Full disclosure: I love racing, race cars, muscle cars, and the smell of gasoline. I’m hooked on the show Street Outlaws, but it’s not without issues for me.
What is your impression or perspective on the men of the 405? Do they qualify as “good” men?
Can good men participate in illegal activities, like street racing, or are those mutually exclusive? Is street racing a victimless crime? If so, does that make it acceptable? Are there any criminal activities which are acceptable? Civil disobedience, for example?
In case you’ve never watched the show, there’s quite a bit of swearing bleeped out. Is the use of curse words in private, in public, and in broadcast always problematic, or only under certain conditions? When and where is it acceptable to curse? Are curses just words?
There’s also a good deal of trash-talking and male posturing, not to mention a few physical altercations. How do shows like this influence the “man box?” Does the media perpetuate outdated concepts of masculinity? Does this show add to that?
Something striking about the show is that, despite the trash-talking and outright nastiness, there’s a strong bond between this group of men. They rally around each other when one is injured, help each other with their cars, and come together as a team to race in out of town events. What other kinds of activities do men bond around? Is there some inherent value in spite of other things which might be problematic?
What do men say to their sons in particular about problematic male behaviors? How do men reconcile the good in these types of shows, like male bonding and teamwork, with the questionable, like trash-talking and illegal activities?
How does trash-talking affect men emotionally? Is there merit in this kind of talk? Does it push men to be better? Or does it shame and belittle men? Or both?
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