Friday’s Headlines: The Auto Show is the Absolute Worst Edition

truck and kid

We spent yesterday at the annual auto show at the Javits Center, which is why we were in such a bad mood yesterday.

In just a few hours, we exposed ourselves to the full catastrophe of auto eroticism: a new GMC pickup truck whose front hood was higher than a 10-year-old (“I swear I never saw a pedestrian, officer!”), a Dodge Charger marketed for its “sinister looks,” a Subaru greenwash partnership with the National Park Foundation that urges park visitors to “leave no trace” even as they leave emissions everywhere, endless loops of car commercials featuring blissful speeding drivers and nary a pedestrian or traffic jam in sight, and hundreds of parents passing along the car culture to yet another generation as they pose their kids in front of the latest sleek killing machines.

Check out a few pictures below, but first, the news:

  • The Daily News’s Clayton Guse had a nifty exclusive: Apparently, the repairs to the L train — which were expected to be undertaken over the next 18 months of nights-and-weekends work — is already half done. Nonetheless, the Post predicts “chaos” this weekend as the work that is halfway done finally begins. At amNY, the term was “high alert.” NY1 offered a “survival” guide.
  • We definitely enjoyed Amy Chester’s op-ed in the Daily News yesterday. It called not only for the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway portion under Brooklyn Heights to be torn down, but for the city to ensure equity for other highway-riven neighborhoods.
  • The MTA is going to look at all that overtime it’s been paying out. Um, isn’t that supposed to happen when the supervisor approves the overtime? (NY Post)
  • The state is finally kicking in some money for bike and pedestrian improvements — and we don’t like to look a gift Cuomo in the mouth, but wouldn’t the money be better spent on high-crash corridors rather than on Roosevelt and Randalls islands? (Crain’s)
  • Activists are calling for a fully electric city fleet by 2040. (amNY)
  • The delivery industry is pushing back on a city plan to try to tighten — just a teensy-weensy bit — rules about double-parking by the likes of UPS, FedEx, Fresh Direct and all them other truckers. (WSJ)

And now, as promised, a few photos from the auto show:

Why would a car need "sinister looks"?
Why would a car need “sinister looks”?


Car culture is so strong that even kids who can barely walk are taught to revere the auto.
Car culture is so strong that even kids who can barely walk are taught to revere the auto.


Here's how little of a kid you can see from the seat of a GMC Denali.
Here’s how little of a kid you can see from the seat of a GMC Denali.


Here's how we pass along the car culture.
Here’s how we pass along the car culture.
  • Joe R.

    Even for a car enthusiast like my brother, the auto show offers slim pickings. We’re living in a world of automotive ugliness and mediocrity. I don’t see how people can get excited about huge, ugly shits like that Denali. The auto industry is about as retrenched as any, still living in the past with huge internal combustion engines, and obsessed with meaningless performance numbers like 0 to 60 times. If there was ever any industry and product that deserved to die, this is it.

  • Larry Littlefield

    People have forgotten why this happened.

    Instead of imposing a higher gas tax and using the money for infrastructure, the U.S. sought to reduce dependence on foreign oil through regulations that “cost nothing.” After all, Jimmy Carter. So fuel economy standards were imposed on passenger cars.

    With an exception for “light trucks,” since those were needed by those working in construction, farming, etc.

    Thus, the only way you could get a massive car was to buy a “truck.” A $60,000 luxury truck with leather seats.

    Thus setting off this macho fad. What millennial woman is going to want to have sex with a divorced Baby Boomer in a Buick Park Avenue? So here I am, on the way to becoming an old man and fine with it, and they aren’t even making old man cars anymore! The 60s generation ruined everything.

    They should have stuck with this.

  • Emmily_Litella

    When I am outdoors, hardly five minutes go by without being annoyed by a car with modified exhaust revving past. Reckless drivers seem to have no problem attracting attention to themselves. That’s the point, of course, since they know that whatever laws restrict the use of loud exhausts are not enforced. It might be my middle aged crankiness setting in, but I think there has been a vast increase in the percentage of these things on both cars and motorcycles.

  • Lisa Orman

    My heart hurts a little thinking of you spending the day at the Auto Show. You are a brave man.

  • 1ifbyrain2ifbytrain

    “a fully electric city fleet by 2040” “jaunting”—personal teleportation—has so upset the social and economic balance that the Inner Planets are at war with the Outer Satellites.

  • steely

    Ah, the annual renewal of our longstanding love affair with the automobile. Back in 2008, that love affair came unglued, if just for a moment

  • Joe R.

    Also, trucks weren’t subject to any emissions standards until recently, so they were cheaper to make. Since they sold for the same or more than cars, the profit margin was higher.

    I’m pretty sure the entire truck loophole was intentional as well. The lawmakers couldn’t have been this dumb not to see what was going to happen. When it did in the early 90s, they should have nipped it in the bud by including light trucks in the CAFE numbers and/or restricting the numbers which could be produced annually.

  • emjayay

    That’s just not true.

  • William Lawson

    Friend of mine took her kids to this and was posting the photos on Facebook. I thought exactly the same thing – “most of these cars you’re photographing your kids standing in front of are a huge threat to their lives on the road. Their heads don’t even poke over the hood.” It’s almost as if they went to a child molestor show and posed with pedos in raincoats.

  • William Lawson

    Cars look like shit nowadays. There’s nothing aesthetically pleasing about them. There’s no soul or character in them. They look perfect for what they are – fume belching child killers.


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