Weekly Roundup: Why Can’t You Just Do It Right Edition

“Give you a hundred bucks if you can name the artist and the tune — or the artist and the album.” My dinner companion, Hagerty Drivers Club Magazine impresario Joe DeMatio, almost got it, but not quite. We were at Weber’s Inn, the old-standard restaurant in Ann Arbor that prior to the recent unpleasantness was known for featuring live music of some sort six nights a week. Now they’re spinning records instead of lighting up the bandstand, which is better than nothing. Joe knew it was a Miles Davis tune, but he didn’t know that it was “I Could Write A Book” from Relaxin’ With The Miles Davis Quintet. A product of two sessions at Rudy Van Gelder’s home studio, Relaxin’ and its three companion albums have become an indispensable part of the American jazz landscape over the past sixty years.

In the years to come, Miles would devote considerable time to using the studio as an instrument in and of itself, as seen in Bitches Brew — but these eight sides were quick and dirty efforts meant to fulfill his obligations to his old label (Prestige) so he could start working with his new label (Columbia, where he would record Kind Of Blue). Many of the tunes are first takes; there is no evidence for any of them being the product of more than three attempts. In the song above, “If I Were A Bell,” you can put on your headphones and hear John Coltrane rushing up to the microphone for his solo, realizing a bit too late that he was too far away for the sound he and the producer wanted. If that happened while my son and I were recording a fifty-nine-second song snippet for Instagram, we’d start over — but Miles went ahead and committed that take to vinyl, presumably so he could get the other three dozen tunes on his list done without having to stick around for a third day.

Relaxin’ isn’t perfect. Given the conditions — four men crowded into a home studio, playing single-take music into a single microphone, without a single Auto-Tune workstation in sight — it would be impossible for that to be the case. Yet it’s right. It’s just done right. All of the musicians turned in competent performances. Rudy Van Gelder recorded it with his usual fidelity and attention to detail. So even if you don’t like all the tunes, you cannot say that any of them represents a catastrophe along the lines of Courtney Love’s individual guitar and vocal mixes. There is a minimum standard of talent, due care, and professionalism being met here. This is an idea that has been very much on my mind as of late, for reasons I’ll explain.

As many of you know, I’m a former freelance writer turned insurance-industry management-drone-and-itinerant-columnist. This year marks three decades for me of writing for publication in the cycling, automotive, and ridiculous-timepiece fields. I gave up on trying to estimate my total work output years ago. The “Avoidable Content Contact” columns alone… there have been more than two hundred of them, averaging more than 1,500 words, so that’s somewhere between Ulysses and Infinite Jest. I cannot come up with any rough estimate of my lifetime paid output that is beneath two million words.

Not all of it has been great or even good. Virtually all of it has been right, in the sense that Relaxin’ is right. I have spent thirty years turning in prose that is spelled correctly, arranged in logical and comprehensible fashion, and generally free of any major mistakes in grammar beyond my own characteristic affinity for Tom-Wolfe-style extended-and-agitated sentences. (Sam Smith, were he here, would no doubt want you to know that he has no patience with my “British which”, often employed in the stead of “that” by default. This habit, which I formed by long perusal of English writers as a student, is the sort of minor detail which gives me individuality as a prose stylist, and which I am loath to abandon, regardless of what Sam thinks. Also, he is frequently enraged by my affinity for italics.) If you read something I have written, you might think it is too long, you might disagree with the central premise, or you might find it less than enjoyable — but rarely would any person of at least average intelligence be able to say that I am simply not making sense, or that I am breaking significant rules of the English language.

If only I could say the same about the writing I encounter in my day job. After starting in senior editorial positions at TTAC and… well, let’s just talk about TTAC… I took a few days to read a representative sample of work from each of our existing freelance contributors. I “stack ranked” those authors by the quality of their submitted work, splitting them into tertiles. Then I quietly terminated our relationship with the bottom tertile, thanking them for their time and gently suggesting that we would no longer be accepting their submissions. In fairness, it should be mentioned that at least one of these writers remembers this process very differently, and frequently recounts his version of events on Twitter, whether or not anyone else asks him to do so.

It would gratify and amuse me to pretend that I cut ties with those writers due to my princess-and-the-pea intolerance of certain phrase or styling habits, but the truth is far more depressing: some of these people, as Dryden wrote of an opponent, never deviate into sense. I would finish two thousand of their words having little to no idea of the actual subject involved. Car reviews without any driving impressions, despite the fact that the writer had been flown first class to Europe for the express purpose of driving said car. “Historical” pieces with nothing but random conjecture and sentences beginning with “Everybody knows…” Rarely was it possible to discern any sort of narrative thread in the work of the lower tertile. Most of the time, their pieces served little purpose other than to stir memories in the reader’s mind of older, better-organized articles.

Some of these writers were quite well-regarded in our little industry. Some had written books, although I shudder to imagine what they are like to read. Many of them managed to earn a living wage through their work, although still more of them were secretly supported by spouses or parents. Yet they never deviated into sense. They often managed the seemingly opposed tricks of turning straight-reporting articles into personal anecdotes and then turning personal-anecdote articles into bewildering assemblages of misremembered pop culture. After leaving my employ, they often produced the most incomprehensible efforts elsewhere. One of them recently managed to jumble-up a genre previously thought to be beyond jumbling, namely the transcribed interview, by removing some, but not all, of the verbal tics exhibited by the person being interviewed. (A tip for any young writers just breaking into the business: Virtually everyone will say “Uh” and “Um” and “Hmm” and similar things during an off-the-cuff interview. Leaving them in, as the news media likes to do with President Trump, is usually considered evidence of authorial animus towards the subject. Leaving some of them in, while excising others, is evidence of… I haven’t a clue, actually, and neither does anyone else.)

In short, these are bad writers. Not good writers having a bad day, not natural talents in need of a little polishing. Just bad writers. The same way I’m a bad musician. All the problems these writers exhibit have an analogue of some sorts in my various bashing-about of guitars and whatnot. The difference is that I readily acknowledge my shortcomings as a musician. My bad writers had, and have, no such self-awareness. They quite like their own work. It makes sense to them, the same way that I can make up a little song while I’m riding a motorcycle and have it strike me as absolutely first-rate. Should I record these songs via helmet microphone and expect $500 per song? I think not.

This general incompetence would matter less, it would bother me less, were I supplied with an adequate number of good writers, but sadly this is not the case. There are perhaps ten people working in the business who can construct an article of any length without “losing the plot”, as the English say, halfway through. Our society is overflowing with brilliant guitarists, astounding athletes, physically perfect human beings of surpassing beauty. What we need is a few more decent writers. Just enough to fill in the gaps as society slides along the greased tracks downward into orgy-porgy and Centrifugal Bumblepuppy. If you know someone who fits this description, I would like to meet him or her. I have work for such a person, paid at top rates and without hesitation, for virtually anything they are willing to write. I don’t even need to see pitches ahead of time; I’ll take first-rate pieces without any advance notice. The desired subject? It should have something to do with cars. Other than that? Surprise me. As Miles says to Prestige Records founder Bob Weinstock in the opening of “If I Were A Bell”… “I’ll play it and tell you what it is later.” And I’ll give you way more than a hundred bucks for it.

* * *

For Hagerty, I attempted to competently relate the story of two fellows on the open road.

63 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: Why Can’t You Just Do It Right Edition”

  1. AvatarJohn C.

    The true genius of Miles Davis was not the “Bitches Brew” of him defecating on his many baby mamas whose babies were receiving nothing from him. Rather lets think think of the son of a landed dentist, trained at no cost at Julliard to the exclusion of those more able to process the taught material, who went on to offer regurgitations of Cindi Lauper songs like “True Colors” while outright refusing to play anything from any productive period. After all to do so would reveal a man out of his depth. Yet celebrating him makes us feel better as a liberal white man in the hope that the Jewish lead,(Susan Rosenberg) Black mob, (Shawn King) will come for us last. Pathetic! Fight Back!

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      I’d like to meet the player who was unfairly excluded from Julliard so Miles Davis could be let in…

      Electric Miles, like Prince in his later years, is a good example of someone following his talent to places other people don’t want him to go. That’s what he wanted to play. He didn’t owe anybody anything at that point. He was just following his inspiration. Among other things, he came up with the idea of “lead bass” and “rhythm bass” on his tours.

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        You should meet that man excluded from Julliard for no reason, it’s not like Miles could be bothered to show up. Do you really think the day so many of us saw Grandma be painted and assaulted for suggesting that a a police station shouldn’t be burned should have to deal with you bragging on the 100% of white men you fired while trying to find the new depth Miles Davis offered to Cindi Lauper? Think about what you do.

        Reply
        • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

          Miles is dead, you know. Has been dead for three decades.

          If anything, the story of the Prestige quartet — people of at least three ethnic groups working together to make great music, much of it written by time-honored musicians both black and white — suggests that we have another alternative besides the current media-driven delusion of a race war marketed as a war on racism.

          Reply
          • AvatarJohn C.

            You can tell the love Miles had for other races when he had his mixed race babies thrust off on other people to raise. This man, the intact family product of the the top 1 percent of 1920s black America. Yet here comes Jack talking him up while bragging of firing all those white guys who just needed editing from their editor.

            Next week you should do the one where you are the trans writer’s best friend while telling us how great the music of Jermaine Stewart was. Hopefully the trans protestors of color won’t simultaneously burn down the(white space) rock and roll hall of fame in your state making an ass of you.

          • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

            You can tell the love Miles had for other races when he had his mixed race babies thrust off on other people to raise.

            You complain about the poor father a man who wrecked a Lamborghini Miura was? Get your priorities in order, sir!

          • AvatarJohn C.

            His firing instead of editing was only possible with an all white male staff. Any other combo would have seen pushback. What a thing to brag about,

          • Avatar-Nate

            “Should skin color guarantee somebody a job regardless of skills?”

            Of course not but it does occasionally…. both ways .

            If you don’t like Jazz or Miles Davis, stop replying to this thread .

            -Nate

        • AvatarWill

          Why do you come here? Talented people do bad things. Old as time. You don’t throw away the good, just because a person isn’t perfect. Or is this too “backwards” of thought? That Steve Jobs though, what a dad. I bet YOU think he’s a genius. *rolling eye emoji*

          Reply
          • AvatarJohn C.

            You are probably right Will. I should probably spend more time on the black side of the blogosphere. No doubt there I could find countless entries extolling the virtues of people like say Johnny Cash. Going beyond the mere “Sunday morning coming down” is a cool song but really going into the weeds of a hardscrabble life to show the hand of God.

            Steve Jobs is not a favorite of mine.

          • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

            I should probably spend more time on the black side of the blogosphere. No doubt there I could find countless entries extolling the virtues of people like say Johnny Cash.

            I suggest that you check out Jamel AKA Jamal on YouTube.

          • AvatarJohn C.

            Gosh that Zeppelin song is, well, not to my taste. Makes you look forward all the more to Jermaine Stewart’s tribute coming here next week. When Stewart died in the 90s of Aids, neither his family, nor Shalamar, nor manager Don Cornelius, nor his fellow Soul Train dancers could be counted on to provide him even a headstone. Why do for themselves when whites are around to do for you, if in his case only 14 years later.

        • AvatarPanzer

          …and white men have that reputation for competence precisely because other white men keep them honest and evaluate their performances objectively.
          This is something i’ve tried to explain to you before, ah well.

          Reply
          • AvatarJohn C.

            I agree with all that and was why I pushed back on Jack when he fondly remembered some sad power trip while promoting what if he thought about it, he would realize was no role model in Miles Davis. Friends push friends to do better, knowing what they are capable of.

            It is why I put up with so much lazy snark from my hecklers here. Jack is not the only one capable of being better, so myself. So Panzer, make your snark of me better, upgrade from a Panzer Mk.III all the way to a Panther, Rommel and Guderian would be proud and I do listen.

    • AvatarJohn Marks

      Please tell me your source for the assertion that Miles Davis’ attendance (or, at least his being on the books of) at what was later called The Juilliard School was at no cost.

      My guess is that I have read far more books about Miles Davis than you have, and my recollection is that Davis’ father paid cash–and the idea of the young Davis’ attending the Institute of Musical Arts had been his father’s idea.

      BTW, Davis did profit from his time at the Institute, over the course of three semesters increasing his knowledge of music theory, and somehow making the acquaintance of Claude Thornhill. Davis and others in his nonet, especially Gerry Mulligan, put Thornhill’s ideas into practice in the Birth of the Cool sessions.

      BTW, the young Davis caught a lot of flak from Black musicians at the time for giving work to white musicians such as Mulligan and the famous asterisk-bearer Mike Zwerin. That’s called “Crow Jim.”

      There’s also the famous story about the hanger-on and errands runner who, late in Davis’ life, ambushed Davis by making him listen to some of his early work.

      Davis looked at the young man sadly and whispered, “How could you do this to me Eric? I thought we were friends.”

      jm

      Reply
      • AvatarJohn C.

        An intact family often sends a son off to higher studies with some cash in his pocket, an experience Miles Davis’s children would never know. I am not aware of any instance of a black student in that era paying their way as would be expected of a white dentist’s son. Scholarships over scholarships with outsiders even filling out the applications because if they waited for Miles to do it himself the wait would be forever.

        You tell touching Crow Jim stories of white musicians “getting work” from him. The white, black and Jewish staffers whose story I would want told were the ones who when Miles saw his mostly white liberal audience waiting to hear the music he wasn’t going to play, stopped Miles from flinging his feces at them. I wonder if they actually had to physically restrain him. They should have let him, I bet the audience would have thought themselves deserving.

        Mr. Marks, when Jack covers Jermaine Stewart next week. I hope you will assist him with a review of his album “What becomes a legend most”.

        Reply
        • AvatarJohn Marks

          Sorry John, what you wrote here:

          “I am not aware of any instance of a black student in that era paying their way as would be expected of a white dentist’s son.”

          Is an example of the delusion of thinking that your ignorance is more powerful than my knowledge.

          In the 1940s, higher education was almost always segregated. Miles Davis’ older sister was sent to the historically Black Fisk University–there was never a thought of her trying to get into Pembroke, for example. (As a teenager, Miles Davis contributed a share of his earnings as a working musician to his older sister’s education.)

          High Culture in New York City was still almost entirely segregated when one of my future mentors, Boris Goldovsky, eventually convinced the Metropolitan Opera to hire a young protégé of his, Robert McFerrin, as the first Black to sing a title role at the Met (Rigoletto). That was 1956; that was more than ten years after Miles Davis passed his audition to get into the future Juilliard. Mr. Goldovsky’s young student Robert McFerrin managed to have an intact family; his son is famous under the stage name Bobby McFerrin… .

          BTW, your slander that Miles Davis could not have filled out a college application is baseless. Before he discovered heroin, Davis was, by all reports, hard-working. He was also a person who read, and who had strong opinions about writing. He hated the novels of Hermann Hesse, for example.

          BTW, at a reception I threw once at the Waldorf Astoria in NYC, I had the honor of serving glasses of champagne to both Tommy Flanagan, and to Max Roach. It was Roach who shamed a strung-out Davis into going straight, by putting a couple of $100 bills into Davis’s jacket pocket as though they were a pocket square, and patting Davis on the cheek and saying, “Lookin’ good, my man!”

          Davis bought a ticket home, and went Cold Turkey on the farm.

          jm

          Reply
          • AvatarJohn C.

            “High Culture in NYC was almost entirely segregated.”

            My understanding of that time is that there was a vast unsegregated audience for black performers in the Harlem and Sugar Hill areas of NYC. Given that, why the need for all these white or Jewish Knights to rescue as of course the rescue was really a coopting?

            That black families pay a lower proportion of their children’s tuition than whites is not a delusion but a fact. Perhaps a Kinsley gaffe, but a fact.

          • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

            That black families pay a lower proportion of their children’s tuition than whites is not a delusion but a fact. Perhaps a Kinsley gaffe, but a fact.

            The population groups that spend the highest percentages of their incomes on tuition for their children are likely orthodox Jews and evangelical Christians. I suspect neither group is particularly well represented at your country club.

          • AvatarJohn C.

            I suspect you are correct about especially the Orthadox Jews Ronnie. It is a wise investment. With the level of mixed marriage among the not or barely practicing Jews it is up to the Orthadox. The example of the native American tribes must loom large. Remember when they at first defended Senator Warren because they are in the pathetic situation that one/sixteenth is enough.

            I am in no country club but my condo building is about half Jewish. An older alone but actively practicing lady has two adult kids a daughter who dates only brodozer driving soldiers and a son who moved to Hong Kong with his Chinese wife. Her only grandson barely speaks English. When we first knew her she spoke with pride of her son’s “high Power” job. Yes that would get me humming “Wichita lineman” but I digress. Now she is devastated about how things turned out and I pray that my own daughter doesn’t do the same to me.

  2. AvatarWidgetsltd

    Dang, Courtney Love is an awful guitar player. I don’t think I would do much worse, and I don’t even know how to play guitar.

    Reply
  3. Avatardan

    Murphy strikes again…

    “rarely would any person of at least average intelligence be able to say that I am simply not making sense, or that I am breaking significant rules of the English language”

    One paragraph later: “at least of these writers remembers this process very differently”

    Reply
  4. AvatarNoID

    “The world is a hellish place, and bad writing is destroying the quality of our suffering”

    This quote by Tom Waits hangs on my cube wall at work, and reflects with absolute precision the way I feel about the people we allow to write pieces for us on our public blogs. It’s a travesty.

    Reply
    • AvatarNoID

      And yes, I’ve told them I can do better. I’m attempting to prove as much by beginning to write pieces for our departmental newsletter, which I will eventually compile and send to my contacts in the Brand and Marketing departments. Time will tell the tale, but if I can weasel my way onto the short list of hacks that we currently leverage for our hot takes I’ll count it a victory.

      Reply
  5. Avatarsightline

    This weeks Avoidable Contact column reinforced to me that, when you’re cooking, you’re one of the best contemporary writers on fathers and sons.

    Reply
  6. AvatarNoID

    Question: How do you maintain such a free flowing fount of quotes and cross-references to other literary works? Do you pull from the most memorable and/or most recent works you’ve read, do you have a very strong recall memory, or do you take record those bits that stand out to you and save/categorize them in a central location or file for later use?

    Reply
    • Avatarsilentsod

      I believe Jack mentioned he had, maybe knocked out of him since his youth, an eidetic memory. With that in mind I’d guess he has profound recall.

      My dad is the same way and it annoys me to no end.

      Reply
      • Avatar-Nate

        I wish I had an an eidetic memory ! .

        My head is jammed with useless technical info I no longer use but can’t recall names very well .

        -Nate

        Reply
  7. Avatar-Nate

    As usual ;

    A easy to understand and well written piece from Jack .

    I don’t agree with everything he says all the time but his word smithing skills are sorely needed these days .

    I hope that someone can figure out whatever I’m scribbling about and leave it a that .

    As far as music, Jack knows far more than I do about it and is a passable guitar player, not bad but never going to make any $ busking either .

    I don’t find it necessary to know every detail about any particular musician or song, album whatever ~ if you like it that means you know enough about music to know what you like, what others think it’s important .

    Miles certainly was a gifted musician, if you don’t like his music or personal life that’s your business, no need to whine and cry about it like your feeling have more importance, they don’t .

    No one gives a shit about the oddball music I like, why should I care ? .

    Some here like to get their panties in a knot over nothing, makes then sound like “karens” .

    -Nate

    Reply
  8. Avatarstingray65

    Your son’s mother is concerned about pillowcases and fast food containers because they might infect him with a flu that has killed or hospitalized approximately zero healthy children/young adults, but thinks it is fine that he jumps bikes 20+ feet in the air at 30+ mph hour accompanied by his father who has had multiple serious surgeries from doing the same? Talk about not understanding risk – by any chance is she a “journalist” for the mainstream media and/or a member of a teacher’s union and/or planning to vote for Biden in November?

    Reply
    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      She’s not worried about him getting sick. She is worried about getting sick herself, because she is not in perfect health and would likely have a bad experience with WuFlu.

      Reply
      • Avatar-Nate

        Foolish me ~

        I thought this was about music, sr65 set me straight, everything for some is political and has to be dishonest to boot .

        OBTW : you forgot to write “leftists” .

        -Nate

        Reply
      • Avatarstingray65

        There has been exactly one case world-wide of a student infecting a teacher, and extremely few cases of children infecting parents. Children are less likely to get the Wuflu, much less likely to get sick from it, and much less likely to transmit it to others, although the media has somehow neglected to share such information. Furthermore, since John was mostly in a car alone with you Jack, and/or in the great outdoors in uncrowded conditions, the chances of him getting Wuflu are reduced to virtually zero. If fact, according to many health experts such as Nancy Pelosi, Mayor deBlasio, and Governor Whitmer, the only place safer from infection would be joining the peaceful BLM protesters – apparently the smoke and fire from Molotov cocktails and burning police buildings and minority owned businesses completely disinfects the surrounding area.

        Reply
        • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

          I was watching my grandsons the other day and when we went into a store, I had them put on masks, per the store’s requirements. The older boy, 8, said something (with a smirk on his face) about “Gretchen”, his mother’s favorite term for our governess here in Michigan. I explained to him that we weren’t wearing masks because the governess told us to, we were doing so because those are the store owner’s rules and that we respect property rights.

          A few months ago an anti-vaxxer was trying to tell me that it’s “discrimination” for a store or school to deny entry to those who aren’t vaccinated against this or that microbe. Some folks just don’t understand how important property rights are in a free society, including lots of politicians and government employees.

          Reply
          • Avatarstingray65

            Of course what forces private businesses to toe the mask mandate line is the threat of liability if someone was not wearing a mask and another customer or employee got WuFlu – never mind that most people don’t know how to wear masks properly, and that the cloth masks most people wear are worthless as virus barriers – some ambulance chasing lawyer would be suing the “negligent” store owner in a minute. Of course the Democrats won’t pass any liability exemption for WuFlu when they get so much campaign cash from the Trial Lawyers Association.

            Funny how all the Democrats who want to copy Scandinavian “socialism” seem to be blind to the fact that Scandinavia has zero mask mandates and have among the lowest WuFlue infection and death rates in the world – in fact I was recently in the Oslo airport and didn’t have to wear a mask until getting on the plane – unlike Frankfurt, Brussels, and every airport in the US.

  9. AvatarJoe

    I can read most anything you write without my hyperactive attention deficit disorder kicking in, I could read Larry Webster or Patrick Bedard the same, I have a difficult time following along with the rest, I don’t think you embellish too much and that is a credit to you, you get to the point and use your experience to keep it from being dry.

    Reply
  10. AvatarSnavehtrebor

    Ah yes, I had almost managed to forget about Courtney Love. In retrospect it’s obvious that the 2nd album was written by her late husband, and the 3rd by Billy Corgan. After that, her true “talent” came through, and Hole was no more.

    Reply
  11. Avatartrollson

    The sport is temporarily overrun with “radbro” newbs due to the recently unemployed masses having both extra time and money on their hands. But as with anything else, money won’t buy class. The spirit of helping other riders out on the trail remains alive and well, and you should have no second thoughts about doing the right thing.

    Reply
  12. AvatarBlueSilverWave

    The dearth of skilled writers is likely down to two factors: 1. the skilled writer is unlikely to become even modestly wealthy and 2. said writer is almost certain to have been trained in an environment where his prostration to the received politics* is more important than his ability to structure a coherent article.

    Why would I become a writer when the same effort in engineering or finance will yield a greater salary for less work?

    And why would I hone that craft when becoming a better writer would not make me the slightest bit more successful, while better understanding of the currentspeak would?

    *I don’t just mean identity here, think of the appropriate targets of The Wobble in auto reviews

    Reply
  13. AvatarMatthew H

    I have a few car-related articles that I would like to submit.

    “Flamenco Sketches” ranks in my top five songs of all time. It deserved to be on the Voyager record.

    Reply
  14. AvatarSteve Taylor

    Into bewildering assemblages of misremembered pop culture , indeed . Granted I am far into my Jim Beam and Coke I can tell you one thing : I sure as Hell will steal that phrase.
    Sober I will reread this post no doubt trying to figure out who/what the Hell you are talking about.

    Reply
  15. AvatarRJ

    Jack, really digging the new MegaTrail, and your adherence to buying American really went to the mattresses with the MRP suspension front and rear, plus the i9 wheels and bling. I’ve been very happy with my ShredDogg (one of the last aluminum models), but was thinking of switching to a coil aft, perhaps the MRP, which I hear is quite good without the breathtaking price tag of the Push ElevenSix–looking forward to a review of your new carbon ride at some point. Always a pleasure to read your stuff, and the stories about John and you make me wish I’d had children.

    I would like to submit some writing for your project–how would I get that to you?

    Best,

    RJ

    Reply
  16. AvatarMD Streeter

    I’m pretty much a nobody, but I’d love the chance to write for you. I wrote a series of well-received articles for one of your favorite people on a different website five or so years ago about cars I’ve owned in my lifetime, and I’ve done a little paid freelancing work for a local paper here in Upper Michigan. My editors were pleased with my “clean writing” that did not need a lot of editing. Let me know what you’re looking for. I want to contribute.

    Reply
  17. AvatarJMcG

    Kevin Cameron, who was your stablemate at Cycle World, is pure gold. I believe I’ve read every word he’s ever written. I dont know that he’s ever evinced much interest in four wheeled vehicles, other than the assortment of vans he’s used to transport various motorcycles to various racetracks. Perhaps if you could get him to write about two motorcycles for each article that might qualify as automotive writing. He must be getting up tbere in years.
    Now, as to losing the plot in the middle of one’s work, how does one explain Neal Stephenson? I’ve read all of his books and admire him greatly, but he is the very exemplar of unsatisfactory endings. I don’t mean endings I find uncongenial, but endings that that seem dashed off in a way that, were it I, would mean I’ve just remembered that there’s ice cream in the freezer.
    Thankfully, the exception is his vast System of the World trilogy. That may be the best thing I’ve ever read.
    Now that I’ve identified myself as firmly middlebrow, I’ll own up to being mystified by jazz as well.

    Reply
    • AvatarEric L.

      Eh? Anathem has an ending, mostly. Such a wonderful book. Seveneve’s ending also suited it, I think. To me, trying to close every loop a la the hackjob Brandon Sanderson did on Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time series is far less satisfying.

      Reply
      • AvatarJMcG

        I disagree. I think Anathem ended very poorly. SevenEves’ ending was even worse. Cryptonomicon was terrific right up until the ridiculous ending. I really admire Stephenson as a writer and System of the World is something I read every few years, but I’ll stand by my statement.

        Reply
  18. AvatarAlex

    Jack,

    There is a writer at Corvette Blogger that might be worth a look: https://www.corvetteblogger.com/author/alexsommers/
    He’s an avid reader of Hagerty Media, a fan of yours, and I am he (so, be gentle).
    I’m not sure if I’m ready for the big leagues, but I have to give it a shot. My day job involves attempts to teach business, economics, and financial responsibility to 13-18 year-olds (and sometimes, a gem of a 19 year-old too) and I am only a few days away from the nightmare of having to commute to school to educate on video until October, when teaching half of the student body through a mask one day, followed by the other half the next day, is a possibility.
    My formal training isn’t in English Literature but I’m a student of the industry and will in “to be polished.”

    Alex

    Reply
  19. AvatarAlex

    It would be great if we could pretend that I wasn’t so concerned about saying that I was “willing to be kielbasa’d” to notice that “willing” auto-corrected to “will in” and that I wrote “attempts at” instead of “attempts to” (as long as you like that better) in my initial comment, which is waiting to be moderated.

    Thank you!

    Reply
  20. Avatarbluebarchetta

    I enjoyed the hell out of the Road-Trippin’ Baruth Boys piece. Looking forward to Part 2. I’m impressed that you can crank out better columns on a weekly basis than the “big mag guys” do on a monthly basis.

    Spoiler: Road tripping with your son is even more fun when he’s old enough to share the driving.

    In conclusion, give Smith a few Jack Reacher novels to read. A couple of hours reading Lee Child and you’re completely inured to the “British which.”

    Reply
  21. AvatarMrFixit1599

    I have to admit, I don’t recall ever reading any of Sam Smith’s writing until he started writing for Hagerty. Now it’s a toss up who to read first, Jack or Sam. He is a brilliant wordsmith. I’m not really a TL;DR person, but if you can’t compose something worth actually reading, then what’s the point of reading it. Jack is right in rarely is there any real conclusion or reason for the article to have even be written, let alone read.

    Reply
  22. AvatarMike

    I wonder if one of those cut off as Michael Karesh. Who were the others, including the one complaining on Twitter?

    Reply
  23. Avatarroamer

    I managed to miss this until yesterday. Please include me in the email about guidelines for submitting stories. BTW, is this intended for Riverside Green, or Hagerty? I’m thinking submissions to the former can be freer than those to a corporate entity.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.