When the world was powered by the black fuel.
January 15, 2007 12:05 PM   Subscribe

gas: tractor pulls and demolition derbies. Music, a bar graph, and a clown [youtube]
posted by nervousfritz (14 comments total)
You mean coffee? Now this post makes sense.
posted by Ohdemah at 12:17 PM on January 15, 2007

Anyone want to give an executive summary? It could be as simple as 'g c p m r', there's just too many letters to click on!
posted by anthill at 12:32 PM on January 15, 2007

I can't believe we still don't have the img tag.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:34 PM on January 15, 2007

What about NASCAR?
posted by T.D. Strange at 12:37 PM on January 15, 2007

Holy You Tube Batman!
posted by Holy foxy moxie batman! at 12:37 PM on January 15, 2007

Consider the two sets of links, one of which is linked to by the letters of "tractor pulls" and the other of which is linked to by the letters of "demolition derbies" both to be sets in which any member is as good a representative as any other member. Thus to get an understanding of either set you need only click on one of the links comprising it.

Why the high number of links in either case? Any of the links would suitably signify the concept involved.

By collecting a large number of interchangeable links of the same type and quality, it also signifies a type of currency of the societal or cultural representation of the concept.

That is, I am not merely saying "Look, people videotape firebreathing tractors pulling large and heavy objects," but I am saying that "people all over the country frequently gather to witness spectacles of firebreathing tractors pulling heavy objects." I also imply, "this is like a fad, a subculture, a typically American ritual of community."

The other links should be easier to click on and therefore to interpret, I hope.
posted by nervousfritz at 12:43 PM on January 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

I'm at work, and can't really indulge the YouTube orgy, but I *think* this post is implying that redneck motorsports (and, by extension, ALL motorsports) are a tremendous waste of gas.

Of course they are only a symbolic, highly visible waste of gas. The real waste is in transporting the audience there. Professional sports, music concerts, stand-up comedy... basically any events that require gathering people by motor-power are a much bigger waste than tractor pulls & demo derbies. Therefore, all events with an audience should be banned, post-haste.
posted by LordSludge at 12:48 PM on January 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Hear, hear, LordSludge! If we can't perceive an event remotely, off with its head! I mean, our heads!

Though I haven't clicked the links—making me an asshole in some sense—I consider my non-clicking to be in line with the postmodern spirit nervousfritz has espoused above, and therefore, in line with the Whole Thrust of Modernity as She Is Writ these sad days, in this sad land, tractor-pulled and breathing fire though it may.

To what does "it" refer in my final pathetic sentence? Dunno.
posted by cgc373 at 1:15 PM on January 15, 2007

Boy, that clown video is priceless.
posted by mert at 1:28 PM on January 15, 2007

Yes. You see, when I want to be entertained, I simply close my eyes and imagine I'm there. It's almost as good, and saves all kinds of gas.

Or maybe this post is a commentary on the sort of anachronisms we'll miss in 50 years, when publicly pissing away oil is no longer socially acceptable. I kinda like that angle. From tractor pulls and lawnmower racing to formula one and offshore powerboat racing, motorsports as we know them may well cease to exist.

That's.... deep.

Or something.
posted by LordSludge at 1:30 PM on January 15, 2007

New York is the lowest per capita in terms of gas consumption. Could this be in part a result of the extreme reliance on mass transit in NYC where much of the population is concentrated? Could be. I notice that Washington DC is also very low in terms of gas per capita.
posted by bhouston at 1:45 PM on January 15, 2007

LordSludge is right. The whole "tractor pulls = conspicuous consumption" argument is thinly veiled classism, if veiled at all.

Q. Why do NASCAR ratings go up during collisions?
A. Because that's when you're watching it, you condescending blue-state prick.
posted by roll truck roll at 4:16 PM on January 15, 2007 [1 favorite]

Don't get me wrong -- I'm not much of a tractor-pull fan or anything (never even been to an event), but if you're any sort of a gear-head, it's impossible NOT to appreciate some of the machinery. I mean: 36 cylinder radial engines? multiple alcohol-burning V-12s? gas turbines??? Power levels approaching 10,000 horsepower. C'mon, a little respect!

It's kinda like Nascar or NHRA drag racing to me: I don't really enjoy watching it, but I sure as shit respect the skill it takes to build such a beast and the talent it takes to pilot it.

And, c'mon... who here hasn't at one point wanted to be in a demolition derby? I know I'd jump at the chance.

Now if you'll scuse me, I gotta go wash the dawgs and slaughter me a pig fer supper...
posted by LordSludge at 6:23 PM on January 15, 2007

I think I would like most of the links in this post, but it's hard to tell. MeTa.
posted by Eideteker at 11:01 PM on January 15, 2007

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