Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines. The 2012 Honda Indy Toronto kicks off today. Talk about kicking asphalt! The Indy combines a bunch of wonderful elements into one package – state-of-the-art cars; the great outdoors; barbeques; beer. Indeed, the race can attract more than 70,000 spectators over the weekend. And the Honda Indy generates more than $50 million annually in economic revenue for the GTA through ticket sales, job creation, and tourism activities.
So what’s not to love?
Um… not so fast, Mario.
You see, the Mean Greenies apparently aren’t just content with derailing mega-billion pipeline projects. Nope. They’re now targeting fun events such as auto racing, too. Indeed, apparently the Birkenstock Brigade wants the Honda Indy and all the millions it generates to zoom-zoom outta Hogtown. Those race-cars kinda get in the faces of those who love bicycles and windmills. Then there’s the carbon footprint. No sir. Can’t have that.
It brings to mind the anti-Indy crusade led by the Toronto Red Star’s cooky columnist, Joe Fiorito awhile back. Carbon Joe says the time has come to replace the Indy race.
“Let me remind you that the Indy races are a thing of the past; performance car races serve no useful purpose unless it is to wreck machinery, ruin eardrums and waste fossil fuel.”
In fairness, Joe’s not against all car racing, mind you. Rather, wants Toronto to hold “the most technologically advanced electric car race in the world, with huge prizes and glorious honour for the winners. It would be fast. And thrilling. And quiet.”
Joe especially likes the quiet part – you see, he lives near the Indy track. NIMBYism 101, folks. Say, why don’t we just turn the Honda Indy into an electric slot car race held within the Automotive Building? Low carbon footprint. Tiny electric toy cars. Just don’t sit in the cheap seats to watch this nail-biter.
Notably, Say-It-Ain’t-So-Joe is an equal opportunity tech-hater. You see, this visionary also wants Toronto to axe another big tourist draw – the Canadian International Air Show.
Yes, just like the race cars, jets are noisy and they cause pollution. And then there are overtones of militarism.
Writes the Star’s poet laureate: “The sound of warplanes over this city is the sound of death. It’s time we killed the air show. Canada has no need of American fighter jets, nor do we need to thump our chests on a holiday weekend best suited to the quiet appreciation of the corn dog. We are not at risk of invasion.”
Anyone up for Corn-dog-a-palooza?
P.J. O’Rourke best summed up the anti-fun insanity and the threat to our freedom in his 2009 book, Driving Like Crazy. In the chapter entitled, “The End of the American Car”,
O’Rourke laments in verse:
“The Feminists grabbed our women;
The liberals banned our guns;
The health cops snuffed our cigarettes;
The bailout has our funds;
The laws of Breathalyzing put an end to our roadside bars;
Circle the Fords and Chevys, boys – they’re coming to take our cars.”
Bottom line: support your local auto race and air show, folks. While you still can.