Back in June, in The Year Of Our Lord 2012 (damn, was that really almost eight years ago? Holy crap.), your author was able to finagle access to this eclectic collection of parts cars and Veddy British remnants after hearing about it from my brother Andy. It is not a big place, but it has some pretty interesting remains of Old Blighty. For instance, this Jaguar S-Type. Produced from 1963 to 1968, it was intended as a slightly fancier version of the venerable 3.8 Jaguar Mark II, and in fact was a Mark II, except for the new roofline, and caboose. It didn’t really take off though. Only about 25,000 were sold in six model years. It’s hard to see in the photo, but the one visible wheel is sporting a redline tire, like a late ’60s muscle car.
A few years ago, I decided to start slathering this websites with advertisements in a crass and deplorable attempt to recoup some of my hosting budget. Our valued reader and bitcoin magnate Pete Dushenski of contravex.com offered to sponsor the site ad-free for a year, an offer I declined because I like Pete and would rather take money from Google than take some of his occasionally fluctuating Bitcoin.
We had a month or two where I actually made twenty or thirty bucks after expenses, but in general we earn $60-80 in ad revenue against a constant hosting expense of $140/month. (To be fair, I use that resource for other things which have nothing to do with this site, and I willing pay extra money to have real hardware instead of a “presence” in The Clown. This is nice. After taxes, it’s like $400 extra a year, which would feed ten starving children overseas or supply me with another set of T&A cufflinks.
As you might expect, the bounty of Google does not come without strings attached. Periodically, the hivemind will inform me that I have written something which is simply too dangerous or threatening to warrant being supplied with advertisements.
I’ve always loved the 1977-79 Cadillacs. They were prominent during my formative years watching Magnum, P.I. and Knight Rider. Of course the bad guys were usually driving them. Sure I liked the red Ferrari and black Trans Am just fine but I liked the Cadillacs more.
I didn’t put this in the Roundup yesterday because I didn’t have a free link for it yet. In this quarter’s issue of Cycle World you can read my retrospective on the Suzuki GS500. While researching the article I was reminded, yet again, of the stark difference between Gen-X and Millennial/Zoomer motorcyclists. These kids are more than happy to start on a Yamaha R3 (which is what Danger Girl rides) or Ninja 300, neither of which has the motivating power of, say, my 1975 Honda CB550. Were the GS500E to come back today, with its fifty horses and low-maintenance durability, I betcha some of these dudes would buy it. The Reddit motorcycles forum might as well be the Reddit Sub-600cc Motorcycles Forum. These young riders don’t have any desire to show off, go fast, or go face-first into oncoming traffic.
By contrast, the first streetbike I ever rode back in 1991 was my pal Sherman’s ZX-7RR. When I bought a 1986 Ninja 600 (75 horses, twin front discs, 135mph top speed) shortly afterwards, Sherman and my other new motorcycle pals were not complimentary. “Man, n***a, that’s a pussy-ass bike right there,” was the universal verdict. “You gonna want a Gixxer 750 in, like, a month.” Nobody in Gen-X wanted to ride anything slower than a front-line 600 — and that was seen as a “beginner bike”, something for the 90 days before you sucked it up and got a ZX-9R. Sherman’s opinion of me was not improved when I bought a new YZF600R in 2000. If they ever let him out of prison maybe he’ll approve of my ZX-14R. Maybe. Most of my time is spent riding my (newly JW-Speaker-LED-Adaptive-equipped) CB1100. It’s not a fast bike by the standards of my peers, but it’s a rocketship compared to a Ninja 300 or Rebel 500.
Why were we all so driven to get bikes that we had no idea how to ride and which would kill us in a heartbeat’s worth of inattention? Why did the GS500E gather dust on showroom floors while the 165-mph CBR600F3 became the universal “learner bike” in the United States? I suppose it was that “toxic masculinity” of which you hear so much nowadays. We were all looking for something against which to test our mettle. We had this idea of manhood as something you earned rather than as an identity that any creature could choose at any point in its life sans effort or consequences. I’m not sure we’ve completely leached that toxicity from all of our young men. Sometimes I will watch my son prepare himself for a jump or obstacle he hasn’t done yet and I can see his whole body shudder as he forces himself past whatever fear he’s feeling at the moment. If I have any sense, I’ll make sure the keys to that ZX-14R are well hidden a few years from now. Would he be satisfied, I wonder, with a Suzuki GS500E?
We have a shortage of everything in this country right now, apparently — the gun stores are sold out, the pharmacies aren’t picking up the phone, and the toilet-paper shelves are empty — but most of all, there appears to be a desperate shortage of… Nazis. You wouldn’t think this is the case, given the rate at which the definition of “Nazi” is being ratcheted down. In 1932, it meant someone who was a member of the NSDAP. By 1941 it meant “pretty much any German”. By 2016 it meant voting for Trump. A year later, it meant making the highly offensive and racist suggestion that it was okay to be white. In 2020, “Nazi” has been expanded to mean “would vote for Biden over Sanders”.
At this point, by my count, at least 65% of the country might be Nazis. Possibly more than that. Some of them are, apparently, black. You could be a Nazi right now and not even know it — until you are called out as such, which is one of those accusations which cannot be effectively refuted, even if you’re related to someone who actually tried to kill Hitler.
As many Nazis as we currently have in America, however, the demand is still exceeding the supply. How else can you explain the recent, and profoundly, disturbing fetish the mainstream media has developed for Nazi pornography?
It’s only been about two weeks since the Clark County Schools closed here in the great Commonwealth of Kentucky, and I’m already prepared to never send my kids back—to either public or private school. I’ve been unfortunate/blessed to have been unemployed since January 22nd (have no fear, I’ve accepted a new job—more on that in another post), so I’ve spent nearly every second of every day with them at home since the quarantine went into effect.
Frankly, I’m disgusted.
I don’t blame the teachers or the schools for not being suitably prepared for this Chinese virus crisis—after all, who was? Certainly not our government, or our hospitals, or our corporations. No, what I blame them for is not being suitably prepared to do the jobs they do every single day at the charity of the tax and/or tuition payer.
So perhaps you live somewhere (like, say, NEW YORK) where people have lost their minds and turned into caged rats, hoarding every last bit of toilet paper, paper towels, and cleaning products, and all you want is to make sure that your hands are sanitized. Alas, the hoarders have bought enough hand sanitizer to keep their callous-ridden hands (you know what I’m talking about) germ-free until the next time they leave their parent’s basements.
You went to Amazon and the like online, but to no avail—the hand sanitizer is gone. Fear not, Riverside Green readers. We have a solution. And, of course, since this is the RG, it’s Made in the USA.
The Internet got pretty excited last week about a piece entitled COVID-19: Evidence Over Hysteria, written by former Mitt Romney staffer and “Silicon Valley growth hacker” Aaron Ginn. The article went, ahem, viral because it said a lot of things that people desperately wanted to hear, whether they are true or not. The ensuing backlash was fairly weapons-grade and it came from a lot of people with letters after their names so the article was unpersoned by Medium and banished to the Internet ghetto of ZeroHedge, which is where you can read it at the above link.
I don’t know enough to say whether or not Ginn is right — but I am also fairly sure that Ginn also doesn’t know enough to say whether he is right. My purpose here isn’t to discuss the article, but rather to suggest that much of the world is being run into the ground by people like Ginn thanks to what I can only characterize as a shared and immensely powerful delusion. Let’s call it the fake law of isomorphic data, or “Ginn’s Law” for the moment.
Twenty-two years ago, when your humble author was a minor participant in the eventually-derailed-and-co-opted revolution known as “Linux”, we spent a lot of time talking about the Holy Trinity Of Linux Guys. Three authentic geniuses whose vision extended into the future just a little farther than everyone else’s:
- Richard M. Stallman, who had invented the concept of a “free operating system” and built a framework to create the GNU programs which would eventually make up most of what we call “Linux” today;
- Linus Torvalds, who did the one thing that Stallman’s team couldn’t quite manage, and that was to build a decent operating-system kernel around which Linux could coalesce;
- Eric S. Raymond, who was the first person to truly understand the power of what we’d eventually call “Open Source Software” and whose The Cathedral And The Bazaar served as a Bible of sorts for those of us who truly believed that software could change the world.
Take any leg away from this stool, and your life would be different in ways that you cannot readily conceive. Billions of people who use the Internet today simply wouldn’t have the ability to do so. Computing would be much more like it was in 1995: restricted to people who could pay for $5,000 computers and $50,000 servers. Both the iPhone and the Android phones, for example, rely heavily on “open source” to operate. Without Stallman, there’s no iOS; without Torvalds and Stallman there’s no Android; without all three of them, you wouldn’t have the infrastructure necessary for “the cloud”.
All three of these men are known for speaking truth to power, which was acceptable when “power” meant functional and admirable institutions such as IBM, Xerox, and the United States Government. Nowadays, as WokeCapital notes, we “speak power to truth”, allowing our culture’s frankly insane delusions to trample the good, the true, and the beautiful en masse. This is not a world in which outspoken and socially awkward geniuses can possibly survive. The Western World loves “EQ” now and values it far higher than it does IQ, which it prefers to import in very limited quantities from Asia whenever doing so is absolutely unavoidable.
Here’s an example: Maya Angelou, whose vacuous mumblings form the heart and soul of our modern catechism, actually wrote that “…I believe talent is like electricity. We don’t understand electricity. We use it.” Note that this is considerably stupider than the Insane Clown Posse’s “Fucking magnets, how do they work?” because magnetism is not all that well understood but electricity, by contrast, is. Think about that for a minute, if you will; this country awarded more than fifty honorary degrees and multiple Presidential commendations to a woman who didn’t understand the universe as well as “Shaggy 2 Dope” or “Violent J” and who furthermore reveled in every chance she got to demonstrate that inferior understanding to the American people. I think the edgy kids say “HONK HONK” now in response to that sort of thing.
It follows, therefore, that Clown World would eventually reward all three of these fellows with a public dragging. Linus was first: his lack of tolerance for midwittery ended up in him apologizing for being mean to people and leaving the Linux kernel. That’s right: the man who invented Linux and gave it to the world free of charge had to quit because of hurt feelz. Stallman was next, being shamed out of Free Software for giving a technically correct but politically ignorant opinion about Epstein’s Rape Island.
This left only Raymond, an omission which has now been rectified.