I don’t even like Corvettes, I’m a Ferrari man. But if you like fast cars, and boy howdy do I like fast cars, you must respect the ‘Vette. Yes, it’s ungainly and I’ve always found the styling hideously insecure but the ‘Vette has flat out beaten my beloved Ferraris too many times to be discounted like some clapped out NSX. So when I turned a random mountain corner and saw this I just had to stop.
But I was really stopping to meet the people behind all of these expensive sports cars. Who were they? What group did they belong to? What’s their Facebook group called? Where was the inevitable Redbull sponsorship? Imagine my very pleasant surprise when two totally down to earth gearheads told me that there was no group, no Facebook, no sponsors. They were just guys who posted pictures of their beloved Vettes to a forum who decided what the hell let’s take a mountain drive this Labor Day weekend. And so here they were, about 20 Corvettes glistening in the noon day sun just a little south of Vogel State Park.
This was their parc ferme and they were lining up the cars for group pictures (for their forums) when me and my besotted Camry pulled up and asked if I could take pictures. There was a hearty cry of “Absolutely” and I walked the middle line taking photos and chatting to a few of the men and women who had come out. It felt really good to see so many different people still enjoy cars. But I did feel a sense of foreboding that these days might be numbered. There were a lot of black guys there with their cars obviously ignorant of the fact that every cop in the U.S. wants to shoot them dead for no reason. None of these drivers seemed to understand that even if they did work hard for their cars they were still an ostentatious display of wealth which might make a transgendered poor person feel bad. And I just assumed some eco-warriors were prepping in the bushes to firebomb the whole situation.
But then I happily realized that the reason these men and women were so apparently happy in their ignorance of the world was because they were outside, enjoying a shared hobby and not watching the news. That struck me as key, it’s not enough to simply turn off the news but you must also fill the void. I know plenty of people who have turned off the news and are still miserable because all they do is stew in the bile and vitriol that they have built up throughout the day. What’s really at play here is frustration, frustration builds up in all of us and we must release it. The current method is to narcissistically assume that we can change THE WHOLE WORLD by yelling at our TV news anchors and each other. But these gearheads, and us video game players, have a real, physical release. It’s in the thrill of experiencing these menacing, if insecure, fast machines. This experience releases a chemical reaction in our bodies that tears us away from THE WORLD AT LARGE and back to our very own lives. We players have fast menacing machines too that can release a very similar chemical reaction. Let’s just try not to fuck it up with Facebook groups, sponsorships and fierce competition. Let’s take a tip from the gearheads and enjoy our hobby for exactly what it is and no more, a beautiful thing.