Sunday, May 29, 2011

No, No, NO! Indy 500 Trivia

It is, dag-gone it, the Marmon Wasp, not the "Mormon" Wasp.

While I am entirely sure that the LDS church has found within its ranks a statistically-likely number of race car drivers and designers, that pointy-tailed car was from Marmon. They're still around.

Driver Ray Harroun was the Motor Speedway's first solo entry; all other cars had riding mechanics and to accomodate safety worries (OMG! He has no one to nag him!), he had a rearview mirror installed. Commonly credited as the first user, almost certainly the first race car driver to use one...but idea had been written up in a tech magazine some years before. So he's not the inventor.

I don't so much mind it when they get the latter wong; it's a debatable point. But sheesh, it sure does grate to hear talking heads and J. Random Strangers refer to The Mormon Wasp. (Just exactly how likely is it that any Mormon, ever, would call a yellow-and-black, stinger-tailed car anything but a bee, anyhow? C'mon, people, how hard is this? Have you not seen any Utah iconography?)

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Utah is known as the "Racecar State", right? No coffee, beer, or non-white people were allowed in the garage of the Mormon Wasp.

Shootin' Buddy

Roberta X said...

?? "...non-white people..."? Um, despite various and sundry bits of religious writing and previous practices, there are Mormons darker than an old-fasioned grocery sack, SB.

The LDS may have come a bit late to the table but as of 1978, the official Church policy became, "...all worthy male members of the Church may be ordained to the priesthood without regard for race or color." ReligiousTolerance.org has a bit about it.

So I think maybe that part of your characterizaion is along the lines of an argument with dead guys.

That leaves them with the advantage of not racin' jittery or drunk, which is not so bad a thing.

Nathan said...

Have you not seen any Utah iconography?

Joseph Smith stole it from the Freemasons, you know. :)

Roberta X said...

Even the beehive? Aww, rats. The Masons already trademarked alllllll the kewl shapes.

(Amusingly, Masonic-derived images show up all over -- ARRL, the U.S. ham club, uses a vertically elongated diamond as a cartouche around their logo and so do many other such national amateur radio groups in other countries. From whence doth that spring? ...Yeah...).

perlhaqr said...

People are probably mixing it up in their heads with the Mormon Meteor.

So I think maybe that part of your characterizaion is along the lines of an argument with dead guys.

Well, people still make jokes about multiple wives, and that hasn't been part of mainstream LDS doctrine since 1904. So SB only being 33 years out of date on the withholding of the priesthood from non-whites is downright timely by comparison.

Nathan said...

The only regular Masonic body I know of that uses the elongated diamond cartouche is the Council of Princes of Jerusalem in the Scottish Rite. And I doubt that it has any significance other than a way to enclose the rest of the logo :)

But the Mormon Church prior to being tossed out of Illinois was associated with a Masonic Lodge in Nauvoo, for which they had received a dispensation from the Grand Lodge of Illinois. It's pretty clear that Joseph Smith then proceeded to construct the symbology of the Mormon Church out of Masonic whole cloth.

Roberta X said...

Nathan: oddly, the shape is known in Masonic art as an "Egyptian diamond." Or so I'm told.

Christianity -- and its offshoots -- are highly syncretic: they borrow. It appears to have happened a lot. This is not a unique trait but it's interesting.

Perl: sadly, just as we find in the 200 or so little LDS splinters some practice of polygamy, there are undoubtedly sects that still hold that hue is in indication of moral worth. (This, too, is not unique).

This all probably tells us more about people than about their religions.

--And just wait 'til I get going on who the "Mar" in "Marmon" was!

Roberta X said...

Aw, darn it, that's the Mar in "Marman clamp" I was thinking of, fellow name of Herbert Marx. You might know him better as Zeppo Marx. Had a machine shop, did some acting with his brothers.... But didn't make the Marmon Wasp; in fact, he might've been in grade school at the time. His did make a little motorcycle later.

Anonymous said...

"The LDS may have come a bit late to the table but as of 1978"

The Book of Alma was repealed in 1978? Did the Indiana Supreme Court abolish it too?

Shootin' Buddy

Tam said...

"The Book of Alma was repealed in 1978?"

No, but neither was the book of Leviticus. Bought any Canadians lately?

Roberta X said...

Ummmm, Canadians. Very hard workers, you know.

George said...

Canadians ... very faithful and true fans of the inhabitants of Roseholme Cottage.

Besides ... the Vancouver Canucks will beat the Broons!

Regards.

Anonymous said...

"No, but neither was the book of Leviticus. Bought any Canadians lately?"

Yes, sort of; I compensated them for their time (3 songs). Well, it depends on how one defines "lately".

Shootin' Buddy

Roberta X said...

You sang to Canadians? Does Gordon Lightfoot know about this?

Ian Argent said...

I understood the "non-white" part of SB's jest to refer to the second half of the name of the alleged car. WASP being an acronym and all