Saturday, February 18, 2006

Good Riddance

Apparently, today is the 5th anniversary of the death of one Dale Earnhardt, Sr. You know the guy. Hell, you can't go anywhere without seeing some form of #3 merchandise on someone's car, hat, shirt, anything. For some reason, this wee little man with a mustache was the most celebrated "athlete" in his "sport."

By the way, these "athletes" sit in a seat, push pedals with their feet, and turn a wheel.

And this "sport?" Go fast, turn left, repeat.

And then he plowed into a wall. No more Intimidator. No more hero.

Hero of a "sport" that calls disorganized crime it's father, and the bosom of redneck culture its mother.

NASCAR's roots are easily traceable. Let's go back to Prohibition. In the South, Moonshine was the answer to the Government's banning of alcohol. In order to distribute the Shine, hillbillies souped up their cars, pushing the limits of the vehicles of the day in order to outrun the cops. They became known as Shine Runners.

Unsurprisingly, since rednecks are often the center of their own individual universes, boasting began over who's shine hauler was the bee's knees, and races were organized to see just who had the most pimped out ride. Thusly, NASCAR was born.

Go to any given NASCAR event, and just watch people. Tell me what you see. 90% of the crowd there will most assuredly be straight out of Deliverance. Seriously. Watch people smile, then start counting teeth. I bet you won't get to a very high number, and it most certainly won't create a good teeth/adult mouth ratio (which should be at least 20/1).

I'd hoped it would finally die with Earnhardt. The most iconic driver in NASCAR history, killed by the sport he devoted his life to. I'd hoped his accident would raise questions as to the safety issues brought about by racing at that level and kill it. But no, it began to thrive more and more.

And people just won't let go of the fact that Dale is dead. They continue to plaster #3 on everything: Car windows, flags, shirts, hats... It hasn't ended, even five years later. They treat this man like a damn saint, almost to the point of worship. Go into any random redneck home, and chances are you'll see a shrine of pictures and collectibles devoted to the guy.


A sport born of alcohol, sponsored by alcohol, and watched by people who consume absurd amounts of alcohol. There's nothing wrong with that? Somehow, it's hard to miss the connection of "Drinking and Driving."

And I love the local color that NASCAR culture creates. Nothing like getting passed in a double yellow by two good ol' boys in their 15 year old Chevy Celebrity, pretending they're behind the wheel of the #24 Monte Carlo while they've got Merle Haggard jamming full blast in the stereo 8-track, windows down screaming "Yee haw" as they drive past you. Yeah, real smart there, Duke Boys. Might be time to go visit Uncle Jesse and re-up your shine supply. Brilliant.

What these tools fail to realize is that every company that offers them Dale Earnhardt Sr. anything is just trying to cash in on a dead man's fame. They're not doing it for "the memory of a great athlete," they're doing it for George Washington, Abe Lincoln, Andrew Jackson, and Benjamin Franklin. They know that you'll buy anything with a #3 on it. They know you're willing to shell out a good amount of cash because of your "love" of a rotting corpse.

Yep. He's a rotting corpse. He has been dead five years, you know.

Let it go, people. Take the stickers off your windows, take your flags off of the cheap wood "porches" you've built onto your trailers. He's dead. He's not coming back. He's a decaying mass of bones and flesh five years through the breakdown process. Open the coffin, it will smell very bad. He's not on the track, his spirit is not on the track. He does not haunt Daytona. What he haunts is the minds of people who are sick and tired of hearing about him, constantly reminded by your mindless devotion to a dead man.

Please. For the love of humanity. No more #3.


Anonymous said...

Hahahaha nce but i do not have a shrine to the #3 man lmao my shrine is to the #24 thats right he hasnt died yet but eventually he will and he shall forever be immoratilazied on my wall. Now i am a redneck at heart and like i said everyone is entitled to there opinion so i aint hating u !!~Niki~

JOKER said...

Well I'll tell ya what, you sit inna car at 180 MPH pushing 4-9 "G's" for 3-1/2 to 4 hours and tell me you dont have to be in excellent shape to do it week in and week out..that makes them athletes... as far as bein rednecks... well ya got me there:P...BTW thers a lot more to going fast and turning left than meets the eye ;)

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