Weekly Roundup: They Gave Me A Grasshopper Edition


Not an unproductive week: got about 9,700 words written, plus forty hours at the day job, plus did my taxes, plus actually left the house for about half an hour last night to play a bit of music at a local open mic, plus got my leg and knee bolted together. Still hurts a lot. Stepped down pretty hard on my left foot, once, when my crutch slipped. It was like momentarily occupying four dimensions of pain.

On a positive note, I’m now awake and alert and non-screaming enough to hang out with my son for the weekend. I hope he wants to spend this very special father-son time listening to some old John McLaughlin vinyl and helping me move my leg periodically because that’s what I’ve put on the agenda.

Okay, let’s see what Bark and I managed to get published this past week, shall we?

It would be difficult for me to overstate how proud I am of my brother for getting his debut byline at RoadAndTrack.com. He’s written a compelling piece about that rarest of situations: a talented young driver who has succeeded at every level of the sport he’s yet tried, on an utter shoestring. In a perfect world, every man who has ever trailered a street-legal Corvette to an open-lapping day should be forced to sit in that eyes-wide-open rig from A Clockwork Orange and have the entire article read to him for eight hours in a row. Well done.

As part of the run-up to the Performance Car Of The Year issue of R&T, I’ve written something where I take the amazingly courageous journalistic stance of not hating the Ferrari 488GTB Turbo. Truth be told, I’d still rather have an F12berlinetta. I still remember every moment of my time with the F12 like it was my first real kiss or something.

With the rumblings that 2017 might be the last year for the Dodge Viper, I felt compelled to praise the plastic snake, not bury it, and as effusively as I could.

Although Bark is certainly the brightest of the new stars in the Hearst New Media firmament, he’s still writing for TTAC, and this week he has a sort of partial test drive of the new Ford Shelby GT350 to share with the Best&Brightest. Having driven the GT350R extensively myself on both racetrack and open road, I don’t think it is possible to over-recommend this most perfected of ponycars. But does Ford really need to get that word out, when every Shelby they build will sell just based on the way it looks and sounds?

In the interest of summoning up as much humor as I possibly could on an afternoon where I was still in the recovery room of an outpatient surgery clinic, I wrote a self-parody of sorts as kind of a long wink at the TTAC readers who have loved and/or hated me well enough to catalog my personal idiosyncrasies. It was meant to be the most stereotypical “Jack Baruth article” of all time. Personally, I think there’s room for improvement.

Yesterday, inspired by the news of a not-that-young skank from Lakeland, FL who very competently broadcast her own drunk driving episode to social media, I wrote Down Periscope! in an attempt to, er, horizontally re-frame the discussion on distracted driving and our society’s obsession with navel-gazing narcissism.

I have to admit that whatever good temper I had as I began researching the Periscope piece went out the door as soon as I realized that this woman was listening to “The Weekend” while she was social-drunk-media-driving. The older I get, the more firmly convinced I become that the consumption of trash media adversely impacts our ability to make good choices. The obvious correlations between the inputs we provide to our minds and the decisions we make afterwards are so powerful that, as Peter Watts spends quite some time discussing in the appendix to his book Blindsight, there may not even be such a thing as free will after all. We are simply quantum machines rigged by our genetics and swimming in a sea of hormones, processing information without even the most basic of safety filters between the media and the message.

In other words: If you bombard young women 24/7 with music and media that degrades them and glorifies despicable activity, why are we surprised when they act like stupid drunken whores? The Hitler Youth barely received a fraction of the kind of full-time media indoctrination we give children today. Fathers, be good to your daughters. Like the man said.

19 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: They Gave Me A Grasshopper Edition”

  1. Pat

    “On the other hand, I’m not sure that my mighty J35Y2 Accord is not, in fact, faster than both of them, particularly after a couple of heat-soaked racetrack laps”

    I mean, OBVIOUSLY

  2. everybodyhatesscott

    Buy a Viper. You know you want to. 90k is practically chump change*

    *Says the guy who can’t afford a 40k car let alone a 90k one.

  3. Johnny Puddles

    The barbarians at the gate would appreciate info on the McLaughlin LP, and perhaps a picture???

    A Random Ostragoth

  4. Ken

    “In other words: If you bombard young women 24/7 with music and media that degrades them and glorifies despicable activity, why are we surprised when they act like stupid drunken whores?”

    Jack –
    Would love to read your thoughts further on this, and on other paradoxical / hypocritical topics that plague our modern society, highlighting how they are portrayed in the media.

    Somehow the likes of Lady Gaga and Madonna have become “feminist” icons. The “stupid drunken whore” is no longer reviled, but revered. The thought that women should be modest is antiquated and anti-femism. Media, images, and clothing that should be seen as “degrading and glorifying of despicable activity” is now empowering. After all if a MAN can do it… Cudos to the media geniuses who rode (or drove) this moral decay.

    • jz78817

      you’re so full of shit you can’t even see the double standard anymore.

      – If you’re a guy who’s banged a lot of girls, you’re a stud, a conqueror who should be praised and congratulated.
      – if you’re a girl who’s been “banged” by a lot of guys, you’re a slut, damaged goods, and should be shamed into silence because you’re nothing more than a receptacle. And if you’ve been raped, well, then you had it coming because you’re just a whore.


      Lady Gaga and others are basically saying “you don’t get to treat us like shit just because we might want to show off.”

      You and your ilk are just pissed off because you can’t treat every place you go like a strip club and act like pigs. But it’s the fault of those dumb cunts who want to be treated like people, right?

      • Jack Baruth Post author

        Of course there’s a double standard. It’s based in biology.

        We apply a similar double standard to women in terms of physical strength and courage: female firefighters aren’t expected to be as strong as men, female cops aren’t expected to enter dangerous situations without backup, and so on.

        If we really, as a society, thought men and women were identical, there wouldn’t be a WNBA.

        • jz78817

          so, in your mind, that justifies treating men who have a lot of sexual partners as kings, and women who have lots of sexual partners as worthless trash?

          look, “feminism” isn’t about who’s better than anyone else. “Feminism” is not “Feminine Supremacy.” Feminism isn’t about acting like men and women are identical. It’s about “don’t act like I have to be a certain way because I’m a woman,” or “don’t act like I’m incapable of something because I’m a woman.”

          • Jack Baruth Post author

            I don’t personally do either. I’ve had very happy relationships with women who were basically hookers and/or casual fucktoys.

          • -Nate

            In the 1970’s one of my running mates used to date hookers , I found them very interesting to talk to .


          • Jack Baruth Post author

            If you’re holding a flag at a corner station, you’re a flagger.

            If you’ve had ten one night stands you’re a fucktoy.

            If you get paid to bag groceries you’re a bagger.

            If you get paid for sex you’re a hooker.

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