Housekeeping: We Are Family


The most common mistake I see in the work of young writers is what I call “lack of blocking”. Blocking, as you may know, is the process of placing actors on a stage so that the action and dialogue are clearly visible to the audience, or the camera. Without blocking, you get what you often get in “reality television”: a great shot of someone’s back as he says or does something.

The equivalent of that for a writer is to neglect important details. One minute, our heroes are in a submarine; the next, they are on an airplane. How did they get there? A new character speaks up — but how did he arrive on the scene? Recently, my successor at TTAC wrote en entire post about his plans for TTAC without mentioning the fact that he was taking the reins as the site’s Managing Editor. Without that critical piece of information, later added in a helpful bracket at the head of text, the editorial didn’t make a lot of sense.

With that in mind, let’s make explicit what many of you have already guessed from looking at this site’s new layout:

* This website, which previously featured my work and a smattering of guest posts, is now a joint website.
* My partner in this joint website is “Bark M”.
* “Bark M” is my younger brother, who writes for Jalopnik and TTAC.
* There are two URLs that will work for this site in the foreseeable future: and
* There will still be guest posts, and they will be identified as such.
* The author byline of each post will clearly state “Jack Baruth” or “Bark M” so you know who is who.
* We are brothers, born in 1971 and 1977. We agree on many things. But we also disagree on many things.
* So don’t blame him for my hippie-dippy pan-theistic musings…
* …and don’t blame me when Bark says that “Nickel Creek” sucks.

I’m excited about the merging of the sites. I think it will increase our posting rate, I think it will give the two of us a chance to have some reasonably interesting dialogue on a variety of topics, and I think it will keep my mother from having to memorize two web addresses.

What this will probably not do is ease the confusion of people in the automotive business who think that Bark and I are the same person. For those people, a brief recap:


* The older brother
* 6’2″, 246lbs
* Long hair, beard, vaguely Leon-Russell-esque appearance and demeanor
* Raced BMX from 1986-2003
* Plays guitar, badly
* Terrible autocrosser
* Has raced with NASA, Skip Barber, Grand-Am, B-Spec, AER, Lemons, ChumpCar, WRL
* Social conservative, fiscal populist, encourages the overthrow of the current system
* Enjoys long walks on the beach and holding hands, with your wife.


* The younger brother
* 5’9″, 165lbs
* Curly hair
* Raced BMX from 1986-1988
* State championship wide receiver
* State championship 4×400 (I think)
* Gus Macker tournament winner
* Tours internationally as a saxophonist
* Has appeared on multiple recordings on different labels
* Wrote and performed this cd that you can buy from KMart!
* Has toured with a winner of the International Blues Challenge
* SCCA National Solo trophy winner
* Races with LeMons and AER, with WRL to come
* Social conservative, fiscal conservative, former deacon of a church
* Does not own any Pat Metheny records
* Once thought that he could escape being held accountable for something by reversing the first letter of his first and last name

I think that covers it. As always, thank you for visiting and reading.

22 Replies to “Housekeeping: We Are Family”

    • AvatarBark M

      Well, considering I got all of the musical and athletic ability, as well as all of the good looks, I think God deemed it a fair trade off.

      • AvatarTim


        I look forwards to your many musings. You know, where you boys disagree on a topic, as alluded to above, it might be fun for you both to write from the differing points of view.

      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        You did NOT get all the musical ability. If you look on this site you’ll see plenty of videos where I’m playing the guitar and I’m…

        …okay, I am still taller than you are.

        • Avatar-Nate

          ” …okay, I am still taller than you are. ”

          My Brother is a Lawyer , I’m a Mechanic .

          We go through this B.S. all the time , he tells me how to fix his car and is nearly always wrong , I never , _ever_ challenge his Legal advice .

          =8-) .


        • AvatarDomestic Hearse

          And then, like, how tall is Bark’s wife, Dr Professor of Music? Long as we’re ascribing and recognizing familial chops, ‘n all.

  1. AvatarJonathan H.

    Was your new domain name from a fetish porn site? Good luck with the new changes and thanks for combining two of my regular hangouts.

    • AvatarBark M

      Yes, but the name was actually in tribute to Benicio del Toro’s character in The Usual Suspects.

  2. AvatarDave L

    As a (former) reader of your 2 sites, I’m very excited about this new venture. 71 & 77… just like my family. Jack, it must be pretty satisfying to work with your “little” brother now that he’s all grown up. 6 years doesn’t seem like much but as a kid I barely remember my brother.
    Best wishes!

  3. AvatarMrFixit1599

    “Enjoys long walks on the beach and holding hands, with your wife.”

    Not a good idea to be in the middle of drinking a beer and reading that line.

  4. AvatarJohnny Puddles

    As long as da Witnis’ Protection Program allows, I am gonna be your–both of youse–main cheerleader.

    Social media and stuff.

    ‘Long as they let me.



    Just don’t ask what that means…

  5. AvatarAoLetsGo

    Nice! Now I have to lurk on one less web site.
    Cherish your friendship, many people have brothers (myself included) but few of those brothers are considered good friends.


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