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Voice: A car race or a death watch?

February 26, 2001

For a moment after Dale Earnhardt's tragic death I thought that I was alone on this one.

Are we supporting/watching NASCAR races as some kind of modern-day death sport, watching it not only to see the race but the crashes as well? Are we a bit surprised that a car hitting a wall at 180 mph would invariably kill someone? Is there much difference between feeding the Christians to the lions as the Romans did and a car race that defies many of the laws of physics.

What motivated me to write this was a poignant quote from Hunter S. Thompson regarding the death in today's Henderson N.C. Daily Dispatch newspaper. It reads, "Blood and guts, bread and circuses, human brains all over the asphalt. The people of Rome demanded more and more death and cruelty on their Sunday afternoons at the Coliseum-until nobody was left to sacrifice. They ran out of vicitms."

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J. DERRY

Oxford, N.C.

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