4/18/2006

Iran for Rednecks

Cast of Characters
Dale Earnhardt Jr. as Iran
Junior’s car as Iran’s nuclear sites
Jeff Gordon as the U.S.
Gordon’s pit crew as the U.S. military
NASCAR as the United Nations
Other drivers as other countries
The fans as the U.S. mass media


Pretend for a minute that Dale Jr. wins Daytona. While Junior is celebrating his victory, Jeff Gordon complains to NASCAR that Junior has been illegally altering his car’s engine. NASCAR and other drivers know this is not true, but Gordon keeps insisting that Junior is breaking the rules and ought to be punished. The fans believe what Gordon says even though they can offer no proof to back up his claims and Gordon gets upset because NASCAR is not doing anything about it. Gordon then gets his pit crew and surrounds Junior’s car. He tells the fans that he will destroy Junior and his car no matter what NASCAR says. The fans all cheer except for a few dissenters in the back who cannot be heard over the noise.

2 comments:

  1. Jamie, I thought that you were going to write a screen play. I guess the way you introduced the “cast of characters” led me to believe that. I was thinking that Junior wasn’t really shaped like Iran, though.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m on the Zogby polling list. I get a poll from them to fill out every month or so. You can get on it. They’re always looking for more volunteers.

    I mention Zogby polls because one of the last questions each poll, bar none, asks is “Are you a NASCAR fan?” Now that’s stereotyping, just as your column is. It’s stereotyping, however, that speaks truth to stereotyping. To be a NASCAR fan or a soccer mom is to say that you have a magnet on your SUV which reads “I Support The Troops”. The audience you choose for this column needs to see what you’re displaying.

    If members of your target audience read this column concerning Iran, they’d say they would never cheer for an aggressor who’s attacking someone for whom guilt hasn’t been proven.

    They'd say that would be “absurd”.

    Yes, indeed, “absurd”. It’s as “absurd” as saying that our troops are in Iraq protecting our freedom, our very right to pen columns like yours, and mine. I’ve gotten that response, but I don’t know for the life of me how Saddam Hussein, they always use an individual instead of a country – it’s easier to demonize an individual, could have ever gotten any kind of power over the citizens of the US by which he could ever control what we write, say or do. Now that’s absurd.

    I hope that enough NASCAR dads, who really only want to be patriotic, read this column and determine that attacking someone who hasn’t even been charged by a ruling organization, NASCAR or the UN, is unethical. I hope that enough read this to realize that our government, consisting of nothing more than fallible human beings, can make mistakes or can even commit crimes. I hope that they realize that what our government does doesn’t automatically represent our nation. Our government is not our country.

    To friendship,
    Michael

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  2. I live in the heart of NASCAR and demolition derbys. Larry "Git 'er done" the Cable Guy could well be a neighbor of mine. While I do not consider myself a fan of stock car racing, I have been a fan of Indy car racing and have been to the Indy 500. I grew up here and I understand the mentality. We used to shoot guns from car windows and kick over mailboxes. Although that delinquent behavior is long gone, I understand the stereotype of the so-called NASCAR dads, and I wrote this little tongue-in-cheek bit as a way to simplify the Iran issue for them. But this audience doesn't read blogs, books or newspapers. News around here comes from Clear Channel radio stations, television news breaks sandwiched between commercials, and word of mouth on the job. Folks around here -- and here is called Appalachia -- work in factories, logging, mining, construction, gravel pits, prisons, fast food and service jobs. Obviously, it would be wrong to pin the "NASCAR dad" stereotype on everyone, as there are more skeptics in this group than the media lead us to believe. But the label does fit some. They don't want to think about anything except finding that re-built transmisson and they support the war because they never hear any other viewpoints. That is how it seems to me, anyway.

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