart keeps far more accurate time than any expensive Swiss mechanical watch, as well as being lot lighter, offering more time functions, doesn’t need any winding, or any expensive professional cleaning/calibrating every couple of years. And now Jack tells up about his cool new $1,600 Casio that looks and feels just like the $50 plastic Casio, and of course the titanium is light and strong and pretty much indestructible, but any rational consumer will uncomfortably ask whether it is likely to last longer than 80 of the $50 model? How stupid do you think we are – and I still want one.

    Reply
    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      If I want to take something out of my pocket to check the time, I might as well carry a pocket watch. It’s a lot faster to glance at my wrist than it is to pull my phone out of my shirt pocket and press a button to activate the screen.

      Reply
      • Avatarstingray65

        Ronnie, Ronnie, Ronnie – If I didn’t know any better, I would likely believe your great concern for quickly and easily seeing the the current time means you are some sort of Nazi and/or white supremacist, because it obviously means you desire to be on-time for your appointments and probably expect others to be on-time as well (after all the Nazis made a big deal about making the trains run on time). Don’t you know that the whole concept of time is racist? It is time (oops) to check your privilege and throw your watch away.

        Reply
        • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

          Anyone that knows me personally knows how oxymoronic it is for me to wear a watch. I’m rarely on time. I mean I know I told you I’d be there at 7:30 but I really needed to know how that 3D print came out and it’s now 9:30. I don’t complain about you needing to eat, do I?

          I do like the clean look of Swiss railroad watches, and if I got a vintage pocket watch it’d be railroad style.

          Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      “One must ask the anti-tariff forecasters: Where are the benefits of a freer and more secure American homeland counted in your models? An honest, modern analysis of the Trump tariffs would acknowledge the widespread market distortions that currently disadvantage American workers, parse the complex ways tariffs affect trade partners’ behavior, appropriately discount short-term price impacts, and dynamically score the many long-term positive effects.”

      Reply
      • AvatarWill

        I also don’t think people realize how the finance industry destroys economies through leverage and how borrowing as much as you can is taught in school to increase said returns. It’s broken and we have bartenders trying to regulate the damn thing.

        Reply
        • AvatarKeith

          All, “financial industry” hate is misdirected. It’s just a necessary evil of having a fiat currency and using it monetize government spending and juice asset prices.

          Reply
          • AvatarWill

            Quite untrue. If you knew the workings of the finance industry, you’d understand that highly leveraged trading is utter poison considering options and futures. I work in the industry and every day I wish I could work at the SEC and do something about it, but politics does not get the best and brightest.

            2% inflation is a destroyer if wages do not rise to meet said inflation.

        • AvatarKeith

          IMO the financial shenanigans are allowed and even encouraged by the government as long as the outcome is high home and stock prices to make boomers feel all warm and fuzzy.

          Bankers aren’t shit with out the ability to borrow from FED at artificially low rates.

          Reply
          • AvatarWill

            It’s encouraged because they’re bailed out (See repo market). The failure started in 2008 when they bailed the banks out and not the American citizen.

          • AvatarDirt Roads

            WTF is it about dissing Boomers all the time? Your (presumed) generation hasn’t been around long enough to fuck everything up, but you’re well on your way. At least we older folk have the benefit of hindsight; you tend to think you have it all figured out because “Boomers.”

          • Avatar-Nate

            It’s just the normal reaction of younger folks ~ most of my Foster boys automatically say ” ! NO ! ” first, even when they agree with me .

            Don’t let it bother you, remember wearing bell bottoms and long hair just to piss off the old folks in 1964 ? .

            -Nate

  16. Avatardanio

    Interesting thoughts on the Continental. I think you’re a genuinely smart guy, so I wonder if the social commentary aspects in the article are a pander to the audience because income inequality doesn’t necessarily explain it. Average transaction prices in real dollars are higher than ever and the SAAR remains near all time highs as well. It’s not just the 1% or even the 10% soaking up all those nearly $50K ATP pickups.

    There’s a regulatory aspect that’s been pushing automakers to turn large vehicles into “Light Trucks” which has been a force for the last 41 years, with an intensification in the last decade. There’s a lot of detail to be discussed about how the tail wags the dog of consumer preference here, and ultimately people won’t buy pay for something just because it’s mandated. So I’ll move onto a social aspect.

    Mr. Regular from RCR makes a good point his his review of the 1970 Imperial that classiness doesn’t exist anymore in the same way clean fingernails don’t exist anymore. In the 1950’s to the 70’s if a man had clean fingernails, filed and looking nice, he was telling the world that he’d reached a status where he didn’t have to do manual work anymore. It was a thing for high status men to file their nails like so many old movie bad guys. They drove big sedans loaded with comfort features designed for driving to dinner or social gatherings.

    Today, more people than ever aren’t reliant on manual labor as it was. Social tides have turned to popularize cosplay of “real work” roles. As such, “made” men now drive luxurious pickup trucks and SUVs to the office to show that even though their job is cushy, they aren’t soft and do real “work” thus need their work vehicles. They just happen to exceed the luxuriousness of any Cadillac, Lincoln or Imperial of decades past.

    This comment brought to you by a 34 year old middle manager who drove a full-size near luxury car to work and whose wife drives the modern equivalent of the 1970 Chrysler Town and Country, a Ram 1500 Longhorn. The only significant difference is that the equivalent amount of wood paneling is on the inside.

    Reply
    • AvatarCarmine

      RCR was kinda funny when it first started but now it’s devolved into an English lit major that just learned about cars 2 minutes ago pretentiously pontificating about what he knows, which is very little, and then some 2nd grade poop jokes.

      Like most things, popularity went to their heads and ruined it.

      I think about 90% of automotive youtube content is just awful.

      Reply
    • Avatarrambo furum

      RCR is occasionally astute, but I recall that whole white collar manicure luxury sedan rant as being comically off base. His age and middle class suburban roots were no secret, but he really seemed to think that every blue collar worker drove a truck as primary personal transportation, and that sedans were not bread and butter staples for the masses at the time.

      The decades old attack of the trucks is more readily explained by the chicken tax and women’s ideas on safety and visibility, as well as the notion that a stilted up station wagon would be perceived as less of a mommy-mobile.

      And yeah, RCR is sometimes on to something, but his obsession with shoehorning stupid body function grossout “jokes” led me to move on.

      Reply
      • AvatarCarmine

        What I can’t stand is the regurgitation of bs opinions they learned 2 minutes ago as fact, they referred to a Quadrajet ad “Quadrajunk” and I’m sure that guy couldn’t tell a float bowl from a toilet bowl…..and what they did to that original clean little red Falcon was total shit too……

        Reply
      • Avatardanio3843

        “His age and middle class suburban roots were no secret, but he really seemed to think that every blue collar worker drove a truck as primary personal transportation, and that sedans were not bread and butter staples for the masses at the time.”

        That’s not what he meant. What he’s saying that that no one *aspired* to drive trucks, they did because they had to as a function of their social status. Trucks were for farmers, sheeny men and lumberjacks. Once an upwardly mobile man had the means he selected the nicest sedan or coupe he could afford, which usually followed the pattern of imitating Cadillac and Lincoln models as much as the budget would allow. Perhaps he could only afford a Chevy, but it might have still had a landau roof.

        I agree RCR isn’t a paragon of automotive knowledge. It’s definitely not what I go there for.

        Reply
        • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

          Trucks were for farmers, sheeny men and lumberjacks

          You probably don’t realize it but you used an ethnic slur (similar to how most folks don’t know that “gyp” is a slur). No offense taken as none was intended. There was a time when scrap pickers, then using horse-drawn wagons, were primarily Jewish. The scrap industry still has a large Jewish contingent. What was originally used as a slur for Jews in time became “the guy who drives a wagon/truck and picks through my trash.” My maternal grandfather was a junkman dealing in paper and rags and it was pickers like that who supplied at least part of his inventory.

          Reply
  17. AvatarCarmine

    Ahh……the “traditional American Luxury Car”, its seem that it and the “low cost off road 2 door Jeep fighter” are the new “diesel manual brown wagon” of the 2020’s. Because after years of shitting on domestic luxury cars and telling them they need to be like BMW, now everyone wants grandpa pee-pops landau topped road boat again, which leads me to believe that the conclusion I made years ago still stands correct, all automotive journalists are full of shit……

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      You probably dont know this but I drove a 2009 Town Car Signature Limited from 2010 to 2014 as my primary vehicle.

      Reply
      • AvatarCarmine

        I did know that and it got wrecked and you broke your hip etc etc etc etc.

        That gen Town Car is just a Crown Vic with some extra plastiwood and the Continental is a half hearted attempt at a “large” luxury car based on stretched Fusion that if it was just named the Lincoln MXZ or whatever, people would even care less about it that they do now. The styling is bland, it really could be a car from any manufacturer.

        Lincoln slapped the Continental name on this Fusion in a wedding dress in an attempt to try to link it back to the brief era 55 years ago when Lincoln was sort of on their game. The center opening door version is even more of a joke, a cut and stretch chop job done by an aftermarket limo company, the “suicide door” looks shoddy with a 2ft wide center pillar and awkward rear door.
        .

        Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          I thought you were implying that I was new to luxury-car fandom…

          In truth, Lincolns have always been not much more than big Fords. The iconic ’63 Continental was supposed to be a Thunderbird.

          Today’s Continental doesn’t share a single exterior dimension or interior part with a Fusion. It has the same relationship with the Fusion that a Rolls-Royce Ghost has with a 7-series, which is to say that many of the basic platform proportions and dimensions come from the same CAD drawings. Much less commonality than, say, the Bentley Continental and the VW Phaetons, where you could (and I did) swap interior controls and steering wheels and whatnot.

          If you want a luxury car with no ties to anything else and no prole roots of any sort, then you’re out of luck. Even the Crewe Rollers used Lucas electrics and GM transmissions. Don’t get me started on Astons and whatnot. I suppose the CL55 AMG I used to drive was pretty bespoke in many ways but it did share a lot of switchgear with taxicabs.

          Reply
          • Avatardanio3834

            “The iconic ’63 Continental was supposed to be a Thunderbird.”

            I have a ’63 Thunderbird. It shared a lot of underpinnings with the Continental, as well as the Wixom Assembly plant.

          • AvatarCarmine

            If you can’t spot the issue between basing the Continental on a FWD Fusion and the Ghost being based on a 7 series, then I don’t know what to tell you. Fusion = 7 series? I’m no german car humper by far and I can tell you this really a stretch.

            The Phaeton, for all its BS, was at least from the start a balls out effort from VW, if VW would have based the Bentley Continental on a Jetta, then maybe we could argue that its the same thing.

            You can make the exact same meal, the difference is in the quality of the ingredients. It doesn’t need to be “bespoke”(ughh) its just needs to be based of something better. I’ll point out that the CT6, too me, a much better car than the Continental, though flawed, kinda bland and half hearted too at least has its own unique platform.

          • AvatarCarmine

            Yes, i’ve know that the 61-69 Continental and 61-66 Thunderbird were related for many many years thanks.

  18. AvatarOne Leg at a Time

    FARAGO IS BACK, BABY!

    Actually – I am not able to access TTAG on a work computer, and don’t really internet at home. Still, glad to see you writing for the great one, again.

    I will delve into the site later, but on first glance it appears that his latest windmill is Dive Watches. I am giddy with anticipation.

    Reply
  19. AvatarBooty_Toucher

    I’ll get behind any number of generalizations about Millennials, but the folks leaving dog shit in front of my house are all north of 50 years old. By my observation, pet obsession is fortunately accompanied by a commensurate level of pet responsibility.

    Reply
  20. AvatarMrGreenMan

    Jack, Your advice on the Continental being only at the top of the list echoes a perennial recommendation. I remember when Sean Hannity was the pitch-man for General Motors. This must have been between 2005 and 2007, because I remember commuting in my Olds 88 through misplanned Michigan highways and sitting at a giant mixing bowl – that and the Saturn Sky Roadster was the *hot* car Sean was giving away as he gave away one car per week.

    As part of this “embrace the right” initiative of “Bad Old GM”, Rush Limbaugh was brought to Cadillac and asked what would entice him to put a GM product next to his fleet of Bentleys and Maybachs. I remember because the Maja Rushie then spent the next several days talking like a wide-eyed kid about the Cadillac Sixteen Concept and how _GM Was Really Gonna Do It_. Rush gave the exact same prescription for Cadillac you did in your article – make it amazing, make it expensive, and thus make it desirable – no stripper V6 version. Cadillac could have had at least Jaguar-style if not Rolls-style command seating in a sedan, and have the same fire-breathing engine that Dennis Leary abused in his fireman TV show.

    Of course, they didn’t make it. America still lacks a Second Duesie. Like when Al Pitrelli was brought back to bump Jack Frost from Savatage when Megadeth broke up the first time, people want something good, but people really want the local boy to do good.

    Reply
  21. AvatarShrug

    The article you did in regards to the Lincoln Continental has reignited my desire for one. I am in no way the target demographic there (young, single, solidly middle class) but holy lord do I want a Black Label Continental. It just seems like a perfect way to experience a car. Once my Mustang GT is paid off, that is at the very top of the list of cars I want to buy. Just seems like the absolute ideal way to drive ~500 miles/week like I do.

    Reply
  22. Avatartoly arutunoff

    when the ’60 ford sales dropped compared to chevy, research showed that the car looked too nice; customers didn’t want their neighbors to think they were trying to one-up them. also they were so wide some states made them put yellow scotch lite on the corners of the front bumpers–a substitute for the legally then-mandated running lights for something that wide

    Reply
  23. Avatartracktardicus

    I was having a discussion with a man whose outlook on life I respect. We were discussing children, and I mentioned how I had decided that children were not for me, as I was too selfish. His response resonated with me: “Selfishness is underrated.”
    There should be no stigma attached to people who make a conscious choice not to procreate. I think about the idea that you have to have a license to operate a motor vehicle, but you don’t have to have one to have children. Many people are financially and emotionally unqualified to have kids, yet they choose to do so anyway.
    The emotional and financial investment required in raising kids is enormous, as I’m sure you have found out. Most millenials can’t afford to have kids, just as they struggle to afford purchasing homes. Is it not right for them to fear the idea that it’s likely that they will struggle for the majority of their remaining lives to pay for food, homes, health care, college, and retirement, all of which the cost has increased way more than the rate of inflation? So it’s no surprise to me that many are choosing to pass on the traditional nuclear family.
    As to me, damn right I am afraid and selfish when it comes to having children. As a result, I made the rational decision that it was in my and that of my unborn children’s best interest that I don’t procreate. I knew I would struggle to commit to the emotional, financial, and time investment required to give my offspring the best chance to grow into a healthy functioning adult (one of my favorite articles from you concludes that the best gift you can give your kids is your time.)
    Does that make me and people like me less of a person? Is it not possible for people with no children to have just as rich and impactful a life as those with them? Is it wrong for them to have a loyal pet that is easier and cheaper to take care of than a child, but still enriches their lives? The undercurrent of your post suggests this is so.
    But I will say I want to kick the people who don’t police their dog shit in the junk.

    Reply
    • Avatarstingray65

      Your comment suggests you are a very thoughtful and intelligent person, but the problem for the future of the human race is that if people such as yourself don’t have children, where will future generations come from? The answer is they will come from the thoughtless and unintelligent, which means too many children will get no benefit from nurture or nature and the future may move closer to what is brilliantly depicted by the film Idiocracy.

      As for affordability of children – it has never been better by any rational calculation. The problem is that too many would be parents have ridicules living standard aspirations. For example, during the post-WW2 housing boom, the average new house was less than 800 square feet, while the fertility rate per woman was over 3, which means a lot of those little houses held families of 5 or more. That house also didn’t have A/C, cable TV, Internet, or a big screen TV, and would be lucky to have a small single car garage containing a 10 year old rusty Chevy, Ford, or Plymouth sedan.

      In contrast, new single family homes built in the last decade average about 2400 square feet, have all season climate control, multiple big screen TVs, wireless Internet, and at least a 2 car garage, that needs to contain a late model $60K 4WD Pickup, and a $40K luxury SUV (all to house a family with 1.7 children). Of course so many young adults today also “have” to live in some expensive “happening” and “diverse” part of the country, and need the latest iPhone, and daily $7 Starbucks, and have those student loans from that prestige University where they learned all about social justice and the impending doom of climate change, so no wonder they have no money for raising a child or three. Unfortunately, all this materialist luxury that so many young people expect today does not seem to make them nearly as happy and contented with their lives as those of their grandparents living in those crappy little houses, driving old rusty cars, and taking care of their 3 screaming kids.

      Reply
      • Avatartracktardicus

        The future of the human race is in jeopardy not because there are not enough people for future generations, but because there are too many. There are plenty of emotionally mature couples that want children that can pick up my and my wife’s slack.
        I fundamentally disagree that it is more affordable now than it has ever been to raise children, at least if you fall into what is now considered as middle class. Wages have stagnated for over 20 years, while the cost of living, to include housing, fuel, cars, health care, and education, have skyrocketed hundreds of percentages during the same time frame. I don’t know how many young people you come into contact with, but there is a reason that 22% of millenial adult Americans are living with their parents. A grain of truth can be found in most stereotypes, but the unaffordable housing market is keeping millennials at home, rather than a failure by millennials to hold jobs or launch careers-and by proxy raise children.
        and I agree with your point about the shortage of available housing, and that new housing is primarily larger and more expensive. But is that the fault of young people, or of lax zoning and the developers who want to squeeze as much profit as possible out of a parcel of land?
        Finally, your point about young adults wanting to live in “happening” parts of the country-at least, young people with degrees who want well-paying jobs and participate in the upward mobility that living in America has traditionally offered-that is by necessity, because as of now that’s where great majority of the jobs they qualify for are. And I can’t fault them for wanting a decent quality of life.

        Reply
        • Avatarstingray65

          So if it is so impossible to afford a home and children today, how do all the unskilled illegals manage to do it? After all, California is home to more of them than any other state and it is also one of the most expensive housing markets in the US. They not only frequently have several children, but they often send money to family still in Mexico or Latin America. Illegals working as nannies and construction workers are doing it, but a programmer making $60 to $100K a year, or a nurse making $50 to $75K, or auto mechanic making $40 to $60K per year can’t afford a home and children? Yes they might need to cut back on the Starbucks, and jet vacations, and skip the next generation iPhone, and settle for a small fixer-upper starter home like their much more poorly paid grandparents did, but it certainly can be done.

          I agree with you 100% on the zoning restrictions and other regulations that drive up housing costs, but unfortunately young people continue to overwhelmingly vote for the Democrats that put and keep such regulations and restrictions in place.

          Reply
          • Avatartracktardicus

            “So if it is so impossible to afford a home and children today, how do all the unskilled illegals manage to do it?”

            They aren’t purchasing homes in California, they are generally living in squalor, and they are not managing (see links below.)

            I still think you have a poor understanding of how difficult it is for young people to have the disposable income to have the same amount of financial freedom you or I did (I’m assuming you are 50 or older, as am I.) My tuition at a major midwestern university was $1500 per year all-in back in the late eighties. Now it is about $12000. Student housing was about $1200 for the year then, now it is $16000. That is at the extreme low end of the scale for a large university.
            So the traditional middle income workers you reference can probably afford to have a home and children, but my point is they are saddled with student debt (to the tune of about $1 trillion right now) and will have no, little or at best less discretionary income than they would have 20 years ago for Starbucks and jet vacations, let alone to set aside for retirement. So, unless you have some statistics to back up this supposed wave of frivolous spending by millenials that is contributing to their inability to buy homes or have children, then I’m inclined to dismiss your arguments as biased and uninformed.

            https://www.kpbs.org/news/2018/mar/30/california-farm-workers-face-slow-climb-upward-mob/

            https://www.nbc4i.com/news/shortage-of-farm-workers-leaving-entire-fields-in-california-other-states-to-rot/

        • Avatardanio

          “Wages have stagnated for over 20 years, while the cost of living, to include housing, fuel, cars, health care, and education, have skyrocketed hundreds of percentages during the same time frame.”

          The victimhood mentality that we’ve all been taught to adopt has us believing that this statement = some kind of existential oppression.

          What’s true is that REAL wages have stagnated. Real Wages account for inflation. People today actually have about the same purchasing power as 40 years ago. What’s changed is the standard of living is much higher today. So it’s not that you can’t have the lifestyle your parents did, it’s that you can’t actually bear it.

          Reply
  24. AvatarPaul M.

    Sadly the dog hater Barith is at it again. Same dude who hates little girls and his niece. Same dude who spends money on idiotic VWs and then wonders why his retirement account is lacking.

    This time he ignores the fact that most of us have many dogs on our land. Not just one, and let them roam free. Defend our land. Defend out country. Remember last time one of those Brave German Shepherds went after a terrorist in a cave. Or those dogs that stop bombs from getting on planes so out of shape middle age people like Bauth can feel safe.

    Yes he is picking on dogs. OUR BEST FRIENDS. But hey Muslims hate dogs too. So may be Baruth has something in common with them. Because you know, he hates people (those few) who let their dogs roam free without bags.

    We would not be America without Dogs. We be Saudi Arabia. Or Egypt. Or some other idiotic Arab country.

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      You’re absolutely correct, America without dogs would be Saudi Arabia. That’s the difference. You’ve found it. Dogs.

      Maybe we should airdrop dogs into Saudi Arabia. As soon as their little paws touched the ground, it would turn into the 51st state. Problem solved!

      Reply
      • AvatarPaul M.

        So you get a bit of entertainment and perhaps relate to dogs, may be spend some quality time with your son at same time, how about some movies and series on Disney + for your viewing (yes you have to spend a few dollars to subscribe, just spend a little less on next purchase for your bro watch, guitar, bicycle, or …)

        1. New version of Lady and Tramp
        2. TOGO
        3. Pick of Litter series

        Reply
        • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

          My ex and I adopted a retired racing greyhound named Annie (short for Anorexia, her registered pedigree name). When I’d walk her, sometimes folks would ask me earnestly, “Did you rescue her?” Now the truth is even 20 years ago the majority of the dog racing industry’s surplus dogs were being adopted so it wasn’t like I was extra-moral or something, so I’d respond, “Oh, no. I’m fattening her up for a Korean restaurant.” Racing greyhounds make terrific pets, btw.

          As for dog owners in general, besides the fact that I like dogs, my late father was a veterinarian so pet owners’ money fed me as I was growing up. Yes, some dog owners are nuts. No, they aren’t “fur babies”, you aren’t a “dog grandparent,” they’re animals, not substitutes for human beings.

          I will say that I never, even once, picked up dog excrement. I figured that if I didn’t know where it was hygenic for my dog to take a crap, I shouldn’t have a dog in the first place. Humans got along very well for about 10,000 years without picking up dog crap. The notion that picking up animal feces, even with plastic gloves or a bag, results in greater public health seems to me to be counterintuitive.

          Besides, I’ll pick up my dog’s crap when the government cleans up all the goose crap left by the Canada geese that the government legally protects. There are wetlands in my neighborhood so the geese literally flock to nearby parks. The goose crap is a much bigger public health issue than dog owners.

          Reply
  25. AvatarLynnG

    Jack, In reference to our recent article on Hagarty, Cadillac should make the CT-8 and call it Fleetwood as the new President of the Cadillac Division noted recently that model names would be returning so maybe there is hope. And to compete with the Coach Door Lincoln they should make a nothing held back Fleetwood with a 240″ overall length with seating for only four in 24 way power seats with full length center console and foot rests and call it the Fleetwood Talisman. Oh they did that already, (1974-1976). Nothing like history repeating its self. Oh, did I add that it should come wiht a $150K MSRP with nothing optional, everything standard…. They have did that already (1957-1958 Eldorado Brougham) Considering the price point of the new 2021 Escalade Platinum may appoach that price point it is not out of the question. Your thoughts?

    Reply
    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      GM lost money on every ’57-’58 Eldorado Brougham that they sold. In a lot of ways it was like the ’53 Buick Skylark, Olds Fiesta, and Caddy Eldo, in that there was a lot of hand work on the car.
      I think GM made the ’57 Eldorado to prove to Ford that they were willing to lose more per car than Ford did with the Continental Mk II (about $1,000/car on a vehicle with a $10,000 retail price), just for prestige.

      Reply
      • AvatarLynnG

        Ronnie,
        Ronnie, you are absolutely correct. Every Eldorado Brougham with a sticker price of $13, 074 in 1957 (equlivant to $110,000 in 2020) was sold at a lose of approximately $1,000 per unit and still cost more than a Roll Royce. But it was an image vehicle and a test bed for new technology. Movie stars drove these cars and movie stars were ever present in the Saturday Evening Post, Life, and Look every month so it was free advertising. Maybe most upper income business owners could not afford a $13,000 Brougham but they could afford a $7,000 Fleetwood or Eldorado. In addition, GM used it to float new technology: air bag self leveling, memory seats, power frameless wing windows, air conditioning. So the car served multiple purposes. Today we call it image advertising, Boeing, Raythone, Lockeed do it all the time on Sunday Morning cable news shows, they are not selling anything but their name and image. With the 1957-1958 Eldorado Broughams GM did image avertising before it was called image advertising with a very expensive limited production car.
        Lynn

        Reply
  26. AvatarOne Leg at a Time

    What the heck just happened? It seemed to go downhill very quickly.

    Is this performance art?

    I am genuinely perplexed at everything from Paul M’s comment on. Is Baruth really a dog-hater? I thought he liked his niece, he just didn’t set up special outings. Why can’t I “stream” and be a free man?

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      * I don’t hate dogs. Quite the contrary. I just don’t think they should be the central focus of American society.

      * I don’t hate my niece, Paul is being nutty.

      * I think there’s a case to be made that today’s Peak TV era is contributing mightily to the downfall of our society, and I think that’s what the poster means.

      Reply
      • AvatarOne Leg at a Time

        I immediately regretted hitting “Post Comment” on that – I sound like an octogenarian who should be in a home. Next I am going to ask if Ike is still president, or if we are having pudding for dessert.

        I did really think that I had missed some inside joke, or that there was an article that you had ‘un-posted’ (if that is a thing).

        Reply
  27. AvatarPaul M.

    Bauth Jack (no disrespect to Bark), is scared of Disney +.

    For him there is another studio safe place, coming in Febeuray with a Dog character.

    Reply
    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      So someone is “scared” of something because they don’t feel like buying it? Why on earth would I want to take on another suscription fee? Well, that’s besides the fact that Disney seems intent on destroying the Star War franchise by making it woke AF. I watch my 7 year old grandson frequently. He overheard me watching a YouTube video about Star Wars and he volunteered, “They ruined Star Wars. The girls have super powers, the boys can’t do anything, and Luke is a wuss.”

      Reply
    • AvatarOne Leg at a Time

      Absolutely my favorite Jack London story.

      I am going to guess that they will have to bowdlerize the heck out of this, as the novel was rife with animal cruelty; and ends with the dog killing Native Americans to avenge his murdered owner.

      Also – the CGI dog needs some work – the CGI Harrison Ford looks pretty ok

      Reply
  28. AvatarJames

    The “Betamax” case caused problems for TV and film studios that are only now being corrected, in their view, by video streaming. “Betamax” established the principle that even if a studio broadcast a film only once, you had the ability and right to re-watch that broadcast as many times as you liked.

    Even with Disney’s “vault,” you had to purchase a copy of the film during a limited release window, but you had the ability and right to re-watch your copy whenever you wanted–and, indeed, Disney’s business model was based, for a time, on this compromise. You didn’t have to negotiate with a bundling service to negotiate with the studio, every time your nephew wanted to watch “Pinocchio”–and you paid a premium for this. (DVD/Blu Ray prices were consistently highest for Disney animated films.)

    Free men don’t ask permission when their nieces want to watch “Frozen.” This is actually a fundamental problem, at least in the short term, for Disney+ and similar services: the Imperial child doesn’t see himself as a slave, and so cannot accept Del Toro’s knock-off as a suitable replacement for the real thing.

    Reply

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