Commenter Of The Day: Being Burt Reynolds Edition

Illustration for article titled Commenter Of The Day: Being Burt Reynolds Edition

There's a certain point where our collective understanding of manliness coincides with our hard-earned stripes as true car enthusiasts. We may not all wear unbuttoned shirts to proudly expose our medallion-adorned chest wigs, loafers without socks, mirrored aviators, string back gloves and trucker caps, but our subconscious selfs do. That's why, when someone manages to violate the unwritten laws of both manhood and enthusiasm in a single blow we feel it so deeply and so personally. It's a burden we must all bear as guardians of the secret.


One of those times came earlier today when news arrived that the only car to be traded in under GM's 60-day money back guarantee was a manual transmission Corvette. Not because the male customer was somehow dissatisfied withe the Vette's performance, quality or reliability, but because rowing his own gears made his ovaries hurt. He traded the car in for an auto.


Van Sarockin summed up the collective outrage perfectly, saying,

There ought to be a ceremony, like in the French Foreign Legion, where they roll the drums, then knock off your crossed-flags baseball cap, strip off your string-back driving gloves, and make you turn in you driving shoes, for these sorts of unforgivable driving offenses.

At least he didn't trade it for an old Celebrity.

That that last bit, we'd argue that the Celebrity would have been preferential to the slushbox Corvette. The former is simply embarrassing, the latter represents everything that's wrong with this fine country of ours.

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I *heart* Stiggie

This is from Engineerd - he asked this be posted for the masses...please read on.

To My Friends and the Editors at Jalopnik:

First and foremost, I want to congratulate Van Sarockin on a clever COTD. Good job, my friend. Have a case of Jalopnik-brand brefass scotch. It's infused with tears.

Last fall work was slow. I was spending my days staring at the wall, and bored out of my mind. I decided to find a car blog to start reading. I read TTAC and Autoblog, but it wasn’t until I found Jalopnik that I knew I found my car blog. The posts were interesting, and not just regurgitation of press releases and car company PR bullshit. There was Nice Price or Crack Pipe, Project Car Hell, Engine of the Day, etc.

More than that, though, was a commentariat that was witty, insightful, engaging, and used proper English. They actually conversed! This was unheard of coming from reading some of the other car blogs. It isn’t often that you come across a group of people so diverse, yet so tight knit. That’s what really drew me in. Characters like POLAЯ, om nom de whateveritwasthatday, Rust-MyEnemy, Deartháir, and many many more had some of the most well-crafted comments, and weren’t afraid to tell each other "good job". It was a group of individuals all Obsessed with the Cult of Cars.

I wanted in. I sent Pete a message asking how I could get commenting privileges. He said to keep commenting; that I was doing well and would be approved in time. Late last December, I finally saw my comments appearing on the site. It was exciting. Not only that, but the "Old Guard" commenters were very welcoming and encouraging. It was great.

I was home.

This last summer I screwed up. A night spent alone while on assignment, combined with too much alcohol, and a few of my friends from the old Jalopnik conspired against any semblance of reason I try to maintain and led to me receiving the swift blow of the Burberry Banhammer. I deserved it. I won’t try to make excuses.

However, in that time, I learned that I could live without Jalopnik. It also gave me time to do some naval-gazing. I came to a realization that Jalopnik wasn’t the same site I started going to a year ago. The posts were more mainstream. If you look at Jalopnik’s posts next to those at Autoblog or TTAC you won’t notice too much of a difference. The commentariat was changing, too. No longer did you have to work hard to get your commenting license. Now you can simply log in from Facebook.

Many from the "Old Guard" have left, too. This, in and of itself, is not a bad thing, but the tone of the comments has changed. No longer are the commenters trying to out-wit each other, or come up with clever and creative ways to comment (i.e. POLAЯ’s sermons). Now it seems that we try to out-snark each other and come up with one-liners to be funny. As much as the editors say they don’t want that, they reward it with the COTD more often than they probably should. Like raising a puppy or a child, raising a quality commentariat requires consistency.

That brings me to my final point. The writing is stale. The only contributor I really look forward to now is Peter Orosz, because he is the only one that embodies the Jalopnik-spirit of not-so-long ago. Sure, there are moments of brilliance, and from the past I know how talented the writers and editors are. However, in the quest for page views and content, Jalopnik’s editorial staff has lost its edge. I’m not going to put blame on anyone, because in order to grow Jalopnik and increase revenues for its owners it has to move mainstream. It can’t be that quirky, bizarroland on the fringe of the automotive interwebs that it used to be.

So, it is with a heavy heart that I bid you all farewell. The time I spent in Banned Camp as well as recent events – including my inability to comment in the new system — have shown me that I don’t belong anymore and have given me that final nudge to hang up my commenting gloves. I love you all, though. I really do. This has been one of the greatest places to visit and I’ve made some very good friends on here. I will always remember this year of my life, and may pop in from time to time to see how things are going.

Robert Bach said, "Don't be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends."

If you ever find yourself in the Detroit area, drop me a line. My email address is

Dustin May aka engineerd #cotd