Things I’m Supposed To Love But Can’t Stand: Garage Logic

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Joe Soucheray has been for over 20 years one of my favorite columnists in the Twin Cities, first as a sports writer, then as a general columnist.

And I certainly like the idea of a talk show that’s focused on “conservative” principles like common sense and deflating the puffery of some of the more cliched, insufferable parts of Minnesota liberal society, while upholding the obverse.  Soucheray is sort of a curmudgeonly centerish-right retort to “Lake Wobegone”, in a way.  This is good.

And one can not argue with success; while Soucheray’s original rise to prominence probably had something to do with having Rush Limbaugh as a lead-in (at a time when talk radio was exploding from moribundity to prominence), there’s no arguing that he’s built a talk radio juggernaut.  At KSTP’s peak, Soucheray was one of an unstoppable ratings 1-2-3 piledriver punch; Limbaugh, Souch, Jason Lewis.

Today – after five years of KSTP-AM listening to consultants who assure management “Conservative talk is dead!  Really!  Honest!  Any day now!”, and having shed Limbaugh, Lewis, Bob Davis, Dave Thompson and the rest of the leftovers from the station’s glory days – Soucheray is carrying the station pretty much singlehandedly.

That ain’t chicken feed.

And Soucheray’s on-air foil and sidekick, The Rookie, has done what precious few people in the radio industry get to do anymore; developed from an annoying backslapping yahoo into one of the wryest, funniest, most talented sidekicks in the business.  Anywhere. 

So what’s the problem?

Part of it is that it feels Soucheray has been repeating the same show for over a decade now, with the same components plugged in over and over and over and over.  When the Northern Alliance got started, I tired to kick off a parody of GL’s endless, ongoing bit where guys call in from their garages, and turn on and rev engines on the air.  I wanted to have it go something like this:

CALLER: “Hey, Joe…:

MITCH:  “It’s actually Mitch, but go ahead…”

CALLER: “I got an engine from a 1974 Charger for ya…”

MITCH: “er…OK, start ‘er up?”

[Caller starts a small chainsaw: “REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”]

MITCH: “Er, thanks, caller…”



MITCH: “You’re on the air…”

CALLER:”Hey, Joe, yeah, I got Don Garlits’ original 451 hemi top-fuel rail rod, there!”

MITCH: “Um, it’s still Mitch, but OK – kick it…”

[Caller starts a small chainsaw: “REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”]



MITCH: “You’re on the air…”

CALLER:”Yeah, Joe, I got me a 1952 MIG-15 jet fighter”

MITCH: “Er, I’m…ah, who cares.  A MIG-15?  Cool.  Go ahead, rev ‘er up”

[Caller starts a small chainsaw: “REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE”]

And so on.  Note to Joe: all engines sound the same over the phone.

And the bit about ‘Foghorning” kids’ names that, apparently, aren’t what you’d find in a Catholic Parish in 1955?  Yeah, Joe, try insulting kids’ names to their parents’ faces, m’kay?

But the worst – and by worst, I mean “most objectionable to a conservative” – part of Garage Logic is the constant invocation of “The Mystery”.

Sit down for a minute, Garage Logicians.

If someone were to present to you an overweight, shrieking single mother of five wearing a “Wellstone Action” button, who were to say “I and my people are being disempowered and kept in poverty by racism that wants to keep us down!”, what would you say?

“Take some personal responsibility”, right?

So replace a few words. 

Change the sentence to “I and my people  common sense and traditional values are being disempowered and kept in poverty  marginalized by racism a huge impersonable, undefinable but inescapable “mystery” that wants to keep us down!”, then what’s your response?

That the comparison has escaped “Garage Logicians” for almost two decades amazes me.

31 thoughts on “Things I’m Supposed To Love But Can’t Stand: Garage Logic

  1. Yeah, me too. They have to RUN to count as cylinders, Mitch; that heap on blocks in the alley is not included in your Cylinder Index (Urban) of 4.


  2. Part of it is that it feels Soucheray has been repeating the same show for over a decade now, with the same components plugged in over and over and over and over.

    That’s certainly true, Mitch. Garage Logic has become very familiar, perhaps overly so, over the years.

    Then again, radio is about familiarity to a large extent, isn’t it? Rush hasn’t changed his format in any significant way in 20 years. Tom Barnard hasn’t changed things much in years, either. Heck, St. Paul and John Hinderaker do “Loon of the Week” and “This Week in Gatekeeping” every week.

    I think people want that in radio, especially if it’s a successful formula. When I lived in Chicago back in the early 90s, I used to listen to WXRT, a very successful rock station. Now I can listen to WXRT on the internet and their lineup of disc jockeys is almost precisely the same now as it was then. The only thing that’s changed is that they play songs that have been recorded since I left in 1992. But there are stretches where you’d swear it was 1992.

    Other than Tommy Mischke, I can’t think of too many people I’ve heard over the years who take many chances with what they do over the air.

  3. Eh. I think you have Cylinder Envy.

    Yeah, don’t even get me started on that bit of fraud.

    He didn’t include guns in his so-called “index”. Why? Because he doesn’t care for guns.

    Eight barrels beats eight cylinders every day.

  4. I’m with you on the name thing too. Long ago I called GL to make a comment. When I was done, I said one more thing. “Joseph, that’s ancient Hebrew, isn’t it?”
    After I hung up, he asked Rookie “Was that a shot? I think it was a shot.”

  5. You’ve missed the point on the names… it gets to two general parts. 1) Parents (not the kids) that give their kids ridiculous names. The idea that you give a kid a non-standard name simply to give them an attention-getting name. My wife even said she wants our kids to have unique names so they don’t get lost in a sea of Michaels, Marys, Susans, Toms, and so on.

    (I told her that it is our job and the kids’ jobs to make themselves unique.)

    So, it gently mocks goofy parents. That’s all.

    Part 2, is kids, usually younger girls, who have a pretty simple name… but the kid (or, again, the parent) changes the spelling to something cute or different simply to be unique. Again… they change the name to get distinction without actually doing something to earn a unique rep.

    It isn’t, as Mitch says, making fun of kids.

    Again, it’s ribbing. It’s a bit.

    What’s more, as Joe and Rook (and Kermit’s comment) have shown us… they are perfectly willing to give themselves the business and take a couple of shots.

  6. “Because he doesn’t care for guns.”

    Where’d you get that? The guy constantly talks about the joy of killing and grilling Mothers Creatures from the Forest Floor.

    I think what makes Souch so enjoyable to listen to is the sense of bewildered disgust he broadcasts. It’s like watching the swearing in of Senator Scumbag, and having the ability to put words to your slow head shake.

    That is to say, Souch has provided us with an FCC compliant “WTF?”

  7. I’m just amused at “Badda” telling me of all people that I “missed the point” on names. Good humor.

  8. I’m didn’t listen to today’s show. Did Soucheray talk about some new thing that he doesn’t like, and the old thing he does like that was way better than the new thing?

    Also, he simply retreads columns as show topics. The reverse is also true.

  9. He was laughing at you, and your dim-witted pals again today, stool (yeah, I think he mentioned you personally, as a matter of fact)…just like he did last week, and the week before.

    And as usual, it was hi-lar-ious.

  10. Kermit,
    We’re not talking about online handles. I’m not sure I want my online handle to make my personal identity unique… Hell, I want my identity obscured so freaky jackasses like Spotty don’t post videos of my home on the web.

  11. Yeah, Joe, try insulting kids’ names to their parents’ faces, m’kay?

    He does it every year at the State Fair.

    The first Saturday of the Fair, Sooch & Reusse host the “baby walk” where parents walk by with their kids and give the child’s name. Joe will then hand them a certificate declaring the name “approved” or “not approved”.

  12. I’m not talking about handles. My name is Kermit. Has been for 50 years. It’s Gallic and means “free man”. Mr Soucheray is French and Irish, yet my name is more authetically French and Irish than his. Yet I imagine he would “foghorn” it because it’s not the name of some Catholic saint.

  13. “…it’s not the name of some Catholic saint.”

    I feel your pain, Kerm. The folks might as well have gone with “Miss Piggy”. 😉

  14. You are talking about handles, Kermit… you mentioned that it was amusing how a guy with the handle “Badda” suggested that someone had missed the point of Joe’s bit.

  15. Well no, you said that I missed the point. I didn’t say you missed anything.
    Context, old boy. It’s pretty important.

  16. If I suddenly became rich, I’d hire somebody to listen and edit down GL for me. Joe is absolutely great at times, but those times are just too far apart. My guy would boil down 40 hours of GL sap to get 1 hour of GL syrup.

    I repeatedly try to get into a GL podcast cycle, have to quit each time. B-O-R-I-N-G!!!! Tuned in. Heard that. And this, “gee, there’s The Mystery out there” that explains everything? How about just calling Larry Pogemiller the adolescent jerk he is and move on. No, that’s just not the GL happy talk KSTP is looking for. Good luck.

  17. What did he say about me, swiftee? He’s pretty funny, and probably did a good skewering. Which dim-witted friends did he go after?

    Gotta go change into my “B as in S; S as in S” t-shirt.

  18. Kermit,
    You’re not catching what I’m saying.

    Perhaps I should ask why you bothered say you were amused by “Badda”.

  19. The recent passing of Michael Jackson.

    “Because I’m Badda, I’m Badda, you know it…”

  20. Kermit admitted: “My name is Kermit. Has been for 50 years. It’s Gallic and means ‘free man’.”

    Gallic? In other words you are literally Kermit the Frog?

  21. By the way, what is it about you wingnut guys that you can’t pose for a photo without a cigar? Oooh, I’m a politically incorrect rebel! I smoke ceegars and I don’t care who knows it!

    Good luck with the oral cancer, douchebags.

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