Saturday, March 05, 2005

I have a habit of checking dead pages long after they're supposedly gone. Sometimes it pays off, like when I discovered that Filthy had returned (although his return was pretty much expected -- just a matter of when, not if). I just noticed that Galvin's page has re-surfaced. I doubt we'll see anything new over there, but a man can dream, can't he?

Friday, March 04, 2005

Okay, there's all sorts of shit going on that's "big news" that I just can't get excited about. Rich cunt bitch is getting out of prison, known-child molester on trial for -- surprise -- molesting children, and some other rich fuck flew around the world. And forget about politics -- just give politics one of those t-shirts that says "same shit, different day." Bush's push to reform Social Security isn't going so well, but there's also Bush's desire to reform the tax code, which Greenspan recently stirred up. I could get on board with tax reform if I was was convinced that it wouldn't be completely rigged to favor the rich and fuck everyone else. So yeah, that's what's going on -- nothing.
Yeah, you have fun with that, Cadillac and Dodge. This is something I keep seeing -- American car companies aspiring to surpass European cars domestically and now even looking to impress European drivers. The problem is, I think American companies have a fundamental misunderstanding as to why Europeans like their cars, or at least some of the higher-end ones. Now, of course, I'm no expert on how Europeans like to drive, but after having driven one of their more upscale marques, I think I'm beginning to get a better idea. Actually, I guess you could say two, if you count that Audi (which, as we all know, was a piece of shit, but I'll take it any day over an American car... Except maybe a 'Vette).

It will be available with a diesel engine, the first Cadillac has ever sold.

True, they like diesel engines over there. But they're going to have to do a lot more than diesel engines to impress Europe. I saw a Caddy commercial the other night, one where a Cadillac was driving around this big ballroom with a bunch of Bimmers and Mercedes. Towards the end of the commercial, the Cadillac comes to a sideways-sliding halt, at which point you see the car rocking side to side horribly. My immediate response was "Nice soft suspension, assholes! Love that body roll!"

You can market a car out the ass, but that's not going to compensate for engineering. And while good marketing can almost always beat good engineering, people looking for certain things in a car will know it when they feel it, marketing or otherwise. Hell, I didn't even know what I was looking for, but I knew it when I found it the first time I drove a BMW. And no, it wasn't that "oh, I'm so fucking special" feeling stemming from looking down at the steering wheel and seeing the roundel (as the BMW logo is oftentimes referred). Not that that wasn't part of the overall experience, but no, what hooked me -- even in that "lowly" 325i -- was the handling. I never realized how big of a deal a quality suspension was until that day. Or how nice a 50/50 weight balance could be. Stuff that's in there because people who enjoy driving were responsible for the car's creation.

I was reading a blurb in Motor Trend where they were talking about this one guy who's a VP at GM. He seems like a good guy, a "car guy's car guy" as they put it. But they had this quote from him, where he said something along the lines of how he wants to improve GM quality to the point where someday BMW drivers and such will find themselves renting a Buick or whatever, and they'll say to themselves "Holy mackerel, I had no idea American cars were getting this good." And I was like, yeahhh... No.

Quality issues aside, cars like Buicks and cars like BMWs simply cannot be compared. People buy them for different reasons entirely. If you're getting a Buick, you're probably looking for a luxury car with a smooth, artificial ride where you're not going to feel much of the road. Someone who gets a BMW is going to trade some of that smoothness in exchange for feeling more connected with the road and being able to do shit like take fast corners. Again, it just comes down to a complete lack of understanding as to what makes the brands they're chasing the brands that they are.

Sure, Mercedes has had quality control issues, and BMW has alienated many of its fans with radical new styling on cars like the 5 and 7 Series (the latter of which they're already making minor changes to). But they're still Mercedes and BMW. If American car companies are going to start winning against the likes of Germany and Japan, they need to not only get quality up to snuff but also to understand those markets and what makes cars coming out of those markets as enjoyable to drive as they are.

American car companies are pretty good at being bad when it comes to understanding foreign markets. The classic example being when GM tried to sell the Chevy Nova in Mexico, with the phrase "no va" meaning "doesn't go" in Spanish. All it would take is some simple research for Americans to start making decent inroads in these markets and maybe start making cars that compare. As part of that research, go out and drive some of the cars that you're hoping to be. And I mean actually drive them, not just look at the leather and wood trim and say "we need some of that."

Even with as much as I hate America, it really is sad to see the automotive industry having fallen as much as it has. For me, when it comes to looks, nothing beats older American cars. Man, give me a car from the mid to late fifties. A '57 Thunderbird. A '56 Crown Victoria. A '58 Corvette. Something with a good amount of chrome and maybe some fins. And whitewalls! Gotta mix in those whitewalls. I don't know about build or ride quality, but those fucking cars had style to burn, and we will never have anything like that again.

Those days are long gone, and now we're stuck with, well, the same car companies making shitty cars that also look shitty. No one wants to drive a Ford these days. Okay, maybe some people do, but they don't know what they're talking about. Seriously, I'm fucking dreading the day I have to rent a goddamn Buick or something like that. Hell, I had a loaner 325xi early last week when I took my car into the dealership one afternoon for a few quick things (post-break-in oil change and to get that scraped up wheel refinished), and man, I was fucking pissed. How good is that? I've become such a snob in only a month and a half that I was driving a Bimmer and was unhappy about it. And how could I not be unhappy? That thing had an automatic and sixteen-inch wheels. Sixteen! How do people live like that?

So yeah, best of luck, American car companies.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

So Wil Wheaton's episode of Rape Kit airs March 10th. That figures -- I may actually have something going on that night. Assholes.

On a completely unrelated note, I have fucking had it with Blogger. That last post, you know, the one with beef and bestiality? That I put together last night. But since Blogger is such a goddamn piece of shit, it didn't publish properly. I remember pressing the "Publish Post" button and nothing happening, and I eventually gave up. That happens damn near every time I try and publish anything nowadays. Assuming, of course, that I can actually get to the "Edit posts" screen to begin with. This annoying goddamn stalling of the interface has killed more posts than I can count. I log in, ready to write something up, and it just hangs, so I end up punting a lot of times. Lucky for me I'm not in eight-post-a-day mode anymore or else I might get pissed.

I'm only gonna put up with that nonsense 20 or 30 thousand more times before I do something about it (or not).

Monday, February 28, 2005

Beef: real food for real people

Much like kiddie rapers, the animal rights dipshits also have too much time on their hands.

"It sends the wrong message to children, that it's OK to harm animals."

What? How? I mean, your child has to be real goddamn stupid to, and, okay, I can almost see the point now that I think about it. But really, it's still fucking dumb. How does eating a gummy chicken that met its match in a Michelin foster cruelty towards animals? As if these kids are going to hop on their Big Wheels and start hunting down animals. Especially when said kids have probably eaten meat. Lighten the hell up, you fucking ninnies.

I never really got the animal fuckers anyway, and I'm not talking about the ones who actually fuck animals. I mean, yeah, animals can be cute and fun and all, but I never really saw the big deal. No, you shouldn't be cruel to them unless, as usual, if they really, really deserve it. But if you're getting all hot and bothered over fucking candy, you should be slaughtered.

Oh, and naturally, Kraft has caved.

And no, I don't have those inclinations or, furthermore, that kind of time

More on the issue of blogs being treated as more important than they should be. Not really anything new in that article, but I did like the quotes referring to bloggers as a "pseudo-journalist lynch mob" and "salivating morons."

Also linked of that article from the Beeb was this. And to think, all this time I've been wasting all this time writing my own blog instead of harnessing the true power of blogs. Seriously, though, who has all the time for all that "grooming" nonsense? Oh yeah -- child molesters.