25 Jan 2014

Justin Bieber – He's A Drag, But Not A Racer

Justin Bieber really is a massive idiot, isn't he?

I mean, as if being a complete arse on a regular basis (as demonstrated by his recent egging of his neighbour's house) wasn't enough, it sounds like he woke up yesterday and thought Yes! Today I will get a bit squiffy, smoke an exotic herbal cigarette and then challenge some other young bloods to a bit of a race in my yellow Lamborghini motorcar! That will be an excellent idea, and won't possibly go wrong in any way at all.

Justin Bieber.  Cock
And fortunately for the rest of the world, nothing went wrong – because Mr Bieber, and a gentleman called Khalil, who was apparently driving a red Ferrari (you can tell people who write entertainment press releases aren't car people, can't you?) were arrested having been seen doing almost twice the speed limit on a makeshift drag strip. And whilst we should point out that neither man has been found guilty of anything, the Canadian pop monkey gave statements revealing that he had consumed alcohol, marijuana and prescription medication before going out for a drive in his Gallardo.

Of course, news and social media immediately went a bit mad with the most entertaining bout of Bieber Fever, shouting about how the teenager had been arrested drag racing in Miami.

While this sort of sums up the case, it did cause a few ruffled Nomex undies among the drag racing fraternity, and indeed sorority. See, people who are actually part of the drag scene find it objectionable when the media insist on referring to what Messrs Bieber and Khalil were doing is drag racing, and I have to admit, they may have a point. Perhaps more accurately described as 'street racing', the insistence of many media outlets to conflate this with the legal, regulated and highly competitive activities that happen at tracks and raceways does potentially impact negatively on the sport. There's a world of difference between The Fast and The Furious and Santa Pod, and while the typical Speedmonkey reader can well tell the difference, and might even laugh at the confusion, when Little Jimmy Average tells his parents that he wants to see some drag racing, there's a pretty good chance they're going to remember a snotty kid with unlikely hair being all over the news. They'll remember the police painting a grim picture of the risks involved, and the fatality figures being bandied about. And then they'll say no.

National Hot Rod Association drag racer Tina Stull (@tinastullracing, who is not a chemically compromised Canadian child) took to Twitter to plead with the press under the hashtag #mediaGetItRight, explaining, “Comparing Drag Racing to Street Racing is like comparing Using a ATM to Bank Robbery!” She later added that, “Unless Justin Bieber was wearing a dress he was not Drag Racing, he was street racing!”

Admit it, you've got that visual now too.

But horrific imagery aside, Tina Stull has a point. This is her sport being identified with the kind of nonsense Bieber and co have been up to, and she's not taking any more. If I was a drag racer, I think I'd be similarly miffed.

Nope. I really can't blame her at all. The press should label Justin Bieber's activities for what they really are – not drag racing, but behaving like an utter numpty.

By Sharon Endacotte