Bark is essentially correct in his assessment of the decline of the marque Nissan. There may be some few instances of things that go against the generalization that Bark proposes. But taken as a whole, the marque really does not have much to offer, especially when you think back to what it used to be.
One of Bark’s strengths as a writer is his willingness to take a strong, and at times controversial stance, and then to do a pretty good job of defending it against any and all counter-assaults. However, it can also be seen as one of his weaknesses, as by taking on the largest and broadest assertion possible, he leaves himself open to multiple nit-picking counters.
When I have disagreed with Bark, in retrospect I can see that it was over some detail that in the grand scheme of things, was not his central point. But there are too few people willing to make and defend broad general assertions, instead of hedging them with multiple exceptions.
Making those more sweeping generalizations often leads to more reader involvement, if only because it offers a broader target surface for rebuttals. But to the extent that promoting reader involvement is a good thing, we shouldn’t be surprised to see Bark promoting it via this approach.
Still, at times I, and apparently some other readers, find this tactic annoying. My only two real nits that I picked with Bark were first, his insistence (in an otherwise well presented argument that was basically an update of John Molloy’s “Dress for Success” books), that three button men’s business suits were an anachronism, and that one should only wear two button suits these days. This in spite of the fact that while his observation might be true in the circles that he travels in, there are other centers of business power where the three button suit not only survives, but may in fact be preferred.
A big fault in his article? Hardly…but an inevitable side effect of making a sweeping generalization that wasn’t necessary for the central idea of his article? Definitely. So I debated the point, and contributed to his click counts, probably both directly and indirectly.
Ditto his choice of a word that the Urban Dictionary clearly labels as almost exclusively Valley-speak, the exclusive domain of teenage and early twenties girls in the Valley area of SoCal. It was used in an otherwise excellent article about his planned trip to test the new Mustang.
The overall article was an excellent writeup. And he stands in the shadow of an older brother who is one of the best automotive writers of our generation, yet he still manages to have his own style, and to do well with it. But a bit of Valley-speak just didn’t seem to fit with the overall tone of the article. This really doesn’t illustrate my point as well, but my basic point is that as an integral part of his style, he is willing to do just a little bit extra, that makes the article stand out just a bit more. And sometimes that seems to some to be a fail in an otherwise more than merely good piece of writing.
So I was not surprised to see Bark jump feet first onto Nissan as a whole. Could he have made a good article about Nissan while being a bit more selective as to the vehicles he dislikes? Certainly. But then it would also have looked like he just thought he had gotten a couple of “weak sister” offerings in Nissan’s lineup, when he really feels that they have almost entirely lost their compass.
And as a central thesis, this is almost certainly true. Yet it also is so broad brush that it makes it easy to pick and choose a few counter examples that may or may not work, depending on your taste.
So to my way of thinking/seeing things, this is just classical Bark, both his strengths and what I feel might be considered his weakness as a writer. Yet I will freely admit that in order for him to pursue what is likely a unique stylistic strength for him, he must often fill in with items that at least admit counter attacks, and in some cases, almost seem to call out for them, at least among some of his audience.
So in toto (sorry, Bark, you aren’t going to get me to say “totes” here ;-) ), this is Bark being not just a good writer, but uniquely Bark as a writer, IMNERHO. But it is better to take the weaknesses exposed by his strong broad positions, than it would be to have him waffle around his central point like a bad lawyer writing a poor contract, full of weasel words and clauses.
Cause it ain’t gonna be Bark, if he doesn’t sometimes swing for the fences.
If you want a lot of nuances, there are plenty of places you can go. But if you want to know what the writer really thinks, without a lot of waffling, you will get it in a Bark article. Sort of like Tabasco sause…you will know it when you taste it, and if you like it, you will know when you have consumed the real thing.
And I, for one, am willing to put up with (or perhaps argue with), the occasional assertion that seems to go above and beyond the main thesis, in order to know how a knowledgeable driver and writer truly feels about the cars he drives and reviews.
A thousand “totes” and a hundred perhaps incorrect, or too narrowly scoped, style tips any day, over yet another weak, carefully crafted so as not to offend, car review. So according to my calculation, Bark, you are still good for at least 999 more “totes” and 99 more fashion assertions.
In fact, when I see them in the light of Bark’s overall style and quality of work, they are really nits. Though I still think it is an error to tell a young man aspiring to rise in business that his boss is lame for still wearing archaic three button suits, I can and will tolerate a fair amount of slang usage, in order to get a “real Bark” article, rather than yet another cookie cutter auto industry article.
So mea culpa, Bark. Keep on wearing only two button suits, as I am sure you will, and I will keep on wearing both two and three button suits, when and if I still need to in my area of endeavor.
And if you find that Valley-speak has crept into common enough usage in your flyover territory, or wherever, go right ahead, because generally I am opposed to too many grammar and style prescriptions in writing, anyway.
And no, I don’t think picking a GM car over a Maxima is insane, either. Depends on what series of Maxima, and what GM car. It is definitely NOT true that Maxima >> GM car for all values of GM car and all iterations of Maxima.
“He dicho”…pronounced “Hay deecho”, and meaning, “I have spoken”, or “That’s all I’ve got”, a famous Cantinflas line, after he has said what he had to say, and then exits off the podium.
FWIW, I knew that your taking on the entire Nissan lineup would end up stirring up a sh!t storm, but it was good to see the pot stirred that way…it was due.
Source : http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2015/10/barks-bites-nissan-doesnt-make-single-car-want-buy/1302