Daily Podcast: Neil's Strong Arm
I'm sure LA scribe Dan Neil's extraction from the U.S. Top Gear team came as no surprise to anyone who's ever seen The Player, or any other Hollywood movie about how Hollywood movies are ruined by Hollywood executives (who probably ruined the movie about how Hollywood executives ruin movies). It's the rare creative venture that can survive the cold dead hand of executives working for a deeply-entrenched, publicly-owned media company. From the moment that an American Top Gear was first mooted, American pistonheads (gearheads?) suspected the worst. They just knew that Top Gear's anarchic yet elitist spirit couldn't survive the jump into ad-sponsored network hypespace. Still, some good will come of NBC strong-arm tactics. As TTAC commentator Tom Anderson points out, Neil's dismissal saves him from the possibility, perhaps probability, OK certainty of an ignominious loss of credibility. Dan's automotive criticism is too important– as recognized by Lilly Pulitzer, I mean the Pulitzer prize people– to suffer a massive loss of face. This way, his work will remain unsullied; a literary gift to future generations. Meanwhile, Justin and I try to show that goofing around has its place in the autoblogosphere. We kid, you deride.