Monster Trucks

Ryan and Kelly talked me into joining them for the Monster Truck Jam. Kelly’s a fan. It was everything I expected.

The national anthem was preceded by a cheesy ritual of military personnel being asked to stand. Then veterans. Then their parents. Then police and fire fighters. I was disappointed that it didn’t continue to include all tax-paying citizens. Then the anthem itself was accompanied by video of monster truck action. It was all very 'Merican.

The “races” were inauthentic. While there was a noticeable difference in a few driver’s abilities (only two didn’t late-apex every single turn), the announcer’s commentary was amazingly predictive and several very controlled “loss of control” events led to the crowd favorites making it to the final rounds. Very close times were announced, but the scoreboards displayed no actual data, there were no timing lights, and not even a stopwatch was made public.

The highlight, of course, is the “freestyle” event, for which scores are announced but no competition appears to be involved. Mostly this consists of the trucks smashing into things until they “break”, but the only damage they took consisted of losing external parts (a wheel, fiberglass shells) and the only spectacular destruction was the smashing of a Winnebago. Hardly worth the price of admission or the unpleasant reminder of how mainstream redneck culture is.

If you need rural culture and authentic destruction, I’d recommend a real demolition derby.

I posted this in February 2007 during week 1719.

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