Time for another edition of ‘Disciple’s Mail Pouch.’ It’s like Robin Miller’s mailbag on Speed only anyone gets a chance to ask here as long as they are borderline literate and not a complete idiot. Most of the e-mails have similar themes, so I may as well get those out of the way. This is only Part 1. There are too many to include in one sitting, but here are some of the most popular.
Q: (From ‘cart4ever’) Disciple, why do you hate cart?
A: I don’t. When they were a viable entity I watched or attended all of their events and enjoyed the product very much. I enjoyed it even after they boycotted Indy. This is where some might incorrectly interpret my feelings as ‘hate.’ Once they boycotted the one institution that gave them nearly 100% of their legitimacy then intentionally ran a competing event directly against the 500 and actively tried to undermine IMS and the entire sport, they (in my opinion) forfeited their basic right to exist as something referred to or associated with Indy Car. History proved me correct. Twice. Without Indy they could not and did not survive. Period. That is not hate. That is fact. And they did that to themselves. I am gratified the family is back under one roof. The challenges the sport faces in 2013 are completely different than the period of the mid-90s to the mid-00s, so it would be nice if those still trying to fight that battle would grow up.
Q: (From Abe Bartell) Disciple, why do you hate street racing?
A: I don’t. I hate too much of it. The bookends of St. Pete and Long Beach are fine. Penske made meaningful improvements to Belle Isle. Baltimore is OK but probably short-lived. In a perfect world the schedule would be 20 North American events, and ten would be ovals. The remaining ten would be non-ovals with a maximum number of 5 temporary circuits. Right now the schedule is way out of balance to the point of confusing potential casual fans who do not know what to expect from week to week. A few street circuits are compelling and the skill it takes to master them is appreciated. IndyCar needs to cultivate a business model that does not attempt to soak municipalities for millions and alienate potential host cities and thousands of potential fans in the process.
Q: (From Jim R) Disciple, why are you banned from TrackForum?
A: Damned if I know. Their ‘rules’ change arbitrarily and often whimsically depending on the contributor and the mood/menstrual cycle of the individual pressing the ban button. There is no uniformity in enforcement. The proprietor(s) has chosen to neither provide a reason nor reply to a question that asked that questioned the banning. Evidently it occurred after some anonymous insane person hijacked a thread then referenced this blog, then hurled personal insults based on his misinterpretation of what he believes he read in one of my topics. I did not respond in the thread but instead reported the personal, off-topic attack to the ‘moderators’ as directed by the ‘rules.’ Next thing I knew, ‘banned’ after following their clearly stated ‘rules.’ My respect level for the he/she/it that runs that joint took another hit. That kind of hypocrisy and pettiness is grade school level. The games he/she/it plays there are mind-numbingly funny for adults. Even if he/she/it took offense to something I wrote elsewhere, why would that qualify as a banning offense on TF? Again, damned if I know. Evidently he/she/it assumes domain over the entire Internet. Very creepy at best. If you are on too long and piss off enough of the squatting thin-skins they will simply bounce you, then eventually encourage you to change your screen name to get back on. That is how, for example, the deranged mental patient who had a hissy fit over some twisted interpretation of my words and got banned came right back with another screen name within a day. There are probably only a handful of quality contributors left worthy of reading there that have not either been tossed or thrown their arms up in disgust and given up even trying. By and large that entire site has become a glorified crapwagon-style playpen overrun by some of the most brain-dead, worthless contributors ever who rarely have a point. Worse, he/she/it is too stupid to see it (no one likes their own babies called ugly so somewhat understandable) and too gutless to do anything meaningful about it. It’s a shame. It could be a really good, informative, interactive site but has not been for quite some time. Life is way too short to play the kind of stupid children’s games he/she/it attempts to foist so I choose not to participate at this time.
Q: (From Bill in Indy) D, why don’t you start a message board?
A: Couple of reasons. 1) No time. Too many projects, like launching television networks and guiding the business operations of others. 2) Technically I am pretty much an idiot without the expertise to do something like that. Besides, I know from my little meaningless blog that the majority of contributions never see the light of day because most of them originate from the same six people who squat on such sites ready to contribute nothing but abject stupidity. I would rather spend my time dealing with adults.
Speaking of dealing with adults, I wish someone who actually valued the contributions of lifelong racing fans with tangential experience and paid more attention to the quality of the content instead of the hysteria of those who claim to get offended would start one, then not get consumed over time by either megalomania or refusal to allow truly divergent viewpoint.
Coming soon: Part II.