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Smart? Tossers.
July 27, 2009 9:30 AM   Subscribe

The latest craze among yobs in Amsterdam seems to be Smart tossing. Jeremy Clarkson would undoubtedly approve, were he not busy urging Britain to invade France.
posted by acb (47 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Looks like the Dutch will be the ones to beat in the 2016 Olympic Games.

We Americans need to cowboy up lest Lake Michigan be choked with our defeat.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 9:35 AM on July 27, 2009


Oh no, I just read some of the comments under a Jeremy Clarkson article. I feel a bit ill now. The full-to-bursting UK, by the way, has the 51st highest population density in the world.

I don't really see what the two links here have to do with each other.
posted by chorltonmeateater at 9:38 AM on July 27, 2009


I don't really see what the two links here have to do with each other.

Well, I suppose they both feature annoying tossers.
posted by Phanx at 9:40 AM on July 27, 2009 [26 favorites]


Someone appears to have tossed their server into a canal.
posted by deadmessenger at 9:43 AM on July 27, 2009


When all the oil finally runs out, does this mean Clarkson will be out of a job?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:49 AM on July 27, 2009


"Yobs"?
posted by DU at 9:50 AM on July 27, 2009


I don't really see what the two links here have to do with each other.

Yobs in Amsterdam toss puny cars into bodies of water. Jeremy Clarkson likes big, burly cars (though he was fond of the Toyota iQ, in part because "[i]n white, with the tinted windows, it’s like a Stormtrooper’s helmet."

And that's the segue into a human interest story about griping neighbors being a reason to sprawl into another country, or something daft like that.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:50 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Yob: A thugish young male.
posted by filthy light thief at 9:51 AM on July 27, 2009


Is Smart Tossing the opposite of a Danger Wank?
posted by MuffinMan at 9:54 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Top Gear - 24 hours in a Smart ForFour
posted by Antidisestablishmentarianist at 9:56 AM on July 27, 2009


Oh no, I just read some of the comments under a Jeremy Clarkson article. I feel a bit ill now. The full-to-bursting UK, by the way, has the 51st highest population density in the world.

I've debated this point with Brits before, and they say, quite seriously "yeah, but if you only count London, it's got a higher population density than India". (Well yes; but if you only count Indian cities, they've got an even higher population density).

As for the comments, I did enjoy this from the incredibly Anglo-Saxon sounding Ben Schwartz: "No room to breath,and no people of British ethnicity left to mate with.Turn on the TV and its people from nations I don't identify with.So that means its soon going to be non Britain's running the show.So who cares let the place rot and become the tip of the once good Empire, even the dominions are following suit.You voted the loonies in who destroyed it which gave us multi-cult-choice-death.The liars in power the CFR and illuminatie have won,communism hails,NO protests by the indigenous British people,becuase they were lied too, and now look at the place"

I think it's the "no people of British ethnicity left to mate with" that really does it for me.
posted by Infinite Jest at 9:59 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Conceptually, I like Smart cars, they are cute, the people driving them seem to be having fun, and they take up less space, making getting around them in parking lots easy.

In practice though, I want to tip them over.

When we finally got a dealership in my area, my wife and I went to look at them, and the first thing I noticed was that they seemed very high up relative to their width; and this started an obsession in my brain. Whenever I see one, I want to start rocking it back and forth till it fell over.

I don't actually do this, because destroying someone's car for no reason is a mark of pure asshole. But the urge is there.

I'd actually consider getting a Smart if they weren't so damn expensive. Then I could spend my time tipping my own car, and everyone would win.
posted by quin at 10:02 AM on July 27, 2009 [5 favorites]


Jeremy Clarkson: The Bill O'Reilly of the UK.

He should stick to writing about something he has knowledge about - get back to me when you figure that out.
posted by SteveInMaine at 10:06 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


No "LOLYOBS" tag?
posted by Mister_A at 10:08 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think it's the "no people of British ethnicity left to mate with" that really does it for me.

It's the "British ethnicity" that does it for me.
posted by DU at 10:11 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


I've driven a Smart car several times, both in and out of London. Out of London they are challenging. It's hard work keeping them at 70mph and they tend to get blown about a bit.

In London they are virtually peerless for ease of driving around, unless you fancy graduating to two wheels.

They really are fantastic. Until you want to change gear. At which point Captain Kangaroo takes over. I found that they tended to change gear between 1st and 2nd just after I'd pulled onto a roundabout and wanted to accelerate away. Switching to manual was little better.

So here's a top tip: Smart cars are fantastic in London. If you don't drive round Hyde Park Corner.
posted by MuffinMan at 10:12 AM on July 27, 2009


> We Americans need to cowboy up lest Lake Michigan be choked with our defeat.

Team USA is at the Olympic Center on Zug Island right now, training by chucking big-block Chevy Novas into the Detroit River.

Now, some tosser punters might feel that this increases strength at the cost of quickness and style. When the European squads win, it's usually on points. But it's also worth remembering that they never win on North American soil, thanks to the bylaw that the hosting country gets to choose the vehicle.

I can recall the time Team Germany came to the line for the semifinal. They were a really burly bunch of guys from the Black Forest who'd allegedly been working out by volleying Kübelwagens, but you could see a little life go out of them the moment they laid eyes on that evening's car, a Chrysler 300 four-door sedan. You knew they didn't expect the Americans to put Detroit iron on the line - to this day I have no idea why not. They barely qualified the round by bouncing the car on its springs so hard that they eventually scooched it into the designated Olympic pool, but Team America was able to not only pick the whole thing up and haul it in wholesale, they won a lot of love from the crowd by locking the parking and emergency brakes first to show they don't have to resort to punk moves to win.

So, yeah, in 2016 we probably won't get around to the acrobatic crap like spinning a Suzuki Twin on its roof while hauling it off into the water, but screw that fluffy stuff. You win on mastering the fundamentals: Being able to haul anything into the water and making more distance than everybody else. Go USA!
posted by ardgedee at 10:19 AM on July 27, 2009 [21 favorites]


Oh no, I just read some of the comments under a Jeremy Clarkson article. I feel a bit ill now. The full-to-bursting UK, by the way, has the 51st highest population density in the world.

Actually 52nd according to Wikipedia, but 32 of those with higher population densities are smaller in land area than Rhode Island. There's a big difference between being a tiny island or city state, and a full size country when it comes to population density. It's like saying Bangladesh is only 10th, and won't we think of the Bermudans? However, it shouldn't matter, as larger countries like the Netherlands and Belgium have no problem with high population densities, and neither should the UK.

The problem really lies with the people who don't seem to understand that they live in a highly urbanized country. They seem to really believe we can waste land and let suburban areas sprawl out like in the US. Some people's desire for a large detached house, big yard, two garages, and roads to everywhere, are way way more damaging than any migration happening. The ironic thing is that the people with these desires tend to be white, while for various historical reasons ethnic minorities live in sustainable higher density inner city areas. Oh well.

Back to the discussion...
posted by Sova at 10:24 AM on July 27, 2009


Jeremy Clarkson: The Bill O'Reilly of the UK.

Sort of, but at the same time, he has a sense of humour. And he clearly knows that being contentious is what makes him... Popular? Or at least fashionably unpopular. The man's a twitcher, grows barley and keeps his own donkeys. He's certainly not as loutish and whatnot as he makes out, though I don't blame anyone for disliking him by any means.

And he sometimes gets the train to London, according to the latest GJOS podcast.
posted by opsin at 10:25 AM on July 27, 2009


The full-to-bursting UK, by the way, has the 51st highest population density in the world.

Who can blame the BNP for wanting a little Lebensraum.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:28 AM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Jeremy Clarkson: The Bill O'Reilly of the UK.

Oh, for Fuck's sake. Bill O'Reilly seriously called for a boycott of French products because they didn't back an awful, ill-advised war. Clarkson jokingly suggests an invasion of France because he doesn't want to build on the greenbelt.

Just because someone has some unorthodox, or right-of-center, opinions does not make them a mouth-frothing lunatic, or make it okay for you to ignore that a lot of what they say is meant to be comedy.
posted by spaltavian at 10:28 AM on July 27, 2009 [7 favorites]


This looks like so much fun.

Of course, I am the same dumbass who saw one while walking outside Rome somewhere with my mother and I felt this urge to go see if I could wrap my arms around it to give it a hug. They just seem like they must get picked on by all the other cars since they're so wee.

[On a drunken evening a few days later, I learned that my arm span is juuuuust right to give them a hug across the back end.]


I really want one. If only they weren't so expensive and slow.
posted by sperose at 10:28 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


He's certainly not as loutish and whatnot as he makes out

If that's true, then he's far worse: not a straightforward bigot of low intelligence with a weak grasp on reality, but a cynical manipulative asshole pretending to be a straightforward bigot of low intelligence with a weak grasp on reality...
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 10:29 AM on July 27, 2009 [3 favorites]


Just because someone has some unorthodox, or right-of-center, opinions does not make them a mouth-frothing lunatic, or make it okay for you to ignore that a lot of what they say is meant to be comedy.

Ah, but this is just the basic defence mechanism of a venerable form of British demagoguery, bigotry, and rabble-rousing: if you criticize it, you're showing that you lack a sense of humour. And to a certain breed of public-school-educated Brit (Clarkson went to Repton) there is no greater crime than that.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 10:33 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


If that's true, then he's far worse: not a straightforward bigot of low intelligence with a weak grasp on reality, but a cynical manipulative asshole pretending to be a straightforward bigot of low intelligence with a weak grasp on reality...

An Open Letter to Larry The Cable Guy
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:38 AM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


Clarkson is more like the P.J. O'Rourke of the UK than the Bill O'Reilly. Unless, perhaps, one counts the fact that he has a large following among the global-warming deniers and anti-political-correctness tubthumpers, as evidenced by his article comments.
posted by acb at 10:48 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


He's certainly not as loutish and whatnot as he makes out, though I don't blame anyone for disliking him by any means.
He did lamp Piers Morgan one time didn't he? That's fairly endearing in a man.
posted by Abiezer at 11:16 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Damn, that was slimy even for Clarkson.

We were told a few years ago by the Labour government that Britain needed many millions of Somalians and Estonians to fuel Mr Brown’s booming economy. But now what? The economy’s gone tits-up and I’m sure there are many people quietly harbouring a notion that perhaps Mr Mbutu and Mr Borat might like to go home again.

That was a hell of a long way to go to finally sneak in an underhanded "or maybe, instead of annexing France, we should tell all those brown people to go home, hurfdurf." And he was even disingenuous about it. Note that it's not him telling those dirty Pakis to go home; no, it's some unnamed third parties, whose opinion he of course doesn't share.

He may be more entertaining than O'Reilly, but he's every bit the same reactionary asshole. It's just a lot tougher to write him off completely, because O'Reilly never got 10 Suzuki Swifts together in one place and had them play hockey with a giant inflatable puck before strapping rockets to one and launching it off a ski-jump.
posted by Mayor West at 11:22 AM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Damn, that was slimy even for Clarkson.

Well, he sort of recants in the next paragraph

I do not have these thoughts. I’d far rather have Mr Mbutu round for tea than, say, John Prescott. But I can quite understand why some people do. And that worries me.

Because how long will it be before Griff Rhys Jones stops attacking Ian Botham and starts throwing bricks through the window of his local Indian restaurant? How long before the stockbrokers of Guildford decide they don’t want any more homes and that Mr Ng’s Chinese takeaway must be burnt to the ground? In short, how long before this pressure on space and the need to breathe out once in a while leads to all sorts of problems that are very ugly indeed?

posted by shoebox at 11:27 AM on July 27, 2009


He's not recanting, because he never said he shared those views. Was it racist to suggest there might be possible unrest and discrimination in areas of the United States with Muslim populations after 9/11? Is being aware that some of my countrymen might falsely equate Islam with terrorism mean that I must equate Islam with terrorism? Because that's how Clarkson is being read.

Ahh, but since Clarkson isn't a reliable Lefty and likes big cars, even an expression of concern about racism is racist. Since Clarckson is flippant and phrased the issue as "Mr. Borat", we can safely assume we can read his thoughts, and call him a liar when he writes:

"I do not have these thoughts. I’d far rather have Mr Mbutu round for tea than, say, John Prescott. But I can quite understand why some people do. And that worries me."

Clarkson's point boils down to, "when shit goes bad, easily identified and stereotyped minorities can easily become scapegoats." This is as close to a universal truth as history produces, yet it's enough to prove Clarkson is a slimy racist.
posted by spaltavian at 11:59 AM on July 27, 2009 [6 favorites]


Growing up in Canada we used to lift up and move two minis that parked on our street out of the way so we could play street hockey. When we were done we would move them back.
posted by srboisvert at 12:03 PM on July 27, 2009 [4 favorites]


My personal theory is that they landed in the canals due to poor driving skills and are now trying to put the blame on the yobs.

Question: How do you recognize a dutchman who failed his driver's license test at least three times?

Answer: Yellow license plates!
posted by sour cream at 12:51 PM on July 27, 2009


If that's true, then he's far worse: not a straightforward bigot of low intelligence with a weak grasp on reality, but a cynical manipulative asshole pretending to be a straightforward bigot of low intelligence with a weak grasp on reality...

If you happen to be browsing the TV listings and notice a show called "The Colbert Report", I'd suggest you avoid it.
posted by enkd at 1:02 PM on July 27, 2009


Clarkson's point boils down to, "when shit goes bad, easily identified and stereotyped minorities can easily become scapegoats." This is as close to a universal truth as history produces

Which would downright admirable, if he were taking the piss out of racist assholes. He's not. He's just affirming his status among their number. He's actually got quite a history of being a racist and a xenophobe, and generally a right-wing cock.

"I’d far rather have Mr Mbutu round for tea than, say, John Prescott" is the thinnest of veneers over "but some of my best friends are black!"
posted by Mayor West at 1:27 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


Jeremy Clarkson: The Bill O'Reilly of the UK.

Not hardly.
posted by modernnomad at 1:42 PM on July 27, 2009


Damn it- I clicked on the Clarkson links posted by Mayor West and am ashamed of myself because I know my click through will be aggregated to show that this tosser (and in this case 'tosser' is the right word; not even dignifying him with a full-blooded swear word) is a 'popular voice'. The man is a teat. A disturbing, representative teat yes, but a teat nonetheless, but a teat that gives no nourishment and isn't pleasant to look at and (I realise my metaphor breaks down quite rapidly).

He manages to play the 'Oh I am too intelligent to really be such a knee jerk cock' just right in terms of viewing figures and 'popular appeal'.

The voice of privedged middle England- all I can hope is that he has enough self awareness to loath himself as he tries to sleep.
posted by Gratishades at 2:39 PM on July 27, 2009


On the surface area topic:

* About half of the UK land area is in Scotland.

* Scotland has less than 10% of the population.

* The Scottish population is mostly (60%) crammed into a 50 mile by 30 mile corridor -- the Central Belt -- between Edinburgh and Glasgow.

(So roughly 50% of the land area of the UK is occupied by around 3% of the population. Not because they're rich, but because the land in question is crinkle-cut. It doesn't matter that the mountains are only 2000 feet high -- they're steep and they're made of granite and they're not terribly suitable for suburban sprawl.)

* Then there's Wales. See Scotland, only with about 30% of the 50% of the UK that isn't in Scotland. Rinse, spin, repeat.

What it boils down to is that 30% or thereabouts of the land area of the UK is occupied by 85% of the population, and the remaining 70% of the land area is not only underutilized, but isn't suitable for habitation until it's been terraformed. If the UK was uniformly populated at the same density as the South East, we'd outnumber the USA.
posted by cstross at 3:30 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


If you happen to be browsing the TV listings and notice a show called "The Colbert Report", I'd suggest you avoid it.

That's a spurious analogy. Stephen Colbert does not play his O'Reilly-esque persona to entertain a conservative audience, but uses irony to highlight the hypocrisies and criminal failures of its representatives in politics and popular culture. This stands in stark contrast with the non-ironic shtick that comes out of the P. J. O'Rourkes, Jeremy Clarksons and Daniel Whitneys of the world.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:54 PM on July 27, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's the "British ethnicity" that does it for me.

All he wants is to keep his beloved Celtic-Roman-German-Viking-French-Dutch ethnicity free from being tainted by immigrants, after all...
posted by kersplunk at 5:15 PM on July 27, 2009 [2 favorites]


French will not put up much of a fight? I wouldn't have thought William the Bastard was so easily forgotten. Huh.
It's been my experience that if one gets one's ass kicked by someone, that guy becomes the ultimate bad-ass, at least in lore. I mean, you don't go "Boy, the guy who beat me was this weak, effete cheese eating punk who couldn't harm a fly. Knocked the crap out of me though...for some reason. Huh."

" 'I think it's the "no people of British ethnicity left to mate with" that really does it for me.'
'It's the "British ethnicity" that does it for me'."

It's the "no people" that does it for me. 'Cos I don't roll that way with primates. Still, doesn't seem like the problem is on the 'not breeding enough' end, yeah?

What is the point of destroying a small car? It really is assholish. Apart from the destroying someone's stuff thing. It really is pointless because it's not even that funny. What, the idea is that ha ha the car is in the canal because it's lightweight enough that some idiots who lift nothing heavier than a mug can move it?
Friend of a buddy of mine drove his hummer to a party at my place. We all remarked how huge his cock must have been to drive around a bright high-contrast yellow humvee with custom plates which, of course, he doesn't work on himself. So, once he was in the house, we moved it to block the middle of a nearby intersection. The cops come. He's befuddled. And can't drive because he's had a few. And we're asking why he parked like a dick in the first place. "Jeez Arn, just 'cos you can go anywhere off road doesn't mean you can park wherever you want."

A bit later he and 30-odd friends of his moved my Jeep sideways in between two trees on a hill. Pretty good thinking really. Except it was on dirt. Which, when combined with water becomes mud. And it was on an incline. My wife, I think, almost broke a sweat pushing it out.

And a bit later I put his hummer on top of a large tree trunk in his backyard, wheels well off the ground, using a crane to hoist it up over his house (nice to have friends in heavy construction) when he was on vacation.
Of course, this is back when I had too much time on my hands and was a complete jagoff.

Not sure how much time I'd need or how gigantic an asshole I'd have to be to vandalize vehicles for handicapped folks or limited mobility elderly.
posted by Smedleyman at 5:16 PM on July 27, 2009


When will people learn that smaller and smaller cars are not the answer?
posted by Eideteker at 5:35 PM on July 27, 2009


Smart need not be slow an optional peregrine falcon or ninja can whizzen it up.

There is also the off road packaged Smart.

Smart getting smashed and smooshed.
posted by phoque at 6:25 PM on July 27, 2009


What many people just don't get about Clarkson is that he's far more Stephen Colbert than Bill O'Reilly. The guy is a certified Francophile who's always taking supercars to French autoroutes and complaining about modern-day Brits lacking the vision for projects like the Millau Bridge. By making this "modest proposal" to invade France to solve Britain's "overpopulation problem", he's really shining a light on where the BNP's ideas (and those of quite a few fellow travellers in more mainstream parties) really come from.

Of course, as the comments show, the trouble is that most of Clarkson's audience is nowhere as clever as he is, and this kind of irony flies straight over their heads. And he's far too content being one of the BBC's audience magnets to correct their misapprehension.

It is a sad comment on the state of the English sense for irony that Clarkson would need a "The Word"-type segment for his audience to catch up with him.
posted by Skeptic at 1:58 AM on July 28, 2009 [2 favorites]


Of course, as the comments show, the trouble is that most of Clarkson's audience is nowhere as clever as he is, and this kind of irony flies straight over their heads. And he's far too content being one of the BBC's audience magnets to correct their misapprehension.

Although this isn't as wrongheaded as enkd's hilariously wrong-end-of-the-stick comparison to Stephen Colbert, I still think it's wrong. Even making the enormously generous assumption that Clarkson began his bigotry as a deliberate satire on bigotry, if you keep doing it once you're aware everyone's taking you literally, you've abandoned all claims to cleverness, to shining a light on the source of prejudice, or being "more Stephen Colbert than Bill O'Reilly."

Also, even the intelligent Brits who chuckle at Clarkson aren't chuckling in the way people laugh at Colbert, ie., because they appreciate his satire of the insane right. They're chuckling with a very clear sense of "well, but you have to admit, he's got a point..." Ugggh.
posted by game warden to the events rhino at 2:08 AM on July 28, 2009


game warden Any allegedly intelligent Brit who takes Clarkson at face value in his more outrage-inducing tirades, just can't be that intelligent, because Clarkson liberally peppers them with winks and nudges. For instance, in Mayor West's first link:

Peter Ustinov would arrive at JFK airport and, having studied the signs saying “US citizens” and “Aliens”, he’d ask a security guard where the British should go. We were separate, different, better.

Anybody who knows anything about the late Sir Peter (and presumably any intelligent Brit should), knows that he was the ultimate citizen of the world, enormously proud of his cosmopolitan ancestry, and that by his observation he was clearly taking the mickey out of just that kind of exceptionalism.
posted by Skeptic at 2:22 AM on July 28, 2009


Whenever I read namedropping English pundits I feel like I'm missing out on some sort of wonderful cocktail party where everyone is kind-of famous.
posted by Ogre Lawless at 11:26 AM on July 28, 2009


don't believe De Telegraaf, it's a national newspaper, but the content is more like that of a tabloid.

and Jeremy Clarkson is a nutter.
posted by Substrata at 12:49 PM on July 28, 2009


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