I received almost 100 responses to my dolphin diary. The five diaries I posted regarding the various aspects of the failure of our public education system and associated parenting received less than 100 combined. My diary on wasting energy and trying to improve our "footprint" to conserve our resources received about 50 responses, many of which proceeded to tell me with great expertise how wrong I was. I don't mind that, but the proportion of responses to topics is amusing, interesting and disappointing.
When I was a kid, my dad introduced me to the Indy 500 auto race. It was great stuff: lots of noise and danger and speed. Young kids eat that stuff up. I did. I still watch the race every Memorial Day weekend. Cool machines. Prima donnas in the driver's seat. Over-analysis by the announcers...the whole magilla. Then, when gasoline passed $3.50 per gallon, I asked why. My bad.
I started tabulating all the automobile entertainment events that burn huge amounts of fuel for the sole purpose of entertaining people who would never get into one of those vehicles, because their insurance rates would double their food and beer budgets. Why? Those race cars on the NASCAR and Indy car and Formula I, and other lesser events cost HUGE amounts of money. The Hot Rod Associations still run these drag races that sound like the re-invasion of Iraq for just less than 6 seconds at a time. So what? Not only do these fire-breathing monsters get single digit mileage, they use up complex equipment (and perforce the energy that goes into making all this stuff) at a one-unit-per-race clip. Why?
On the main highways through my hometown, I see long trailers with various names and sponsor logos on them hauling their racers to the next stop burning huge amounts of diesel and gasoline just to get these monstrosities to the next track. Behind these trailers is the team bus carrying, presumably, the driver, his family, the owner, chief mechanic and maybe a sponsor or two. How does the pit crew and mechanic's team get to the next race? They drive their own vehicles, of course.
Perhaps you can see where this is going. In Bush's world, gasoline will hit $4.00 per gallon before this knucklehead leaves office. I'm not sure that things haven't been so permanently destroyed economically, that we'll ever get back to "affordable" fuel prices. In the meantime, our NASCAR "patriots" will just go sew another American flag on their fire suits, right next to the Bud Light logo and drive all their vehicles to the next race which will just have raised their ticket prices again to say nothing of the Bud Light in a cup prices. Does $5.00 for a 12 oz. cup of cheap, watered down beer seem a little excessive when the buyer of that beer burned up anywhere from 5-25 gallons of $3.50 per gallon gasoline to sit and broil in the hot sun and have their hearing permanently damaged just to cheer at somebody who can't hear him and his buddies because of engine noise make sense?
You know why the marketing geniuses at Anheuser-Busch came up with the brand name "Bud Light" don't you? It's because most (but not all) of the people who are inclined to buy that product lost interest in the brand name after the first three letters. O.K. I'm only joking, but then I'm not running for political office and I really don't care who I piss off.
Now that I have your attention, please see the point of this little rant. We, as a nation, have better things to do than promote and encourage the colossal waste of petroleum products for the sake of going very fast in circles just so we can say that our 250 MPH, $1 million car can endure 500 miles faster than yours. In the meantime millions of spectators sit in wonder: I wonder what it would be like to feel that 600 H.P. giant between my legs? Testosterone poisoning, anyone? My father told me that the big upside to auto racing was the research and technology that came from "proving" or disproving innovative design. That was then. Now, we have enough computer power to model and verify anything these cars can do, and, perhaps more importantly, what yours and my cars can do to get us to work or the grocery store. We don't need racing anymore! It's just entertainment. It's cheaper and burns no gas to buy a computer game for racing and have at it until a guy has used up all his testosterone. If he's married or has a girlfriend, maybe he'll save a little for her so she won't think he's "strange".
Gentlemen, start your checkbooks!