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12:29 am EDT 72°F (22°C) in Elizabethtown, KY
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My disdain for stupidity is most certainly not limited to right-wing wackos. I’m an equal-opportunity exposer and denouncer of stupidity in any form, and tonight, I have a (possibly unexpected) pair of idiotic groups of people to rip to shreds in this space.
The first of these two stories comes from the Montreal Molson Indy, a CART “Champ Car” race held Sunday on a street layout in Montreal. I read a short blurb in the sports section of yesterday’s USA Today stating that Spanish-born driver Oriol Servia won his first Champ Car race after German rookie Timo Glock was ordered by CART to allow Servia to pass. The story stated that Servia had made two attempts to pass Glock for the lead in the final 10 laps, but was blocked from completing said passes by Glock. Apparently such “blocking” maneuvers (which, I might add, are part of the racing in just about every other motorsport series on earth) are illegal in CART.
There is a reason why NASCAR has seen an explosion in popularity over the last 10-15 years, and why the once widely-respected CART has turned into a joke: stupid rules like these. There is absolutely no reason at all why one (still-competitive) driver ought to be forced to allow any other driver to pass — for Christ’s sake, that’s why they call the sport “racing.” (I added the “still-competitive” qualifier because often times in NASCAR, drivers who have been in accidents early in a race will return to the track later with what amounts to a castrated car; they do this because series championship points are awarded to all drivers in the field, and the difference even between 37th and 43rd in one particular race can be significant in a tight points race. When this happens, the damaged cars are just out there trying to make laps and stay out of everybody else’s way.)
I mean, seriously, in a NASCAR Nextel Cup Series race, trading some paint is par for the course. On a short track like Bristol Motor Speedway, there can be as few as a half-dozen cars in the field of 43 that survive the race with no body damage. Quite frankly, it is expected that Jeff Gordon, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Rusty Wallace, Kurt Busch, et al. will bang fenders, tap bumpers, leave tire scuff marks on other cars, and trade some paint on Bristol’s 36° banking, or going four-wide down the front straightaways at Talladega. It is every man for himself, even in the super-speedway races where “drafting” in the pack is vital to one’s chances of winning. To its credit, for the most part, NASCAR lets its drivers handle the nitty-gritty details of the racing, and mostly just concerns itself with ensuring a fair, safe environment for all involved.
Apparently that can’t be the case in CART. CART seems to feel the need to act as a nanny to its drivers, telling them what they have to do. Did it occur to CART officials that they were pretty much fixing the race outcome in Servia’s favor when they ordered Glock to let Servia pass? Seriously, if you can’t fully complete a pass on your own (meaning that your rear end is completely in front of your target’s front end), it’s your own damn fault, and you have no place going around and crying to anybody about it. I can’t blame the race-control officials for doing their job and enforcing a CART rule, but that doesn’t change the fact that that “no blocking” rule is absolutely ridiculous. Like I said, it’s pretty obvious to me why NASCAR has become so huge, and why CART has been relegated to a position of irrelevance below even that of its open-wheel competitor, the Indy Racing League (IRL).
Even my fellow gay people are not exempt from my hypertextual fire-breathing. I picked this story up second-hand from the John McMullen Show on Sirius OutQ, so we’re not talking about a direct observation that I made, but it is worthy of my commentary nonetheless. During this past evening’s edition of his show, McMullen said on-air that he had visited Gay.com’s New Orleans chat rooms earlier Monday to check in with some of his acquaintances in the Big Easy in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. He didn’t mention anything about that, but he did say that the New Orleans chat rooms were packed so full that Gay.com had to open extra ones. The most logical assumption would be that hordes of gay people were trying to reach out to their queer brethren in the Crescent City to see if they were all right, but alas, that was not to be. The biggest topic of conversation seemed to be whether two gay festivals (Southern Decadence and Girth & Mirth Convergence) scheduled for this upcoming weekend in New Orleans would go on.
Come on, fellow queers. What the fuck is wrong with you people? Although New Orleans was spared Katrina’s greatest fury, the city is still a gigantic mess with widespread flooding and destruction almost everywhere you look. Tens of thousands have been left homeless, and millions are without electricity, gas service, or running water. Are you trying to tell me that you’re more worried about a Mardi Gras-style “circuit party” than you are about the people who have lost homes or loved ones to Katrina? What the fuck are you thinking? You people ought to be exceedingly ashamed of yourselves — and that’s an understatement; I don’t think the English language contains words strong enough to accurately describe what I feel about that kind of attitude.
That kind of stupidity is what I expect from the right-wing morons who hate us, not my own fellow gay people. You know something, the attitude displayed in those Gay.com New Orleans chat rooms, and mentioned on-air by McMullen, really makes me wonder if maybe Alan Keyes and Pat Robertson were right — that we’re “selfish hedonists” and “self-absorbed narcissists” who can’t see beyond the next drink, the next hit of ecstasy, the next party, and the next random sex partner.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not converting over to their side, but I have every right to make it known that I am absolutely furious about the fact that any of my gay/lesbian brothers and sisters would take such an attitude in light of what has just happened to New Orleans. I also know that the vast majority of gay people do have their priorities straight (no pun intended), but as always, the 5% who care more about some stupid party tarnish the reputation of the other 95%. It should go without saying that I’m not at all happy about even a few of my fellow queers throwing yet another bone to the likes of Robertson and Falwell.
Well, that’s enough ranting for tonight. I actually have to head into what will remain of Katrina later on today; I’m headed to middle Tennessee, where I expect to encounter heavy rain and possibly some 40-mph (64 km/h) winds, but nothing particularly destructive. I’ve driven through the remnants of hurricanes before, so I don’t think I’ll see anything I can’t handle.