We Get Introspective About Our TWATs

Derek Kreindler
by Derek Kreindler
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we get introspective about our twats

The latest TWATs thread/shortlist update saw our commenters raise some valid and insightful questions about the awards process. I’ll try and tackle some of them below.

1) How do we know that the nominations are based on real world experience and not just bias/vendettas?

Short answer: You don’t.

Long answer: I moderate the comments every day and by now I am aware of all of the online personae that post here day in, day out. I can only take these at face value, but I am confident in believing that none of you have any reason to lie about something as inconsequential as whether not you’ve really driven a Toyota Matrix. Similarly, I know where most of your biases lie and when you are just exhibiting an acute case of fanboyism. So far, the responses have been well reasoned, thoughtful and free of invective. A few choices on the shortlist stand out as being the first to get cut, but even then, compelling arguments have been made for them.

2) Pretty much all new cars are good today. If these are the worst cars on the market, we can’t be doing that badly.

It’s true, compared to 2008, when the TWATs were last run, the field of new cars on sale is exponentially better in every possible category. That doesn’t mean there are bad cars, or cars that don’t live up to the hype, or cars that are still truly bad (look hard, they’re out there). If you want milquetoast reviews that make excuses for the general goodness of new cars, you may need to go elsewhere for that.

3) Why bother?

Because it’s fun. Lighten up.

Derek Kreindler
Derek Kreindler

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  • Domestic Hearse Domestic Hearse on Nov 19, 2012

    "Oh, oh!" she said, waving her arm so wildly she nearly came out of her seat. "Yes, what is it?" asked the teacher. "Will there be multiple choice on the test?" the student asked. "There might be," the teacher said with a wry smile. "Wait!" "Yes..." "Will there be multiple choice on the test?" "That's certainly possible." "Wait!" ____ You all remember that kid in class, right? So annoying. Just had to ask every obvious question. Couldn't operate a pencil without knowing all the exact steps and rules and grading criteria first. Don't be that student on this site, please. You want to nominate a TWAT, great. Have at it. Bring it on. But please -- no more asking for the rules or guidelines of what makes a nomination TWAT-worthy. Quit trying to make this a rational, scientific exercise. It's not. Instead, think this way: Am I being truthful? If so, give us an anecdote. Begin thusly: There was this one time.... And proceed to tell us a story which may, or may not, be so terribly truthful as to be boring. Or, Am I being entertaining? If so, point fingers and have fun at the expense of the TWAT. Make the reader smile. Or cringe. Or nod in agreement. Begin thusly: This car is so freaking ugly that.... And proceed to make comparison/contrasts with your mother in law. Or TTAC's Tame Racing Driver. Just don't be boring. Or, Are you furthering a personal agenda? If so, do so proudly and without trying to conceal your intentions behind reason or science or fact. Begin thusly: I hate this car so bad that.... And let the TWAT have it. Really bang away on it for us. Just don't be boring. Or pedantic. Or lazy. Or argumentative. Or combative. This whole exercise is called a TWAT. That, right there, is a clue to stop taking it so dang seriously. So put down your hands. Because this assignment is mostly essay, and there are no rules, other than to stop trying to make so Dang. Many. Rules.

    • See 1 previous
    • Victor Victor on Nov 19, 2012


  • Domestic Hearse Domestic Hearse on Nov 20, 2012

    imag, Thanks for the all-or-nothing analysis of TTAC's content. TTAC is, 90% of the time, still a place for incisive commentary about cars and the auto industry, I'd argue. It has evolved somewhat from Farago's original vision, I'd concede. It has broadened and softened somewhat, which is a good thing. More inclusive. More moderate. Even-handed. But TTAC is still a source of serious material and discussion. So every once in awhile, it's good to blow off steam. To let one's hair down. To have a shot and head to the dance floor, lack of rhythm be damned. The TWAT nominations are the blog equivalent of tequila and the Macarena at your cousin's wedding. So pick a car, troll away. Be silly. Be furious. Be absurd. Be sarcastic. Just be something, other than condemning the site for attempting to have a little fun just this once.

    • Imag Imag on Nov 20, 2012

      This wasn't a simple one-off poll with a bunch of storytelling on a Friday afternoon. It was an multi-post effort to compile a list of the worst vehicles of the year, which, if TTAC pretends to have any journalistic integrity, is actually a pretty serious accusation for automakers and the people who engineer and build those vehicles. And I didn't see a lot of the great lighthearted storytelling you seem to be after; I saw a fair amount of aimless uneducated bitching about mostly good automobiles. That's not fun or new; it's a comment thread on Autoblog. Anyway, if you enjoy it, have at it.

  • MaintenanceCosts So there is no Sonata trim without some type of Theta engine.It seems like they've been doing a bit better when attached to a hybrid system, so that's probably the one to get, but they're going to have to go several years without further engine troubles before I'd trust a H/K ICE product again.
  • Lou_BC Full sized sort of autonomous RC's. Cute.
  • Art_Vandelay Autonomous capabilities are being deployed (or planned anyway) in multiple combat vehicles. Should be fun from my perspective
  • Drew8MR Interior is trivial now you can get repro everything in various levels of quality. Getting the top sorted will be a couple grand, but I'd drive it as it. I drove a $1500 67 GTO convertible for 20 years, not every old car needs to be like new.
  • John Not everyone pays that much for power. Mine is 10 cents per kw…..