Escaping To The Pagoda
I have been doing this site for just a little over fifteen months. In that time, I have accidentally developed a reputation for writing one of the more serious-minded IndyCar blogs. Just last week, Jeff Iannucci referred to this site as “the corner of the IndyCar blogging world known for “thoughtful” posts”. To those that really know me, that’s a little ironic. I tend to have an irreverent sense of humor and I am one of the more shallow and superficial individuals you’ll ever meet. The more serious the circumstance, the more lighthearted I become. I am usually the disrespectful dolt that is cracking jokes at funerals.
My girlfriend will certainly attest to my shallowness (is that a word?). Seinfeld and Curb Your Enthusiasm are my favorite shows. That doesn’t bode well for intellectually stimulating conversations; although I’m beginning to develop a taste for Mad Men – with Don Draper being my favorite character, of course. If you’ve seen the show, you know that doesn’t speak highly for my moral compass.
I guess I figure that if I’m going to sit at a keyboard and type about something that I truly love, such as IndyCar racing – I might as well put on my serious face. One-liners come easily to me in casual conversation, but they sound stupid when I take the time to type them out. With so many very funny IndyCar blog sites out there, it just works better for me to play it straight most of the time. But that doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy good humor. That’s why when I want to relax and get away from the real heavy subjects that sometimes abound throughout the IZOD IndyCar Series, the first place I go to is The Silent Pagoda.
I kid about Roy Hobbson being a drunk and a derelict. Not to say he won’t turn one up now and then, but he is a lot straighter than you think (sorry for busting the mystique, Roy). His writing is outrageously funny, however. So much so, that I truly think he could write professionally – which he does already, but I mean for a much larger audience than hard-core IndyCar fans.
If you were to come across both of us together at Indianapolis this past May, you would swear that Roy has the more serious personality between us. Many bloggers have a completely different side than the persona they present in the blogosphere. Roy Hobbson was hired by IndyCar a few years back to present a blog for the novice fan – like him. What they got was a master of biting satire, who may not have known much about racing when he took this gig, but is actually pretty savvy about it now.
That being said, I don’t rely on The Silent Pagoda to get my IndyCar news. There are many other sites for that. That would be like relying on “Weekend Update” from Saturday Night Live to keep me informed of actual current events. There are other sources for hard-hitting news, but SNL provides a unique and twisted way of looking at the news. That’s what The Silent Pagoda does.
Roy’s writing isn’t for everyone. Not everyone gets it. I don’t get everything that he throws out there – I’m not even sure that Roy gets all of it. That’s what makes it so “off the wall” and downright funny. Sometimes, the only thing funnier than Roy Hobbson’s posts, is the collection of comments from the “Pagodians”. I don’t consider myself a Pagodian. I’ll comment occasionally over there, but their humor is far more advanced than mine.
That’s why I was so dismayed to notice that one of the Legions Of The Miserable had glommed onto Hobbson’s site last week. Like everyone else, Roy had his opinion on the last two laps at Edmonton. Of course, he presented it by offering up a masterful piece of satire in a way that only he can do. However, sarcasm is wasted on some people. Some enjoy their misery so much that they cannot process satire and enjoy it. They look for the deep, dark meaning behind the jokes that they don’t get in the first place. That’s what happened with one reader in particular.
I go to The Pagoda to relax. It is my escape from the day. It is my comic relief. I enjoy reading the lighthearted sarcasm and satire both from Roy Hobbson, as well as his readers. There is no ill-will over there. Any jabs are all in good fun. That’s why it was so disheartening to see The Pagoda take on a life of its own and become a smaller version of Track Forum.
Very quickly, the comments section at The Pagoda took on an ugly turn. That has happened a couple of times here at Oilpressure.com. It’s frustrating to watch something that you created in your head, become a source of venom and pure hatred and be carried off in a direction that you never intended – simply because one idiot didn’t understand satire and a sarcastic wit. They are so focused on their own misery that they end up making sure that everyone else is as dour and miserable as they are. What I don’t understand about these people is why they continue to read IndyCar blog sites, if they hate the sport so much.
I’ve said before that I don’t care for the NBA. If it disappeared tomorrow, it would suit me fine. But I realize it is very important to a lot of people. I don’t waste my time infiltrating websites devoted to the NBA and telling all those people how hapless they are for following that sport. I just choose to ignore it and focus on things I like – like IndyCar racing in general and The Silent Pagoda in particular.
The beauty of The Pagoda is that it is not a hard-hitting site that tackles all of the issues of the IZOD IndyCar Series – nor does it try to be. Instead, it is an offbeat site that takes a serious subject and turns it into something absurd. In all honesty, I think Roy Hobbson is a genius. No normal mind could think like that – and I mean that as a total compliment. It has been a treat to read The Silent Pagoda and the comments of the Pagodians. I only hope that last week’s tone was an aberration and not a sign of things to come.