Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Think about it.
There's not many things to do in Amish country except for churn butter, harvest crops, and grow amazing (though tired and unoriginal) beards. Making furniture could hardly be considered entertainment, and plowing the fields is back-breaking work. Sports are a good way to break up the monotony of the Amish lifestyle, but without the modern conveniences of electricity, general knowledge of conventional American sports is essentially nil.
Despite this lack of media coverage and stardom that mainstream sports and pop culture drive so effectively, our Amish brethren have found their need for sport satiated through the age-old tradition of horse racing. Since the beginning of the age when that first original cell mutated into all of the different species of Earth-inhabiting creatures seen today, bipeds have been riding quadrupeds non-stop, even so far as to exploit the quadrupeds' natural ability to run around tracks in circles for miles in order to finish first.
In our progressive modern society, we have realized the negative self-esteem factors on our equine friends and invented a new way to go around tracks in circles, which we lovingly call NASCAR. This "NASCAR phenomenon", however is hardly as pure as the original sport of horse racing. Exhaust fumes permeate the air and noise pollution is rampant. It also has the side effect of luring the cave-dwellers of modern society out of their underground dwellings, driving them to yell uncontrollably, consume large amounts of alcohol, and engage in general debauchery. Yee Haw!
The Amish however, have been able to preserve the purity of the original sport of horse racing through their ability to remain silent and stoic during even the most emotional of moments. Because this takes so much concentration and determination, Amish horse races usually last about 45 seconds compared to 3 or more hours for the typical NASCAR race. This dramatically reduces the amount of noise pollution compared to racing cars with combustion engines, and while the Amish version still involves the stench of horse feces, it's a much classier smell - it's organic and made without the devil's handiwork.
All in all, these 2 sports, while seemingly without much in common, really are the same thing. While borne of 2 different cultures and mindsets, the end goal is the same: Who can make the most left turns the fastest. And that, my friends is why horse racing is the Amish version of Nascar.