The Cannonball Run. It’s one of the last bastions of a bygone era when if you were a motorist you could do pretty much whatever the hell you wanted. Drive thousands of miles at an average speed of 150 mph? Yeah sure, why not! It’s not going to piss anyone off, right? Well, I’m afraid to report that not only is it pissing everyone off, but it’s also especially pissed people off in recent years Let me explain why.
Unless you’ve been in space for several years or something like that, you’ll know that we just had the biggest public health crisis since the Spanish Flu of 1918. Yes, that one. The one that killed literally millions (if not billions) of people, helping to contribute to the ‘lost generation’ of people who should have survived WWI but didn’t.
Because we were in such a huge public health crisis, we’re being told to stay at home. Most people did and that’s great. But, some people didn’t. Some people used the low traffic and temporary changes in law enforcement as an excuse to buy a cheap speedy car, prep it to the military-grade specs required to do a Cannonball Run and drive like a bat out of hell across America to try and set a new record. The Cannonball Run record was broken at least seven times during the COVID-19 pandemic!
This, right here, is where things really bug me.
I’ve seen lots of people being super congratulatory about the people who took advantage of the current global situation to break the cannonball record and, quite honestly, I think it’s an unbelievably selfish attitude to have. The world was and is still going through a horrific time. Millions and millions of people died from COVID. Millions more who survived may have health problems that affect them for the rest of their lives. Yet, all these people cared about was yeeting themselves into the distance at 200 mph on public roads just because the traffic was nice and clear.
What does that say about them? I shouldn’t have to answer that question because you should know what the answer is, but I will anyway. They’re wankers. Yep, I said it. Wankers. They’re the kind of people who make me ashamed to like cars.
It’s not even just the recent circumstances that bug me about the Cannonball Run either. It’s the whole racing on public roads thing. Racing on public roads shows a total and utter disregard for public safety under any circumstance. I don’t care how amazing you might be at driving. You could be Michael Schumacher and I’d still think you’re an idiot.
The Cannonball Run is the ultimate expression of that kind of idiocy and so is the Gumball 3000 too for that matter. Come on, Kim Dotcom took part in the Gumball 3000 one year and he damn near killed a Belgian police officer because he thought he could get away with driving at dangerous speeds in his penis compensator of a Mercedes. I’m sorry, but that is horrible behaviour and nobody should ever condone it. Like I said, if you take part in stupid like this, you are a wanker. You can’t change my mind.
There’s also an air of liberal right-wing awfulness surrounding the whole thing. I’m sorry, but in real life, you can’t just do whatever you want whilst also owning as many guns as you like. At some point, you will be a danger to somebody else if you just insist on doing everything exactly the way you want to on the roads.
Sure you might be a decent driver, but what if you end up hitting somebody at 160 mph through an error? The other person might die and it would be on your head for messing up. Imagine having to live with that for the rest of your life? I certainly don’t want to.
If I have to go at a relative snail’s pace to make sure everyone else is safe on the roads, I’ll bloody well do it. If I want to go racing, I’ll go on a racetrack or a rally stage where it’s safer and everyone is there to race. I’m sorry, but society requires you to look after other people. If you can’t fathom doing that, you are a wanker.
Do you know what I think we should do? We should kill off the Cannonball Run completely. Let it die. Let it rot away into the chasm of yesteryear’s terrible attitudes. Stop racing across entire countries whilst being completely selfish about the safety of both yourselves and other people.
Instead of spending tens of thousands of pounds on doing a Cannonball build, maybe you could raise that amount of money instead for charities who desperately need extra funding to help coronavirus victims? Maybe you could use it to support road safety initiatives? Maybe you could help out with Black Lives Matter? Maybe you could use it to get a racing licence or build an epic sim rig?
Or, maybe, you could just not spend or raise any money at all and just stay at home. Maybe this option is the safest one if you’re emotionally incompetent enough to think that breaking a silly speed record is more important than being a nice person.
Here’s a thought that I thought about this whole thing. Let’s normalise cruising instead. Instead of hooning around like arseholes, why don’t we just experience a journey how it should be experienced. Take our time. Be patient. Check out the local landmarks, the local scenery, the local food, the local whatever else there may be. Let’s rediscover the joys of the good old-fashioned road trip, because old-fashioned road trips like that are so much fun when you have the right car and the right company.
If you want to get somewhere as quickly as possible, get on a plane. Don’t blast down a public road at 200+ mph. Keep the racing to the racetracks and rally stages where it’s much, much safer.