We were just down at Maria's. The dearth of free papers was abysmal today. No LA Times, not even a copy of the Daily Breeze in sight. So we sat down with our tamales and a copy of Random Lengths, Pedro's version of an alt-weekly. We read about how Gerald Ford sucked. We read about what Martin Luther King, Jr. would do if he were alive today. Despite our liberal proclivities, we felt batted about the head. Pedestrian writing, typical left-wing bias and general annoyingness abounded. And like true Jalopniks, we immediately thought of H sker D 's "In a Free Land" single, coincidentally released on San Pedro's New Alliance records over a quarter of a century ago.

Recorded during the band's thrash phase when they were just beginning to flirt with pop, the title track features the classic line, "Why bother spending time reading up on things? Everyone's an authority in a free land."

And after the tumult of Detroit — the crush of morons, dipshits, self-serious types, unintentionally hilarious Germans and Chinese so goddamn up ons with the unaware self-parody it was frankly stultifying — we got to thinking. And the same song stuck in our head. We love cars. Love, love, love, love, love them. But this industry is packed to the rafters with dipshits. People who don't understand aesthetics. Writers who can't write. Bean counters who can't count beyond five chickpeas, executives who've forgotten what they're in the business of building, all selling cars to consumers who'll drool when Carroll Shelby exhorts, "Now that's what I call a rental car."

Funny, Carroll, we do, too. And that's the problem.

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