Our twenty-first-century New Morality is mostly banal and unimaginative but it does have a couple of nifty adaptations to it, the most interesting of which I’ll call One Click Away From Default State. The “Default State” is whatever the New Morality wishes you to be, and the you is very personal.
Here’s an example. Your humble author has probably hired and supported more minority and female writers than any other single editor in the business. However, the keepers of the New Morality would very much like to brand me with “sexist and racist” so therefore any single thing they can find to support that branding will be taken as being absolute and immediate. Let’s say that there was a video of me rapping the “N-word” in front of a hundred people. I assure you that said video would be made omnipresent on Car Twitter or whatever. It doesn’t matter what else I’ve done. That would be the “one click” to doom me.
On the other hand, Sam Biddle has long been on the side of “the good guys” so when he does exactly that, the video gets DMCA’d and disappeared from the public eye. In point of fact, Sam Biddle (and, whisper it, Hunter Biden) can do as much as he likes in the way of racist or offensive behavior. As soon as he says “the right thing”, whatever that needs to be, he will one-click back to his assigned state of Good Guy.
If you want another example, think about how readily society accepts someone’s declaration of alternate sexuality; that “one click” is all you need to get instant membership status in whatever subculture you like. However, if you want to leave that subculture, however… well, I don’t even know how you would do it. Nobody would take you seriously. Let’s say that I declared myself to be a furry next week. Then a week afterwards, I posted that I was “sick of this furry stuff lol” and that I was going back to, ah, relationships without fursuits. What percentage of you would consider me to be permanently a furry?
So, what does all of this have to do with a $935 floor jack?
Only this: as you know, here at Riverside Green we are passionate about promoting Made-In-The-USA products. This is not something that my brother and I pursue in identical fashion, nor are we always similarly convinced about the need to protect American manufacturing in a given industry. Sometimes, there’s raw self-interest involved; my brother was a Yamaha Performing Artist for many years, and I doubt you need to be told that Yamaha doesn’t make a lot of musical instruments in the USA. During the Nineties, I did a lot of speaking out against various USA-based bike makers, often in favor of overseas competitors, because I thought that the companies in question were making bad bikes and/or interfering in the sport of cycling to the sport’s detriment.
The reason I mention this is because every so often a Very Smart Boy will read this blog, discover a SECRET CONTRADICTION THAT ONLY HE CAN SEE, and post something like,
omfg how can you talk about made in america when you have a korean car!!!11!!!!1eleven!!!!
For “korean car!” feel free to substitute “english tailor” or “japanese motorcycle” or anything else you like. Having discovered the SECRET CONTRADICTION, the Very Smart Boy expects that Bark or I will say “Oh, I didn’t think of that,” and vanish into a puff of dust like God in the first Hitchhiker book. Alternately, they expect that we will say, “Oh, gosh, you’re right, we’re hypocrites, carry on with your 100% Wal-Mart/Amazon Chinese lifestyle, it’s exactly identical to our decisions to occasionally buy a Japanese pair of jeans.”
In other words, Made-In-The-USA is not the Default State that anyone in power wants, so with that “one click” we will be banished from being boosters of American-made products. The truth is not as simple. I do more than anyone else I have ever met or known to focus on American goods and services. Sometimes it is simply impossible, and you can’t do it. Other times, all it requires is clicking a different link. In the middle, you have choices of various difficulty, and this Snap-On floor jack is one of them.
I’ve used three different “lightweight jacks” over the past fifteen years. In the end, they’re all junk, and each one has been worse than the last. This Snap-On is an attempt to address this problem with a (not that) lightweight, high-quality racing jack that has a real warranty and which can be serviced or rebuilt in the future.
The equivalent Chinese floor jack from Harbor Freight or wherever is about $80 bucks so there’s a big price swing here to buy American-made. Let’s hope it’s worth it. Naturally, this won’t do anything to convince the people who think that brother Bark is somehow in the pocket of the chaebol, but if you’ve been wondering, “Do I need to buy Chinese for my garage, or my race team?” the answer, at least in this case, is “No.”