Rolling Sadness

« July 2014 »


Let me disclaim right off the bat. While rolling coal is a thing that exists and is a subculture, it's entirely possible that the actual size and participation has been blown out of proportion by the news stories this week that brought the phenomenon to light. So keep in mind as you read that these sad fuckers may not even be as much of a thing as they think they are.

Which, really, might be the only possible way you could make rolling coal a sadder, more pathetic hobby, because as it stands now, it's almost a perfect storm of dumb.

Let's say you have a diesel pickup truck. And let's say you're part of that small but noticeable percentage of diesel truck owners who qualify as rednecks, shitkickers, pigfuckers, and/or good old boys. And let's say that after buying the gun rack and the TruckNutz, there's still an emptiness in your heart that can't be filled by cheap beer and racism.

If you've got some spare money kicking around, somewhere in the low four digits, you might spend that money to modify your truck so that, and the press of a button, you can burn more fuel than you need to burn to move your truck down the road. And when you do this, a cloud of black, sooty diesel smoke spews from your tailpipe and billows behind your moving vehicle.

Congratulations! You're rolling coal. I assume they call it rolling coal because "ridin' dirty" was taken, and also because they think trucks run on coal.

Why do they do this? Some of them are just bored and stupid and think it's funny to throw out the cable access version of a James Bond smoke screen. I've watched the YouTube videos, and the funniest thing about it is that the actual cloud is kind of... anemic and sad. I mean, it's nasty, for sure, but the visual impact is less than you'd think. It's kind of like being disappointed in fireworks that promise big spectacular explosions on the package.

Some of them think they're making a statement. Well, to be fair, they're all making a statement, but some of them think they're making a statement that's much more important and clever than the one they're actually making. These are political coal rollers, and they roll coal on people they've decided are tree-hugging, environmentalist liberals.

Signs you might be such a creature? Walking. Riding a bike. Driving a small car or a hybrid car or a small hybrid car. Nobody interviewed for the various news stories mentioned bumper stickers, but I'm not too surprised. Rolling coal and literacy don't seem like the overlappiest of Venn diagrams.

They've somehow decided the liberals are coming after their diesel, in much the same way we came after their guns when Obama was elected - through the power of paranoid delusion.

The great irony, of course, is that no resident of Lower Derpistan would ever roll coal on me, even though my politics make me indistinguishable from the love child of Stalin and Saul Alinsky in their eyes. My car doesn't look particularly hippie, because, well, it's not. It gets pretty good mileage, and I augment that by not driving it to work, but they can't know that.

So, yeah, they're making a statement, but that statement is "I spite-pollute based on deeply flawed assumptions and am proud of it." Tattooing "Pathetic" on your forehead would do the same thing and probably cost a tenth as much. Just a suggestion.