In the first issue of Street Machine magazine (Aug/Sept 1981) they published some comments from a French reporter who covered the event of France’s first ever drag race. I quote from the Street Machine article:
We were going to print the story in toto, but after re-reading it a few time we decided it should be filed — in the trash can. We will however, quote a few of the turkey author’s more startling observations:
“50,000 spectators crowded around the roaring monsters, fascinated by these bombs on wheels, with souped-up motors which spoeed past them at such velocity that one has barely time to glimpse them.” Or how about this gem: “Baptised ‘drag racers’ from the verb ‘to drag’; to tug; to pull along;…” If you ask us this dickhead is the one doing the ‘tugging.’ But this is the highlight of the story, and in particular what earnt him the crash can honour, to wit: “At a time when the energy crisis has plunged the world into such a state of tension and the word ‘war’ is more and more frequently pronounced, aren’t drag racers an insult top those who fight for energy and those who are deprived of it? At the very least, one may say that automobile competition contributes to technical progress… but as far as the drag racers are concerned, they couldn’t care less. Waste organised by exhibitionists, for the sake of sensation.”
My proximity to ‘high concept’ French theory is as equally displaced as Street Machine is to the French writer’s report on drag racing. I am certainly not aligned with Street Machine’s response, only that the engagement with the research ‘object’ is somewhat resonant, but from a tangental critical angle.