By on January 22, 2013

Separated at birth

We are in receipt of complaints that question our assertion that former Volkswagen executive and future Opel CEO Karl-Thomas Neumann “looks like an ostrich.”

Recently released documents show that he indeed does.

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43 Comments on “Documents Reveal: Neumann DOES Look Like An Ostrich...”


  • avatar
    philadlj

    Q.E.D.

  • avatar
    MR2turbo4evr

    This was funny last time, and it’s still funny now. Well done!

  • avatar
    healthy skeptic

    Mr. Schmitt, you seem to have a real mean streak in you regarding peoples’ physical appearances. Weren’t you the one who made a post mocking the Chinese girl for her ears?

    • 0 avatar

      You bet I was. Want to see her again?

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Gordon

      Gosh, this has really reached the nadir of commentary.

      Why the need for an ad-hominum attack on someone’s personal appearance? It’s absolutely disgraceful.

      From the TTAC posting policy…

      “You have a right to your opinion, you are immediately wrong if you are rude. Rude, uncivilized remarks mean an immediate loss of the argument. They also can mean a loss of commenting privileges.”

      I’d say commenting mocking someone’s physical appearance is pretty rude.

      “No personal attacks on other commenters or TTAC authors. Disagreement is no attack, name calling is. You may make a robust argument, but you may not insult the other person. To provide for a safe workplace for TTAC authors, there are increased standards. The decision of what is an attack rests with TTAC moderators, and their decision is final.”

      Obviously a personal attack.

      “No hate speech. Racism, sexism and homophobia will not be tolerated. TTAC is read all around the world. Be careful of what we call “racism by proxy.” Saying “I hate Eskimos” is racism. Saying “Samoans hate Eskimos” is racism by proxy, it is insulting two nations instead of one, and it will not be tolerated either.”

      I interpret the comparison as somewhat racist too..

      • 0 avatar
        thebanker

        Lighten up francis. I think it was meant as a joke, and calling it “racism” is a stretch, dontcha think?

      • 0 avatar
        thebanker

        Almost forgot, it’s spelled “ad hominem.”

      • 0 avatar

        “When commenting, picture yourself being invited to a dinner party with a roomful of strangers. You probably will not attack or insult the host, or the other guests. You will get annoyed by rude and uncivilized guests. You will understand that the host will not invite people back who violate simple rules of civility. Attacking the host could mean an end of the dinner before deserts are served.”

      • 0 avatar
        Robert Gordon

        Do you not think I raise legitimate concerns? How am I attacking the host? Am I being rude?

        Mocking someone’s physical appearance is however rude, very rude.

      • 0 avatar
        Type57SC

        While I find it funny, Robert and my mother are probably right. If you don’t want name calling, don’t call someone names.

      • 0 avatar
        Robert Gordon

        “Lighten up francis. I think it was meant as a joke, and calling it “racism” is a stretch, dontcha think?”

        Do you really believe it is acceptable to make derogatory remarks about a person’s physical appearance?

      • 0 avatar
        Robert Gordon

        “Almost forgot, it’s spelled “ad hominem.””

        Desperately sorry about that.

        Although a word of advice that such put downs work best when one’s own track record of comments demonstrate flawless spelling and use of grammatical rules. Exhibit 1:

        “Lighten up francis. I think it was meant as a joke, and calling it “racism” is a stretch, dontcha think?”

  • avatar
    Zombo

    Looks more like a weasel .

  • avatar
    Charles T

    Sadly he’s not an ostrich from Österreich, as he was born in Germany and not Austria.

  • avatar
    TW4

    Probably better to leave it alone than double down.

    • 0 avatar
      Macca

      Yesterday’s article only had 12 comments – and only one of those specifically mentioned the ostrich comparison. I guess it didn’t get the response he wanted the first time? Not that this one is exactly lighting up the charts, either.

      It does seem like an odd addition to this otherwise fairly straight-laced site.

  • avatar
    punkybrewstershubby aka Troy D.

    Bertel,

    Take the attacks with pride! He does indeed resemble the flightless bird known as an OSTRICH!

    Listen, a few years back when I changed my hairstyle to let’s say very short I earned the nickname, Shrek…

    At a certain angle of head tilt it turns out, I do look a bit like the ogre… I don’t lose sleep at night…

  • avatar
    NMGOM

    Sorry, guys….

    But IMHO, Robert Gordon does have a very good point. I realize this may have been thought to have some humor, but if Dr Neumann were black and stocky, would you have dared to say that he looks like a gorilla? How long do you think TTAC would survive with that racially or ethnically questionable article posted on the web?

    And no, I won’t “lighten up”. What would be appropriate is for Bertel to issue an apology to Dr Neumann. And let’s get on with the business of discussing the Truth About Cars.

    ————–

    • 0 avatar
      dundurrbay

      Is the world really as uptight as this guy? You sound like you’re 13 and being bullied. Get a sense of humour, it would really help you loosen up. Clearly this post was completely not-serious, and it seems like everyone’s sooooooooo offended over something so stupid, especially when it isn’t even about them. Honestly, you sound rediculous. Sorry, but its true.

      • 0 avatar
        NMGOM

        OK, dundurrbay…

        Let’s work up a little humor for you, since that is what you wanted to treat this issue with.

        Why don’t you walk through the streets of the South Bronx at 10:00 PM on a Friday night, and laughingly call every stocky Brother you see a Gorilla. Let’s see how long your humor lasts.

        Get the message? You obviously didn’t the first time….

        ———–

      • 0 avatar
        dundurrbay

        Clearly you haven’t read the comments which state that this is clearly NOT A CASE OF RACISM. Why do you keep pulling the afro-canadian/american card? There was not one racist word said on this blog post OR the comments. Is this the only whim you can come up with to complain about a homorous post with? Ouuuuuuuuu… so-and-so looks like an ostrich. People will nitpick anything, we are a very bored society.

      • 0 avatar
        dundurrbay

        Oh, and for someone complaining about racism, why does it have to be the south Bronx? Why not Toronto? Even my city has a less than desirable area, why not there? It’s funny, ’cause there are people from all walks of life in these areas, INCLUDING the Bronx. You made a generalization on race and population distribution when you were complaining about this post about an ostrich somehow being racist…?

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    Anyone care to begin the “Truth About Cars” deathwatch ? Perhaps the ostrich posting can be repeated again tomorrow along with an two sentence posting briefly describing a 73 Chevy Vega discovered in a South Dakota scrapyard.

  • avatar
    dundurrbay

    Oh quit the whining everyone it was clearly meant as humour, and not serious. Honestly, if everyone in the world couldn’t handle saying that someone who CLEARLY resembles an ostrich does, then how would you handle the actual real world, where you’ll inevitably have to deal with people who are rude, mean, cut-throat, and miserable. That’s life. And another note; we are human and each of us looks unique. Why can’t someone poke a little fun at that? Are the world’s feelings really that sensitive now? And no, i’m not talking about racism or condoning it, but clearly Bertel’s post was not racist and more of a connotation on his direct appearance versus his race.

    • 0 avatar
      Robert Gordon

      Yeah it might be humourous if everyone here was ten years old and we were talking amongst friends about a teacher or something – but in the adult world, most people are mature enough not to belittle people based on superficial observations on their appearance.

      You don’t see analysts in Automotive News commentating on auto execs (or anyone come to think of it) in these terms do you – for that matter I don’t recall Ferago or Neidermeyer doing so either.

      • 0 avatar
        Bobby Peru

        The crain-guys are journalists. Bertel is a blogger. That’s something different. A journalist can’t do this, cause it’s not appropriate to compare a man with an animal – presumes that Neumann has no free will and isn’t able to produce sense. Well.
        Bertel is in the comfortable position that he can give a s… wether something is appropriate or not. That’s a reason i follow this great site.
        Thanks Bertel for the fun stuff.

      • 0 avatar

        Bobby: The caricature has been and remains a part of journalism, from its early beginnings through today.

        http://goo.gl/gZzU1 gives a few samples. Trying to stop them would bring an artillery barrage of First Amendment suits.

        Our freedom was hard fought. Don’t piss it away.

      • 0 avatar
        Bobby Peru

        Bertel: I totally agree.
        It’s just that ‘caricature’ didn’t come to my mind when I first saw the artwork ;-)

      • 0 avatar
        dundurrbay

        Honestly, if you’re this offended by something this small, how do you get by in day to day life? There are a million and one worse things going on in your immediate area, the country, and the world, and yet this post is suuuuch a big deal… go focus your time and effort trying to remedy some of these issues, rather than complaining on a blog post.

      • 0 avatar
        rushn

        @ Bertel

        No ban for anyone, get over it. This is a fascinating way to deal with criticism.

        Someone who repeatedly makes fun of people’s appearances is upset about an exaggerated critical comment? If it’s insulting to other’s, it’s a-okay, but if it’s insulting for you, all of a sudden the rule book comes out.

        While you are battling sexism/racism/-ism, care to explain the multitude of galleries of “product specialists” that you so love to post up? I am sure that it has something to do with “reporting the truth” and the snide comments about their actual jobs or their appearances are “lighthearted humor”, but I would love to see that deluded explanation yet again, straight from the horse’s mouth/fingers.

        Love reading many articles here, but here is an improvement that will keep everyone happy: allow blocking of articles by author.

  • avatar
    JimothyLite

    Bertel, I stand corrected. Thank you for presenting the evidence.

  • avatar

    Gentlemen: NMGOM’s “stocky gorilla” comments appear to violate TTAC’s commenting guidelines:

    “Racism, sexism and homophobia will not be tolerated. TTAC is read all around the world. Be careful of what we call “racism by proxy.” Saying “I hate Eskimos” is racism. Saying “Samoans hate Eskimos” is racism by proxy, it is insulting two nations instead of one, and it will not be tolerated either.”

    I will leave it up to the readers to deliberate whether NMGOM should be banned. While the process runs, I do not want to see a single word from NMGOM and Robert Gordon. One more comment from either of them, and both will be banned without a new warning.

    • 0 avatar
      rpol35

      “We’ll stich our heads into the sand and hope that everything turns out all right….(Steppenwolf)”

      I don’t think NMGOM’s comment “appears” racist at all; he is merely stating that if you use a racist comparison in a place like the South Bronx, you are going to have a problem. He is not indicating that he has done that, would do that or endorses something like that.

      We need to get back to the issue at hand, Opel’s maybe/maybe not survival.

    • 0 avatar
      dundurrbay

      I’d say ban him. I didn’t like the gorilla comment especially when this post was really light humored and was clearly not racist in any way; whereas his comment is a very blunt generalization on afro-americans/canadians as well as the population structure of the Bronx, which consists of a wide array of people.. not just afro-americans….

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        I say do not ban him. He, as has been stated by others, was making a comment that said if you made “gorilla” comments in certain locales then you might have issues. He didn`t say you should make them, in fact his inference was you shouldn’t be rude about people.

        BS will of course make his own decision, as he usually does.

    • 0 avatar
      28-Cars-Later

      I’ve followed most of the “bannings” and the common thread I’ve found is what I would call “the last staw” post. It seems a moderator (or someone in authority) calmly and respectfully explains someone is out of line, asks them to reflect on what they have said and/or retract the comments… seems reasonable.

      Typically the response I have seen to this approach is negative and thus the ban is put in place. It’s akin to an old saying I grew up with: give people enough rope to hang themselves with and see if they do. Those people hung themselves by effectively mouthing off or disrespecting the moderator. I don’t see that here, at least not yet.

      I say keep the touchy feely PC nonsense away until someone starts throwing slurs, or directly attacks someone, which is simply unacceptable. If I want to puke over PC propaganda, I’ll tune into the MSM.

      Nothings personal people, this a website promoting the exchange of information and ideas related to the automotive industry. People disagree, but its disagreements that promote social discourse and the continued free exchange of said ideas.

      Additional: For the record I think its hilarious this man strongly resembles an ostrich, but with being tapped to oversee Opel, I would say the animal resemblance is the least of his problems.

    • 0 avatar
      mikey

      @ Bertel….I’ve been following this for a while. Pesonally I thought it was kind of funny. I worked with a guy that looked like a Basset hound…we called him “Dog”. Everyone called him Dog. He liked being called Dog. I swear,a lot of folks didn’t know his real name.

      A sense of humour goes a long way, some folks get it,some don’t.

      Does anybody here need to be banned? After eight years of reading all kinds of nastys here at TTAC, the answer is simple

      NO!

  • avatar
    ...m...

    …no ban: robert and NMGOM have both aired fair criticism, and done so with all due civility given the nature of the critique…

    …that you intended no such personal attacks nor racism doesn’t make their point any less fair; offensive statements are by nature subjective and highly-dependent upon context…to be blunt, bertel, waving around the ban-hammer when someone calls you out on behavior which is both off-topic and plainly skirting violation of TTAC’s commentariat rules of conduct strikes me as a thin-skinned and petty reaction…

    …all the editors here, yourself included, have strong personalities reflected in your writing: that’s why we come here as readers, to enjoy your blunt and unfiltered take on the automotive industry…sometime those personalities include pointing out a girl’s big ears or waxing philosophical on the nature of threesomes, we get that; by and large we roll with your collectively thick-skinned propensities to skirt the boundaries of acceptable behavior…as an editor, though, you have a reponsibility to wear that same thick skin while receiving the room’s feedback on that boundary you skirt so closely; sometimes you’ll begin to cross that fuzzy line of unacceptable conduct and need to receive these initial outliers’ offense for the constructive feedback that it is…

    …it’s unfortunate that the “R-word” has somehow transformed into the “N-word” of contemporary discourse…TTAC rightfully enforces a strong code of conduct upon its commentariat, but it can’t can’t nurture a healthy tone to our discussion without a similarly-strong tolerance for subjecting itself to those same standards: anything less projects a chilling effect across the community you’ve grown…


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