Friday, March 05, 2004

Riceboys and Their Rice, Part 2: The Myths and Cliches 

In the second part of my two-part ricer rant, I'm going to focus on a few of the cliches and technical myths that riceboys will invariably bring up in an argument. The fact that all of them sound and act alike only serves to make them funnier.

1. You're jealous.

Our example riceboy has put so much money and effort into making his car look "tight" that he just can't believe that someone wouldn't like it. After all, he's extroverted to the max and his self-esteem depends on how much everyone else like his "tight ride". So somehow we must be attacking his car out of jealousy....which makes NO SENSE. I'm jealous of vintage Ferrari owners, but you don't hear me saying "Damn, that 275 GTB is the ugliest thing I've ever seen". It's common sense, really: If someone says he doesn't like a car, chances are he actually doesn't like it.

2. Imports are better than your stupid domestics.

There are the ones who say this, and then there are those really precious fucks who call them "dumb-estics". Aren't they clever?

First of all, rice has nothing to do with imports. Riceboys think that all Japanese car tuners have their same sense (read: lack) of style, when in fact most of the import-tuning fans hate ricers too. This stupidity of this statement is sometimes compounded when the riceboy in question is driving a domestic car, such as a Neon or Cavalier. Apparently "import" now means "anything that doesn't have a V8 engine". Also, the statement is overgeneralized. Park a AMC Javelin 401 next to a Daihatsu Rocky, and most car enthusiasts will prefer the domestic car. Park a Mazda FD RX-7 next to a Chevrolet Chevette, and they'll be drooling over the import.

3. Imports make more horsepower per liter.

Still on the import kick. In fact, no matter how many times you point out that you aren't anti-import, riceboys can never get it through their heads. I guess logic is beyond them.

Apparently the the "horsepower per liter" argument has a purpose, but hell if I can figure out what it is. The basis for it is that Japanese cars like the Honda S2000 make 240 horsepower out of a 2.2 liter engine, whereas American cars like the Ford Mustang make 260 horsepower out of a much larger 4.6 liter engine. I suppose the tools think that this is a statement on how efficient the Honda is, but it isn't. There are NO advantages to making more horsepower out of a smaller displacement engine. In fact, all it guarantees is that the engine will make much less torque than a larger engine with the same horsepower rating. It also ultimately gives the engine less tuning potential, and once it is tuned it becomes highly strung, with an difficult-to-control powerband, poor reliability, and awful gas mileage (since the engine is working towards its upper limits).

4. Imports are higher tech than muscle cars.

Riceboys love to play on the tech-savvy image of their generation, so they pretend their cars have a technical advantage. I mean, like, they have microchips and stuff in them!

It's often amusing to ask what is high tech about import cars, because they can never tell you. They might try to tell you turbochargers are high-tech (they've been around nearly as long as internal combustion engines have), that overhead camshafts are high-tech (first used in 1898, and actually predate the "low-tech" overhead valve engines that traditional muscle cars use), or that multiple valves and variable timing are high tech (both of them were commonly used by high-end cars in the 1920s and 1930s). The truth is, apart from some advantages if fuel-management and electronics, cars of today aren't more high-tech than some of their older counterparts...and that's operating off the assumption that all muscle cars are old. To riceboys, late model Camaros don't exist.

5. You're gay!

If you argue with a riceboy you automatically become a homosexual. Doesn't make any sense, but that's the way the riceboy mind works. I guess it's supposed to be insulting, but to me it comes off as sounding something like "You Republican!" or "You Environmentalist!". On a side note, it's fun to pretend you're gay and play along with this.

6. American cars don't handle well.

Ricers really dislike American cars for some reason. And this is another one that has no basis in reality. American cars, like all types of cars, are mixed. Some don't handle well, others do. The Boss 302 Mustang was considered to be one of the best-handling cars in the world in 1970, and the Corvette Z06 is considered to be one of the best-handling cars in the world today. In fact, America has always produced performance cars that had either competitive or class-leading handling.

7. I have this and that, and you're just poor.

An extension of the jealousy argument. Not to mention proof that riceboys are cankers on the chapped lip of humanity. I honestly can't understand this mentality: "I'm better than you because I'm rich". To make it worse, they are often no richer than middle-class. After all, if they had money they wouldn't be driving used economy cars.

8. You're an old man.

Riceboys always jump on the generation bandwagon at some point. This is based on the assumption that people who love classic cars (like the muscle cars riceboys hate so much) are only the people who grew up with them. Well, lo and behold, I'm a member of Generation Y, and I love classic cars. That includes muscle cars.

If this generational argument is true, I can't wait to see what happens once riceboys reach middle age. But I still think rice is a product of it's times, coming from a lack of good performance cars (now used cars) from the late 1970s-early 1990s. Now that cars are regaining their performance so long ago lost, hopefully the fad will go the way of the 1970s custom van...fade out after about ten years, never to be heard from again.

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