Saturday, March 03, 2007

"We Don't Like Your Kind"

In 1990, give or take a year, the city of Telluride, CO, was up in arms, trying to keep out “undesirables.” An event was about to happen that promised, to many unenlightened individuals, an influx of unwashed hippies, panhandlers, pickpockets, con-artists, and drug addicts. The event that caused the furor was a four day long Grateful Dead concert. The Telluride Chamber of Commerce and some members of the city council saw it as a boon to the city, but many of the wealthy “liberal” elitists who lived in that town saw the introduction of over 100,000 Deadheads to the home of the prestigious Telluride Bluegrass and Jazz festivals as disaster. They started petitions urging that the concert be cancelled, and they called for boycotts of the local businesses that were sponsoring the concert.
Happily, the Chamber of Commerce won out, and the show went on. The Dead, and the Deadheads came to Telluride, treated the locals with respect, spent their money, behaved themselves, mostly, and when they left they cleaned up their campsites and parking places, leaving less litter than was there when they arrived. The locals were impressed, even those who had opposed the concert, and the Dead was booked for a similar event the following year.

Washington State wants these fans...

If this were my political blog, I would point out that the same people who had prejudices against the Deadheads were purported “progressives” who supported Jimmy Carter, Richard Lamm, Gary Hart, George McGovern, and Bill Clinton, and I could point out that, as one of the aforementioned “Deadheads,” I learned that progressives were no less bigoted and narrow minded than conservatives. But, this isn’t my political blog, so I won’t do that.
A similar situation has arisen in the so-called “Blue State” of Washington. “We don’t want those kind of people here,” said one member of the Washington State Legislature.
What “kind of people” was he referring to? “Toothless, beer-bellied rednecks,” he said, referring to NASCAR fans.

...But not these fans

He didn’t stop there--he went on with derogatory comments about the drivers, calling them “Southern criminals,” and “trailer trash.” When a reporter asked if he knew who Greg Biffle was, he replied, “You mean the guy who got the DUI? He isn’t a member of the State Legislature.”
For those who don’t know, Greg Biffle is one of NASCAR’s top drivers, and a native son of Washington. As far as I know, he has never had a DUI.
I may be toothless--I have a metabolic abnormality that caused my body to absorb the roots of my upper teeth as if they were “baby teeth” making way for the permanents to grow in. But I’m not trailer trash , and I don’t have a beer belly, and I don’t think of myself as a redneck. I know a lot of NASCAR fans, but I personally have never met any who fit that description. I know that there are some fans who do fit that description, but I feel offended by the comments by the state representative whose name I didn’t get.
The Honorable Whatsizface somehow didn’t feel as though it would be enough to say that he didn’t think it would be appropriate to allocate $683 million of the taxpayers’ money for a NASCAR track. He had to make the derogatory comments and stereotypical remarks. After all, it isn’t as if NASCAR fans were a cultural minority. We can’t sue him or call for his impeachment. All we can do is laugh at him for being so ignorant. If this were my political blog, I would point out that his remarks illustrate how far out of touch with consensus reality many politicians are. But this is my NASCAR blog, so I won’t.
I will also laugh at International Speedway Corporation (ISC), the track ownership branch of NASCAR. They met with the same problems in New York, and will more than likely find them in Denver. I see it as well-deserved bad Karma for buying Pike’s Peak International Raceway (PPIR) and shutting it down. Colorado Springs and El Paso County had plans and money approved for the expansion of PPIR, and for the road improvements that would be necessary for expansion. ISC closed PPIR thinking they would be able to build a track closer to Denver. But the people of Denver don’t want “those kind of people” there. And the politicians whom ISC has to ask for funding and permits know enough to realize that building a NASCAR track doesn’t necessarily mean there would ever be a Cup race there. They learned their lesson from PPIR. Even though race fans drove from as far as Amarillo, TX, Oklahoma City , and Salt Lake City to see a Busch Series race at PPIR, very few would make the seventy minute drive from Denver to Fountain. What made ISC think that they would drive across Denver to see a race? Just something else to illustrate the stupidity and ignorance enough to make the politicians think of ISC and NASCAR as “redneck trailer trash.”


racefan57 said...

well put...there has been a lot of controversy surrounding this. NASCAR fans have been stereotyped but that image has diminished considerably...perhaps The Washingtononian's are sheltered!!

Have a nice weekend Rev

The Dixie Butcher said...

Hey RevJim- I found your blog through Eclectic NASCAR & am thrilled to make the acquaintence of you two & all your compadres - but now I have a ton of catching up to do with all y'alls blog archives! Eeek!

Since I'm a couple weeks late on this issue, I'll hold back since we've all heard tons about it at this point- but you did cite one quote I hadn't heard & is especially ignorant - the “Toothless, beer-bellied rednecks,” ones, to be exact.

If nothing else, how in the world did he could get away with saying that OUT LOUD to anyone about ANYONE? Mojo Nixon has a great racing show on Sirius channel 128 called "Manifold Destiny", and he went off about that whole deal a couple weeks back. Since you're a music fan, you may know Mojo. He's a nutjob, but the kind of nutjob I love. Also a Libertarian, and he has a political talk show on Sirius 102 on Friday nights that is no holds-barred nasty commentary. If you don't like much swearing, I'd avoid it. It's called "Lyin' C********s" - (think a word they use a lot in "Deadwood". )

All the best to you & yours, as they say on The Andy Griffith Show - looking forward to playing catch up with your posts.
Dixie Butcher

RevJim said...

Hi, Dixie Butcher,
Yes, I am familiar with Mojo Nixon--hilarious stuff, and delightfully politically incorrect.
Thank you for your comments, and please feel free to continue commenting on whatever you like.
Rev' Jim

Anonymous said...

Check into PPIR, I think you will find it has been SOLD. It will be used only for guys to take thier cars out have fun.