For some time now I've had this theory about the general decline of American Culture that I've termed "The Mediocritization of America" or, alternately, "The NASCARization of America." I still don't understand the thrill of watching cars drive in circles. Of course then I don't understand "American Idol," either.
I saw this little tidbit in the paper this evening (hard copy, delivered to my doorstep, Luddite that I am): "In Harlequin-Nascar Romance, Hearts Race." Dreadful writing meets mind-numbing sport and breeds proof that we're on some truly terrifying Crisco-covered slope (or should that be 10-40 drenched?). The New York Times includes this sample:
"It was not clear whether any of these participants experienced the same life-changing emotions felt by Kendall Clarke, the mousy-seeming heroine of the first novel in the new series, perhaps not coincidentally called Speed Dating. Clad only in a demi-bra, high-cut panties and a slip, she finds herself sitting in a sports car next to the fictional Nascar driver Dylan Hargreave on the night when she is supposed to receive the Sharpened Pencil Award given to Actuary of the Year. 'She’d never done anything this wild in her life,' she thinks. 'Oh, it felt good.'"
The motivation is, of course, commercial. "Mark Dyer, vice president of licensing for Nascar, said: 'Look at our stats. Forty percent of our fans are women, and among younger fans it’s trending toward 50-50.” He added that according to Nascar surveys 72 percent of female fans enjoy reading and are more likely than nonfans to purchase books.'"
NASCAR fans are more likely than non-fans to buy books? Does that mean I should be a fan? I always preferred drag racing.
Someone explain this to me.