Ronald Jenkees, Geek Passing, A Certain Automotive YouTuber, And The Authenticity Issue

According to YouTube, approximately 300 hours’ worth of footage is uploaded to their site every minute. Assuming a three-shift day much like what we had at the Marysville Assembly Plant, but not accounting for breaks of any sort, it would take a workforce of 74,000 people just to stay current with what’s being uploaded to YouTube.

That’s my excuse for why I had not heard of Ronald Jenkees until recently. Mr. Jenkees, who has been on YouTube since 2006 or thereabouts, can boast of close to one hundred million views for his self-produced electronic music videos. Since appearing “out of nowhere” on the site, he has self-released five albums and has worked with a number of music industry heavy hitters behind the scenes. He is that rarest of creatures: a man who earns his living through music despite having no label or brand affiliation.

Jenkees appears in his videos as a cheerful fellow with tremendous keyboard chops, a taste for “uncool” outfits, and perhaps a bit of the autism spectrum in his features and demeanor. It’s impossible not to like the man; even the traditionally caustic YouTube commenters are generally kind to him. Yet for the past nine years there’s been a swelling undercurrent of resentment regarding Jenkees and his YouTube performances. Not to put too fine a point on it, but the man has enemies — and his enemies say that he is “passing”.

Now I don’t know about you, when when I hear the word “passing” in a context like that I think about Slash, the African-British-American guitarist behind Guns N’ Roses. Or maybe you think of Rachel Dolezal. To “pass” is to insert yourself into the mainstream society without said society knowing. During the Holocaust, some Jews “passed” as ethnic Germans. For at least the past 150 years, black people have “passed” as white in American society. The rather fascinating and adept book Caucasia is a hard look at the emotional and spiritual burdens involved with passing as white. There’s a scene where the main character finds another Black girl who is passing — but they can only confess that fact to each other when they are huddled on the ground together in the dead of night.

Nobody is saying that Jenkees is “passing” as white. Instead, the allegations are that he is a perfectly “normal” musician who is passing as a geek:

How can anyone rag on you if you can always hide behind being different? You could try to be cool, you could try to be your normal semi-cool self, or you could exaggerate your inner dork to the point where you’re clearly different (not retarded, just different). If you do this, any social misstep you might make can be attributed to your different-ness, which is considered a positive attribute (kind of like the self-effacing jujitsu Eminem uses on his first couple of albums). There may be people as talented as Ronald Jenkees out there, but who would notice them if they’re just another Steve Vai wannabe from Berklee School of Music, some quiet man-of-mystery (which reads as holier-than-thou) with a ponytail, no fashion sense, and zero charisma? If that were you, then wouldn’t you have an easier time getting attention and sympathy if you exaggerated your dorky characteristics (in effect “passing” as a dork)?

This is “reverse passing”, joining a presumably disadvantaged group to obtain a particular advantage, the same way that Rachel Dolezal did. In the case of Ms. Dolezal, it was so she could earn a living as a race hustler and poverty pimp, God bless her soul. There’s some additional precedent. The singer Phoebe Snow was often thought to be black, to the point that President Obama mentioned her once as an inspirational Black woman — but she never claimed to be anything but Jewish. The case of Bobby Caldwell is a little bit less clear-cut: the man who brought us “What You Won’t Do For Love” didn’t appear on his own album covers at the request of his record company, which correctly deduced he would sell better if people thought he was Black. Rod Stewart tried so hard to sound Black that he told Jeff Beck he was worried about being “found out” by concert audiences. Beck’s response was to laugh and tell him he wasn’t fooling anybody, on or off the record.

(Another case of “reverse passing”, of course, would be Senator Elizabeth Warren’s claim of Native American ancestry, which helped her career to no small extent and which she has yet to fully discard, saying only that she is not a registered member of a tribe but that she still believes herself to be Native.)

According to Ronald’s critics, he’s a normal guy who pretends to be a dork so you’ll be extra-amazed by his virtuosity. The biggest problem with this claim is that nobody can say for sure that they know who Jenkees “really is”, or what he is “really like”. There have been a few posts on Reddit along the lines of “my brother went to school with this guy and he had a different name and he was totally normal.” Nobody has a picture or recording of him “out of character”, however. The closest anybody has come is a shot of a man playing keyboard in a dorm room; it’s obvious from the shape of the man’s head that it’s not Jenkees.

Which leaves us with a few possibilities.

One: Ronald Jenkees is exactly what he says he is and exactly what he portrays himself as in his videos.

Two: He is a complete fake who lives his character with the same kind of dedication as Burden and Fallon in “The Prestige”.

Three: His everyday persona is not exactly like what he portrays on the videos — maybe he doesn’t always wear a fedora — but it is based on who he is.

The Internet consensus has coalesced around option three, for the most part. Which makes the next question: Is it offensive for him to put on — and I’m gonna make up a word here — “nerdface” when he plays? If so, whom has he offended, and why?

Don’t take the easy way out here and say, “Well, he’s pretending to be a white nerd, so what’s the problem?” The driving force behind GamerGate, which arguably led to the rise of the alt-right and the election of Donald Trump, was the simmering anger felt by “geeky” white men at being designated by the media both as villains and as the only acceptable target for harassment, slander, and assault. Let’s be fair and equitable here. If it would be offensive for Jenkees to “pass” as black, it’s also offensive for him to “pass” as an autistic white nerd if he is in fact the former captain of a football team and/or president of his fraternity.

Now let’s complicate it a little more by stating something that should be obvious: the camera changes how people behave. I’ve been watching automotive journalists “do video” for a decade now, and I’ve “done video” myself. Nobody, and I mean nobody, is entirely natural and normal in front of a camera. They are always playing a character of some sort, even if the character is based on their own self.

I’ll give you an example. Many years ago, I agreed to do something called the CTS-V Challenge. When I got there, I realized they were making a TV show about it. A TV show in which I would be interviewed multiple times. I was absolutely determined not to say “um” or “uh” in front of the camera the way most people do. I didn’t want to come off as a dumb hick who couldn’t get his words straight — even though most people do, in fact, pause and stumble a bit in everyday conversation. I achieved this goal by speaking in complete sentences at this kind of unearthly measured pace. I also managed to sound like the most prissy, unpleasant, self-absorbed idiot in history. Thankfully, the original Speed TV show has long disappeared from the Internet, but you can catch my interview with Automotive Rhythms for a sense of how I came off in the video.

The night the TV show came out, I couldn’t help but root against myself. I sure hope that stuttering hick Michael Cooper (who was the ultra-privileged son of Manhattan millionaires and who is now a World Challenge champion) beats that prissy Baruth (who didn’t have next month’s mortgage payment in the bank when he drove at his own expense to New York)!

When people are on camera, they act in a way that they think will look good on camera. The people who can do this successfully are called “actors”. Everybody else is just a moron when the curtain goes up. It’s why I don’t do video about cars unless I get paid for it. There are no automotive journalists who should be on camera. You could maybe make an exception for Clarkson, Hammond, and May — who are all portraying characters only distantly related to their true selves. Their banter is scripted.

Which brings me to the matter of a certain YouTuber named Doug DeMuro. As some of you know, DeMuro worked for me at TTAC briefly before ghosting. I say “ghosting” because he didn’t quit and he didn’t return my emails asking if he had quit. He just disappeared. Why? Simple. I wasn’t letting him choose the exact time that his articles ran. He’d come up with some sort of algorithm that told him when he would get the most clicks and he demanded that I follow his algorithm. He got really strident about it so I sent him this video in response:

I never heard from him again. A few months later, I saw one of his videos for the first time and I was, as they say, gobsmacked. The guy on the video wasn’t anything like the writer who harassed me about daylight-savings time and page positioning. That’s because they are not the same person. There is a person named “Doug DeMuro” who works day and night to try to become a famous YouTuber and writer. That person deliberately obscured the source of the funds he used to buy his cars. (I know it, but I’m no snitch.) That person has applied dozens of times to be in every pilot, on every website, and in every magazine you can imagine. That person works very hard to grow his fan base through thousands of posts on Reddit and elsewhere. That person went through the trouble of creating an entire fake life, including a marriage, in order to get a following. That person somehow managed to get a major car magazine to profile him a few years back as an “exotics spotter”.

The character “Doug DeMuro” is a happy-go-lucky moron who loves everybody and everything and definitely thinks his fans are all super-cool and loves to make recycled Dave Barry jokes and loves to make funny faces and loves to babble endlessly on his videos.

Most of the automotive Internet can’t distinguish the two. They think DeMuro really is that person he portrays in his videos. They think he grew up as a rich kid and he can buy anything he wants and he’s just doing all of this for the love of cars. They ruthlessly downvote any suggestion on Reddit that he knowingly pumps-and-dumps his personal automotive purchases via his videos and via AutoTrader. They attend his meetups, where they shake the hand of the man, who is performing in character the same way Idris Elba reportedly does the “Stringer Bell voice” when he meets American fans.

Is that okay? Or should we force everybody to be their “real self” at all times? If that’s the case, how do we know what their “real self” is? Is the real Jack Baruth an autowriter or a cyclist or a father or none of those? If I have a tailor on Savile Row, am I still allowed to wear the infamous gold hoodie? Or do I have to choose? If Ronald Jenkees doesn’t wear a fedora in public, is he allowed to wear one in his videos? Should DeMuro be allowed to say the stupid shit he says in his videos, or should somebody fact-check him before each performance?

I’ve covered this before, from a slightly different angle. My opinion now is the same as it was then. I think that “authenticity” is not nearly as important as some of us would like it to be. Robert Cray really is a better blues musician than T-Model Ford, even though Ford killed a man and Cray was a teenaged stage performer. Bob Dylan is a better folk singer than pretty much everybody else even though his “character” was 100% fabricated. Doug DeMuro is good at his job, even though I find his work repugnant. And Ronald Jenkees should be allowed to perform his music without being endlessly harassed about the purity and authenticity of his “nerdiness”. We should judge people by the quality of their performance, not how neatly their background lines up with the purity test we’ve independently devised to determine whether or not they “deserve” to perform.

It’s tricky because if you carry that philosophy to its logical conclusion then you get “blackface” performers and Rachel Dolezal and all sorts of stuff that repels us. I’m not personally comfortable with people who cross the lines of color and/or race in the cause of an artistic performance or career enhancement. Yet I also have to admit that I’m probably on the wrong side of history here. In the past decade, we’ve been told over and over again that gender is “fluid” and that I could become a woman just by identifying as one. Given that there is less genetic difference between a white man and a black man than there is between a white man and a white woman, why can’t I “identify” as black, or Asian, or whatever? How is gender fluid when race isn’t? And if race is fluid, doesn’t that mean being a nerd could also be fluid?

When everybody can decide to be anything they want, isn’t that the same as saying that nobody is anything at all? It’s enough to bake your noodle. In the meantime, I’ve decide to vote with my dollars for Ronald Jenkees. Whether he’s “real” or “fake”. Doesn’t matter. The music is real, the same way Dylan’s first album was real, the same way the Milli Vanilli album is indisputably real even though Rob and Fab didn’t sing a note on it. Res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself. As for the rest of the discussion on race and identity and fluidity? I’ll have to take a pass.

(One last thing: Riverside Green COTD status for the first person who can tell me what the graphics on the “Rhodes Deep” album are a direct rip from.)

62 Replies to “Ronald Jenkees, Geek Passing, A Certain Automotive YouTuber, And The Authenticity Issue”

  1. AvatarZed86

    Jury is still out on Demuro, although i generally prefer his older written form over the new video content. Never met him in person but he did help me land a series of interviews for an engineering gig at his former North American Atlanta located employer.
    He also quipped that it’s often much simpler to enjoy cars as a hobby (not a breadwinner) than it is to try and make a living of it.

  2. AvatarMalcolm

    Fun fact: Justice Clarence Thomas, who’s authenticity as a black man is questioned by many vile lefties, has a 1990 ZR1 with a vanity plate that reads RESIPSA.

  3. AvatarDirty Dingus McGee

    ” Nobody, and I mean nobody, is entirely natural and normal in front of a camera”.

    I had occasion to do an interview with one of the local news weasels about 25 years ago, related to a motorcycle rights organization I was president of. The interview was taking place at the state capitol, during a rights rally. We immediately got off on the wrong foot as she wanted me to remove my hat, pose in front of someone else’s bike (because “I like this one”) and agree to not disparage the then current governor. As I refused each of her request’s, we each became more irritated with the other. It showed in the interview, what little of it they showed on tv, and i decided then that would be the last time I would voluntarily consent to being videoed.

    I also realized at that time that I have a better face for radio than video.

    • AvatarDisinterested-Observer

      Regardless of political affiliation I wouldn’t trust a reporter to tell me the time of day if he or she had an atomic clock hung from his or her neck Flava Flav style.

  4. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    “Nobody, and I mean nobody, is entirely natural and normal in front of other people. They are always playing a character of some sort, even if the character is based on their own self.”


  5. AvatarRonnie Schreiber

    “I’m not personally comfortable with people who cross the lines of color and/or race in the cause of an artistic performance or career enhancement.”

    Just to play devil’s advocate:

  6. AvatarTristan W Weary

    The “Rhodes Deep” album graphics are an homage to the artwork on Imagic game cartridges, specifically the ones for Colecovision. I don’t know if it’s inspired by a specific game, but it reminds me of “Star Raiders” a little bit (although that wasn’t an Imagic title).

  7. AvatarVic Mik

    If Ronald is “passing” he is a great actor that would put Dustin to shame in Rainman.

    Great points on authenticity. Is it good or not is what I am after as well. I love Metallica and Pantera but enjoy Britney. Why? Because sex appeal image aside it’s great Swedish pop music courtesy of Max Martin.

    • AvatarCompaq Deskpro

      You like Max Martin? That guy has ruined formerly good artists from Taylor Swift to Tove Lo to Katy Perry.

      As far as I’m concerned “authentic” means it was created by the person performing it. I know, its an unreasonable standard to apply to Britney, or Diana Ross, or Elvis, or Rhianna, who aren’t and never claimed to be songwriters, doesn’t make the music bad, but for me it will always have an asterisk next to it in my head.

      Ever heard of Chvrches? Frosty electropop from Scotland, here’s a great song and video about our impending Orwellian feminist rule.

    • AvatarBooty_Toucher

      Vic Milk- really? Just watching the two videos posted above, it looks like he’s playing a character in the same vein as nearly every other Youtuber.

  8. AvatarJustPassinThru

    What we have here, is less about “authenticity” and more about the Neo-Tribalization of the culture of the former United States.

    We live in an era where being handicapped or deficient is somehow to be APPLAUDED – and the greatest status one can have, is that of **VICTIM**. So here we have the ‘spurgs and autisties, who now hold themselves (like some other deviant groups) as **SPECIAL** (and thus superior and worthy of greater benefits, be they from government or public tolerance or first-in-line to opportunity). And they, as the howling dogs that Identity-Group political identification turns such into…they SEEK REASONS to DESTROY this person.

    Because, POWER.

    I have never watched this guy and have no interest. But if he’s entertaining, more power to him. Dean Martin played a drunk, but seldom actually drank. Does that make his films, his TV vids, any less worthwhile? Yes, it’s true – you are a different person on the camera, or on stage. You MUST have that different persona – else you will be confused and unfocused, because the stage or a camera session is so vastly different from having a beer with friends, or playing piano for them.

    This, along with Rachael Dolezol and Elizabeth Warren, show how angry, how tribalist, often how fraudulent, how contemptuous of Truth, we have become. And how cruel these howling dogs, many themselves frauds, can be – Susan Boyle, the unfortunate woman with childhood brain damage, who showed herself a singer of immense talent…has, since, been hounded incessantly. Some claim her impairment is an act – ignoring her pathetic life history before she managed a spot on the Britain’s Got Talent.

    I wish the young man well; as I wish your former contributor well. They cost us nothing; no matter how unappealing it is they find their way to funding their videos.

    • Avatarstingray65

      Only a few people have the God given talent and/or life experience to be the “best” at some particular job or performance, whether it is hitting a baseball, driving a car quickly around a track, singing a song, or teaching a law class. So for the rest of us who have been handicapped by God or life experience, but are still driven to be “famous” or “successful”, we need to present a persona that makes us “special” and worthy of attention and adulation. Dean Martin was a good singer with a pleasant personality (i.e. one of many thousands with those characteristics), but his “drinking” made his performances seem more impressive and gave him a socially acceptable excuse to slip in some “racist” or “sexist” or “rude” banter into his act and have it come off as funny. Nothing really wrong with that as it is basically what the acting profession is all about – tough guy Marion Michael Morrison’s (aka John Wayne) favorite activity was catalog shopping, and he didn’t exactly go out of his way to enlist in the service during WWII despite playing a heroic soldier in dozens of movies.

      The problems occur when some groups are tagged as “disadvantaged” and given special preferences in the name of “fairness” and “equality”, because this creates arbitrage situations. Lizzie Warren was a moderately successful law professor with a burning desire to get a position in the “big leagues”, but without the CV to achieve such status. To achieve her goal, Lizzie decides to become a Native American because she knows she likely has the best “Indian” law CV in the country and Ivy League schools always have faculty slots reserved for at least moderately qualified “diversity” hires. I think we will increasingly see the same thing happen with “transgenders”, as males with modest athletic talent but a burning desire to win, will decide they can be superstars if they decide to be women, in fact it is already happening. So your daughter or girlfriend who trains night and day to become a State High School champion, or NCAA champion, or Olympic champion, will lose her chance at glory because she can’t beat the next Katlyn (aka Bruce) Jenner. The only way to stop such arbitrage is to base all acceptance/hiring/promotion decisions on merit rather than skin color or gender, and accept that outcomes will likely not match the demographics of the catchment area.

      • AvatarRick T.

        Speaking of Dean Martin, picked up at an estate sale a three DVD set of some of the old roasts they broadcast back in the 70’s and 80’s. Holey Moley, the things you could say about race especially on free.broadcast.television.

        • Avatar-Nate

          Back in the 1940’s & 1950’s it was a ‘thing’ to have a wire recorder set up at the entrance to Hollywood parties of the stars and they’d compete to say the most outrageous things as the entered .

          I knew a guy who have a few of these wire recordings and was shocked .

          When people are amongst those they consider their own kind, they speak *very* freely indeed .


    • AvatarVic Mik

      You should check Ronald out — he is very much into his music above all else and doesn’t come across as a VICTIM. He is quite comfortable in his own skin, as goofy as he comes accross. However, as soon as the music starts he is on fire.

      I bought the 5-disc set.

  9. AvatarI worked with Doug at PCNA

    Doug got his money because he got hit by a city bus in Denver and he was never a manager at PCNA. I think he also ran an elaborate lie on some video game forum about being a trillionaire married to some hot chick. He scrubbed the content off of Google. I think his name was M5 Power.

    He was always full of himself and sucked at his job.

      • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

        He used stock photography to announce a marriage and a new wife and a new home. I think his currently reported marriage is real however.

        • AvatarShrug

          Yikes. I am surprised that no one has written something about all of that yet. As much as some publications like it call out “frauds,” this kinda shit seems like a weird open secret to not delve more into.

          • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

            He’s addressed his make-up life on Jalopnik. The readers promised to always believe him from now on.

    • Avatarscotten

      What did he do at PCNA?

      I’ve got a very well developed bullshit detector and it always goes off when I watched his videos (which I don’t do any more). He always seemed fake / a caricature.

    • Avatartresmonos


      The internet always watches. Be genuine if you want to ever be in the public eye without ridicule.

      Then again, I’m trusting an internet stranger (again). I think the internet is as real as my career prospects. Only thing real to me anymore is love.

  10. AvatarPanzer

    “Yet I also have to admit that I’m probably on the wrong side of history here. In the past decade, we’ve been told over and over again that gender is “fluid” and that I could become a woman just by identifying as one. Given that there is less genetic difference between a white man and a black man than there is between a white man and a white woman, why can’t I “identify” as black, or Asian, or whatever? How is gender fluid when race isn’t? And if race is fluid, doesn’t that mean being a nerd could also be fluid?”

    Modern liberal identity politics are logically inconsistent by design. That way ordinary people are excluded from the conversation simply because it’s literally impossible for them to use the ‘correct’ vocabulary about the ‘minority groups’ in question, the failure to use the ‘correct’ vocaulary leading to the tarring and feathering of said ordinary person. On the other hand, the unspoken rule is that SJW’s can say whatever they want because they’re assumed to be on the side of the ‘oppressed’.
    By doing this the liberals solve two problems at once – they can neatly sidestep the constitutional right to free speech and avoid having to justify anything they believe or say because they’ve turned the fora into an echo chamber by making the language inaccessible to anyone outside their group through illogicality.

    • AvatarDanio

      When I was cash poor, I would curb cars on a significant line of credit obtained when I had a regular paycheck. I would only assume that Doug does the same and rolls the cars (hopefully at a profit) before the interest piles up.

        • AvatarWill

          Importing something is not easy and does take quite a bit of cash. I’ve been curious as to how he can pay for all these cars, but would a city bus settlement really cover that much?

  11. AvatarDanio

    “When everybody can decide to be anything they want, isn’t that the same as saying that nobody is anything at all?”

    This fucking right here.

    None of it matters. All of it is idiotic tribalness meant to divide people by people who intend to use the divided as recruits in their personal army for or against whatever agenda.

  12. Avatartresmonos

    We all project ourselves to personas that we like to some degree. Commenting on TTAC made me feel like some romanticized industry casualty that was finding a way. In reality, my life got really ugly and I was very isolated. I know there is definitely a hazard to projecting a romanticized version of your life as it’s merely a form of avoidance. I should have been focusing on what was important and fixing myself rather than being a degenerate.

    I wonder if being so connected to the world and media will eventually impede our life expectancy.

  13. AvatarJeff Zekas

    Should you be your “authentic” self? Or should we be the exact same person that we were in high school? Here’s how to tell when it matters: Are you trying to defraud people of money? Are you trying to gain advantage when applying for a job, or law school? Are you using your “identity” to manipulate people? We are all “fake”, to a certain extent. It is only when we use the fakeness for unethical purposes, that it becomes an issue. This recently came to the fore, after the recent massacre: it is alleged that witnesses and speakers at the CNN sponsored town meeting were “coached”. Like a Potemkin village, CNN allegedly wanted to manipulate public opinion towards a pro gun control narrative. If true, then such a fake narrative is unethical, since news is supposed to be “unbiased”. We want real people, not actors. We want a real moon landing, not a set in Burbank.

    • Avatarstingray65

      You mean its not ok to lie and recklessly manipulate in order to support a “good” cause? Following such ethics rules would pretty much shut down all the purveyors of left-wing causes.

        • Avatarstingray65

          Where is the lie? Show me a left wing cause where most of the “sellers” aren’t lying about the “facts”? Yes it can happen on the right, but much less often, because when you have the fact on your side you don’t need to lie.

          • Avatar-Nate

            Try not parroting sean hannity Et Al’s obviously dishonest talking points and we’ll maybe discuss this .

            Unlike you, I am a Conservative and very proudly so .

            True Conservatives are all disgusted with the endless lying you espouse in the relentless boot licking your master have you do .

            Even dogs know better than to shit where they sleep .


          • Avatarstingray65

            Nate, I am very disappointed in your response, because you usually have some very insightful points. I am truly interested in why you believe that my comment about left wing lies makes me a non-conservative. By the way, whose boots am I supposedly licking?

          • Avatarstingray65

            Nate, thanks for the link, but it is no clear to me what the article regarding Israeli gun policies is supposed to be supporting. I’m a strong supporter of the 2nd Amendment, and Israel, and I’ve also got no problem in providing better security for schools as the linked article discusses, although such security was present in Florida but decided to stay outside hiding (guess he was too close to his pension to take a risk in stopping the shooter). I’ve also got no problem with enforcing current gun laws, which if enforced would have prevented a number of recent shootings (e.g. Texas church shooting), but are not enforced because of social justice worries about racial disparities in breaking the laws. But guns are not the problem, because I grew up in an area where EVERYONE has several guns in the house, and nobody ever shot anyone. Furthermore, it would be impossible to eliminate all privately owned guns in the US, so solutions to gun violence are going to have to look elsewhere such as in reducing the number of single parent households, treating the mentally ill (and locking up the dangerous ones), not importing terrorist-prone immigrants, and stopping the early release of violent felons.

            As for the right vs left on this issue. Virtually all the US mass shootings of the past 50 years have been done by people on the left (Democrats or further left), and not one of the shooters has been a member of the NRA. Furthermore, every presidential assassin in history has been a Democrat or further left, and none were members of the NRA. I’m not a NRA member myself, but all the leftist criticisms of the organization are based on lies.

          • Avatar-Nate

            Thank you, obviously my undies are in a bunch this morning .

            The boots, of course belong to the alt-right 1%’ers whom you’re supporting and spreading lies for .

            True Conservatives never lie and do not hesitate to say ‘oops, you’re right I was wrong’ .


          • Avatar-Nate

            Down the rabbit hole we go now ~
            Simple tax dollar facts the gop and alt – right hate people refuse to accept:

            Take better care of our Military Personnell and Veterans please .

            Few realize nor care that more White people are on welfare than all other groups combined and corporate welfare is more than triple that when they’re making record profits already .

            Facts, not radio hate filled diatribes .

          • Avatarstingray65

            I agree 100% that we need to take better care of our military and vets, although I’m not sure we need to spend more money to do it, because an awful lot of DOD and VA spending is wasted. I also agree 100% that corporate welfare needs to be chopped, and am always very disappointed that Republicans in congress don’t wack them back. The problem is one of incentives, because the most important mission of virtually every politician is to be re-elected, and no rich individual or company makes big campaign contributions in order to be treated just like everyone else, they are paying to get/keep their subsidies, tax breaks, and other government welfare for the rich. Your figures about white poor receiving the most welfare payments are mostly correct, but blacks and Hispanics together get more welfare dollars than whites, and individually also have a poverty rate about 2 to almost 3 times the white rate. We have plenty of struggling people of all races in the US already, which is why we shouldn’t be importing any more who depress low-end wages and take welfare resources away from citizens. We also need to do away with ‘no strings attached’ welfare for able-bodied people (except for short-term get back on your feet help), because a job is the most important thing for mental and physical health, and paying people not to work therefore does them no favors. Expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit is probably the smartest way to help the poor.

          • Avatar-Nate

            Thank you but my numbers on who gets how much welfare $ is from the folks who sign the checks….

            IMO properly educating all citizens would help more of them get jobs, charter schools is but one more gop stealing ploy to prevent poor folks from ever getting ahead and stealing taxpayers’ dollars at the same time .


  14. AvatarOpaddington

    I find the concept of “keeping it real” when it pertains to music to be utterly idiotic. A person’s perspective on music is completely subjective. You cannot say Bob Dylan is objectively talented. I think he sucks. I genuinely don’t understand the endless adulation the guy receives. His voice sounds like a baboon being strangled. Having said that, other people are free to love the guy. Knock yourself out; it’s all based on your perception.

    I heard a catchy tune in my car about a year ago. It was a song by Luke Bryan. I’d never heard of him but have come to enjoy his work. I’m not a country music fan but his music is classified as country. Evidently that outrages the “real” country music types. They condescendingly refer to his music as “bro country”. Well I’m here to tell you that Luke Bryan is 1,000 times more talented and entertaining than Conway Twitty. I’m not right or wrong about that.

    • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

      You cannot say Bob Dylan is objectively talented.

      As a singer, you can take or leave Dylan. That’s a matter of taste. I happen to think he’s an emotionally expressive singer with some vocal limitations (btw, his natural singing voice is closest to what you hear on Lay Lady Lay). Many say the same about French chanteuse Edith Piaf.

      As a songwriter, however, I don’t think you can objectively say that Bob Dylan is untalented. Any one of dozens of his songs, not even his big hits like Rolling Stone, something more like Forever Young, would have made the careers of lesser songwriters.

      • Avatar-Nate

        Few here know that Dylan wrote scads of songs, he’s a powerhouse in Country Music .

        I too can take or leave him but face reality folks .


    • Avatarstingray65

      Whether you like Bob Dylan or not, I think it is safe to say he is by far the most important musician and songwriter to ever come out of Hibbing, Minnesota – unless you are a big fan of Gary Puckett (who was born in Hibbing but raised in Yakima, Washington).

      • AvatarRonnie Schreiber

        Other notables from Hibbing (which I visited with my ex and kids to see Dylan’s hometown as a side trip from our annual camping excursion in the Upper Peninsula) include Kevin McHale of the Boston Celtics, Roger Maris (though he grew up in North Dakota), and Jeno Paulucci, who started the Chun-King, Jeno’s, and Michelina’s prepared food companies. Robert Zimmerman left Hibbing after high school, living briefly in Duluth while sort of attending college before moving to NYC to find and make his fortune. As far as the record shows, he’s been back to Hibbing once since then, for his father Abe’s funeral and shiva. I believe he owns a ranch somewhere in Minnesota and he bought his mom a place near the Twin Cities.

  15. AvatarPaul Alexander

    Jack, DeMuro is not ‘good’ at what he does and you know it. He’s fucking trash, and it has nothing to do with authenticity. His videos are of little to no effort, just him talking into the camera interspersed with random 5 second snippets of the car in action. His information is Wikipedia based and he offers no experienced commentary in which he can put the cars into perspective, rather just inanities about ashtrays and weird battery placements. He doesn’t even bother to unwrinkle the clothes he pulls out of the hamper. All the stuff he is actually good at that you mentioned is self promotion. Not something people should exactly be excited about in my opinion.

    • AvatarPaul Alexander

      By the way, always love when you and Brother Bark go in on the guy. Your guys’ impression of him on the Smoking Tire podcast a few years back had me dying.

      • AvatarJonathan Edwards

        Holy shit. I hadn’t listened to that Podcast before, so I thank you. Sincerely.

        “Let me get skinnier.” AH HA HA HA HA.

    • Jack BaruthJack Baruth Post author

      His audience consists almost entirely of morons, of which there is an effectively unlimited supply.


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