Well, dear worst-reader, so much for jokesters and hamsters. As I tried to say here, it would be fun if car makers–especially those who lie to us about emissions–had a sense of humour. But then again, how can one have a sense of humour when you know that society can do nothing to you for your crimes? Or maybe that’s a reason to have a sense of humour? Nomatter. This worst-post is just a follow-up to my post about VW, the lie of emissions and what probably should be my last diesel powered car. And as I also worst-said, I ordered what should be my last diesel last spring, even though I was stunted by the fact that during the car shopping faze, I could have chosen a gasoline (otto motor) powered car. In my confusion I was kinda happy to go ‘head and take one last diesel. Remember, nature is my servant, and there is something über about a 3.0ltr, six cylinder, 240hp, 460 torque motor in a car built on an aluminium chassis with full-time all-wheel drive (quattro). With that in mind, and after driving around in my new Audi, it was time for her first fill-up. And what do I see when I open that little hatch. That’s right, another frickin’ hatch. As you can see in the pic above, I have celebrated too soon regarding my lust for turning nature into my bitch. This new Audi is indeed not the nature trashing beast that my previous Audi was. Yeah, baby. My last Audi (AllRoad)–one of Audi’s worst cars, btw–had only one orifice for filling it’s diesel lust. That single orifice is the reason that VW will pay so few taxes in the coming years. What? What does lying about emissions and orifices have to do with taxes? Well, I’m glad you asked. Recalling cars has become part of the gluttonous way multi-nationals have to run their businesses. Ralf Nader refers to it as recycled tax money. For you see, all these multi-nationals have to do is claim to pay fines and fees whereby they simply make a few changes on their income statements that reflect less revenues and hence fewer profits for whatever given year. Since taxes are rendered based on revenues and profits, they pay less tax. (Short pause. Breath.) I know. I know. I’m trivialising something that is much more complex. But that’s the thing about being worst-writer. I not only can dish out the bullshit but I can cut through it just the same. Oh well. I’m off subject, as usual. Check out the pic above, dear worst-reader. It’s my first tank fill on my new Audi A5. And what do I find? That’s right. There it is. There’s the other orifice that VW hopes to retrofit all of those diesel powered cars that it illegally sold by lying to customers about emissions. All new VW (and Audi) diesels have this extra orifice. They are conveniently labeled “AdBlue”. In this orifice goes a special chemical, about eight gallons of it. Gee, I wonder what PR/Advert company earned millions on figuring out that spiffy name? The technical acronym for this stuff is DEF, which stands for diesel exhaust fluid. But the real world term for it is piss. That’s right dear worst-reader. The main chemical in DEF, which is mixed with diesel exhaust prior to entering the catalytic converter, is urea. The main substance in urea is nitrogen and all mammals produce it in their urine. Urea reduces the emission of nitrogen dioxide in diesel exhaust–which is pretty hazardous stuff. Are we thankful for what these engineers can come up with in our time of need? Do/Can we appreciate their concern about our health and welfare? I mean. Why the hell couldn’t they just make it so that we could piss in our cars? I mean. Seriously. Does profit have to be made on everything? I mean. That’s what having another orifice where something manufactured has to go into is all about. Or? I guess the powers-that-be are so angry that they can’t charge humanity for breathing air means that they then feel no remorse when resorting to the most silly forms of profiteering that coincides with lying about emissions. Indeed. But before you whip out your slick-willy and take gentle aim at that little orifice, heed this: human urine only has between 2-4% urea. DEF has something like 30%. Wow. We pissers can’t get a break. Rant on. -tommi
In the wake of all of today’s economic chaos and a world governed as though it was a (bad-managed) corporation, people believed that diesel motors were “clean”? On that note. Did you know that Mercedes uses urine in their diesels to keep them clean? Gee. Anyone want to buy some south Florida real-estate from these German mangers? Of course, like most other things in life, people consuming to survive don’t really question things much. But they do notice that fancy Euro cars are powerful, get great mileage and, where applicable, appeal to everyman’s inner national socialist. Except me. I’ve been driving German diesels for the last fifteen years. I hate them. The motors, although very powerful, are as boring as a dog in a coma. I drive them because, basically, well, I live in Germany. I live in the great collective. I have no choice. And keep in mind, the only way Germans can get VW, Audi, Mercedes, BMW on the autobahn is via some very serious scheming. Ironically the scheming takes place right before everyones nose. And Germans never question anything that their systems does. At least not these days they don’t. Nomatter. German scheming is between the tax-man, i.e. government and the new & improved Euro aristocrats, i.e. corporate managers. This scheme is what puts 60% of all those fancy German made cars on the autobahn. No one in Germany can afford to actually outright purchase one these cars anymore. In fact, they are so stupid-expensive that one can’t even take a loan out to buy one. No normal earning person anyway. But it doesn’t stop there. These cars are not only outrageously priced but they are outrageously taxed. And get this. The majority of these cars, up-to-now are diesel powered. I say up-to-now because I just ordered what will hopefully be my last diesel. And during the boring corporate enabled ordering process (which was six months ago), I noticed one thing that was odd. Cars were being offered for lease with gasoline motors. It was the first time in all these years that I was able to lease a gasoline powered car. I thought that odd at the time and, obviously, I didn’t take advantage of it and I’ve gotten so accustomed to diesel that I stayed with convention. But with this VW scandal all over the place, my worst-mind is starting to make sense of what’s really going on here. Europe, so famous for its fancy diesel cars, is probably in the processes of finally waking up to reality. Diesel cars have never been clean. With that in mind, I guess I’m a bit sad that I didn’t order a gasoline powered car. Then again, due to corporate management, due to my corporate savvy, the level of cars that I’m able to choose from is about to go up a notch or three. Porsche Cayenne anyone? Or maybe not. Rant on. -tommi
TPP is on its way to becoming law–and no one knows exactly what it’s about. VW admitted to lying about exhaust emissions of its wildly popular TDI cars. Air France execs get their shirts ripped off because, well, they are in the process of ripping off their workers. Yeah, baby. Another day, another small fry put in his place. And so. With that in mind. Let’s have a worst-writer look at what’y really going on here.
The whole thing is mega bullshit. The fact that people are just now waking up to the realities of diesel motors is proof enough that we all live in a melting pot of stupidity. There is a whole story as to why Europe (yes, Europe!) even has diesel in the first place. In short, my worst-guess is that Europeans had to make a choice (insert # years) ago. As usual, moronic politicians and greedy aristocratic business leaders chose diesel because the motors are cheaper to make and maintain and diesel fuel is cheaper than gasoline. But this scandal is double sided. Of course there’s the emissions issue. But. Again. What fool ever believed that diesel is clean? The more important issue is that Euro car makers lead by VW have simply over extended themselves. No manager at VW was EVER prepared for the consequences of where the world economy is today. Seriously. Not one German manager ever saw the reality of the US being a gasoline car-nation either. Not one German manager ever saw the devastating effect of misappropriation in the world’s largest growth-economy: China. And so. The Americas are forcing Germany’s hand because, well, the lie of the TDI is just too good to pass up–and America will have none of that. Also. China can no longer afford to buy German cars. So what’s left for “brilliant” German (European) managers? Once again the easy way out. Fire your workers–because you can’t manage a company.
It’s kinda ironic that VW might be facing huge lawsuits and legal fees regarding it’s #dieselgate scandal right at the moment that a trade agreement, once ratified, might actually prevent one nation from suing a multinational corporation. But so rolls the dice, eh, Germany. Ever since I first heard of TPP I knew that it would go through. I’ve seen multiple protests in Europe about it (where it’s called TTiP) but whenever I confronted those protestors with reality, they just shrugged me off. The fact is, TPP has to go through in order to save us from ourselves. You must keep in mind, dear worst-reader, that multinational corporations are run by the very same “educated” people that have put the world in the place it is in now. You can’t stop these people from trying to save their own asses. Well, I guess you can. But the consequences will be worse if you do.
I love this. Ripping off the shirts of corporate execs. What a great idear! In fact, I love the way the French protest. Will never forget that time I was in Paris and suddenly the world stopped as a huge umpteen mile long convoy of tractors made its way through the city. The tractors were hauling apples. They eventually dumped a few thousand tons of apples all over the place. And that’s not all the French dump. I remember reading a few years later, although I wasn’t here, that pig farmers dumped a bunch of pigs in front of the parliament building. Now that’s what I call protest. But before I get all icky emotional regarding my love for French people, let me just say this about the fucking airline industry. Hey! Airline industry. Go fuck yourselves. I have been flying across the atlantic at least a few times a year, every year, for twenty-five years. And you know what I have from all this “travel”? A fucking headache. And you know what else I have? Nothing. That is, in twenty-five years not one thing has changed in flying. Sure. There are newer planes and some even have a few more screens to look at. But the seats are the same–if not smaller and tighter. The flight attendants are the same–if not uglier and older (especially on US carriers). And to top it off. I would like to get a flight to the US this xmas. But the problem is, there are only flights available for prices that are ridiculous. So put this together, dear worst-reader. Air France is going to cut its work force because it can’t sell me a decent priced ticket to the US for xmas? Yeah. Go fuck yourself airlines!
Rant on. -tommi
Links that motivated this post:
There is a scene in the satirical movie “Schtonk” where it’s said that Adolf Hitler claimed in his diaries that he invented the Käfer. You know, that cute little German car known as the beetle or bug–not the new plastic krapp copy they’ve got now. And not only did he invent the original bug, but he also invented the company that would make the car: Volkswagen. The people’s car. Fittingly, someone adds later in the film: “And it’s still on the road”–Und der fährt immer noch. The implication is that the car was built so well that it will drive forever. I guess. Ha. Ha. Ha.
Schtonk! is based on a true story. It is about a bunch of gaudy, slimy, yellow journalists who think they have found the Hitler Diaries. As is the case in the true story, it’s all nothing more than a grand hoax. But that hoax had a bit more to it than what we see in the film. One of the reasons Stern magazine was so easily manipulated into this hoax was the fact that Germans were starving for some sort of inner reconciliation regarding their recent past. In the movie the top manager of the magazine that was financing the acquisition of the diaries even says, after hearing the first words that Hitler (supposedly) wrote: “We’ll have to re-write German history, this is sensational, this means that he (Hitler) was a person like you and me.” Indeed. A privileged corporatist claims that a past can be changed as long as a new future can be arranged. Or something like that.
The gaudy, slimy, yellow journalists in Schtonk! are no different than the gaudy, slimy, yellow managers that run corporations today. For it is true, dear worst-reader, that the only way to get by in a world where monopolies and oligarchies and plutocrats rule everything is by hoaxing and manipulating and cheating–and arranging new futures. This is the true face of unabashed, predatory capitalism that is drowning us all. And not just drowning all of us minions. Some of the corporations have to drown, too. But only some.
What is the difference between a car made in Germany or a car made in the US? Sure, there are quality differences, maybe even one will last a bit longer than the other. But all in all, they are the same. So how then do you make money if there is nothing to differentiate your product from the next product? Or what do you do if there is no more money out there to buy products? Indeed. You arrange things. In the end, it’s all just corporate bullshit–that has been arranged. With that in mind…
Diesel vs gas = gas wins (in the US)
According to one of the articles I read, 20% of all diesel passenger cars sold in the US are made by VW. That’s fucking huge. Reason? Diesel cars get great mileage–and that whole obsession-thing America has with Germans doesn’t hurt either. Can you say Fahrvergnügen? On the other hand, gas mileage is kinda important to Americans these days, even though Americans don’t really know anything about gas. They most certainly can’t understand why the stuff is such a huge determining factor in their living standard. Seriously. They don’t get it. The wars, empire, failed Texas oilmen elected (twice) to the land’s highest office. Nor can Americans understand that all the money they pay for gasoline, thereby deminishing living standards, goes into the coffers of a few people. That means there are a few gas company execs out there ranting and raving about slimy Europeans encroaching on their turf. And who do the gas companies collude with? Again. A significant # of diesel passenger cars on US roads are made by Europeans. Did no one tell those Europeans that America is gasoline? Diesel is European. And you know what Americans think of the French, right? Freedom fries, baby!
Supply vs demand = supply loses.
They call them recessions and not depressions because the latter is so definitive. They also use the word recession because inherent in the word is the idear of recovery. The western world and the concept of a living standard that permeates it has yet to deal with the fact that there is no difference between depression and recession if there is no recovery. The whole point of Too Big To Fail and bailouts is that corporations don’t have to actually answer to the market. Instead they keep on supplying, i.e. manufacturing, producing, etc., as though nothing has happened. The problem is, there is no such thing as the market. There’s only “growth” which feeds stock prices and open lines of credit. With that in mind, my guess is that VW has simply over-produced. Since there is no recovery insight from this recession (depression) something has to be done with all those unsold cars. But it can’t come out that America’s favourite diesel motor can’t be sold on account there’s no money to buy them. What would Ford or Chrysler say about why their cars are not being bought either? Oh, yeah. They’re all in the same boat.
When multinationals get into trouble this is what they do. They pretend something went wrong. They claim foul from government regulation or foul against a competitor. Or they get government regulators to claim foul against them. They make crony politicians do them favours. Some even hire universities (via grants) to do a study about, gee, I don’t know, …emissions. Next there might even be a study about tire pressures. Are tire manufacturers in dire straits?
Just look at GM’s recent debacle. Didn’t Toyota recently recall a shit load of cars? Does any of this sound familiar? These companies are allowed to get away with what ever they want. They simply push the burden of being unmanageable elsewhere. It’s the slimy, gaudy, yellow thing to do. They arrange (their) futures.
Rant on. -Tommi
Links that motivated this post:
German car consortium is buying Nokia’s Mapping technology for three billion dollars. Wow. Amazing. Unbelievable. Now. Is it me? Am I missing something here, dear worst-reader? Why the F are Germans wasting their money on this krapp? Oh well. Even though they make stuff real well, it doesn’t mean that they can innovate. Or is buying a failed company’s left-overs what Germans consider innovation? Yeah, right. §As a long time Audi consumer (my fifth Audi should arrive in September), I can say this about German cars: they are not engineered, they are über-engineered. Obviously German cars are made well. Their TDI motors are fantastic–if you like diesel motors–which I do not. (Note: motor choice in Germany, like everything else in Germany, is a government centralised tax-revenue stream.) Drive-train and suspension on German cars is also pretty good. And then there’s the design of German cars. Ok. Say what you will about z’ Germans–all one needs to do is look at how they dress, the way they build houses, the shape of their forks and knives, etc. But have you had a look at their SUVs? The Mercedes M-series is sad to look at. The Golf is still so weird that I can’t tell the difference between one made today and one made in nineteen-eighty-two (or so). And then there’s BMW’s GT series. I mean, come on! That car looks like the result of sending a piece of Play-do and a Lego block through Seth Brundle’s teleportation machine. And then there’s one other thing about German cars that perturbs me to no end. In fact, I even hate this about the 2013 Ford Fusion that we bought my mother last year. Car makers just can’t seem to get it together when it comes to how they design cockpits, including that whole “ergonomics” bullshit. Sure. The Germans clog the whole driver seat with so many nobs and switches and screens and dials that any fantasising man could think he’s a pilot to Mars–instead of just another Automaton schmuck on his way to cubicle hell. In fact, my Audi is so full of ergonomic bullshit that I don’t even use it. Seriously. I have that whole built-in multi-media system in the car. It costs something like three-quadrillion (ok, thousand) Euros. It has a multi-disc CD player, it has various input slots for SDs, Micro-SDs, USB, etc. And in the glove compartment it has an interface that is supposed to enable the connection of an iPhone. Of course, in order to connect the iPhone I had to purchase the cable extra. The cable alone costs something like forty Euros–and you can only get it from the dealer. (Btw, when I got Audi #4 I couldn’t use the same cable from Audi #3. That’s right. Had to buy another one.) And get this. You know what I do with my multi-media connecting cable and iPhone? I use it to charge the damn phone. For the life of me! The über-engineered cockpit system that Germans put into that car is so complex and old-school, that I gave up on using it years ago. (It is another story of sorts having to do with leasing cars in Germany that is the reason I get this krapp in the first place.) It is the most expensive, extensive, fancy piece of uselss shit that I’ve ever purchased–and it’s not worth my time to figure out how to use. Which brings me to the news of the day. §You would think that Germans would/could figure out that maybe there is a time when simplicity could replenish the cost of complexity. In other words, why not leave the tech stuff to tech-guys. Stop making all this fancy old-school ergonomics in cars and thereby waste time and effort (on your part) and just buy-in to those who know how to do it. For example, the new system that’s being offered by Apple. I think Android has one in the works as well. All one then needs to do is build the connection interface into the car and let the smartphone handle everything else. You can still build little computer monitors in the cars, you can still build a few fancy nobs and dials, but the rest of technology–especially when it comes to navigation and mapping–SERIOUSLY–leave that up to those who know how to do it–as opposed to old-school über-engineers who don’t know their rocket cockpit fantasies from Autobahn madness. With that in mind. What German car makers really shouldn’t be doing is buying old-school navigation system from companies that deserve to fail. Yeah. If only they’d listen to worst-writer. §Rant on. -t
Links that motivated this post: