By on December 11, 2008

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34 Comments on “Yesterday, Upon The Stair, I Meta Man Who Wasn’t There...”


  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    What is this crap? Why is it here? What point is it trying to convey?

    Are you biting back at all of the readers giving the site constructive criticism, saying that we are forcing you to “go soft”? If that is the case, then grow up.

    If this is just meant to be funny, then do us all a favor and hand the mouse over to Chris Rock.

  • avatar
    Edward Niedermeyer

    Easy man, easy. As Robert said in his final Tesla Death Watch post, we’re not changing. We’ll still bring you all the stories you’ve always come here for. I just wanted a last chance to bash Autoblog while I still can.

  • avatar
    Redbarchetta

    I actually kind of think it’s funny, kind of the lines could use a little work. It would be kind of fun to get little comic strips like these with something new each day, like Farside. I little automotive message of the day from our beloved CEO’s and industry hacks like Lutz.

    Robert your a$$ better not get soft or I am going to stop reading and get some work done for once.

  • avatar

    Redbarchetta :

    Soft? Are you kidding? I AM the hard man. You know; metaphorically.

  • avatar
    dadude53

    Funny, Funny. And the people taking this thing seriously.
    Edward, respect.
    Criticism is good and necessary.Whoever want`s mainstream info-switch to the Detroit news.
    Good night.

  • avatar
    Runfromcheney

    I second Redbarchetta’s idea for a daily TTAC comic poking fun at the heads of the industry.

    Sorry for laying into you Edward now that I know where you were coming from with this. But when I first read it, It gave me the impression that you were being snobby.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    I love it. Keep up the hard line.

  • avatar

    If we lose our sense of humor, we are nobody. Thanks for the laugh.

    Redbarchetta: I am concerned about your concern for the hardness of RF’s hind quarters.

  • avatar
    Stu Sidoti

    Maybe TTAC could have a ‘Caption This Picture’ cartoon or photo once a week and let Farago pick the most funny, compelling or wry caption that captures the week’s vibe…and the winner gets a….uh…I don’t know, do y’all have any swag?

  • avatar

    I like it. I see the prod at autoblog but who cares, some more of these once in a while would be a nice touch. You guys are great, wit and humor unmatched in autoblogosphere and just about anywhere I read, keep it up.

    And I’m with “Redbarchetta” you guys going soft would cause me to get a lot more work done in the day. That would suck.

  • avatar
    The_Imperialist

    Love the photo caption’s Family Guy reference!

  • avatar
    Point Given

    I like the industry news and don’t you dare stop dropping on those that deserve it.

  • avatar
    IOtheworldaliving

    Nardelli: “You should have seen that fish–it was THIS big!”

    Wagoner looks skeptical and Mulally looks hungry.

  • avatar

    AM’s bubble is hilarious! Or not! (snort)

  • avatar
    Droid800

    The bailout is dead. Barring any big surprises, GM and Chrysler will declare bankruptcy tomorrow. (the bailout will not be revisited until after the inauguration)

  • avatar
    gamper

    The bailout is dead. Barring any big surprises, GM and Chrysler will declare bankruptcy tomorrow. (the bailout will not be revisited until after the inauguration)

    Wrong. The TARP will be opened up to provide the money. Put away the party hats guys. The excitement from the peanut gallery is actually sickening.

  • avatar
    mtypex

    Wagoner always looks like Bill O’Reilly, except Rick Wagoner is the home of the Total Spin Zone.

  • avatar
    Droid800

    The TARP will not be used. Henry Paulson will not allow it, neither will President Bush.

    The Federal Reserve will also not issue short-term loans to the companies. (Ben Bernanke has refused to allow it)

    They’ve run out of options, whether you support any form of bailout or not.

  • avatar
    Dr. No

    The glib posts aside, this is both sad and very serious. I don’t think most understand how devastating this will be if there isn’t a lifeline extended.

    People will be seriously impacted. It’s not funny.

  • avatar

    The bailout failed, and GM hired a bankruptcy adviser.

    We’re fucked.

    As Majority Leader Reid said, “… I dread looking at Wall Street tomorrow. It’s not going to be a pleasant sight.”

    If I was a betting man, I’d say the Dow dips under 8,000 tomorrow…

  • avatar
    Justin Berkowitz

    For whatever it’s worth, GM hired the bankruptcy adviser over a week ago.

  • avatar

    Coming soon: 2 Great 2 Depressing…

  • avatar
    Droid800

    Oh please. A GM bankruptcy will not result in a second great depression.

    This is what happens during economic downturns; companies on the edge die or are forced to drastically restructure. If worse comes to worse, the government under an Obama administration will provide the financing necessary for a GM bankruptcy.

    This will not push the economy off a cliff.

  • avatar
    Demetri

    Go Senate. It’s your birthday.

    My guess is that something will be worked out. Either someone will come to the rescue or GM and ChryCo will scrape together enough to make it into the next administration. They probably overstated their cash situation in the hearings so that they could scare everyone into giving them a check right away. Anyway, the only acceptable outcome for me is for failed businesses to go bankrupt. If the government cash flow begins, it will never stop. The proposed strings and tough talk from congress are only for show.

  • avatar
    Hippo

    Gettelfinger went all in with a pair of deuces and cut his own nuts off.

    LOL.

  • avatar
    tesla deathwatcher

    I’ll bet George W. does back down and give GM the money. He’s done everything else he could do to screw up the country. He won’t miss this chance.

    I’m with those who think GM and Chrysler should declare bankruptcy and start restructuring. If the government steps in at that point with funding as debtor in possession, that will help.

    I may be wrong, but I’ve never seen the sense behind the idea that people will buy cars from a company being propped up by the government but not from a bankrupt company. GM is no less bankrupt for not having declared it. Their finances show that they are already bankrupt.

    Many buyers have already shifted from GM and Chrysler to Ford. Look for that to increase no matter what happens.

    It’s always sad when you have to cut off life support to a dying company. It’s not something that should be treated lightly or joked about. But it needs to be done. If a company cannot survive on its own, let nature take its course. To do otherwise is futile.

  • avatar

    I’m not a union basher, and I’m not a corporate shill – I enjoy experiencing excellent products, and I hate shoddy workmanship.

    Many years ago, after having spent some time in Europe, I traveled to the US, got inside a GM vehicle, and thought WTF? The handling, the interior, the bodywork, the controls … everything was a grade back, a step down.
    On each subsequent leap back and forth across the Atlantic, I would notice the following:

    In Europe, automakers were also succumbing to the need to skimp. Yet they had competing products from Asia breathing down their necks; and there were more carmakers in Europe, that weren’t part of a conglomerate, which forced the various companies to not downgrade too much.
    Whereas in the US, whenever I returned, the cars were taken down another notch, and then another, and then another.

    And Detroit ignored that US consumers could have my experience, clearly believing shoppers would be patriots, or something. All consumers had to do was to step inside a Japanese car. Toyota and Honda had understood that by adding a couple of hundred dollars to the interior, and providing “free” bells and whistles, as well as a “we’ll fix that” when something went wrong, they would outdo the US cars on perception. While the accountants at GM would go hunting for another 25¢ to cut, anywhere, and institute Nuclear Strength Insults as a model for customer relationships.
    And let’s not even consider what US consumers thought when they got inside a BMW, Mercedes, or Lexus – selling at what GM thought was a fair price for a Cadillac.

    A company is healthy when you’re lusting for its products.
    It’s going to take a hell of a lot more than a bridge loan for anyone to begin lusting for GM’s offerings again – it’s going to take years, and then some.
    And the best outcome is probably that this Mastodon company gets broken up, and that entrepreneurs (some the underlings at GM who have solutions ready) rearrange the plants, engineers, designers and workers into new, functioning and rationally operated units.
    Smaller, leaner and more future-oriented than GM the bean counter became. When a company spends a lot of time fighting legislation that seeks to improve its products, then that company has lost its lustre – and lustre is what makes me plonk down extra cash, above the average going rate in a product category.

    If the Detroit 3 were the only companies making cars, then helping them out might make sense, while still being inordinately costly (and 14 billion is chump change compared to what it’s really going to cost to raise these Leviathans from the bottom of the sea.)

    GM’s game of (self)deception seems to have caught up with them. I think what’s happened is terrible, but it was also apparently inevitable, they were that delusional. (Just follow Lutz’ various pronouncements on hybrid technologies over the past eight years …)
    We can spend a lot of money trying to fix the broken bones of the elephant which walked off a cliff, or we can release a lot of limber cheetahs into the wild, with the same money.

  • avatar

    Steven Chu, the incoming Secretary of Energy, to the New Yorker.

    Take it out of the hands of the lobbyists, and give it to the engineers, then you’ll see improvements.

    He uses refrigerators as an example:
    http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/tny/2008/12/note-to-detroit-consider-the-r.html
    Refrigerators consume a lot of energy; all alone, they account for almost fifteen per cent of the average home’s electricity use. In the mid nineteen-seventies, California—the state Chu now lives in—set about establishing the country’s first refrigerator-efficiency standards. Refrigerator manufacturers, of course, fought them. The standards couldn’t be met, they said, at anything like a price consumers could afford. California imposed the standards anyway, and then what happened, as Chu observed, is that “the manufacturers had to assign the job to the engineers, instead of to the lobbyists.” The following decade, standards were imposed for refrigerators nationwide. Since then, the size of the average American refrigerator has increased by more than ten per cent, while the price, in inflation-adjusted dollars, has been cut in half. Meanwhile, energy use has dropped by two-thirds.

    The transition to more efficient fridges, Chu pointed out, has saved the equivalent of all the energy generated in the United States by wind turbines and solar cells. “I cannot impress upon you how important energy efficiency is,” he said.

    GM spent more time and resources lobbying against change, than they did on changing their technology in a direction consumers would find attractive. QED.

  • avatar
    a.non

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/3102376532/

    Ladies and Gentlemen, I propose a contest.

  • avatar
    Robert Frankfurter

    @Robert Farago!

    Please dont even consider a second becoming a iota softer -right now we need a true man with your clever wit (I wonder what you have studied – only extremely well educated folks who travelled are able of that style writing, and I’m a journalist myself), elegance and clearness.

    There are probably many alternatives to the D3 – but only one TTAC.
    You have actually no competitor in your very niche – actually your the only Farago
    – dont leave that league – please

  • avatar
    TaurusGT500

    ALAN: (mumbling to self) ….ok …don’t smirk ..don’t smirk .. don’t smirk.

    BOBBY: WHAAAAT! Yous guys ain’t gonna not welch on the deal is you? Fugeddaboutit! We’re moving Chrysler to Ill-i-noyce …. when yous buy a pol there he stays bought!

    RICKY: Hmmm ….ok …so I shorted 10 million shares of GM. The Gulfstream is gassed. These tools are gonna have me on South Beach by New Years. I LOVE it when a plan comes together.

  • avatar
    TaurusGT500

    BOBBY: (whining) C’mon guys… At least give me a billion and everyone gets a free Viper.

    RICKY: Hmmm …(mumbling) suckup …. you promised me the Viper.

    ALAN: …Viper! Yeah right, what a pig. Just sign the friggin’ bill and you all get a Ford GT and season tickets to the Lions. ….if you give us enough you don’t have to take the Lions tickets.

  • avatar

    Guy between Nardelli & Wagoner, thinking:

    “WTF, management forced to drive our crappy cars cross-country? Gonna give my resume a look tonight. Linked-In, here I come.”

  • avatar

    I read this site solely for its brutality. The Bailout series has been very interesting, though I do miss the car reviews (which I think have gone soft – everything gets 3-4 stars).

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