Lamentamos informarles que Raphael Orlove ha explotado

Apr 23 2022
Si trabajas en cualquier lugar el tiempo suficiente, eventualmente te conviertes en el Viejo maestro con conocimiento antiguo, que, en Jalopnik, es Raphael Orlove, quien comenzó a escribir para el sitio cuando se imprimió en papel y se distribuyó de forma gratuita fuera del Auto Show de Detroit. Pero ya no: hoy es el último día de Raph en el blog.

Si trabajas en cualquier lugar el tiempo suficiente, eventualmente te conviertes en el Viejo maestro con conocimiento antiguo, que, en Jalopnik, es Raphael Orlove, quien comenzó a escribir para el sitio cuando se imprimió en papel y se distribuyó de forma gratuita fuera del Auto Show de Detroit. Pero ya no: hoy es el último día de Raph en el blog. Es hora de un asado.

Esto me convertirá, técnicamente, en el gilipollas empleado continuamente por más tiempo aquí, y no sé cómo me siento al respecto. A través de todos los cambios que he visto en este lugar, Raph fue mi guía constante, socio en el crimen, confidente, amigo. No solo a mí, porque así es como él hace que todos se sientan, un editor de blogs de autos con un conjunto de habilidades que no podrían encajar mejor con el negocio de hacer buenos blogs de autos. Estaremos haciendo esto para siempre, pensé a veces, hasta que no lo hagamos.

Lo que extrañaré es el conocimiento terriblemente enciclopédico de Raph sobre todo lo relacionado con autos y bicicletas; Extrañaré las bromas; Echaré de menos los blogs; Echaré de menos conducir hasta Jersey para conducir viejos Volvos; Echaré de menos conducir hasta Westchester para ir en karting; Echaré de menos tomar un trago; y extrañaré sus ediciones. También extrañaré sus pantalones. Esto es de hoy:

Raph me dijo hace semanas que había recibido una oferta, y era buena, y yo estaba feliz por él, todo lo cual me dio tiempo para fingir que no estaba sucediendo. Lo cual fue una linda fantasía por un tiempo. Come mierda, Raph.

Durante los primeros cuatro meses que trabajé en Jalopnik no sabía lo que hacía Raph. Su título era "editor de funciones", pero nunca editó ninguna de mis funciones. Solo una vez que comencé a compartir una oficina con él supe lo que hacía. Pasó la mayor parte del día mirando piezas de bicicletas antiguas en Craigslist.

He estado enviando mensajes de texto con Raph en las últimas semanas sobre, qué más, piezas de bicicletas antiguas, pero no ha mencionado nada sobre conseguir un nuevo trabajo. Claramente está muy entusiasmado con este movimiento. Solo puedo esperar que quien lo contrató esté igualmente entusiasmado por tener un carroñero interno de piezas de bicicleta de Craigslist.

Si no has sido un lector aquí por mucho tiempo, déjame contarte sobre las payasadas de Raphael Orlove. Raph creó un verbo completamente nuevo cuando, hace unos nueve años, hizo rodar el auto de sus sueños, un lindo y pequeño Baja Bug de 1973. Para usar lo que dicen los niños, él directamente encontró el error en una curva cerrada, lo que resultó en algunas fotos infames al revés y el término "Orlove'd". Incluso hoy en día pienso, "hombre, es mejor que no o me encante esta cosa" cuando estoy haciendo algo incompleto con un vehículo.

Y sus autos, parecen tan poco confiables que no me sorprende que también sea el David Tracy de las bicicletas. Ni siquiera sabía que la restauración de bicicletas abandonadas que antes estaban atadas a los letreros de las calles era una cosa. Al menos si el Beetle no funciona, probablemente tenga una docena de bicicletas rotas con las que podría viajar.

Está bien , estoy bromeando. Aprendí mucho sobre bicicletas y la historia de un montón de autos diferentes durante su mandato. Él es parte de por qué siempre busco ver los orígenes de los vehículos sobre los que escribo. Es una de las voces que hizo de Jalopnik un conjunto único. Buena suerte, Raph, y no arriesgues a tu nuevo empleador.

Déjame contarte mi problema con Raphael. Es el hombre más amable del mundo; tiene una sonrisa como ninguna otra; y te endulzará hablando alemán contigo. Pero luego, cuando estás en un avión de regreso a los EE. UU. desde Alemania, cortará más de 1,000 palabras de tu inmersión profunda en la suspensión de tu BMW Serie 3. Aterrizarás, comprobarás la holgura y verás mensajes de Raph que indican que, de no haber sido por algunos problemas, habría publicado tu historia con MIL PALABRAS FALTANTES. Estas 1,000 palabras, sabes en lo profundo de tu corazón, fueron importantes. Cada uno de ellos. Como escritor, no solo introduces letras y números superfluos en tus artículos, eres un profesional. ¿Quién es Raph para dar a entender lo contrario?

Caminé de un lado a otro en mi casa, vapor saliendo de mis oídos. “ESE RAFAEL. ¿QUIÉN SE CREE QUE ES? SÓLO VA A CORTAR PALABRAS DE MIS ARTÍCULOS QUIERA O NO. ¿POR QUÉ?”, le grito a mi teléfono a cualquier tonto que esté dispuesto a escuchar (probablemente Jason, quien, para que conste, es pro-Raph. ¡Y yo también lo soy! Son solo... ¡1,000 palabras, hombre!).

Llamé a Raph para explicar por qué esas 1,000 palabras pertenecían, y después de que le expliqué que estos son conceptos técnicos importantes para transmitir y que cada sección de mi redacción fortalece el artículo, tranquilo como siempre, como Raph tiende a ser, con calma me dijo: Dime que tal vez sea mejor sin esas 1000 palabras. Soplé la junta de la cabeza, se derramó refrigerante por mi cara, el aceite de mi motor se convirtió en un batido y casi perdí toda la compresión. Cortar mil palabras, eso no es genial. ¿Sugerir que iba a ejecutarlo sin siquiera pasarlo por delante de mí? Oh chico, muy no genial. Pero luego escucharme explicarme y luego decirme de una manera tan tranquila y serena que tal vez, solo tal vez, esas explicaciones de ingeniería en mi historia simplemente no eran necesarias. ¿QUIÉN ES EL INGENIERO AQUÍ RAPH?

Esto sucedió algunas veces. Dejó algunas cicatrices en las paredes de mi cilindro, pero todavía estoy balbuceando, y Raph y yo nos llevamos muy bien, porque es un ser humano encantador. Relajado, increíblemente positivo, y simplemente un placer estar cerca. Y eso es algo bueno, porque el hombre me ha vuelto loco un par de veces.

¡Tschau, señor Orlove!

Raph es la única persona que conozco que compra uno de los modelos Lexus más duraderos jamás fabricados y aun así logró convertirlo en una pesadilla poco confiable.

Aquí hay algunas cosas que debe saber sobre Raphael Orlove:

—Él escribió la guía moderna definitiva de Amati , el competidor fallido de Mazda, Lexus e Infiniti, y esa historia sigue siendo tan buena que todavía la releo un par de veces al año. También le tomó 10 años escribir esa historia. Los plazos no existen para un hombre cuya mente existe fuera del tiempo tal como lo entendemos.

—Escribió lo que puede ser mi titular favorito de Jalopnik de todos los tiempos: “ Dios siempre puede rastrearte y matarte, pero en un Toyota Camry de 300 caballos de fuerza obtienes un comienzo bastante bueno ”. Si hicimos algo mejor que eso mientras estuve allí, no puedo pensar en ello.

—Algunos de sus otros grandes éxitos de todos los tiempos incluyen ¿Dónde están todos los pitidos?, Estos son los autos rápidos de gran velocidad , Autos rápidos: ¿demasiado rápido? y ¿Dónde están los grandes coches de la belleza y la gracia?

—De todos los escritores automotrices que correrían por la calle detrás de un Lancia Scorpion mientras chillaban “POR FAVOR, TOMA MI SANGRE”, Raphael es sin duda mi favorito. O al menos entre los tres primeros.

—Gritó una vez “ Ten un poco de decencia!!! ” en un cuarteto de Ferrari F50 estacionados, y por alguna razón, esa cita permanece grabada permanentemente en mi cerebro.

Estoy muy contento de que se vaya de Jalopnik sin tener que ser arrastrado y gritando, como siempre pensé que sucedería. También espero con ansias la nueva dirección posmoderna de la revista Road & Track. Incluso puedo comenzar a suscribirme de nuevo.

Raphael Orlove fue el rostro y la voz de Jalopnik para mí, para bien o para mal. Mayormente peor. Si tan solo esos mechones rizados pudieran distraer la atención de ese horrible bigote. Mira, nunca olvidaré el ambiente hipster de Raph y las posturas artificiales de la serie Carspotting . Tampoco olvidaré ni perdonaré nunca su argumento de testaferro contra Kristen Lee, cuya opinión sobre la manera correcta de decir Porsche es mucho más matizada que la de Raph. Sí, sí. Lo entendemos; Usted habla alemán. También David Tracy, y no estaba hablando y hablando de eso todo el tiempo. Con Raph, es auto frei  esto y dienstwagen  aquello . Mierda, hablo español con fluidez y Andy Kalmowitz habla con fluidez New Jerseyan.

I bet the number of times Raph’s been cussed out in New York City in German for cutting off cars on his busted-up Schwinn is ZERO, while profanities in Spanish and New Jerseyan are likely directed at Raph 24/7. Those angry drivers having committed Raph’s color-blocked wardrobe to memory by now. Because let me tell you: Raph commits to the shtick whole-heartedly. When I finally met him, after years of rolling my eyes at the vintage sweaters in his videos, I thought to myself, Damn, this dude’s for real! 

Now he’s for real about leaving Jalopnik after a decade — if not more! There’s no way to be certain how long he’s been here, because he actually predates Kinja. Legend goes they found him in a pile of used clothes at Jalopnik HQ. And now he’s leaving, carrying that same dirty pile of clothes after mentoring me and countless others at our beloved site. So eat shit, Raph. I won’t say it in German — because of the kinky subtext — but will say this, instead: ¡Hasta nunca, Rafa! ¡Come mierda!

I really want to roast Raph. I want to talk about how he called me after he rolled the Baja Bug. About how he thought, for some reason, it’d be fine to take a Fiesta off roading and then was surprised when he damaged it on a tree. I want to tell you about how he made us stop multiple times on our 24 hour marathon drive back from Daytona in an RS7 to look for something he continually called “goober peas” (I don’t believe we ever found them). I want you to know the number of times we wandered to Chinatown for discount dumplings or how his immense bubble car feature was the product of actual years of work/procrastination. About how I’d deputize him to take photos for reviews and then make him stand outside in the freezing cold while I drove by him, repeatedly. I want you to know how horrible yet not at all surprising it was when he crashed that Spec E30 during a Mid Ohio AER race. And about how I love that for his entire time at Jalopnik, he’s just decided what his beat is and nobody has said “hey, maybe we’re not an old bicycle restoration website.” I want to tell you about that stuff, but I won’t. Raph is just a delightful guy, and someone I’ve missed working with since I left Jalop all those years ago. I had told Hearst we were a package deal when I got hired at R&T, and I guess, seven years later, the company is finally following through. Now we just need him to reboot Motorballs.

You know, I was really looking forward to having a bicycle mechanic on staff. But the automotive media universe hangs in a delicate balance, maintained by the Jalopnik-to-Road & Track pipeline. Most bloggers make that journey in their tender post-college years, but Raph had so many unfinished reviews, it took him until his early 30s to clear it out. (Here’s a review Raph published this week of the Kia Stinger, a vehicle that is now cancelled .) Looking back, it’s kind of amazing what Raph survived in his many decades at Jalopnik: a rollover crash in a Beetle that was more rust than car, three corporate owners, one pro-wrestler/evil billionaire lawsuit, numerous pissed-off automakers, a pretty harsh crash at an AER race , numerous pissed-off commenters, himself , his obsession with buying terrible cars and making them so, so much worse . Nothing could chase Raph away from Jalopnik. Nothing, except for me.

For years, I thought Raph was a muppet—like he was an intern from Sesame Street or something. I have recently been informed he is indeed a real boy who pulled an actual salary to write about bicycles for our car website. I frankly admire the grift but I’m glad you’ll be pulling it on some other jokers. You take your mop of glorious curls and go eat shit.

Last year I was walking the paddock of a Formula Drift event in Englishtown, NJ with a friend when we spotted a man in a fluorescent yellow photo cred vest and a wicker sunhat (it was a remarkably overcast, rainy day) leaning over a chain-link fence, standing on the tips of his toes waving double middle fingers at somebody. I’m the sort of person who ignores people acting out in public and continues walking, but my friend likes to engage with the chaos. “Who we flipping off today?” he asked the stranger, whose back was facing us.

The fashion-embattled man stood down from his trash perch and turned around. It was Raphael Orlove. My colleague and superior who, until that moment, I hadn’t met in person. I feel obliged to point out I recognized Raph immediately while it took him like three seconds of vacant staring to figure out who I was.

¿En cuanto al objetivo de su gesto? Un tipo de Staten Island. Para ser justos Raph, ese es el saludo tradicional en esos lugares. Tu pieza de Amati es mi historia favorita de Jalopnik. come mierda

raph, estoy muy emocionado de que trabajaremos juntos una vez más. la tercera es la vencida

gracias por estar ahí para mí cuando más te necesitaba. eso es, cuando tenía 18 años, recién llegado a la industria y no sabía muy bien lo que estaba haciendo. aquí está una de mis ediciones favoritas de nuestros primeros días trabajando juntos:

you were of great help then, and i expect the same level of attentiveness when you join us over in the world of digitized print. also, i’ll forever cherish our days spent wandering nyc boroughs looking for semi-interesting cars to turn into zesty, desperate social video content. carspotting forever

With Raph’s departure also comes an end to the era of the longest Jalopnik staffer to date. Bless. I thought I’d never see the day.

There are too many memories to block out (although “Lamborghini Aventador SVJ Smashes Anvil Through Nürburgring Production Car Record; Shatters It Like Glass; Hurls Shards Into Nearby Porsche’s Drink ” remains the greatest headline Raph and I ever came up with), so I’ll keep it at a tidy two.

The first was when, if you’ll kindly remember, Raph crashed my borrowed Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, like an asshole. He didn’t need to switch off the traction control. He didn’t need to throw it around the curve like that. All I needed him to do was drive at a leisurely pace and the camera’s slow shutter speed would have taken care of the rest. And yet.

The second was when Raph asked [REDACTED AUTOMAKER] for a press car. We emailed the fleet and were told the car wasn’t available, either because it was undergoing some repairs or there was something mechanically wrong with it and they were working to address it. Sure thing. Not a worry at all. Totally understand.

However, a [REDACTED AUTOMAKER] PR rep who was copied on the email responded directly to the fleet and basically scolded the fleet manager for giving out too much information, because Jalopnik is vile and evil and will twist anything anyone says (untrue). The [REDACTED AUTOMAKER] PR rep was free to express their opinion in such a fashion, but they had neglected to remove Raph’s email address when they hit reply-all.

Twenty minutes later and after a very panicked phone call from the [REDACTED AUTOMAKER] PR rep, Raph kindly assured them that everything was fine and no harm was done. Was he too nice and too forgiving? Should he have bargained for a fleet of [REDACTED AUTOMAKER]’s sports cars instead? Jury’s still out on that one.

Regardless: “That, my darlings,” said Patrick George (RIP), “is the power of fear.”

Raph’s now headed to a small, local publication that you probably haven’t heard of before and is in the business of intimidating absolutely no one. Just like those rotten beans from his college days, Raph can eat shit.

Unlike most of my colleagues who either avoid my calls and texts or only talk to me to try to get me to buy huge quantities of Herbalife products, Raph is very good at keeping in touch. Of course, every conversation with him is pretty much the same: he texts me in a panic, because something has happened to his ‘74 Beetle, and he’s stuck perpendicular on the Brooklyn-Bronx Crapway blocking eleven lanes of traffic.

These texts are always accompanied by a picture, usually of his engine missing some crucial part, or with something like the back half of a pigeon trapped in his air cleaner or a large dill pickle sticking out of a spark plug hole.

“Any advice?” he’ll ask, as ambulances honk and wail their sirens, their patients inside screaming in agony.

This happens a lot. It’d be easy to blame the old VW, but I’ve owned a car just like his for over 30 years and daily drove it most of that time, and I never, ever had problems like Raph seems to have. I had plenty of old car problems, absolutely, but Raph? Something about that dude emits a shittening ray to any machine around him, and so every time he sits in a car it’ll either flip over or somehow liquify its camshaft and spray it out the defroster vents, or something.

It’s a shame, because nobody knows more about obscure Group B engine cheats or rally cars or Japanese auto design schools or any number of other fascinating things. It’s too bad that’ll all be gone because somehow Raph put in the wrong fuse and it made his steering work backwards and he’ll end up at the bottom of a ravine.

That’s why he’s so into ridiculous bicycles built for three weeks in the 1980s by some Dutch craftsman living in a cave in Vermont. Less parts to fail, and it’s a lot harder to block an expressway with a bicycle.

Raph’ll figure out how, though, I’m sure.

I have no doubt that Tarmac & Speedway or Engine Fashion or Auto And Passenger or wherever the hell he’s going will be delighted to have him, even if I’m certain he’ll bring absolute ruin to any car they let him drive. But that’s what those fuckers get with the Orlove.

What time is the end of your day on Thursday?

I suppose congratulations are in order, not just for Raph, but for his new colleagues at—I assume—Bicycling Magazine (or similar) who will no doubt appreciate his keen insights and observations on the topic of the repair and reconditioning of various abandoned bicycles even more than the Jalopnik commentariat does. I’m so happy to see that he’s moved on from car writing to pursue something he’s truly passionate about.

It wasn’t that long ago that I was inviting Raph to write long features about cars (he used to write about cars, you see) for Autoweek’s much-loved 30 and Under Issue, while also trying to entice him to move to Detroit and join our staff. He always turned me down because—and I’m paraphrasing a bit here—he “ha(d) his rube editor exactly where he want(ed), and could basically do whatever he wanted all day.” Years later, I would get my own chance to be the rube editor that let Raph do whatever he wanted all day and enjoy the immense pleasure of explaining to various people why that was a good thing for Jalopnik.

Raph, I’ll miss reading your thoughts on cars, but let’s be honest you moved on a long time ago. Happy pedaling!

You know you’ve made it when your name becomes a verb. Even the time I got flipped onto my roof got called an Orlove! I still have the Orlove’d t-shirt somewhere, although it’s pretty worse for wear now. There are no rules when you leave—we’re dead now!—so I recommend Orlove-ing the CEO’s desk on the way out, just for good measure.

Getting traded for Bob sounds like a bit of a buzzkill, but you can always establish dominance in your new office by having the vehicle that leaks the most in the Hearst parking lot. How do you think I get to post about Porsches on The Drive so often? Type 4 ownership, baby! No one out-pees that car. Ideally, you never should’ve gotten rid of the Orlove’d Baja Bug, but I have faith in any old aircooled to piddle profusely when needed.

Break a seal on the first day, and R&T will give us the sick drift and rally issue we deserve in no time.

I’m super bummed to see Raphael go, but I always knew it was just a matter of time - there are only so many Group B rally videos to post and they’re not making any more. I guess he finally went through them all! The truth is that I’m going to miss Raphael’s posts. You could tell it was him by the time you finished the first sentence. And I always read every word.

Does anyone remember his Baja Bug? Not the first one. Nope, he rolled that one pretty fast. The second one. It was one of the most dangerous vehicles I’ve ever seen. There was a giant pile of random wires under the rear seat. Some were live too. But Raphael pointed out there was nothing under there to ground out on, so what’s going to happen? And he had a point I guess. But he was so chill about it all. Not a stress in the world. Pure optimism. He had just driven up from NYC, so maybe he had a point? We were at Team Oneil rally School in northern New Hampshire, so he could go fast and sideways with Wyatt Knox for an update on the bug I guess. Actually... I remember Raphael getting super nervous that trip. I had to fix something on the back of his car! I think I welded a support bracket for that giant Baja exhaust. Or maybe the brake light. I cant remember. But he got super nervous! Said something like “You sure you know what you’re doing Caswell?” I looked up and was like “Oh….. the pile of wires under the seat are OK, but my welds aren’t?”

First off, who is he? He’s dead.

Second, here’s my roast, please edit as you see fit.

I was fortunate enough to work with Raph during the inception of Jalopnik’s video programming, which means I have a lot of his screw-ups documented for the world to see in perpetuity. There was one time, however, when I made the mistake instead of him.

We were going to interview Fernando Alonso before the Indy 500, and I was waxing poetic to Raph on the cab ride over about how good I was as a camera operator - never once forgetting a piece of equipment in all my years doing it. “I’m great,” I said repeatedly. When we showed up, it happened - I forgot the screen for the camera. First and only opportunity to film the one and only Fernando Alonso, and I couldn’t see what the camera was pointing at.

Raph yelled at me for being the idiot I was, and mentioned the word “karma” a bunch of times until it came time to actually start recording. I took my best guess at the settings I needed and sent it.

Just know this video of Fernando cracking a walnut with his neck was filmed entirely based on guesswork. Exposure, focus, framing, everything. I nailed it.

Fuck you for ever doubting me, Raph. I am great.

I’ve been reading Raph’s blogs for over a decade , and he’s directly responsible for some of my interests in car culture. He introduced me to Baja Bugs (by crashing one ), Formula Drift cars (by crashing one ), and he even almost convinced me to buy a Fiat 124 Abarth (by crashing one ). Then, I started working at Jalopnik, and found that Raphael Orlove is a dork.

When I, a known nerd, asked my coworkers “Hey you remember that one video where Stephan Papadakis carried a cardboard cutout around Japan?” I was met with blank stares from all — except one. Raph knew it. He knew which FD drivers have had which engines in which chassis in which years. The man is a certified dork.

So, farewell and eat shit, Raph. Bring your nerd shit to Road & Track.

Let’s be honest — this is Raphael’s world, and I am just a mere passenger in his 1974 VW beetle that is either: broken down on a busy on-ramp in NJ traffic, broken down on the side of the Westside Highway (twice), just outside of Binghamton puking out all of its oil, in New Hampshire with a faulty wire, or out of gas 1 hour outside of Saugerties. Hey, of course I support Raph 1,000 percent on all his car/bike journeys; he is learning, living, laughing, and blogging along the way, which I love!

But if I hear him say: “Hey, hi! This is Raphael calling about those *insert unnecessary bike parts here* you are selling on craigslist — you think that you’d be willing to drop them off at a bike shop and ship them out to me?” over the phone from the other room one more time...I will die :)

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