21 March 2006

Red Neck Sitings and Why I Hate NASCAR

"Big Pipes Save Lives."
Yes, this is the huge message I just saw emblazened on a RNTD--Red Neck Transportation Device. Normally I would call it a truck or a pick-up--but can we really call it that when it has tires that are more the size of those required for mining equipment?
So about Red Necks. And Nascar. And snowmobiling for that matter.
These are all things that I find really irritating.
Now, I know what you're all thinking. I am a horrible, judgmental, close-minded, snobbish individual.
Well, I am a snob.
But what you need to know is that I am a small town farm girl. I know my roots. I will admit that when I hear the song "Red Neck Woman" there is a very small (albeit miniscule) part of me that revels in the thrashy trashiness of it. I love the song "Wide Open Spaces." That song became almost a mantra for me during a certain part of my life.
But people, I will never have a bumper sticker on my truck that says something about the size of my pipes or engine or wheels or male parts....I will never have a Dale Ernhardt sticker on my car....I will not wear a snowmobiling coat made out of colors that were NOT invented by God.
Why? Because these things, in my mind, and in my experience, can be associated with extreme red-neckness.
First of all, if you like NASCAR, I am sorry. I personally cannot get excited about a "sport" in which people drive around in cars in circles at high speeds. Now, I understand that the cars are very high tech and that the drivers are skilled, but to me, sport implies some level of athletic prowess--some level of interest.
For me NASCAR falls into the category of sports that are not sports along with golf, bowling, curling, pool.
I guess what bugs me most about all of these things is that most people in this country could tell you information about a driver of Nascar more easily than they could tell you current events or discuss something truly important to life.
Obsession with these pastimes has gotten out of hand. Because they are no longer pastimes. They are lifestyles.
I mean it. Some people have a NASCAR lifestyle. It is how they define themselves. So, you have a truck with #23 on it, an entire family clad in NASCAR gear from the socks to the coat to the sweatshirt to the cap and God only knows what else. A family who centers their vacations on going to see the "Race." To see if "Their" driver will do well, as if they own or even know that driver or that driver has anything to do with them.
I just find it really bizarre.
This is extremely similar to my Strong Hatred of All Sports. But that is another day, another blog.
I guess the question is, why would anyone choose to define their life by something like this? Or by an irritating bumper sticker?
And the even great question is--how do we define our lives? By something that really matters? By something with eternal significance? By something that has a positive impact? Or by something fleeting--that is gone in a moment--that has no lasting worth.
OK. I will quit with the preaching. I know I am really no better than the NASCAR people.
That does not make NASCARness any less annoying. Or any more excusable.


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