INDY Race & Ritual



Used, Fair condition, Limited quantities. In a darkened room, I sit alone with a whirring motion picture projector, while silent black and white images, moving faster than real life, flicker across the screen. Momentary sequences of awkward-looking, bullish racing cars with huge hoods and narrow tires sail round the corners and on the straightaways at Indianapolis. Thousands of spectators seem to rise from their seats, as if on command. One car slides sideways, out of control, while another moves wide on the track, colliding with the first. Both cars ignite while the second car veers through the railing and out of view. The first car rolls over, leaving a human form on the track. A third car enters the picture, pinches abruptly to the left, explodes through the inner guard railing, and turns over. A succession of other cars squiggle through the fire that has erupted on the track. Drivers gesticulate as they pass the scene of the wreck, moving slow on the track. To be involved with automobile racing in any way requires that one accept the bad with the good. Metaphoric of life experience itself, the history and progress of racing Indianapolis is weighted heavily on the side of pleasurable and memorable interludes that, even if they cause one’s blood pressure to rise, are not to be forgotten. Participants have indeed paid a high price to compete there, but it has somehow always seemed worth the cost, even when it ostensibly seems difficult to justify. Those who sustained injuries and lost their lives were involved in a continuing struggle for acclaim and other rewards not easily come by. At Indianapolis, the game is much more than a question of win or lose. It is a question of survival itself. The quest, in the long run, seems neither more nor less absurd than any other burning aspiration that one might entertain. Triumph and tragedy at Indianapolis have impressed me as being more purely defined and expressed on the two and a half mile dirt track than they have in any other theatrical arena that I have found. I am reminded often of the Puritan notion that to apply fully such talents as one has and to pursue some calling in life is to fulfill one’s divine purpose in living, even if it results in one’s dying.

Pricing and Sizes

030423-EA $15.00

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