LJWorld.com weblogs Heard on the Hill

NYT blog focuses on KU lowrider expert


It was while he was in graduate school at the University of Texas in Austin that Ben Chappell, an assistant professor of American studies at KU, first took an interest in lowriders, the vehicles that sit low above the ground, bear brightly colored paint jobs and bounce on hydraulic suspensions.

Now Chappell is the author of a book about the cars and their role in Mexican-American culture, which earned itself an entire entry on the New York Times' "Wheels" blog on automobiles.

In the entry, Chappell dispels some stereotypes and assumptions about lowriders and the people who ride and tend to them, including that they're associated with violence or gang culture (the cars cost a pretty penny to maintain, requiring a fair bit of responsibility from their owners) and that they're driven only by young people (the culture has been around for around 60 years, and people of all ages lowride).

And the post answers the big question: Chappell himself drives a 2004 Volvo station wagon, not a lowrider.

Don't forget to send your KU news tips, no matter how high off the ground, to merickson@ljworld.com


anticommunist 5 years, 3 months ago

What a complete waste of time and, presumably, government resources funding this non-research. I'll bet a similar work with a focus on white, rural kansas boys and their V8 trucks would forever and always be decried racist, fascist or whatever the grand wizards of the PC meat factory that is the academy decide it to be.

Bobby Burch 5 years, 3 months ago

"We're nihilists, Lebowski, we believe in nothing."

riverdrifter 5 years, 3 months ago

I want the 10 seconds of my life back that I spent reading your post.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 3 months ago

There is a wide variety of research on the pick-up truck culture, ranging from your proposed research on young men to individual truck models to women who love their trucks.

You lost your bet.

riverdrifter 5 years, 3 months ago

I just ran over a skunk. God, it smells bad around here.

Katara 5 years, 3 months ago

This looks to be interesting. The care that goes into the cars is unbelievable and I wish I had even a teaspoonful of the the knowledge lowriders have about fixing up cars. They have some beautiful work.

riverdrifter 5 years, 3 months ago

Seriously? Do you wake up this dumb every day? Tomorrow is another day. Try again.

MarcoPogo 5 years, 3 months ago

I'm always afraid that bigtoe is going to lose the snarkiness; I can't tell you how glad I am that it hasn't happened!

Bob Forer 5 years, 3 months ago

Did somebody release all the angry white men from jail today?

Leslie Swearingen 5 years, 3 months ago

I was at the car parade and some girls from Japan were laughing and clapping their hands and saying, "Look at the dancing car!" They loved it, as did I.

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