I was scrolling through Facebook recently and I came across a news story about a bloke who did a burnout and crashed his Porsche. Now, as much as a travesty as this is, it’s not half as bad as how the media then decided to portray this bone-headed individual.
See, every time some dope is caught street racing in their hotted up Honda, the mainstream media outlets go to town on “Hoons”. Just look at A Current Affair‘s long winded campaign to remove “hoon-mobiles” from the road. But what really annoys me is how they are too arrogant – or maybe just stupid – to realise that not everyone with a Supped up Subaru or Fast Ford are hoons, we are motoring enthusiasts.
Now, a quick disclaimer – there are a large number of motoring enthusiasts, and a very, very small, like microscopically small amount of said enthusiasts are morons behind the wheel. But the number I’m talking about is probably a 1 in 100 ratio. The other 99 just love cars, nothing more to it.
What really ticked me off about this article was how people got on the bandwagon in the comments. Suddenly, everybody becomes an expert and they start talking about how some cars should be banned, anybody who drives fast should be stripped of their licence, etc, etc…
This doesn’t solve anything. You see, the bulk of enthusiasts don’t even own flash, fast cars. But you interact with them every day. They could be driving a Kia Rio or Toyota Hilux, but come the weekend, they are watching the races or enjoying a day out at a show-and-shine. They appreciate cars, love them, respect them.
All you need to be a car enthusiast is to realise that cars are more than just a machine that will drive you from A to B – they are a living, breathing entity that need to be looked after, fed, cared for, and in return they will look after you. You realise they have a heart, a soul, a voice and they use these to show people who they are.
The mainstream media don’t realise or understand this concept. They seem to think that anyone who has a car that can do a burnout or go fast is a criminal. We need to help them see how stupid it is to maintain this mindset.
I am a huge car fan – hence why I started this website. Yes, I speed from time to time. Yes, I may pull away from the lights faster than most but that doesn’t make me a criminal. I have a powerful car and I like to enjoy it’s capabilities – not have it on the verge of stalling just to keep Tracey Grimshaw happy.
Some enthusiasts have blowers poking out of their bonnets, some have shocks so low they can’t go into a driveway, some have staggered wheels and others have interesting paint jobs. But the thing that brings us all together is our love of cars.
I want to highlight the age old Ford versus Holden rivalry. It’s vicious, venomous, sometimes outright insane. But anyone who supports either side does so because they love cars. How are we any different to the die-hard NRL supporters? We aren’t, except the mainstream media like to think we are.
They argue that because we drive what is literally an oversized bullet that we are ‘dangers to society’ – but anyone who has a car capable of shredding it’s tyres in 90 seconds only has it so they can compete in Summernats or Autofest – not to run to the shops for milk. Similarly, people who have cars that can do a standing quarter mile in under 12 seconds have them to do just that – a standing quarter mile at a drag-strip.
So why all the hate? I can only imagine it’s because they don’t understand. They are lacking a passion in their lives. Thats what non car people don’t get. It is a passion that we share, this love for all things cars.
You don’t have to know how a crankshaft works or the ratio of a V8 Supercar diff, you just have to appreciate their beauty, their power to bring happiness to people and bam, you’re a car enthusiast.
I’m probably starting to sound like a Shannon’s commercial but they are perfect examples of what car enthusiasts really are. People who just love cars.
The craziest part? There are millions of us in every corner of the globe. Top Gear for instance, used to have 350,000,000 people tune in for it, and millions more download it later on. On top of their audience, there were millions more of us who don’t like Top Gear but still love cars. So why, why do the big news corporations love to target us as a minority, when we clearly aren’t?
It’s because of that old saying. People don’t remember the good things you do, only the bad. That 1% of enthusiasts who take it a bit too far, the 1% we don’t really want to be associated with at all, give us a bad image.
So what can be done? Well, the simplest solution is to take it back. Take back our image. Show the world that we are not a bunch of criminals who like to put everyones lives at risk.
Next time you’re at a car show, or a race meet or a burnout competition (all of which occur under very strict, controlled and government regulated conditions), take a photo, tag the big news groups in it, bombard their Facebook and Twitter pages with it, show them that we are a proud group of car lovers who just appreciate internal combustion and polished metal – not Hoons.
Hoons are stupid, and they’re not welcome here.