Don’t know about you, but it is fascinating to me that both the Daytona 500 and the Oscars are being held on the same day (Feb 26th). I can hardly think of two most politically and culturally opposite events on the calendar and they take place within hours of one another.
Daytona, most historic and well-known race of the NASCAR racing circuit and the Oscars, the most prestigious award in motion pictures. Could you imagine locking both groups inside the same building? Good ‘ol boys (mostly) of stock cars versus Rodeo Drive and Prada. If looks could kill, Hollywood would win hands down.
For my money (and time), the Oscars are the event of the day to watch. Sure, I may tune into the end of the race just to see who wins, but in the end I care a lot more about the artistry, drama, comedy, politics, and creative imagination of movie making than the corporative, artificial, patriotic pomp and circumstance of the so-called “Great American Race.”
I will admit being somewhat jaded as a native of Indianapolis who loves IndyCar racing and finds those drivers who switch to the tedious boredom of NASCAR to be traitors to real auto racing. NASCAR more recently as an organization whose goal is to created as many sneaky and stupid rules as you can to keep the well-known drivers in contention. Shit like the “lucky dog” and permitting bump and run driving are not racing, they are subtle marketing ploys to keep a bored audience from dozing off.
I will admit the Oscars and IndyCar have done similar things. Adding more nominees to the Best Picture category is an example. But, somehow the whole NASCAR scene seems gotten far too contrived and corporative to my liking. Where it used to be about the cars and the drivers, it now seems to be overly focused on the sponsorships. With all the advertising crap splashed across the cars, you can hardly tell a Ford from a Chevy from a Toyota.
So, back to the red-letter day of 2012 – rednecks versus red carpet. It will be intriguing to seen how things pan out of this day of celebrating all things red. Personally, I am surprised no one is showing Warren Beatty’s Oscar-winning film, Reds today or why ESPN doesn’t have a day full of Cincinnati Reds pre-season games. Seems, both would fit into the situation perfectly. Enjoy whichever you prefer, but I will be enjoying the Oscars while barely tolerating Daytona.