I didn’t bitch in a while. Today, I will. Well, actually I am just going to share random thoughts which have manifested in my head and are crying to be released. That means I will just ramble, and to quote Praven Gordhan, “You can connect the dots”. Last week and the week before, I was following the country’s political developments intensively, and it was captivating, the goings-on and the behind the scenes back-stabbing and factionalism. This week, I experienced much of the same in the “car scene”.

Yes, we have politics and lots of “junk” in the industry too, and I do think it trickles down from the top, in some instances. But then again, some people are just, well, doose.

Fortunately the majority of people in the scene are good, honest, passionate beings, and ignore the atrocities happening, much like the citizens of this country. Last week though, people stood up for what is right, and I was so inspired that I thought I too can now be a revolutionary and make my voice heard. And I have a blog space to do it in, so no need for a placard.

Back to the politics I’ve experienced this week. First off, an ex feature car owner called me. “Shuds, why didn’t you tell me people become haters after one’s car is featured?” I asked what he was on about, and he explained how people spoke bad about his car, and the work done, and specs, etc. This doesn’t just happen to him, it happens to everyone who is seen to be “progressing”. It’s called jealousy, envy and animosity, and it exists. The same day, a car show regular called me too, saying he will no longer be partaking in shows as there are too many “haters” and people talk bad of him the more he keeps winning. I’ve never really subscribed to the notion of “haters”, I’ve always thought peeps are too self-conscious and thought people hated on them, for achieving. This week, though, I saw someone “hating” on me too- over a feature, and claiming I wanted “all the limelight”. Me. Shuds. Simply Shuds. Wanting limelight. Bwahahahahaha. I chose the pen-name Simply Shuds for a reason. Things, to me, are simple. I am simple. And I say things simply. While I’m not too worried about the situation I find myself in with these “haters”, it is a matter of principle. It is okay if you are a doos, and want to take credit as all you ever want is name and fame, but then don’t slander someone else’s name to cover the fact that you acted like doos in the first place. And then still say I want all the limelight. In case you haven’t noticed, I don’t need limelight, I AM THE FRIGGIN’ LIMELIGHT! Hahahaha. Seriously though, I am so sick of people doing things for name and fame, to be seen in the scene, and for scene points. A car culture is supposed to be for the love of cars, not for personal gain and personal exposure. The reason this incident didn’t get too out of hand is simply because I, and the team, are confident in our abilities. The reason Speed and Sound is the authority in the aftermarket and performance magazine segment is, simply, passion. I can confidently say that not a single member of the team does what we do for name and fame, or because we want our individual names out there, or for personal praise. We have a passion for cars, we have a passion for car people, and we have a passion for our brand. It really is that simple.

Another random thought floating in the depths of my overcrowded mind, is this: I see lots of people who get taken for a ride in this industry. Yesterday in the papers I read of a mechanic who disappeared with a customer’s car, and was allegedly spotted driving around in the car, as if it was his own. A few people also vented on social media about a tyre decal company selling inferior products at a huge cost. Now to me, sure, I don’t mind you charging whatever you want, or if your product is inferior, but to get defensive and not take customers calls when they complain, or tell them it is not returnable if clearly it is defective, then you are a doos. It really is that simple. Passionate, hard-working people are still spending their money, in a time of economic turmoil, on their beloved cars, and then fly-by-night companies and individuals abuse them. Actually, no, they rob them. Skelms. Doose. They’re just….JUNK.

I can go on and on, let me not even get into the politics of drag racing, but as you can see, the politics and junk statuses, as well as junk people, are everywhere. Much like South African politics, everything is not doom and gloom, and there are passionate, honest people who do things properly, with integrity, and in the end, the good will always prevail. So yes, we have a junk status, the industry is junk, but it will get better. Be sure you are around to witness it, by being safe on the roads this long weekend. Good luck to everyone making the trip to Dragging Rights at Saldanha this weekend, and be safe. Spread the love, be lekker, don’t be junk.