Viridian Note 00244: Viridian Hot Rod ContestBruce Sterling [firstname.lastname@example.org]
Attention Conservation Notice: It's another in a continuing series of Viridian design contests.
Link: A design contest by those chuckling, lighthearted guys at the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. They want a permanent monument for storing unused plutonium, which would otherwise be used to incinerate civilization. http://bullatomsci.org/contest http://www.thebulletin.org/contest/specs.html "We're also giving away more than $3,000 in prizes to the person or persons who come up with the best design for our Plutonium Memorial."
Gearhead Magazine! Hot rods and punk rock! Donnas Rule! http://www.gearheadmagazine.com Rat Fink Second Annual Party Extravaganza, Klassics, Kustom and Art Show: http://www.ratfink.org/bigdaddyevent http://www.kultureshoq.com Tikis! Pin-ups! On-line ordering and ultra-fast shipping! http://www.trashville.com
However. What about those vital times in our lives
when we need a car that really swaggers? A car that
crushes the morale of the squares? Let's say you're a
hard-case, American working-class youth much put-upon by
truancy cops and teachers. You're boiling over with
testosterone, with shoulder tattoos, grease in your hair
and a shade-tree garage. You're into spoilers, slicks,
dragsters and nitro-huffin' funny cars!
Are you going to putter around your barrio, ghetto or
trailer park in some kind of dinky little green
shrimpmobile?! No way, daddy-o! What you need is a
big, kick-your-ass, chopped and channeled, tangerine-
flake, streamlined, hee-wack, green muscle car!
Now, some people might object that a high-performance
vehicle that breaks speed limits like they were dry
spaghetti can't be "green." Well, sure == but only if
they're burning fossil fuels. If you've got sustainable
fuel, like say a rad combo photovoltaic system cracking
water into hydrogen for your hotrod's monster fuel cells,
then "conservation" isn't even an issue for you. What's
the big deal here? Like we're going to run out of
sunlight all of a sudden? Come on.
It's those out-of-it wimps driving fossil fuel
vehicles who are feeling all the pinch. At two bucks a
gallon, their wallowing SUVs are being driven right off a
market cliff. Whereas a properly designed Viridian hot-
rod would blow these relics off the road silently, at
super-high speed, using canned lightning and emitting
"But what about the materials that compose the car
itself," hairshirt purists may further cry, though feebly,
as is their wont. Look, just because a hotrod is made out
of entirely green materials doesn't mean it has to look
lame. There's a crying need for a green vehicle that
causes high school principals to faint dead away. A car
with a skull gearshift-knob and a worshipful groupie pit
crew with beehive hairdos and bikinis. This demographic
has deep roots in American culture! Its design needs must
Thus, the Viridian Hot Rod contest. We're looking for
a green vehicle that the late Big Daddy Roth would meet
with a fatherly smile of approval == even though it lacks
an internal combustion engine. It's got to be completely
obnoxious, rebellious and beyond the pale, but (and this
is the crucial part) its greenness has to be the chunk
of outlaw attitude that is really being rubbed in.
So do us a portrait of your dream hot rod, put in on the web, and send me the address of the site. I will forward it to the list. The winner of this contest receives a mint copy of KUSTOM KULTURE, which is, like, the art-historical masterwork on the subject of Roth, Von Dutch, pin-striping and flame-painting.
subcultures on the planet, you need not even enter this
contest. Your hands will fall off at the wrists if you
are put in command of a genuinely powerful piece of
machinery. Go put on a frilly apron and go have high tea
with Shirley Muldowney.
That goes double for you sissy, ladylike European
This contest ends July 5, 02001.
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