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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

weekend box office: the NASCARization of America is complete

separated at birth: Lightning McQueen and that really
fast car from that movie about really fast cars

But the lords of NASCAR are in a tight battle with the makers of snack chips.

I’m gonna go to sleep now. Wake me up with it’s the New Renaissance.

Gas may be north of three bucks a gallon, but that didn’t stop North Americans from zipping to the multiplex in droves to suck up movies about cars: Cars remained the top draw at the box office this weekend, taking in $31.2 million, with The Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift in third place with $24.1 million. (Nacho Libre landed almost directly in the middle, with a weekend take of $27.5 million, not counting nacho chips with a side fake liquid cheese sold at concession stands.) Then again, maybe it was because of the price of gas that these films did so well — perhaps moviegoers saw something lusciously pornographic in the wanton depictions, cartoon and live action, of recklessly uneconomic driving, like zooming up to red lights instead of gradually easing off the gas and of revving while in neutral. Gosh, it’s like it’s 1968 again…

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