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February 20, 2012 4:39 PM   Subscribe

M.I.A. has released a new single called Bad Girls. The music video, another collaboration with Romain Gavras (previously on Metafilter), features a Middle Eastern style of drifting called hagwalah and a see-through glow-in-the-dark car inspired by Prabhu Deva dancing on a see-through bus in the Tamil film Kadhalan. Some believe M.I.A. is making a statement against the Saudi Arabian law banning women from driving, others see it as a relatively positive view of today's Middle East, and still others fear M.I.A. is misappropriating stereotypes for the sake of creating controversy. But maybe you'd just like some more lighthearted information on the making of the video. M.I.A. herself delivers. (More M.I.A. on Metafilter: 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, most recently)
posted by sigmagalator (90 comments total) 24 users marked this as a favorite

 
Only Money and stupidity makes stuff like that video of hagwalah possible, inshallah.
posted by NiteMayr at 4:50 PM on February 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Rich, famous international superstar who got famous doing "controversial" marketing releases new marketing video in keeping with already-established marketing strategy. And, surprise, she succeeds in getting people on the internet to post about it, thereby justifying the marketing strategy.
posted by The World Famous at 4:51 PM on February 20, 2012 [9 favorites]


Rich, famous international superstar

Tough to be an international superstar without the first two parts.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:54 PM on February 20, 2012


Artists gonna art, man. We see whatever we want to see. Some, for example, might see M.I.A. as promoting dangerous driving. I just see a music video and an artist with a good marketing setup.
posted by vidur at 4:55 PM on February 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I'm not sure where the art is here. It certainly isn't in the flat, trite music she makes.
posted by Flashman at 4:59 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey guys there's a thing on the Internet and I don't like it so I'm going to tell everyone about how I don't like it because I assume anyone gives a shit about my negativity!

Anyway M.I.A. has been appropriating culture for years and I appreciate it inasmuch as it presents styles I otherwise wouldn't seek out or have any familiarity with. Call that inauthentic culture-stealing or whatever you want, and I'll call it a cool music video I saw the other day.
posted by palidor at 4:59 PM on February 20, 2012 [24 favorites]


Her flow on this song reminds a lot of Kreayshawn on Gucci Gucci.
posted by oddman at 5:01 PM on February 20, 2012


I like it.
posted by Artw at 5:08 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I really like that video, it's almost hypnotic, with the portrayal of style, fashion and a segment of life for young Arabs. Mind you, I have no idea if it's true, but damn if it doesn't look good.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:09 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


This song has been out for a year already. I want something new, Maya!
posted by Houyhnhnm at 5:11 PM on February 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


I have no idea if it's true

What do you mean by this, if I may ask?
posted by stinkycheese at 5:11 PM on February 20, 2012


Sasha Frere-Jones wrote a great article in 2004 about why MIA is more significant than your average "famous international superstar." As someone who has a cultivated interest in "world music", I find MIA refreshing. All too often, fans of 'world music' like myself get caught up in notions of authenticity, and as a consequence ignore the massive influence that our own (Anglo-American) pop music tradition has had on African and South Asian music. Small labels like sahel sounds are doing a good job making the case against outmoded ideas of 'world music', and I think MIA is a poster child of this trend.

Obviously she plays to a different audience than bearded Toumani Diabate listeners, but "Bad Girls" will, in time, be seen as a watershed moment in international pop culture. What I found so utterly dazzling about the video was its effective communication that contemporary Arab youth culture has something to give Westerners as well. MIA has shown that 'cool' is no longer the exclusive province of white guys with coiffed hair wearing motorcycle jackets. And we're so much better for that.
posted by anewnadir at 5:13 PM on February 20, 2012 [23 favorites]


I like the song, and the video is interesting.

I think I'd like the video better, though, if the women in it were allowed to show some ankle.

But you know, we can't judge culture. Can't judge. We're all the same. All equal.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:14 PM on February 20, 2012


waaaaaaaaaaaah I'm posting on Metafilter and I hate everything waaaaaaaaaaaah I'm in a perpetual contest with everyone to hate everything more than everyone else waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

In conclusion, this video is fucking badass. Thank you, and good night.
posted by nathancaswell at 5:17 PM on February 20, 2012 [45 favorites]


That video is awesome. I loved it.

But, some of you seriously -- what the hell is wrong with you?

How is it even controversial in the first place? It's certainly nothing like her previous collaboration with Gavras. People are criticizing M.I.A for making a deliberately 'controversial' music video, apparently but there isn't really anything controversial in the video. If it's advocating allowing women to drive, then that's obviously not a controversial view in the west. The only 'controversy' is some random people fishing for page-views.
But you know, we can't judge culture. Can't judge. We're all the same. All equal.
Oh yes, because M.I.A is known for her modesty, right?
posted by delmoi at 5:19 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Man, I played that song over and again when it came out on Vicky Leekx, and went through the same again when the single came out. Also, watched that video multiple times. So damn cool. Also, a damn fun song to dance to.
posted by Kattullus at 5:20 PM on February 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Metafilter: waaaaaaaaaaaah I'm in a perpetual contest with everyone to hate everything more than everyone else waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah

I wish that wasn't a thing, but my god, it so horribly is at times.
posted by Artw at 5:22 PM on February 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


Man, I played that song over and again when it came out on Vicky Leekx, and went through the same again when the single came out.

I actually didn't like the song that much when it first came out, but I loved the video, and ended up liking the song more accompanied by the video. Visually it's just absolutely amazing. It's reminded me of a really good car chase scene in a movie.
posted by delmoi at 5:26 PM on February 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


Oh yes, because M.I.A is known for her modesty, right?

Point ... missed!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:28 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Makes me wish we still got Alfas in the US. Tire blowout on said Alfa at 2:13.
posted by narcoleptic at 5:29 PM on February 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I beleive she may have hidden a special message for you all in the Superbowl half time show.
posted by Artw at 5:29 PM on February 20, 2012 [12 favorites]


Yeah I don't see anything "controversial" here at all. Some cool driving, some pretty girls, some Middle Eastern imagery. Seems pretty straightforward, and why not? It's a nice change from glorifying child soldier armies and the tedious "controversy" of the ridiculous Ginger Genocide video she did with Gabras last time. I wish the music were more interesting, I really like her earlier stuff a lot.

My favorite Gavras video is Stress for Justice. Which also reads as a little tediously direct in its political message, but in this case since it's about Paris and it's a Parisian band it works for me.
posted by Nelson at 5:30 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


the song is good pop music; the video is genius. and yeah - that tire blow-out could be the best moment among many fabulous moments. the editing is brilliant.

soooo much better than that awful ginger genocide vid.
posted by lapolla at 5:39 PM on February 20, 2012


Whatever you think of the music, if you like the drifting part of it, be sure to click on the hagwalah link. That shit is crazy.
posted by desjardins at 5:39 PM on February 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


On first listen I thought the song was a little disappointing. But by the fourth or fifth spin I had to admit that I must actually like it if I was still playing it. She's awesome like that!
posted by hermitosis at 5:41 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Here's a Google translation of the top rated comment on that hagwalah video:
I hope everyone who reads this reply
That calls to my colleague (Faisal Sharif)
Mercy and forgiveness he died
Did not complete the 18-year is in the flower of his youth
Oh God, make his grave a garden in Paradise
And washed with water, ice and cold and it has bred
Aahi Yakyiom his grave (God Amin)
posted by desjardins at 5:43 PM on February 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


man I remember the Galang-alang-alang-a mefi thread but re-reading knowing what a giant global superstar MIA eventually becomes is hilarious
posted by nathancaswell at 5:59 PM on February 20, 2012 [5 favorites]


Whatever you think of the music, if you like the drifting part of it, be sure to click on the hagwalah link. That shit is crazy.

I have neither a car, nor an assault rifle. After that video, I am more inclined to buy both. Anyone care to have a crazy Metafilter meetup ON the Beltway?
posted by karathrace at 6:08 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Great, now I'm in a black hole of Arab drifting videos. In case anyone doubts that they really do go up on two wheels - 1, 2. Here's some other crazy trend called "skating".

Brb, going to invest in tires and shoe soles.
posted by desjardins at 6:12 PM on February 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


eh, I really like MIA's music though her attempts at being politically controversial are silly at best

The low point of the video was the half-second moment where the women drivers brought out guns (not sure if these were "revolutionary" AK-47 replicas but in the ballpark). Lame, over-the-top, inappropriate and counterproductive political symbolism that is too timid to appear for more than a fleeting moment.
posted by Bwithh at 6:13 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Bwithh - the guns are actually a part of this driving trend. I have no doubt she's using it for her own purposes, but she didn't invent that.
posted by desjardins at 6:14 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


anewnadir - I like what you are saying there and I think I agree with it, however, like Bwithh, I did sigh a little bit when they all waved AKs in the air.

desjardins - even if it is part of the trend it seems at best unnecessary to include it.

That said I enjoyed the video, it was both different and fun.

Needs more Salukis.
posted by Horatius at 6:19 PM on February 20, 2012


.
posted by NortonDC at 6:27 PM on February 20, 2012


Oh, wow, in the Galang thread from 2005 someone links a short piece by Robert Christgau that concludes with the following:

M.I.A. has no consistent political program and it's foolish to expect one of her. Instead she feels the honorable compulsion to make art out of her contradictions. The obscure particulars of those contradictions compel anyone moved by her music to give them some thought, if only for an ignorant moment—to recognize and somehow account for them. In these perilous, escapist days, that alone is quite a lot.

Yo music press and Internet commenters, Robert Christgau already perfectly summed up M.I.A. seven years ago. Just keep that in mind.
posted by palidor at 6:34 PM on February 20, 2012 [13 favorites]


That transparent car is pretty cool.
posted by Mitheral at 6:39 PM on February 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Trying for nuance here: Personally I like MIA a lot better than most of her peers in the industry. Some of her stuff I really really really like, some of it, meh. I think the video is pretty good, and better than most videos out there, I don't care for the song too much, didn't buy, not going to buy it, but it works well in context of the video the two flow together well for me.

Controversial? Please. I've seen more controversial things in my breakfast cereal
posted by edgeways at 6:41 PM on February 20, 2012


Controversial? Please. I've seen more controversial things in my breakfast cereal

Obligatory.
posted by karathrace at 6:50 PM on February 20, 2012


Love the video. If she is cheap and derivative, I would love to hear M.I.A.'s M.I.A. Or, shit, any 'world music' that doesn't sound like it came off NPR or otherwise like something Tim Robbin's character in High Fidelity would listen to.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:03 PM on February 20, 2012 [3 favorites]


Like the song, love the video. She looks so bored with literally everything she does, though, including the song.
posted by empath at 7:08 PM on February 20, 2012


It's not her fault we are at the point where clips of random 'real' shit put onto youtube and spliced with most likely copyright infringing soundtracks beats most anything the industry pros can do.

What I am saying is that once you explore MIA's appropriated sources you realise that the packaging of the transgressive into a video clip by industry professionals is just weaker and weaker sauce.

Of course now I want to see badass Saudi girls drifting and skating for real. Links plz.
posted by vicx at 7:20 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


This comment is every metafilter music thread in a microcosm
posted by empath at 7:23 PM on February 20, 2012 [8 favorites]


I think I'd like the video better, though, if the women in it were allowed to show some ankle.

Really? Part of what I like about this video is that all the women are fully clothed. If you would like to see women dancing nearly nude, there are many, many videos available for your viewing pleasure. I'm not a fan of burqas or mandatory headscarves, but I actually liked the fact that MIA never appeared in anything less than a shirt with a reasonable neckline and three-quarter sleeves. The backup dancers, clothed head to toe, were an interesting take on the traditional ladies in their underwear. There was the whackadoodle mirror bikini-top thing, but she was wearing a shirt under it.
She may have been glorifying bad driving and guns and even sex, but I was glad to watch an interesting, well shot video that wasn't just TITS ASS TITS TITS ASS.
posted by Adridne at 7:23 PM on February 20, 2012 [14 favorites]


The video is awesome, the song is bumping, and MIA is crazy hot and brilliant. 10 thumbs up.
posted by latkes at 7:51 PM on February 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Also, the motherfucking horse, motherfuckers!
posted by latkes at 7:59 PM on February 20, 2012 [6 favorites]


Also, there is totally ankle at 3:17.
posted by latkes at 8:00 PM on February 20, 2012


empath/nathan: god damn. that thread is really something else.
posted by en forme de poire at 8:08 PM on February 20, 2012


Now I actually really want M.I.A. to become like high-level famous just to see cynical alarmist rightwingers and clueless "oh no my children!" suburban moms freak out about arab muslim islamofascist imagery invading our homes. "THERE WAS A MAN ON A HORSE!!!!"
posted by palidor at 8:11 PM on February 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


Only Money and stupidity makes stuff like that video of hagwalah possible, inshallah.

And boredom. Never underestimate the power of boredom to compel people to act like complete dumbasses.
posted by echolalia67 at 8:12 PM on February 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


Don't forget her scandalous middle finger, brandished at Middle America during the Super Bowl -- the emblem of a nasty, contemptuous international superstar who's trying to be controversial for the sake of being controversial when we on mefi all know how trite, derivative, stupid, and flat she is. NEVER FORGET!
posted by blucevalo at 8:25 PM on February 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


Ya know - I'm not so much opposed to MIA, and while, pop music in general ain't my thing, I think it's good that radical concepts get spread into the culture. Spreading some views out there that aren't conventional, using the sound of what's considered hip these days -- just like RATM did in the 90s.

But what I really fucking hate?

Loudness Wars. Seriously. This song could sound so much better if mixed properly.
posted by symbioid at 8:26 PM on February 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


nathan: man I remember the Galang-alang-alang-a mefi thread but re-reading knowing what a giant global superstar MIA eventually becomes is hilarious

The thread is a time warp from the start - the first link is an 18 meg quicktime music video download link, which seems crazy but makes sense as it was posted about a month before the first ever youtube video was uploaded.
posted by davey_darling at 8:32 PM on February 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


Loudness Wars. Seriously. This song could sound so much better if mixed properly.

I think it's mixed really well, honestly. The drums are the biggest thing in the mix and they have tons of space on the low end, and they're not squashed down at all (though they're a bit distorted, intentionally).
posted by empath at 8:44 PM on February 20, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wonder if the Before Youtube factor isn't part of the hate she gets in that thread. I like M.I.A. a lot, but if I'd had to wait for some ridiculous quicktime file to download in order to see the video in question I would have been all WHAT IS THIS CRAP, too. Youtube has revolutionized what I'm willing to devote three minutes to on the internet, for sure.
posted by Sara C. at 9:29 PM on February 20, 2012 [4 favorites]


Tough to be an international superstar without the first two parts.

...Ai Weiwei?
posted by alex_skazat at 9:35 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


That drifting is kinda cool. Someone once tried to explain to me that it is only possible in desert areas because they put some sort of light oil on the roads to keep dust down. That can't possibly be true can it?

The skating is absolutely insane.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:40 PM on February 20, 2012


Some believe M.I.A. is making a statement against the Saudi Arabian law banning women from driving, others see it as a relatively positive view of today's Middle East, and still others fear M.I.A. is misappropriating stereotypes for the sake of creating controversy

This is how the pros do it.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:57 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


People spinning their cars all the way around in highway traffic while hanging out the window and firing assault rifles into the air. In real life.
That is so insane and over the top. It either blows your mind or it doesn't.
I had no idea this was even a thing until seeing that video and then the videos that inspire it?
posted by TheKM at 10:13 PM on February 20, 2012


Oh, by the way, I don't know which came first -- hagwalah or sideshow, made famous in Oakland.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 10:41 PM on February 20, 2012


Yeah - 30 seconds into that hagwalah link they do a 360, on what looks like a 3 lane road, right next to a fully packed schoolbus. That was pretty shockingly bad judgement to me.
posted by ianhattwick at 10:45 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


Makes me wish we still got Alfas in the US. Tire blowout on said Alfa at 2:13.
posted by narcoleptic at 5:29 PM on February 20 [2 favorites +] [!]


Wait what?!?! You can't get Alfa Romeos in the US? You all need a hug!

Looks covetously at pristine condition deep red 75 parked out front.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 11:10 PM on February 20, 2012 [1 favorite]


I know very little about MIA, but love Urvasi, Urvasi. Thanks for the post!
posted by yaymukund at 2:02 AM on February 21, 2012


man I remember the Galang-alang-alang-a mefi thread but re-reading knowing what a giant global superstar MIA eventually becomes is hilarious
Great, now I'm in a black hole of Arab drifting videos. In case anyone doubts that they really do go up on two wheels - 1 , 2 . Here's some other crazy trend called "skating" .
here they are rotating tires while driving on the other two wheels
Point ... missed!
What point? You hate teh muslins and that prevented you from enjoying the video?

What makes you think the female "characters" in this video even "wanted" to show anything else? Obviously in terms of the director, and M.I.A they got to do whatever they wanted, they could have shot the video anywhere in the world.

But seriously, women in Ukrane can walk around with their tits out, that doesn't mean every American woman without a shirt is 'oppressed' because they're not being "allowed" to be topless at that very moment. The "characters" in this video are engaged in reckless abandonment of gender norms and social constraints. But they're doing it for their own entertainment, rather then your sexual titillation.
posted by delmoi at 2:03 AM on February 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah - 30 seconds into that hagwalah link they do a 360, on what looks like a 3 lane road, right next to a fully packed schoolbus. That was pretty shockingly bad judgement to me.

That video is seriously insane. There's no doubt it's an utterly appalling stupid thing to do but I was hypnotised watching it.

Kind of amusing how the driver, while weaving through what appears to be rush hour motorway traffic at ridiculous speeds - and mostly sideways - has put on his hazard warning lights. To indicate to other road users that he's, you know, a bit of a hazard.
posted by colie at 2:20 AM on February 21, 2012 [5 favorites]


ianhattwick - 30 seconds into that hagwalah link they do a 360, on what looks like a 3 lane road, right next to a fully packed schoolbus. That was pretty shockingly bad judgement to me.

It may be the case that the driver of the car would have been on the school bus himself quite recently, if the comment desjardins highlights is accurate. Hagwalah, skating and getting about on two wheels are not the hallmarks of good judgement, IMHO.

I don't like everything that MIA does, but I am glad that she is doing it. She has used her unique viewpoint to inject majority world culture into pop culture in a less exploitative way than Svengali Malcolm Maclaren.
posted by asok at 2:22 AM on February 21, 2012


here they are rotating tires while driving on the other two wheels

They hate us for our Jiffy Loobs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:08 AM on February 21, 2012


Front-drive precision driving is not easy, I'll give 'em that.
posted by basicchannel at 4:58 AM on February 21, 2012


Loved it. And I was going to get all huffy defensive about it until I realized that an Tamil woman with a "funny" accent is getting criticism about cultural appropriation totally equal to that which would be levied at any other American pop star (or member of the F&F Tokyo Drift movie). For a video featuring almost entirely brown people in which everyone remains clothed and yet looks badass and hot as hell.

My 12 year old middle school self (who cried all the way home the day her classmates called her an "ugly brown monkey-girl") is CHEERING right now. Because this is what progress looks like.

So, um, as you were.
posted by synapse at 6:32 AM on February 21, 2012 [15 favorites]


an Tamil woman with a "funny" accent

She's from the exotic land of Lahn-dan. Innit.
posted by Artw at 7:05 AM on February 21, 2012 [3 favorites]


Artw - was deciding if I should have mentioned accent, left it in because it's noticeably thick and has a bit of a south asian edge. But that's why I deleted "Indian" or "Sri-Lankan" and replaced with "funny." 'Cause even Brit furriners are furriners, right?
posted by synapse at 7:21 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think she's British enough for most British people. I mean, she can be other things if she wants to, but she's still stuck with that.
posted by Artw at 8:03 AM on February 21, 2012


Her family fled Sri Lanka for their lives back to London when she was 8 or 9. She talks about this in all of her interviews. She didn't speak English until they moved there.

I hope that helps her accusers feel awkward for a bit.
posted by JLovebomb at 8:08 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Pff. Nothing wrong with being a cockernee.
posted by Artw at 8:15 AM on February 21, 2012


I'm afraid I've also passed the event horizon of arab drifting videos, there's some really bizarre/crazy/seemingly-impossible stuff out there. Some of these are more professional, but still nuts.
-This guy does laps on two wheels
-This guy is 'skating' and then puts his feet up on other cars
-Repeatedly switching between alternating sides on two wheels
-Shooting the AK out the window (in car)
-Two wheels, standing on the car, driving between people laying on the road
-Obligatory crashes (none involving obvious serious injuries)
-Hagwalah Battle Digest (Around 2:40 there's a car that does almost 4 consecutive 360s)
posted by nTeleKy at 9:49 AM on February 21, 2012 [8 favorites]


There's at least one crash in the crash video that shows a bystander getting hit.
posted by empath at 9:56 AM on February 21, 2012


well..... certainly makes NASCAR look like babies in walkers.

and in a strange way more honest than many NASCAR watchers (for the crashes).
posted by edgeways at 11:10 AM on February 21, 2012


well..... certainly makes NASCAR look like babies in walkers.

I don't understand that comment. What do you mean?
posted by The World Famous at 11:17 AM on February 21, 2012


compared to (say) nTeleKy's links and the spectator "sport" of these drifters, NASCAR seems safe, tame and kind of boring. (babies in walkers).


I suppose I should add the obligatory yes drifting seems incredibly dangerous and more than just a little foolish, and yes NASCAR (seemingly) works hard at making things very safe, but without crashes NASCAR is, well ... 3 hours of driving around in circles
posted by edgeways at 11:27 AM on February 21, 2012


30 seconds into that hagwalah link they do a 360, on what looks like a 3 lane road, right next to a fully packed schoolbus. That was pretty shockingly bad judgement to me.

Hey now. Their hazard lights are on. Seems pretty safe to me.{/}

It looks like "bad judgement" is the whole point. Drifting next to a packed school bus, next to a fuel tanker, firing assault rifles in the air ... all on busy public highways... It all appears to be sending a message of "We're not afraid to die, and we're not afraid to take others with us."

Maybe there are some Mefi hagwalah fans that could confirm/deny.
posted by LordSludge at 11:37 AM on February 21, 2012 [1 favorite]


Huh. I'm not a NASCAR fan, and I don't have any statistics about the frequency of various injuries, etc. to compare the two activities. This certainly does look more foolish than NASCAR, and I'd rather watch this than NASCAR. But NASCAR is actual racing, whereas these guys are basically just Jackass with cars, so I'm not sure it's comparable.

On the other hand, Group B makes these guys look like, well, Jackass with cars.
posted by The World Famous at 11:47 AM on February 21, 2012


without crashes NASCAR is, well ... 3 hours of driving around in circles

True to an extent but keep in mind that NASCAR is at least partially an endurance event. Which is why it is the Indianapolis 500 and not Indianapolis 50.
posted by Mitheral at 12:34 PM on February 21, 2012


It seems like, for some of these hagwalah aficionados, it is a good day when you have to fire your AK.
posted by desjardins at 1:24 PM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


compared to (say) nTeleKy's links and the spectator "sport" of these drifters, NASCAR seems safe, tame and kind of boring. (babies in walkers).

The more I reflect on this, the more it bothers me. It's like saying that, compared to gymnastics, ultramarathon running seems safe, tame, and kind of boring. They're two completely different things.
posted by The World Famous at 1:28 PM on February 21, 2012


without crashes NASCAR is, well ... 3 hours of driving around in circles

No. It may look that way from the outside, but this is ignorance of the sport -- akin to saying my 3yo nephew can paint world-class abstract art, jazz musicians play random notes, MMA fighters are repressed gay men, rappers are wanna-be singers, etc. NASCAR, while not my thing, requires a ton of driver input -- braking into the corners, sliding, drafting, etc. There's an awful lot going on there if you bother to look.
posted by LordSludge at 1:33 PM on February 21, 2012 [2 favorites]


This needs to be the next Fast & Furious movie.
posted by brundlefly at 1:55 PM on February 21, 2012


HERP DERP NASCAR IS JUST CIRCLE DRIVING.

It's not my favorite form of racing but you have no idea what you are talking about. Competitive pack driving at speed without traction control (or much traction) in a lightweight, angry missile for 3 hours against the best such drivers in the world is fucking hard.
posted by basicchannel at 1:58 PM on February 21, 2012


The more I reflect on this, the more it bothers me.

Seriously? It bothers you? I honestly did not expect folks to reflect upon it as an ultimate truism. I guess I failed to add the obligatory "To me...."

But, alright okay I'm sorry I made a comparison between two things that try and eek out maximum performance from a car. I apologize wholeheartedly and unreservedly that I bothered you.

It's not my favorite form of racing but you have no idea what you are talking about. Competitive pack driving at speed without traction control (or much traction) in a lightweight, angry missile for 3 hours against the best such drivers in the world is fucking hard.

Great... still boring to watch. (to me) herp derp etc.
posted by edgeways at 2:42 PM on February 21, 2012


Yeah, I think the point is NASCAR is boring for the spectator, which is subjective and kind of pointless to argue against. Astronomy is boring for the spectator too - they're just staring into telescopes! - but there's an awful lot going on, a lot of knowledge required, blah blah blah. and so forth.
posted by stinkycheese at 4:04 PM on February 21, 2012


Did anyone else notice at the end of the MIA video where a car on two wheels drives towards the camera while the driver drags a knife along the ground?
posted by TheKM at 4:48 PM on February 21, 2012


Astronomy is boring for the spectator too - they're just staring into telescopes!
I don't think anyone would say that watching people stare into telescopes is fun. The fun part is staring into them yourself. But even in terms of video games, racing games with more corners are more fun to play. Even when you're trying to implement the proper drafting strategies and so on, its still kind of dull.
posted by delmoi at 5:47 PM on February 21, 2012


Oh, I think NASCAR is boring as tumbleweeds. My dad brought me up on smash up derbys at a tiny track.
posted by stinkycheese at 5:50 PM on February 21, 2012


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