Weekly Roundup: And Then Santa Claus Laid The Law Down To David Crosby Edition


What a week. That’s all I can say. LA, Palm Springs, Winslow, Albuquerque, Moab, Vail, Topeka, St. Louis, Powell, and many more! I don’t think I spent a total of two hours in the past 168 where I wasn’t driving or working. Drove 3,250 miles. Worked 31 hours at the day job. Wrote 8,600 words. Threw the football with my son. Played an acoustic version of a Thompson Twins song. This is my life, for better or worse.

Speaking of 8,600 words: Let’s take a look.

Bark took some time this week to school the millennials and explain leasing.

There’s something about leasing that turns even otherwise well-educated people into Homer Simpson:

I think Bark does a good job of making the math reasonably clear.

No recap of this week would be complete without mentioning Bark’s star turn as a supercar reviewer for what is arguably the most important car site on the Internet. His drive of the NSX is on the road to 100,000 reads. It’s worth checking out. I think my brother has a great future ahead with Jalopnik. Let’s hope they’re smart enough to pay him the big bucks before Autoblog steps in and sucks out his soul with the same device they used on David Gluckman.

Just kidding, Gluck, love what you do.

But seriously.

I don’t know if my TTAC piece on Volkswagen’s assorted follies will reach 100,000 eyeballs, but it’s well on the way. You can also read about my Monday on the Moab slickrock courtesy of the nice people at Yokohama Tire. I should point out that Yokohama is a sponsor of our AER race team, which means that even if I saw a Yokohama tire become sentient and start slaughtering children I’d probably still rate it 4.5 stars for durability.

Well, not really. But you should be aware that my default attitude towards Yoko is positive, largely because we’ve had such good results with their max-performance summer tires under our RX-7.

For R&T Online, I mused on the fragility of the JDM culture and engaged in some sentimentality about snow tires.

I’m hoping that the upcoming week has a bit less drama and adventure to it, honestly. I’m going to sit at home and listen to Izzy Stradlin and maybe build a Lego kit or something.

17 Replies to “Weekly Roundup: And Then Santa Claus Laid The Law Down To David Crosby Edition”

      • -Nate

        Interestingly , I run Russian tires on my Urals ~ they’re cheap and durable , so far i can always drag the bike to pavement before they slip so it’s all good =8-) .

        To – morrow’s my buddy’s 50 – something birthday party , I have a full day of work scheduled , if I can squeeze in replacing the cracked fuel hoses , I’ll ride it to his party .


  1. Tomko

    Where’s that Thompson Twins acoustic number?

    They put on one of the best concerts I saw in the ’80s. I saw a ton of live acts that decade – but their Into The Gap tour remains emblazoned on my memory now 30+ years later.

  2. arbuckle

    “Let’s hope they’re smart enough to pay him the big bucks…”

    Bark is awesome but it looks like the Gawker Empire needs to pay $115M for showing Hulk Hogan having sex. Plus I’m pretty sure they have a rule that those of Bark’s political leanings can only get so far.

    Jalopnik would be AT LEAST 30% better if it got sold off from the mothership.

    • jz78817

      Gawker is what you would get if you told a bunch of middle- and high-school kids to put together a news site about what they think is important. who sucks, who’s (supposedly) fucking who, isn’t she a total bitch, this guy’s a homo, that dude is super creepy, etc. nothing more than adolescent trash.

    • Felis Concolor

      It’ll be interesting to see what happens with Gawker after the appeal. In the world of virtue signalling, it’s already well past their time to roll hard left and go under.

      And while I’m certain no longer being associated with Gawker would improve any site not named Jezebel or Kotaku, it was their lingering stench which drove me away from Hooniverse years ago.

  3. David Blumgart

    With one caveat*, your ‘Goodbye Volkswagen’ essay is brilliant in conception and execution. It’s just outstanding work. It’s a prime example of why I look for your byline despite having rather different politics. I haven’t gotten to your other recent work yet but I’m sure I’ll enjoy it. I hope the rest of the spring goes a little easier.

    * ‘Swishy?’ Really? No. It’s 2016, friend. That word just should not be part of your vocabulary.

    • Jack Baruth Post author

      I didn’t know what else to call him. What’s the word for a gay man who acts extra feminine in the cause of being unpleasant to customers?

      • James

        It’s [CURRENT YEAR]! But isn’t the fundamental problem with VW that they have to produce a lot of their cars in very inefficient, German factories (with their foreign factories subject to their German factory workers), while they try to sell as many cars as Toyota?

        If they sell only (or primarily) in Europe (where they have a structural advantage), they can’t make their sales goals. If they sell at a price that allows for competitive quality, they price too high to make their sales goals. Their cost of labor is too high for them to compete in the mass market…

        Which means, their only good option is to move along the demand curve with higher pricing, lower sales, better quality–which puts them right against BMW, MB, and their Audi, in the U.S.

        • Jack Baruth Post author

          I don’t think VW has that much production left in Germany honestly. They were the first manufacturer to go truly global. And if you visit a VW plant in Germany you don’t see a lot of human beings on the line.

          • James

            A good point, but the few remaining German factory workers are overrepresented on the board…

          • faygo

            unless this chart is way out of date (which it might be, being wikipedia) VAG has almost 200k people in their German plants :
            so the people must be hiding somewhere.

            200k is about 1/3rd of their global workforce if the 600k number elsewhere on wiki is right.

            Ford has something like 40k people in plants (again, if wikipedia is roughly correct), out of ~200k worldwide.

            200k out of ~81M = 0.25%
            40k out of ~315M = 0.013%

            puts a bit of perspective onto the relative importance to a given country’s economy I’d say.

      • -Nate

        ” I didn’t know what else to call him. What’s the word for a gay man who acts extra feminine in the cause of being unpleasant to customers? ”

        BITCH comes to mind .

        Be gay if you want but you have no right to rub everyone else’s face in it 24/7 ~ I don’t go blabbing about how much I love to eat pussy….
        Be a MAN .

        I know quite a few gay men who are more masculine than most ‘ straights ‘ so this swishy bitchy bullshit is a choice they make .



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