Saturday, January 24, 2009

How I Broke Circuit City

The 100-day Report ...

Non-car affairs of The Car Czar
This week signaled the end of stupidity for the U. S. of A. We put a smart president in office (hey ... what up, boss ... say, Isabel Toledo looks great on Michelle) and began the pleasant task of liquidating the nation's one-time largest purveyor of extended warranties, Circuit City.

As your un-humble Car Czar I would like to take credit where credit is due for the fall of this evil consumer electronics empire.

Once upon a time back in the 80s you had to go into an electronics superstore to buy, say, a good stereo or a television. Let's say you knew exactly what you wanted (we'll leave the poor schmucks who wandered in not knowing exactly what they wanted out of this -- that's blogstuff all to itself), located it on a store display, and then attempted to buy it.

You would then hook up with some greasy punk with a nametag who would try his best to spend the next 20 minutes outlining the many ways the bargain Sony, Panasonic, or Onkyo you were about to buy would break within a year, necessitating an extended warranty that cost a third of the cost of whatever you were buying.

Through the Michael J. Fox 80s and into the Alex Kingston 90s, after foolishly wasting several aggregate hours arguing with these sleazebags, yours truly finally wised up and started saying, "Well I don't want it if it's gonna break in a year," and began walking out of these stores.

I wasn't even shopping in most cases. This was before the web, so what else was there to do on weekends?

By the 1995, after performing hundreds of such walkouts across the nation, I was able to simply decline the extended warranty and ring-out within 30 seconds. I clearly had these gargantuan dens of duplicity on the ropes.

By last year it was clear that my decade-long grassroots efforts had successfully reduced most big-box electronics retailers to trying to sell $100 gold-plated HDMI cables to make their daily bread.

But I wasn't done yet.

I commenced walking into these stores during every spare Saturday afternoon available. Once at the epicenter of customer activity I would then loudly ask (you know, so that everybody in the store could hear), "Hey, where do you keep the $20 Philips or GE HDMI cables that are just as good as the $100 Monster HDMI cables?"

Thanks to word-of-mouth and the internet, the balance of consumerdom quickly caught on, and the rest is history.

I'm proud to say that in today's Circuit City-less world you can purchase your electronics over the web from Vern's of Vermont (which operates out of a boarded-up storefront in Brooklyn for tax and anonymity purposes), give-out a vanity telephone-number-to-nowhere from Vonage, let Sa-iid or Blachem call the bogus number over and over, trying to get you on the line "to verify your shipping information" (but really to try to sell you an extended warranty or a six-dollar package of accessories for just $79), let 'em continue to call you over and over because they ain't that bright or they'd be working for NASA, let 'em give up and ship you the bargain equipment without the add-ons, find out your "Brand NEW USA" Nintendo Wii is an open-box gray-market return when it arrives, and start up a dispute with PayPal.

Life is good.

Breaking News: My Boss Tells Republicans to [Quit Listening] to Limbaugh" and I Agree.

Hmm ... I agree with my boss. Am I some kind of lackey? I don’t think so. (Why? Well, because I don’t think so. It doesn’t mean I’m not. Welcome to the Obama Era, where unexamined certainty is out, mostly).

Look, folks: Rush Limbaugh is a funny, smart guy.

I once nearly wrecked my car while listening to his Bill Clinton impression on my local Bitter White Underemployed Male Radio station, BWUM. Rush has got Bubba down.

He’s so smart that he’s effortlessly built up a legion of listeners who are aggregately smart enough to hang with dairy cows in parsing world affairs by simply making these social sloths feel smart and righteous about living isolated lives of meager success and petty jealousy.

This Mr. Limbaugh has united a strain of American citizen that we used to call "dunderheads" and gotten its population to proudly refer to itself as "dittoheads."

Dittoheads are people who don’t get out much and largely absorb world news and opinion they’re unable or too lazy to get for themselves through Limbaugh’s omni-present radio voice: a voice that tells them, in code language, that the welfare mommas in the U. S. of A. are on a never-ending quest to steal their rightful life's wealth through entitlements propagated by their political enablers, the ultra-rich, ultra-socialist liberal left ... who symbiotically use this country’s unfortunates to gain power at the voting booth.

Mr. Limbaugh has made a career characterizing the liberal elite (as well he should) as charlatans pretending to be on the side of the working class for political purposes while living it up off-camera on motorboats made of nickel-accented mahogany ... yet this tubby pink one-time doctor-shopping Oxycontin somehow-escaped-being-a-convicted-felon meanwhile can be spotted in Cigar Aficionado and other Tubby Pink White Guy magazines posing with the same tubby pink white guys he rails about on his radio program.

On the pages of these good-living magazines Limbaugh can be seen standing, smoking cigars, and punching-out the waistband on his resort shorts to the point where the billowy pantlegs stand forth from his fat-obscured kneecaps as to suggest a woman’s dress -- along with a chorus line of similarly overindulged shorts-into-dresses-making corpulent rich dandies.

He can furthermore be seen in color on the pages of these magazines devouring great steaks among the liberal and conservative elite both, expensive wine chaliced nearby should the beef get stuck going down his overburdened pork hole.

Is there an American today whose physical presence screams more of self-absorbed wretched excess than Mr. Limbaugh?

Is there an American today whose silken, down-to-earth verbal pose is more successful at making the incurious dolts in the U. S. of A. feel well informed and self righteous?

Is there an American today who is more divisive and destructive?


I, your un-humble Car Czar, have just this moment gotten Barackberried by the Big Guy (without his knowledge) with the office enforcer, Emanual, copied.

The Big O, without his knowledge, says to knock it off ... that the Rush Limbaugh smear I’m now typing is no more helpful to unifying this great nation than all these long decades of broadcast Dittohead garbage.

(Bush-era real-time data-tapping technology makes it possible for the O Administration to watch this blog as I type it. What up, boss. Malia and Sasha look great as the Ty dolls that aren’t based on them).

OK. O talks, I listen. But seriously, folks. Will a guy like Rush Limbaugh ever have a job if he’s not riling-up ignorant folks on AM radio regardless of the truly transformational president in the White House? I mean, hasn’t anyone noticed that the dude can only bag diet and hair growth pill ads on his program nowadays?

Whoa. There’s the doorbell. Gotta go.

I'm not done yet. Next week: Why BMW's sequential shift sequence is backward and their Steptronic "paddleshifters" are just plain silly (and what I'm going to do about it).


  1. I don't really get much of a chance to listen to Rush, 1. Because he's on during the part of the day when I"m supposed to be working, as a programmer. Coding away or calling co-workers is what I do all day. So listening to talk radio would be distracting. I work from home 2 to 3 days a week so I don't drive to work that much but when I do I usually ride my motorcycle to work and it has no radio, it would be distracting when I need to focus on the task at hand. When I'm on the phone, in meetings with co-workers and customers, talk radio would be distracting. I'm not saying that I don't agree with Rush, I do on many things but I can form my own opinions of politicians and current events without his help. I did go to college and I did have to take the prerequisite of core liberal arts classes so I feel that I'm able to dissect the news and political events going on around me to form my opinions. You know what's worse than Rush and the dittoheads? It's the majority of the US population and probably the world population that cannot form their own opinions and they end up voting on the best looking or the "Coolest Perceived" politician and we end up with inept politicians making unsound economic and social policies that do more harm than good and we all suffer for our collective ignorance because of it.

  2. Agreed, Anon-1. There are certainly politicians who want to make a difference, but the profession itself always presents a package/perception to the public.

    There will always be Limbaughs and Frankens to blow the world out of proportion for us, but that doesn't mean we have to treat them any more seriously than the partisan entertainers they are.


  3. It doesn't matter if Rush is right or wrong. The political system in this country will ruin what ever is tried. We have a president that never answered any question, just that he stood for change. Yet when he gets into office, he surrounds himself with the Good ol Liberals. We almost ended up with John Kennedy's daughter just because she was a Kennedy, she never did anything to deserve the post they wanted to give her. They put a man in as Secratary of Treasury, that said he just forgot to pay his taxes for 4 years. How is that just an honest mistake.

    This administration is already a joke. I wanted to give him 100 days, but it is really starting out bad.

    Meet the new Boss, same as the old Boss.

  4. Anon. 2: I’ve got high hopes for O, but I’m not as idealistic as some about the “change” thing. Everyone at this level comes with conflicts of interest and compromises, and I don’t think this office could function packed with a clean-sheet cabinet and ideas unless we could also clean-sheet the system ... as in no lobbyists, period (for starters).

    I voted for O because I see an expansive, tough, pragmatic intellect in him. Watching him effortlessly steamroll the old guard during the election confirmed (for me) his ability to translate that in one of the more hostile election environments in our history.

    For now I will continue to delude myself into believing he’s got the wisdom and sharp elbows necessary to be an effective centrist. He is not the straw-man “Messiah” set-up by the extreme right when they knew their battle was lost, and that false premise will continue to dog the folks who subscribe to it. (I know, CNN, Fox, et. al. spent the entire Inauguration sticking their cameras in the faces of teary-eyed disciples fresh off the bus from Alabama ... but that’s just the fringe element who helped him over the top ... according to me ;)).

    Agreed on Caroline Kennedy ... a political lightweight, and not the first of that ilk to try to slide into office by filling a vacant seat.


  5. You're a gnikcuf toidi.

  6. Hey, Joey: Two cogent posts this week before the first "Internet Person" shows up. Not a bad average. Evah a ecin yad.