the mouse that quibbles

the mouse that quibbles

Sunday, October 14, 2007

NASCAR as seen from the left



photo credit: (AP Photo/Bob Jordan)


What is it about NASCAR that divides the left and the right possibly more bitterly than universal health care, Blackwater, or Fox News?

Last month, a Democratic staffer with the House Committee on Homeland Security who works for committee chairman Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss), sent out an email to colleagues regarding an ‘unusual need for whomever attending to be vaccinated against hepatitis A and B,’ as well as ‘the more normal things — tetanus, diphtheria, and of course, seasonal influenza,’ – more than is necessary to visit Haiti – advising them to be thoroughly immunized before heading south from Washington and into the Red State wilderness of NASCAR country to conduct research at Alabama's Talladega Superspeedway and North Carolina's Lowe's Motor Speedway, where the Bank of America 500 was run Saturday.

This sparked a clash that has again highlighted the woeful ignorance of far too many on the left of just who it is they’re maligning, while feeding ammunition to the GOP keen to score points against their Democratic rivals. Representative Robin Hayes (R-Ala) retorted, ‘I have never heard of immunizations for domestic travel, and ... I feel compelled to ask why the heck the committee feels that immunizations are needed to travel to my hometown.’ Dr. David Weber, a professor of medicine and public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (political affiliation unknown) asked, ‘What do they know about NASCAR that we don't?’

Once again, the erroneous stereotype of NASCAR fans is being perpetuated as a rowdy mob of unwashed, unshaven, uncouth, uneducated, inbred, toothless, drunken, shirtless, Confederate flag tattooed, Chevy pickup drivin’, gun-totin’, tabakky-spittin’, beer-belly scratchin’ redneck hillbillies all yelling ‘show us yer tits’ at every woman who walks through the stands. Oh, and they all vote Republican, of course.

Democrats like Representative Larry Seaquist of Washington State aren’t exactly helping the polarization, either. His opposition to a NASCAR racetrack proposal just outside Seattle seems to be based on the argument that ‘these people are not the kind of people you would want living next door to you. They’d be the ones with junky cars in the front yard and would try to slip around the law’. Washington State Speaker of the House, Democrat Frank Chopp, added fuel to the fire; when asked about Richard Petty, a fairly well-known NASCAR driver then in Washington State to support the proposed track, Chopp promptly responded with the sneer, ‘You mean the guy who got picked up for DUI?’ (Petty doesn’t drink.)

First, a personal perspective, then a few hard, cold facts about just who we NASCAR fans are. Our Kid is a university professor with an IQ off the charts, while mine is mere 140+. We both have postgraduate degrees, she speaks flawlessly fluent Spanish while I speak passable French, and after spending a decade in France, I can sip two glasses of red wine and tell you which one is the merlot and which is the pinot noir. I rather doubt that either of us fit the left’s standard characterization of ‘rube’, and we both love NASCAR racing. My late father might have been more representative of the stereotypical NASCAR rube, as he was the son of a South Carolina dirt farmer and his illiterate Tennessee hillbilly wife. My dad dropped out of school at the 3rd grade to help on the farm, then joined the Coast Guard at 16 (with special permission from his father to join that young). He got his high school diploma when I was 13, and his first college degree when I was 15 - my favourite photo is of him in his graduation gown holding Our Kid as a toddler in his arms while she's reaching for his mortarboard tassel. He taught his daughters to reach a hell of a lot further than he would ever be able to, and to keep on reaching. He was a life-long Democrat and brought us up on liberal values. And he loved NASCAR – enough that he even raced before he married my mother, a university-educated New England blue-blood, who made him stop. (Of course, that was all back in the days when NASCAR still used real stock cars, drove on dirt tracks, and you didn’t need a multi-million dollar sponsor and a high-tech crew to be a driver.)

Our Kid and I grew up with names like Cale Yarborough, the Allison brothers, A. J. Foyt, Richard Petty (boo-hiss, we didn’t like him, because our dad thought he was too impatient and put his pit crew at risk), Buddy Baker, Mario Andretti, Dale Earnhardt (yay, we liked him - Senior and Junior - my dad named his dog Dale after them both). We were girls, and our dad – who believed strongly in equal opportunity regardless of sex – encouraged us to support female drivers as well, so we cheered on the ladies like Christine Becker, Robin McCall and my personal all-time favourite hero, Janet Guthrie, who got her pilot’s licence when she was 17, graduated with a bachelor’s degree in physics from the University of Michigan, worked as a research and development engineer for NASA, became the first woman to qualify for and compete in the Indianapolis 500, and finished ninth place in 1978… while driving with a broken wrist. Now there was a role model for any little girl to have looked up to, and at a time when there were precious few role models for us little girls around. Now, thankfully, there are more, and may their numbers – and wins – ever increase.

We went to racetracks as kids, sang the national anthem (enthusiastically, if badly), breathed in dust and gas fumes and the smell of burnt hotdogs, loved the vibrations in the pit of our stomachs from the roar of engines, guiltily hoped to see more spectacular car crashes while never wanting anyone hurt. We wandered through the back lots afterwards and talked to drivers and mechanics, clambered onto battered car hoods to have our photos taken with drivers, or pit crew, or anyone in a coverall with enough racing patches on it to be impressive. It’s an indelible part of my childhood, and I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.

And I wouldn’t vote Republican if you held an NRA-approved gun to my head.

Now, for a few more hard, cold facts about typical NASCAR fans: An ESPN poll taken in 2004 showed that 41 percent of NASCAR fans earned at least $50,000 a year, a figure that exactly mirrored national statistics. In every income category the study cites, NASCAR fans make nearly identical incomes to the rest of America. In other words, they’re exactly like… um, well… us, actually.

For those who object to NASCAR races as wasteful, noisy and polluting, it might come as a surprise that sixty-seven percent of NASCAR fans consider buying a fuel-efficient vehicle to be patriotic, while eighty-five percent of NASCAR fans want the government to raise the average fuel-efficiency in U.S. vehicles to 40 mpg. Short tracks that run under NASCAR sanctions now require emission control devices, many use mufflers to comply with noise ordinances, and are compulsory in some Busch East, AutoZone West, and Whelen Modified races.

So just who are these NASCAR fans?

Well, one of them is Michael Marciuliano, a 50-year-old father with an accounting degree from Wagner College who works as an assistant vice president at the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ in Jersey City. He has owned a semi-attached home for 24 years, wears suits to work and does not have a tattoo. Another would be Patrick Hickey, a 52-year-old registered nurse, professor of nursing at the University of South Carolina, pilot, skydiver, founder of the Summit Scholarship for nursing students, a ‘seven summit’ mountain climber, and a die-hard NASCAR fan who planted a Nextel Cup flag amid the Tibetan prayer flags atop Mount Everest this last May.

NASCAR driver Ryan Newman is a Purdue graduate from South Bend, Indiana. The late Alan Kulwicki, a champion NASCAR driver, was also a college graduate with a degree in engineering. Brett Bodine, NASCAR Winston Cup driver, graduated in 1979 from Alfred State College, with three semesters on the Dean’s List. Billy Kuebler crews pit support for the No. 25 Hendrick Motorsports team and also helps out tire specialist Lisa Smokstad. He's also a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a degree in engineering, and made the chancellor's list four straight semesters. Darian Grubb, crew chief for driver Casey Mears, holds a mechanical engineering degree from Virginia Tech. Sara Fisher, who scored four top-ten finishes in her first NASCAR West Series season in 2005 and placed 12th for the NASCAR Grand National Division, graduated in 1999 from Teays High School seventh in her class with honours and a 4.178 grade point average.

All of them, as far as I know, have all their teeth, don’t spit tobacco, and know how to spell ‘articulate’.

Rather than being the refuge of the ignorant and the wilfully stupid, NASCAR has encouraged many college and university students. ‘It used to be that growing up with your dad in the garage was good enough to get you through,’ said Don Radebaugh, spokesman for the ARCA (American Racing Car Association ) series. ‘But it requires more than turning wrenches in a garage. We’re seeing more and more drivers and crew members who are college graduates.’ College programmes turning out highly skilled crew members ‘gives any racing program a place to look for help,’ according to Bill Kimmel, crew chief for eight-time ARCA champion Frank Kimmel. ‘If you take a kid off the street, we have to show them every step of the way.’ The University of Northwestern Ohio runs a high-performance motor-sports programme, with around 1,000 students enrolled in two- and four-year degrees in business and technology. Motorsports students at Indiana University-Purdue in Indianapolis compete for internships with sport racing teams. Other colleges are following suit, including Lincoln Tech in Indianapolis and WyoTeck in Fremont, California.

NASCAR is big, big business. It’s the second most popular professional American sport, ranking behind only the NFL in terms of television ratings. It holds seventeen of the top twenty attended sporting events in the U.S., with over 75 million fans purchasing 3 billion – billion – dollars in product sales annually. Fortune 500 companies sponsor NASCAR more than any other governing body.

God knows there are plenty of excellent and valid reasons to despise the rightwing and the Republican Party. NASCAR isn’t one of them. So a word of advice to the Democrats, and to the left in general – pick your enemies more wisely…

…Or risk becoming one of them.

27 comments:

Sarcastro said...

God knows there are plenty of excellent and valid reasons to despise the rightwing and the Republican Party. NASCAR isn’t one of them.

And vice-versa; there are plenty of reasons to hate NASCAR. Republicans aren't one of them.

NASCAR does need some more black drivers though. Louis Hamilton may win the F1 driver's championship this year while NASCAR has had black drivers... occasionally... as in "thrice".

Actually, motorsport as a whole needs to work on diversity some. F1 has plenty of people of color racing but no women at all and a fierce euro-macho thing going on that makes it unlikely we'll see one anytime soon. Enduro racing and rallying is far more friendly to women - Sabine Schmidt and Michelle Mouton for instance - but are lacking in drivers of not western-european extraction.

pissed off patricia said...

Nonny, I am with you on this 100%. I wrote a similar post years ago when I was writing for a different site. At that site there was no place for comments so commenters sent me emails about what I had written. I got more emails about my NASCAR post than any other I had written. They were all from people thanking me for explaining that NASCAR wasn't the sport so many try to say that it is.

blanco basura said...

Tried to run a car in Nascar, they wouldn't let us run under the Blanco Basura name and colors, told our driver he would be dq'd if he showed up with Blanco Basura anywhere on the car. For some reason the uptight folks at Nascar are denying their roots.

The driver and most of the pit crew are hispanic of some origin and didn't object to the bad spanish for white trash and the crowd loved us and our three legged dog mascot. It was the uptight guys in their button-downed shirts and cuffed slacks and penny loafers that objected. There is no room for self-sponsored cars in Nascar any more, it's all corporate. Tide and Viagra y'know.

I like Nascar but not as much as when we had a car in it and we could be in the pits.

Nice blog!!

Joshua said...

I live in Hayes' district. Concord, NC, NASCAR city in fact.

If you're going into a health care facility, at a race track, why not be immunized if you can be and have the time? It seems like good advice to me.

Nitro said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lennox said...

I get very frustrated with how my fellow progressives regard anyone from the South or from the rural regions, even generally speaking - never mind this specific NASCAR bait. Because they might be of a different political stripe than us, we feel free to sneer about the inbred, mouth breeding, 'backy chewing, toothless, blah, blah, freakin' blah - as if we have some special license to denigrate people because of their circumstances or appearence, because we don't like how they VOTE.

Prejudice is prejudice, no matter which side its coming from, or the reason for it. And seems like since the whole (fabricated) Red/Blue divide got legs, that prejudice has gotten unapologetically loud and proud with lefties and progressives.

Now both sides of my family are from the deep hollers of Kentucky, one grandfather a tobacco farmer - and I'm a liberal progressive. And it pains me to read posts from those "on my side" who freely mock 'my people' daily. I find it embarrasing when I see that elitist crap label the 'wingers throw at us actually stick, and nobody seems to register or notice or CARE.

Why are "Those people" toothless or ignorant or mouth-breathing?? Poverty and neglect and abuse of *years* from our government and big business (ie coal and such). And rather than stand up for the downtrodden, see that they could benefit from the policies of liberal democrats, we play into this divide-and-conquer game and we use them instead as the easy one dimensional poster child of our political opponents.

What's progressive about that?? How does that honor our history of unionizing and worker's rights and so on? Are we not for the working class any more? (Yes, I know we clearly DO more for them politically - and how hard would that be, considering- but I'm talking about our attituide, about respect).

I'm sorry, Nonnymouse - I know you meant well. But this distancing yourself from those "others" by citing some NASCAR fans with degrees and such, just makes me cringe. You've still bought into the idea that people NOT "like us" are sub-human, and not to be treated with consideration. As long as no one mistakes YOU for those OTHER nasty people, its still okay to regard them as nasty. In essence, it's okay to make fun of toothless poor people as long as you aren't mistaken for one of them.

Beyond party loyalty, don't we need to walk our talk and just take objection to actions we don't like (including voting for shrub and co.) and leave ALL these broad dehumanizing generalizations at the freakin' door? There IS a bigger picture than partisan positions here - like treating our fellow citizens with respect. Whether they're "just like us" or not.

Thing Fish said...

The question is the "unusual need" statement. Why blindly accept the Republican assertion that it was about NASCAR?

Has anybody seen the actual memo. Or are we just repeating what we've been told?

Madman in the Marketplace said...

Oh, boo hoo.

I'm so tired of reading and hearing about what tender flowers southerners are, or rural voters, or suburbanites ... or whatever sub-group thereof.

The political vocabulary in this country is full of talk of "the heartland", "christian voters", "values voters" ... whining that people "here", whichever whitish "here" we're talking about, are "good" people, and that bad things don't happen "here".

ALL of that carries packed inside it an underlying assumption that THEM, i.e. people in cities or the northeast or in general urban or minority areas, are NONE of those good things. Not "good people". Not people with "values", who live in places where bad things not only happen, but where bad things are SUPPOSED to happen.

When I see NASCAR I see gross overconsumption of corporate crap and tons of fuel. I see overwhelmingly white faces, in the stands, in the cars and in the pits. I see the Stars and Bars and crosses and NRA stickers and yellow "Support the Troops" commands on magnets on big SUVs and vans.

Telling us that we must pander to any culture, even a culture that has subsumed into everything it does, the stories it tells itself, the language it chooses ... all of it part and parcel of the whole southern ethos, the "lost cause" and all the rest, telling us that we must not hurt their tender feelings, is past tiresome.

It's time for supposedly progressive and liberal people to stop making excuses for a culture that celebrates consumption and racism and division. I hear the interviews w/ voters down south, talking about Rudy, who is a fascist as much or more than any other Republican, but they're talking about him as being unacceptable BECAUSE OF WHERE HE IS FROM. There is PLENTY of prejudice directed at regions of this country, and it's spewed by both parties and by most of the media, and most of it it directed at the cities and places where there is a darker cast to the population. And it's spewed constantly by southern and suburban politicians and voters.

For a subculture that worships machismo and big, powerful phallic symbols, they're an awful delicate bunch, a subculture than can dish it out but takes it like a bunch of cringing, weak little curs.

Lennox said...

MADMAN: You're just the other side of the coin you despise. You make generalizations about a people making generalizations about urban people and ...on and on. Only its okay when WE stereotype and sneer??

Who wants to be the first to break this cycle and quit distracting ourselves? Or continue on, EACH side secure in the knowledge that well, at least we're better than THEY are.

We progressives caught on to RW scapegoating poor urban people (with the Welfare Queen BS) - but for some reason eat up this North/South, Urban/Rural, Blue/Red divide crap. Maybe cause I'm sorta straddling both worlds, I can see that mainly its a construct, and we ain't that different overall.

We're all in the same sinking boat. If we want to continue to believe that our differences are insurmountable and immutable, and our fellow countrymen are inherently our enemy cause they don't always vote like us, then I guess we'll all go down together too.

Boo hoo? Grow a heart, why don't you.

Madman in the Marketplace said...

Grow a heart, for a region of the country that insists on pushing wingers like Heath Shuler into the Donk party?

I was being a little extreme to make a point, but I think my point stands. There is a narrow range of voters being chased by both political parties, and when other groups get fed up and fight back with the very tools that have been directed outward by the group of voters that I'm using NASCAR as an example of, we're supposed to have a heart and mollycoddle the poor, hurt southern/suburban/nascardad/churchgoing whatevers.

I see little sign that the vast majority of those voters have "gotten" why "welfare mothers" and all the other stereotypical attacks were wrong. I hear variations on the same thing about the immigration debate, for example.

I appreciate where nonny is coming from, and where writers like Bageant are coming from. Many of my relatives ARE NASCAR fans, just the sorts of folks who thought Reagan was fantastic and who whine that the Democrats "abandoned" them, but the quiet racism and envy and prejudice are all there.

I know it's not right to lump the south/suburbs/NASCAR fans together. Hell, my music collection is FULL of people who come out of the art/music scenes in TX, SC, TN etc. Wonderful writers and artists grow from that soil. I KNOW it's more complicated that the stereotypes allow. Hell, MOLLY IVANS and WILLIE NELSON, just to start ... but when I hear the defeatism from leftists that compromises with the likes of Warner and Shuler and other Trojan Republicans is the best we can hope for, and then watch those same lefties cry in despair when aisles are crossed and the rest of us get pissed and start pointing our over-simplifying fingers at all of you. Well, I just can't muster up any sympathy.

Yes, poor and middle class whites should see that universal healthcare and job protection and fair trade give them more in common with blacks and hispanics and city dwellers, but they don't, and they won't, and until they stop demanding that I look at Southern symbols of hatred and exploitation on high-priced racing machines as celebrations of their culture, then I just can't, and won't.

Madman in the Marketplace said...

THIS is the kind of stereotyping about cities I'm talking about, and which works only too well on NASCAR dads and others:

Just as he's been plying his charm during a campaign swing in South Carolina, the NY Times has a big story about how former mayor Rudy Giuliani works his New York City credentials without being too encumbered by associations with such a liberal-leaning town (even his own liberal leanings!).

Giuliani takes the time during his speeches to make old NYC look bad so he winds up looking good. For instance, there used to be a tourism tip sheet for New Englanders coming to NYC back in the 1990s, and Giuliani says, "You know what the last tip was? ‘Don’t make eye contact.’ Can you imagine going to a city and being told you shouldn’t look at anyone?”

And Giuliani repeatedly references the Time cover story, "The Rotting Big Apple," from September 17, 1990 (as he did during the UNH debate). But guess who saved NYC? That's right. The candidate who now says, "Gosh, there are more Republicans on this side of the room than there are in all of New York City. So I am really comfortable here.” What's he's not mentioning are race relations during his mayoral terms and disgraced BFF's.


Far as I'm concerned, it's about time when people started lobbing the mud back.

Herman said...

Look, here, Nonny!

WHY THE HELL ARE YOU SUPPORTING GLOBAL WARMING??? WELL, WHAT'S YOUR ANSWER???? IS IT BECAUSE YOU DON'T GIVE A DAMN DESPITE YOUR ALLEGEDLY HIGH IQ??

WHY THE HELL ARE YOU SUPPORTING AIR POLLUTION??? AND AREN'T THEY STILL USING LEAD-BASED GASOLINE AT NASCAR EVEN NOW IN 2007 and at NASCAR events you've been to??? Yes or no, dammit???

WHY THE HELL ARE YOU SUPPORTING THE USE OF UNRENEWABLE RESOURCES, FOR (expletive-deleted) "ENTERTAINMENT"?? HASN'T IT EVER OCCURRED TO YOU THAT PEOPLE OF TOMORROW MIGHT ONE DAY NEED THE RESOURCES YOU'RE SO WILLING TO USE UP FOR FRIVOLITY???

WHY THE HELL ARE YOU SUPPORTING AN "ENTERTAINMENT" WHICH CAUSES UNNECESSARY ACCIDENTS??? YOU GET YOUR JOLLIES WATCHING CAR CRASHES???

DON'T YOU HAVE ANYTHING BETTER TO DO WITH YOUR TIME, NONNY, THAN WATCH CARS GO ROUND AND ROUND IN CIRCLES FOR HOURS??? DON'T YOU?? How about Al Gore, does he have better things to do with his time??

As long as you attend NASCAR events, Nonny, in at least one very important respect you're not a liberal, you're a selfish, shortsighted conservative.

Deal with it. Deal with it now, deal with it every single day for the rest of your life.

Bob Sam said...

Thanks,Nonny,

It's folks like Herman, above, who are no different nor better than the hate-filled stereotypers who fill the ranks of GWB's Believers, the Limbaugh's and the Malkins andd the 20%ers. And, sadly, there are quite a few folks who are otherwise clear-headed, correct thinking folks except that, perhaps because they have never been out of their East or West Coast habitats, they feel that they can claim a smug superiority by applying negative stereotypes to people they have never met, to things of which they have no knowledge and with which, apparently, they do not care to make an effort to familiarize themselves enough to at least know of what they speak.

I was raised in the South, have lived on the shore in Connecticut and in Carmel, CA. I also have lived in Texas and New Mexico...and I currently live in one of my old Hometowns, Asheville, NC.

We read books and newspapers and watch movies...and races, eat continental cuisine along with BBQ and cole slaw....but, the good folks among us don't make fun of people in other parts of the world because they don't talk or dress or eat like us...or for how they choose to entertain themselves And we certainly don't go on tirades about a person's character because of some personal preference in yellow or brown mustard or footwear or entertainment, or the use of the occasional dangling participle....much less would we indulge in the use of stereotypes which insinuate inbreeding, low-IQ or reprehensible political thoughts or activities.

I put my time in at KPFT in Houston, a Pacifica radio Station, a 1st Amendment Station where we led the South in Free Speech. I routinely interviewed Black Panthers and Klan leaders, gay rights advocates and Homo-phobes of the highest order, republicans, democrats, libertarians,Bible-beating Evangelists, nihilist atheists, poets, prison rights activists, feminists, male-strippers and a wide range of political stripes the likes of John Henry Faulke, Kinky Friedman, LLoyd Bentsen and Madilyn Murray O'Hare.

They all had a right to express themselves. That is what makes the world go round. Vive la difference! If everybody liked the same thing, there would always be a very long line at your favorite restaurant. Think about it! What a dull world it would be! Grow up! Accept and embrace differences in others!

Failure or refusal to do so, in my experience, reflects a deep and horrible fear that there is something wrong with you and your preferences....sound familiar?

Gregory said...

Nonny,
Prior to the ascension of George the Younger it would have been easier to cut the NASCAR culture some slack. Back when 43 was Richard Petty's number the sport was a reasonably genuine expression of regional Americana. However, since you have been out of the country for at least a decade, NASCAR events now are little N├╝rnberg rallies for the rapture crowd, chocka with cheap sentimentality for all things 'Mur-kan and the sacchrine patriotism of Lee Greenwood's "God Bless the U.S.A".

I guess nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

Millions upon millions may watch these events on telly but those who actually attend the races are a different matter. Maybe you can reach a percentage of them with a progressive message but that seems to be a bad bargain, given the resources expended chasing a small percentage.

Yeah, yeah, I know, there are intelligent fans, upscale fans, educated fans, etc etc etc. But if that were the NASCAR demographic then we wouldn't be having this discussion, right?

There is no denying that the sport is very popular in the US, but then at least 25% of the voting population still support Herr Busch. That percentage approaches 75-80% when polled at NASCAR events.

I'm guessing that the chances of success in reaching a meaningful number of this crowd are about the same as the Jehovies and fundies have in my neighborhood, when they go porch to porch, ringing doorbells for Jeeezus. They keep trying, but then they are nutcases. I'm too cynical too ring doorbells.

Nonny Mouse said...

Amazing. I'm not going to delete anyone's comment here, simply because some of them so perfectly reflect exactly the attitude I wrote the post about.

To reply to lennox - uh, say whuh?? I rather sarcastically describe a well-over-the-top NASCAR caricature, and you're defending... who exactly?? You genuinely confuse me. I'm not mocking 'your people' (since I'm rather closely related to 'your people' myself), or trying to 'distance' myself from 'them' - whoever it is you think of as 'them' - but I'm certainly not going to apologise for aspiring to better; the deep-south poor near-illiterate dirt farmer's son who happened to be my father would have been ashamed of me had I not. So whatever your problem is, it isn't with me.

And to herman - you worry me, son. I urge you to get on your bike - naturally, I assume you don't own a car, or would ever stoop to using a bus or a train or a tram, since all those also use fossil fuels - pedal on down to your doctor's office and have your blood pressure checked. Seems the pressure in your cerebral arteries might be choking off your higher brain functions.

Herman said...

Rather than address the serious issues that I posed, Nonny, you chose instead to undertake some failed, cheap attempt to be humorous. Sadly, it doesn't surprise me.

I stand with Al Gore in support of trying to reduce the harmful effects of global warming. You stand with Dick Cheney in support of NASCAR and environmental degradation.

REPEAT: YOU STAND WITH DICK CHENEY IN SUPPORT OF ENVIRONMENTAL DEGRADATION.

That's got to STING, doesn't it, Nonny???

Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace Prize for warning us about the "planetary emergency" arising from global warming. Your hero, Dick Cheney, describes conservation not as anything that should guide public policy, but as merely a "personal virtue." Who exactly is right here, Nonny??? Are you going to refuse to answer, are you going to refuse to confront the dire consequences of your shortsighted, self-indulgent ways??? WELL????

Yes, I do own a bicycle (a used Challenge Hurricane) which I'll be riding to my job later today. I have never, ever owned or driven a car! But you know as well as I that there's a big difference between using a car for some sort of necessary transportation and for using it on such wastefulness as NASCAR, your feeble diversion on this matter notwithstanding.

You have the audacity to question my brain functions while writing such drivel as "sixty-seven percent of NASCAR fans consider buying a fuel-efficient vehicle to be patriot [sic]..." Uh, Nonny, I believe that you're looking for an adjective as the final word here, not a noun. Learn the distinction. 140+ IQ? Yeah, right.

Maybe, just maybe, Nonny, you think you're too old to change. But you have only one life to live, Nonny. Just one. Is wasting time watching cars go around in circles, belching filth into the air as they go, really the optimal use of your precious time? Can't you forgo these hedonistic pursuits to focus on your humanity, to help ensure that children don't have to inhale dirty air? and that people of tomorrow are less troubled by the global warming taking place now?

Herman said...

The first link I used in my last post doesn't seem to be working and so i place it here:

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/07/images/20060701-3_v070106db-0375-515h.html

The second link has an inadvertent question mark at the end of the linking text.

Herman said...

Aw, can't get the first link to work. Sorry.

quixote said...

Isn't Nonnymouse making a larger point? It's kinder, and just plain politer, not to ignore people when you're talking to them.

That goes double for professionals, like politicians and their staffers, whose *job* is to engage people.

It's not the same as me, in the privacy of my favorite bar or faculty lounge, slagging off New Yorkers or holler-dwellers. That may or may not reflect more on me than the slaggees, but that's not the issue.

The point she's making here is that it's just as insulting to ignore individual Nascarites as it is to ignore, say, individual blacks. It's like the top Republican candidates who couldn't be bothered with a debate at a historically black university because "blacks don't vote Republican."

The statistics aren't the issue. It doesn't matter if it's true that even fewer blacks vote Republican than Nascar event attendees vote Democratic.

The point is that if you're talking to people, you treat them with respect. Saying, "You're all _____" (fill in the blank) is not respect. At the very least, when talking to strangers, respect is realizing you don't know anything about them.

Sure, Republicans have pretty much made a political platform out of dissing people. But we're supposed to be better than that.

Carol said...

You're all missing the forrest for the trees. NASCAR is symbolic, and arguing about the stereotypical fan base does not prove or disprove its legitimacy. NASCAR, NFL, Vegas gambling, and other overhyped "spectacle" pasttimes are nothing more than the Breads and Circuses of America. Doesn't matter who attends or what is wasted (resources) or promoted (higher education). As in ancient Rome, the majority of attendees are being distracted from the reality of our times with food (burgers or fois gras) , drink (Bud or Chimay), and spectacular entertainment. The cars keep rolling round the track, the fans cheer, and America crumbles with hardly a notice.

Gregory said...

Quick, somebody contact the Vatican! We have a Saint walking in our midst and he must be canonized! My gawd, how could we have missed what was before our very eyes????

Herman, you've got some serious problems. Clueless and sanctimonious in equal measures, I can only imagine that you are loads of fun at a party. That, by the way, was sarcasm since your reality filters clearly need to be adjusted.

Here's a small hint. Find out a little about Nonny before you go off on another ignorant rant, try to make your point without condescension and ad hominem and, most importantly, find your Caps Lock key (located just above your Shift key). Nothing says spittle spewing nutter like ALLCAPS and !!!!??????. If you can internalize those lessons then when you are old enough to drink somebody might actually talk to you down at the pub.

Nonny Mouse said...

My goodness! A typo! Quelle horror! Thanks, herman. My first grammar troll - my blog is now complete.

Herman said...

You're welcome, Nonny.

La Professora said...

I feel for the Hermans of the world. How frustrating it must be to see life in such black and white terms. Let us not forget that Nonny's point is that the left is too ready to vilify the NASCAR fan, and the right is all too happy to characterize everyone else as tofu-eatin', tree-huggin' loonies of the left. My students know better than to engage in such economical fallacies.

Yes, I drive a car. It's a Saturn and gets 38mpg on the highway. It has always amazed me that the people I've encountered preaching the ways of "zero carbon footprint" never seem to take into consideration what went into making their lifestyle possible. The metal of a bike had to be mined, transported and processed. The rubber of the tires and tubes had to be either harvested from Amazon trees or made from petrochemicals. What goes into the helmets and biker pants? How did they get to the store shelves?

Yes, NASCAR racing does use petrol and rubber too. Let's not forget about the tailgate parties and the carbon released from the charcoal. Why not complain of the football teams with their own jets, flying around to compete at games where thousands of people drive over to the stadiums to watch? The point is that breathing releases carbon dioxide. If one is that concerned about the amount of such gases in the atmosphere, one should stop breathing. Human activities have always impacted the environment.

Every lifestyle has its choices to be made. I'm comfortable with the choices I've made. Are you?

Herman said...

"It has always amazed me that the people I've encountered preaching the ways of "zero carbon footprint" never seem to take into consideration what went into making their lifestyle possible. The metal of a bike had to be mined, transported and processed. The rubber of the tires and tubes had to be either harvested from Amazon trees or made from petrochemicals. What goes into the helmets and biker pants? How did they get to the store shelves?"

-- The Prof

Uh, no kidding. I suppose too you could disapprove even of walking, because the shoes have to be transported. But neither shoes nor bicycle parts comprise anything comparable to the sheer volume of components that make up your Saturn, right? Of course, you already knew this, your specious arguments notwithstanding.

I guess I'm supposed to be impressed by 38 mpg. What kind of fuel efficiency do you think that the pedestrian and bicyclist get, say, in miles per apple eaten?

"Yes, NASCAR racing does use petrol and rubber too. Let's not forget about the tailgate parties and the carbon released from the charcoal. Why not complain of the football teams with their own jets, flying around to compete at games where thousands of people drive over to the stadiums to watch?" -- La Professora

What, the fact that more stupidity is going on is supposed to justify the stupidity known as NASCAR? Would you demand that I complain about the couple driving to a night at the local opera too?

Look, what is especially obscene (OBSCENE!) about NASCAR is that it alone utterly EXALTS the belching of filth into the air as entertainment, thereby mocking conservation, laughing in the face of people concerned about air pollution, and telling Al Gore to go to hell with the global warming, we don't give a damn thank you very much. Heck, if I'm not mistaken, at least with the very stupid Formula One those drivers don't use UNLEADED gasoline, to really rub it into the faces of the environmentalists, unlike NASCAR.

Is this your position, Prof, that is, not giving a damn about conservation, the people of the future,the polar bears, and children developing asthma? Do you think that Al Gore has better things to do with his time than watch cars go round in circles for hours on end, polluting the air as they go? And if your answer is "Yes, Al Gore does have better things to do with his time," DON'T YOU TOO?

"The point is that breathing releases carbon dioxide. If one is that concerned about the amount of such gases in the atmosphere, one should stop breathing. Human activities have always impacted the environment." -- The Lady's a Professor

I'm not quite ready for suicide -- hope you aren't dismayed. In any case, the "impacting the environment" that you speak of could be benign or perverse. The choice is yours, the choice is ours. Let's make the right one, for the sake of future generations.

Gregory said...

Congrats, Nonny! You caught yourself a first class concern troll. On what, your third post?

Most blogs require far more posts before they develop a constituency amongst the nutter class. You must be doing something right.

On the other hand, you are in severe danger of being grassed!!!! Herman is going to tell AL GORE that you (and OK) are a FRAUD!!!!! OMG!!!!!

The trolls might be getting younger, Nonny, but they're not getting any wiser.

greenjeans112 said...

herman is very very funny. I wonder where he found your blog.
You have made it, Nonny! You have truely made it.