I recently went to the Talladega 500 race in Alabama for a film scout. For those of you who aren't familiar, it's one of the biggest events in the NASCAR season. They call it "redneck mardi gras." And basically a crowd of three hundred thousand descend on a racetrack in the middle of nowhere to camp out, drink, barbecue and cheer on Jr. – Dale Earnhart Jr., that is. He is God in this world. The son of Sr. and "one of us." Last year he cursed after winning the Daytona 500 and was fined a bunch of points that go towards the overall championship. It made him even more beloved.
The villain is Jeff Gordon. He's from California. He's too slick and too polished, even if he is the best driver. When he won the race the entire crowd gave him the middle finger as he crossed the finish line. Doesn't this all sound familiar? Jr. being more popular than the clearly superior slick blue stater...
The entire time I was there, my friends and I joked about yelling "I love Howard Dean!" or "Noam Chomsky rules!" Without exaggeration the crowd would have ripped us apart and passed our torsos around over their heads like a beach ball at an REO Speedwagon concert. Which begs another question: where is the DNC in this world? And why have they given up? These are working class people, most of whom have relatives in the military. If anyone on the planet should care about the DNC it's these people who are being ripped off on their taxes, poisoned by reduced EPA standards, deprived of good public education, and sent to fight wars based on lies. Why not just put an ad on a car and take the huge boos it would garner in the gut. Like a real political party. Then some day when the economy is even worse and we're fighting an even more crazy war (if that's possible) maybe some people in the crowd look at the number 71 car with "DNC: Fair Taxes for Working People" on the hood and think "Why the hell am I paying more significant dollars in taxes than half these corporations? What the hell happened?"
And then their friends will whip empties at them and call them a pussy liberal ... but at least the conversation will have begun. And if things really went well maybe the 39 car with "Vote Obama" on the hood would nudge out the "Vote Frist" car at the finish line... Oh man, I was trying write that as the nifty end line, but then the idea of Bill Frist running for President just scared the hell out of me...Yikes.