Or so I was told.
Speaking of ill-conceived arguments, we’ve been blessed at The World’s Fair to host a lively conversation about NASCAR over the past two years. After one provocative query — isn’t burning a lot of fossil fuel bad for the environment?; can you believe they just banned lead in racing fuel after all these decades? — we found some support from the NASCAR fan community itself.
After you get a chance to read up on the prior NASCAR post, for context to this post, come on back. I think there are a few lessons to be had. One is that we still lack a facetious sans serif font for the internet, so readers are not always able to tell when a writer is being completely serious or just having fun and trying to be provocative; a second is that there is more to the call for evidence-based science than just having evidence–the more crucial, the more scientifically and philosophically apt matter is what counts as evidence, since as we know anyone can pull something from the sky or the racetrack or the banana tree to support a claim; and third, NASCAR commenters have more to offer to the conversation than one might’ve thought. Who knew?
The title of this post is a nugget of wisdom from one of those commenters. Do you think he’s on to something? Or do you think it matters which half of the brain he was referring to?
Along with that global warming observation, we had some other inspired connections made by inspired fans. For example, a few spirited repliers have drawn connections between sexuality and energy concerns, namely the possible connections between homosexuality and anti-NASCAR sentiment. Jake Jakers suggests that the conversation about banning NASCAR itself has a homosexuality connotation, calling it “gay,” though I’d like to see more data to draw that link. You know how it is at a blog, sometimes the debate isn’t as empirically supported as we might like. Plus, I’m interested in Jakers’ ascription of agency to a conversation, that the conversation itself has homosexual tendencies. (He didn’t leave accurate contact info with his comment, so I don’t know if Mr. Jakers does gender studies or not.)
I suppose the other glaring though admittedly under-supported observation our commenters have offered deals with intelligence levels. I can’t tell if Jared, Mike, or Joe were drawing on 19th century theories of intelligence or if they were making clever though disguised references to Bell Curve-type debates on IQ, but each noted the “moronic” aspects of the issue’s debaters. There is surely more to be said here.
Anyhow, the following has been the most surprising part of the debate: instead of refuting the post’s premise, a good number of repliers to this mostly joking “Ban NASCAR” post seemed to agree with us. One wrote: “lets ban football too, and baseball, and basketball.” (Another added further support for this call here.) Another replier is an acolyte of Al Gore (I was surprised by that, actually): “so they [the NASCAR cars] pollute, purchase a few carbons credits from Al Gore’s company and all is OK with NASCAR’s world. Right?” A third wanted us to go further, suggesting that our scope was too limited: “If you stop Nascar then you have to stop F1, F2, F3 & Touring cars.” Point taken, though, oh boy, I’m not sure fans of those races would be too happy about that idea! Yet another suggestion came from the mild-mannered “creeper the reaper“: “we might as will drive bikes everywhere and walk to town.” Interesting, though I’m not sure that would be feasible in today’s world. Perhaps he is referring to sustainable community design principles, like Transit Oriented Development? Yes? No? The point being that I appreciate that these fans are thinking about solutions.
But wait, there’s more. Commenter Jeremy Silver encourages us not to take our eyes off other problems, by reminding us to, in his all caps, “SAVE THE WHALES!!!”
Our friend David also writes with other energy tips: “Wind power huh go and blow in front of a windturbine, that should cover your emissions of using the computer.” I actually wasn’t aware that that was as feasible as David suggests, but certainly we should have our interns look into it.
All of which brings us back to Mike, writing that “Of course anyone with only half a brain knows that global warming is natural (unless those dinos were driving SUVs)…”
Another one for the interns to look into, I suppose. Though I should say, so as not to regret this post, that it’s here that the facetious sans serif font would be turned off.