How I feel about Motor racing

I really hate motor racing. So, if it is one of your big passions I’d advise you to ignore this post. I am going to rant about how much I hate it and why. Starting………now. I am using subheadings to help order my rant.

Waste of Materials.
Motor racing wastes irreplaceable materials. Oil is a limited resource. We all know this on some level, but we use it like it’s going out of fashion. Motor racing is like the epitome of using oil like it’s going out of fashion. They use this fossil fuel that people fight wars over to, uh, drive round in circles very fast.

Pollution.
Fossil fuels create pollutants when burned. We all know this, so should theoretically be inventing electric cars, using public transport, cycling, etc. So…isn’t it pretty stupid to be using them to race? Couldn’t they race dogs or bicycles or run on their own damn feet?
I know why they don’t, I know everyone gets very excited when cars drive fast but do you see my point? Our ozone hole is lovely and big and I don’t think the point is to get it as big as possible as fast as we can.

Waste of money.
A lot of the time really fast cars crash. We’ve all seen pictures of these cars smashing and crashing and incinerating. I can’t help but think all that money to make that car, all the people time and work and resources and metal and everything…and it ends up scrap metal after one race?
This is extremely wasteful and sucky and leads me onto….

Waste of human life.
Lots of people die in motor racing. The faster you go the bigger the mess, right?

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12 thoughts on “How I feel about Motor racing

  1. I must say that the whole racing thing up in Auckland (V8 Supercars?) adds another dimension:
    They plan to close roads to hold the race. Roads that people work on, roads that people use to get to work. If the rumours on the street are correct, Auckland already has an eensy-woo-woo of a traffic congestion problem. Cutting off part of the roading system, and then trying to pack however many spectators into the surrounding area (and find places for them to park their cars) seems a costly exercise to go through just to see which of a number of big, noisy cars can go fastest. Around a course.
    I have no particular beef against motor-racing, but I don’t hugely see the appeal.
    On the other hand, I do think that strapping jet-engines to trolleys in the desert and trying to go *faster than any person on a trolley with a jet engine has gone before!* is pretty funny, and therefore kinda neat. Except when the trolley rattles to pieces, or explodes, or accidentally takes off and enters orbit, returning to Earth through a strange cosmic shower, turning the driver-cum-pilot into TROLLEY MAN! Faster than slower things! Stronger than WEAK-O-MAN! More burnt and dead than the average bear!
    I say man because all the documentaries and photos I’ve seen of people who want to go FASTER THAN EVERYONE ELSE, are men. Go figure.

  2. One of the supposed benefits of motor racing is that every year the teams find ways to make their machines more fuel efficient and aerodynamic [these may be related] — benefits which have real impact on consumer vehicles that the rest of us buy.
    Even if this is true, it doesn’t justify the mind-numbing boredom which is watching motor-racing. Is it me or is the possibility of smashes a large reason why people watch these races, and why they get broadcast on television?
    The Auckland street race doesn’t look like it’s going ahead now that Banks is out of office, but it’s a dreadful idea nonetheless; it would involve cutting off access for 1000s of inner-city citizens as well as the central city NZ Post sorting warehouse(!).

  3. One of the guys in my office has a CD of the motor sounds of various vehicles going around a race track, introduced by a woman putting on accents “appropriate” to the vehicle in question. He likes to listen to it in his car, and also when he’s working.
    I have nothing to add to the discussion – it just seemed an appropriate place to add this odd observation.

  4. Well, I agree with everything you say about the drawbacks of motor-racing, but while they are drawbacks, you can come up with a similar list of drawbacks for just about any human activity.
    All human activity wastes resources and could lead to death.
    Even sleeping wastes that most precious of non-renewable resources, time!
    And many people die while asleep.
    I would certainly agree that such activity should be restricted were we actually in a situation where such resources really were scarce, but some people have lots of money, we certainly have too many people, and we don’t actually have a scarcity of petroleoum products. The pollution causd by motor racing is negligble compared to general usage of cars on the highway and other sources, so overall, while it is all you say it is, preventing it would not cause significant enough improvements to be worth the effort.
    Of course the reason why guys like fast cars is because it draws a certain type of women.
    This reason was shown quite well on C4 last night where they were showing drags and burnouts at some champonship or other, and then finished up the show with the “Bikini Contest”
    Quite what it is that makes some women want to get up on a stage in front of hundreds of petrol-heads wearing the skimpiest of clothing, and while there spend time.. um.. posing to gain the approval of the crowd I am unsure, but one might say that the whole thing is some form of elaborate mating ritual.
    The males show their prowess in producing bright, shiny things that can travel fast, and their ability to control these creations, and that they are willing to risk dismemberment and even death in this competiition to impress the females. The fermales, in turn, and as usual, display their bodily assets in the hope that they will then be chosen.
    Were we to formalize the expected results of this ritual, the winning petrol head would be sent off with the bikini contest winner to ensure that the genotype is enhanced toward better driving and bikini-wearing prowess.

  5. I know at least one person who only watches the races to see the crashes… in all other ways he seems normal, but this strikes me as pretty sick!

  6. Word up. I agree completely. I’m sure for some people it’s real fun to drive cars really fast, but it’s some people think it’s real fun to shoot people too. And to me watching car racing is about as much fun as watching golf.
    Evan Dorkin drew a cartoon in Dork one time called “How We Watch Motor Racing” that was basically three panels of a group of guys in front of a tv saying “Somebody crash already!” and getting more and more frustrated. It seemed pretty accurate to me.

  7. I can’t think of anything more boring than watching motor racing – even golf and cricket have things that actually change from moment to moment. For all that it’s speedy, motor racing seems very static.
    And sure, there are lots of other human endeavours that are wasteful – but that doesn’t make racing any less so :-). And it’s noisy and smelly :p (ok, so depending on the person, that can apply to sleep too…)

  8. Sorry but I actually enjoy the Bathurst race. I don’t actually sit down & watch it any more but growing up Dad had it on every year. It’s actually quite enjoyable.
    Yay Greg Murphy!

  9. If you ever get stuck watching a race, you can get some enjoyment out of watching the ‘lines’ the drivers take to get around corners. Each of them takes the curve in a slightly different way. There is always a play off between speed going around the corner and how tightly they take it. Then there are all the other cars, and where the previous corner was and where the driver wants the car to be for the next corner.
    Cycling races in velodromes have prettier lines though (all that swoopy thing they do when they are getting out of the lead for a bit).

  10. And Pearce said “And to me watching car racing is about as much fun as watching golf.”
    Hang on… Pearce – didn’t you once write that you found watching golf was one of the most compelling and enjoyable things you did? And then you waxed lyrical about relaxing images of green green grass.
    But anyway. All I can say is that I enjoy driving fast. I enjoy driving PS2 games. But motor sport on the t.v. gets me reaching for the nearest result. Except when you get to see real life kangaroo splatter films, live on TV1.

  11. Yeah the kangaroo was kinda worth it. Did you see the mess it made of the car? OK sure some people are saying “Poor ‘roo!” but they’ve probably never gotten close to one of the wretched things.
    And to clarify: I said I like watching golf on tv when I’m hungover. Not because it’s fun, because it’s calm. I’d never watch noisy car racing while I’m hungover unless I was doing pennance.
    I also enjoy PS2 games, but I have little desire to run around India killing sand monsters with my magic sword.

  12. Kangaroo snuff films notwithstanding, I have watched motor racing. One of the first reasons I hate motor racing (omitted as I was in a rush) is that my Dad loves it, and on Bathurst day he’d hae the tv on for the whole blurry race.
    All day, anywhere in the house all you can hear is the whiney zooom of the cars going round and round and round.
    So. Annoying.

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