Monday, October 11, 2010

Social Issues: Peering into the Future

In today's fast-paced, redundant, and fast-paced world, a morning routine can be both grounding and edifying. (If you don't currently have a morning routine and are interested in establishing one, click here to see the "gold standard.") Still, even if you start each day with ruthless precision, the fact is that no two mornings are exactly alike. For example, while I may collect my eggs from the henhouse at the exactly same time every morning (apiaries are already out of style and urban henhouses are now all the rage in Brooklyn), sometimes I do so while whistling a happy egg-collecting folk song, and sometimes I do so while lamenting the dire state of society and the world. In the latter case, sometime between collecting the eggs and hurling them at passing cars (I don't actually eat them) I will usually resolve to dedicate myself to some sort of humanitarian cause--though fortunately the feeling usually passess by the time Judge Judy comes on the air.

While worshippers of lesser gods call this attitude "apathy," I worship the One True God, the Almighty Lobster on High, Who simmers benevolently in a cosmic pot and Who determines the course of human history with but a twitch of His or Her antennae. My God is as efficient as He or She is delicious, and while the lesser gods put forth as many as ten commandments, the Almighty Lobster on High (and on a medium flame) bids I follow but One Commehndment:

--Do Not Do What, If Left Undone, Others Will Do For You.

I follow this Commehndment steadfastly in all aspects of life, especially when it comes to acts of charity (or, more accurately, shirking acts of charity.) Consider the parable of the Good Samaritan. What does it mean if not that, if someone lies beaten and bloodied by the side of the road for long enough, someone else will eventually come along and take care of him? Why then should I--a person with no medical training and important vehicular eggings to attend to--stop and molest him with my ministrations when a perfectly capable Samaritan will be along at any moment? Moreover, would not my meddling deprive this Samaritan of an opportunity to flex his smugness, follow his tedious commandments, and please his lesser god? Cynics may dismiss my religious beliefs as "diffusion of responsibility," but I prefer to call it "curation of duty."

I also apply this Commehndment to solving pressing "social issues," and when it comes to "social issues" perhaps none is more pressing than the problem of not enough "hipsters" riding around on bicycles in gentrified urban neighborhoods. Fortunately though, a reader informs me that a group of "hipster Samaritans" (Samaria was the Williamsbug, Brooklyn of Biblical times) is meeting the problem head-on, like a bike salmon meeting a city bus:

Pilot Round Wrapup from Yoxi on Vimeo.

So how do "hipsters" solve "social issues?" With Apple products, of course:

And by belittling people by drawing "boom boxes" on their handlebars and cupcakes on their heads:

Yes, these are the methods employed by the "Urban Futurists:"

A three-man gentrification strike force who moved to New York City yesterday and are re-designing it today, and who are "compelled by a holistic understanding of what social responsibility can be:"

They're combining the awesome transformative power of peer pressure and iPhone "apps" to change the entire fabric of the city to reflect their own "hipster" ideals:

Bike Tab from Urban Futurists on Vimeo.

Really, modern "hipster" culture is simply a combination of peer pressure and iPhone "apps," in the same way that water is hydrogen and oxygen or the road bike industry is Taiwanese crabon and decals. In this case, what the "Urban Futurists" have done is created an iPhone "app" that uses peer pressure to trick other "hipsters" into doing something the rest of us do simply because we like it, which is riding bikes. For example, when the guy from the video in the stripey shirt that looks like a baby onesie rides his expensive bike to buy a cup of expensive coffee, he sends out a message to all of his friends which somehow makes them feel inadequate for not riding their own expensive bikes in order to procure and consume expensive coffee. It also lets them know that when they do ride their expensive bikes to the coffee shop he will be there, which ultimately spares all of them the pain and embarrassment of being alone--the avoidance of being alone or different being the ultimate goal of "hipsterism."

Plus, the video even shows you the proper way to ride an expensive bike to buy expensive coffee:

First, lean your expensive bike against a pole. Then, leave your U-lock in your pocket and walk into the store. Most importantly, do so in full view of a shifty bedraggled layabout resting a coffee on his crotch and already teetering on the moral fence that separates the unemployed "hipster" from the opportunistic criminal. Then, when you go back outside and find your bike gone, return to the coffee house, withdraw your Apple computer from your rainbow messenger bag, log onto the coffee shop's free WiFi, and pen an anguished Craigslist post about your stolen bicycle. (Be sure to blame New York City for not providing you with enough secure bike parking.)

But peer pressure-induced urban cycling isn't just about riding to coffee houses; it's also about riding to bars. The video provides an instructional for this as well, and it's pretty much the same approach:

While I don't doubt that peer pressure will get more "hipsters" cycling, I also can't help suspecting that, by taunting the lazy and unemployed with their exotic bicycles and poor locking practices, the "Urban Futurists" are also unwittingly creating an entirely new liberal arts college-educated criminal bike theft underclass.

Anyway, here's how cycling peer pressure looks on your iPhone:



Or, if you download the optional de-euphemismizer "app:"

Yes, by combining the "high-tech" (iPhone "apps") with the "traditional" (the age-old human desire to wear stripey shirts and conform) the Urban Futurists are establishing themselves as an army of Meh-nifest Destiny helping to transform all of America (or, if you prefer, Canada's rooster wattle) into one giant gentrified megalopolis that stretches from Williamsburg to the Mission District. Speaking of marrying the "high-tech" to the "traditional" and the nightmarish offspring that can result, another reader alerted me to this bicycle on the Brooks website:
There's just something tragic about a bicycle that's been forced into a role it was never meant to play. There's nothing wrong with crabon race bikes, and there's nothing wrong with Rivendell-style fop chariots, but when you turn a crabon race bike into a fop chariot it's a disgrace to both. This bike simply does not want to be a fendered upright tourer, and the result is simultaneously humorous and pathetic. It's the bicycle equivalent of one of those Christian "ex-gay" counsellors pathetically straining against the forces of his own sexuality.

On the other hand, there is nothing more inspiring than a person or a bicycle who is exuberantly him-, her-, or itself, such as the bicycle featured in this mind-boggling "Cockie" submission:


Besides a set of handlebars that bears a striking resemblance to Pee-Wee Herman's breakfast machine, it even features a frontal kickstand. And like Pee-Wee's morning routine, it could very well be a cockpit "gold standard"--though this basket is also a contender:

It's the goose that laid the golden bike.

76 comments:

Anonymous said...

1st!

samh said...

Meat.

Anonymous said...

podium! boo-yah!

Anonymous said...

Points

Anonymous said...

Not even racing today.

beltedone said...

Top ten!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Top ten.

Paul Bowen said...

Top ten!

g said...

top ten. shouldn't have read the post first...

g said...

I blame my amateur teammates for not sufficiently protecting me and carrying me to the finish.

poole said...

huh? I'm just riding to work...

tomfrit said...

moin!

Anonymous said...

Until Snob became a daddy, he never once used the word "onsie" in a post.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

There is a crankset inside of that bike's cockpit...

wishiwasmerckx said...

If I may wander off the course for a moment, it is interesting that, as a devout Jew, Snob would resort to the parable of the good samaritan. We have the modern interpretation of helping the stranger in need, but in the original telling, it was widely understood to represent a different lesson. It was not that the stranger in a strange land helped out one in need. Rather, the lesson of the story was that his Jewish countrymen walked by in significant numbers, unmoved to help their fellow Jew in need.

And who said political correctness was a recent development? A story about antisemitism was spun into a story about selflessness.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Shlepzig said...

I'm not sure that the hipster pictured going to the coffee shop is indeed a hipster. The bike has gears, and is not a color coordinated fixed gear. I submit that he is a nu-fred.

The cockie submission apparently has a front drive as well. That's some outragreous cockpit.

Anonymous said...

That cockpit might not qualify since it has transcened it's cockpit status to become a unicycle with a frame in tow.

hillbilly said...

still DTR

Anonymous said...

It appears that the first 'cockie' submission also has a nose-warmer on the saddle.

Comment deleted said...

The rakishly-up-tilted-Brooks-encumbered Look is a rolling impotence generator*, if its owner does anything more than ride it to the bar.


*assuming a male genitalway

Anonymous said...

I guess since I don't have an Iphone I'm not allowed to ride my bike anymore? Way to solve the urban cycling "problem," dudes.

Anonymous said...

The first cockie submission is more meticulously and ruggedly assembled and planned than the typical entry. It looks professionally welded or brazed. I'm wondering if the front crank is for someone with a mild neurological impairment, allowing them to "always keep riding."

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

I am a cockie minimalist engine said...

That "cockie" submission is indeed very impressive, So impressive, that I have removed meh from my vocabulary. I look forward to some very clever and truly disturbing engineering projects.

No capes.

Anonymous said...

http://velonews.competitor.com/2010/10/news/contador-threatens-legal-action-against-media-outlets_145469

"I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore."

Anonymous said...

Maybe the front drive is for a helper monkey.

Etherhuffer said...

I have been appalled at the temples of narcissim built on the the internet, but an iPhone app about riding a bike? Lordy, what next, an app to coordinate monkey spanking or nose picking?

crosspalms said...

anon 1:15, I think that's actually an air intake for the jet-assist (or butt rockets) that the owner wisely removed before the shifty layabouts caught sight of it.

Anonymous said...

That first cockie submission (hur hur) looks like a prototype for an all-wheel-drive bicycle. Can't drag your mobile chicken coop up a hill? Start using your arms!

grog said...

I have given up given up being redundant.
GOLD GOOS

Anonymous said...

"...a happy egg-collecting folk song?"
-- that wouldn't be a yolk song?

luciferyellow said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
luciferyellow said...

I suspect that first cockie entry is by BikeSnob himself and it simply a ripoff of this ungodly contraption (http://www.cadalyst.com/manufacturing/inventing-american-dream-10747) which accommodates Vito.

PawnShop said...

Lobster balls.
Nice "Cockie".

MyWorld said...

The Shifty Bedraggled Layabout is a litterbug, too. The Shifty Bedraggled Layabout is a litterbug, too.

MyWorld said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Happy Columbus Tubing Day, all!

yogisurf said...

I’m in stitches as usual. On the lookout for Cockie submissions….but I give up….I’ll never top that one.

streepo said...

I'll need to report this to the Department of Redundancy Department.

ant1 said...

what exactly is the social issue these futurists are trying to fix? their friends not knowing they're riding?

Anonymous said...

streepo 3:36 -- "and the Natural Guard!"

You young 'uns might very much enjoy picking up some old Firesign Theater, esp. "Don't Crush That Dwarf", available at an online book and recording retailer near you, perhaps one named after a mighty South American river. They're inimitable. Wednesday Weed is optional for your listening enjoyment.

Hipsters everywhere said...

Eat shit, asshole.

Gravy said...

Hey Snob, I think you meant "America, Canada's turkey wattle" given that it's Canadian Thanksgiving today.

Close but not really.

cockie said...

Is biking really an accomplishment? The faster we turn all of life into a video game the sooner I can collect gold coins when I jump up and hit my head into something.

Norman said...

Hmm, I thought I-phone apps (or at least their adoption for use) were themselves a product of peer pressure. That and the urge to "do something" about some misperceived issue. I'll let the experts wipe the spittle off of their own monitors.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

snob said...
"liberal arts college-educated criminal bike theft underclass"

Anonymous said...

A homo, a Canadian and a Turk go into a bar....

Futurists? That futurism and fascism were closely aligned might explain why these so-called hipsters use Apple's proprietary junk. Antifa.

bikesgonewild said...

...hey, ant1...non sequitur but...

...'fuck the braves'...

...sorry, nothing personal...

Never Knows Best said...

The first rule of Tautology Club is the first rule of Tautology Club.

iPhool said...

Is there an iphone app that helps hipster friends coordinate what tops (tight v-neck/tank top/striped tee) they are going to wear so they don't "twin"?

leroy said...

51st comment! It's official, we need a parade permit.

I post to point out that the urban futurists have devised a way to deter shifty bedraggled layabouts from yoinking one's ride without the need for cumbersome locks.

One simply hires a film crew to trail one on one's coffee run and wait with one's bike outside.

And I for one welcome these bold holistic re-imagineers to NYC and thank them for reminding us that riding without a film crew is downright pedestrian.

yo said...

I can't believe that first video was only 1:30. Grueling! Felt like it was 15 minutes long! Especially the interrogative artbabble from the canadian. Jesus.

BISOUBISOU said...

Oh. The egg-beating tooth-chipper Cockie is all right. Bet they could've mounted the kickstand further back if they used crabon and swapped the chain for a belt. One of these would help too:
http://store.velo-orange.com/index.php/vo-wheel-stabilizer.html

Anonymous said...

That 'cockpit' has a crank!

That's stupendous and has my vote ... whether welcomed or not.

gregoryyy said...

Those Cockie Futurist should join the Fixe Crew Cockles for some shopping,breathing and a suicide pact.

darryl from downunder said...

is there an iphone app that will beat the crap out of the rainbow bag dude?

Anonymous said...

Holy Shit!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wqzHuof4Bac

Numbsculls
reminds me of my local food store that talks about there advertising donations to make the community better or livestrong that does the same thing to get more dollars to make the fight against cancer more popular

Anonymous said...

biked to hit the strip club
biked the lap dance gal home x2
biked to get a dooby
biked around after smoking a dooby
biked to stripper girls house to see if she wanted to smoke a dooby and go get some late night food
biked her on my bars to the bar with the late night food...i just ate toast x2
biked back to the strip club w stripper to find some early morning drinks...she was on my bars again x2
biked some mad fixey tricks on the stripper stage...like the fixie look, my leg is my man penis over the top of the bars, leaving my nuts in serious DANGER
biked stripper girl home on my bars and showed her my rad ass tattoos x2
biked to her apartment and realized that her friends are way hot and she is a little big
walked my bike up the stairs and had a great time with the ladies admiring my elephant trunk in the middle of the room
woke up to a bunch of dudes walking around to in their underwear

biked home

Anonymous said...

Interesting post you got here. It would be great to read a bit more about this matter. The only thing that blog misses is some photos of any gizmos.

Nickolas Watcerson
mobile jamming

ant1 said...

bgw - never been a fan of the braves, or baseball in general. or wife beating for that matter.

Anonymous said...

I know what you did BikeSnob.

http://www.newsday.com/long-island/suffolk/cops-2-gorillas-1-chicken-steal-bike-in-rocky-point-1.2351882

Wayward Son said...

"Compelled by a holistic understanding of"...complete and utter nonsense.

...or udder nonsense south of the Canadian border.

Anonymous said...

None of this is my problem.

Anonymous said...

Here's how you prove your cycling accomplishments: 1) enter a race and beat someone, 2) ride overland. Oh god I hate iPhones.

Anonymous said...

oh man, the dude rolling the litespeed has race legs. me thinks the infamous "museum ride" is epictastic.

Anonymous said...

Dude, the scraggly layabout section, the stripey onesie guy -- hysterically funny post today! Cracked me up. How come the hipsters have enormous bag but insist on carrying u-locks in their back pockets? I don't even like carrying a wallet when i ride... a u-lock?

Anonymous said...

A three-man gentrification strike force who moved to New York City yesterday and are re-designing it today...
Great line, snobbie!

Anonymous said...

I hate the stipey onsie guy in the video. I want to jam my fist into his doughy self-righteous face.

graciela. said...

Oh man, that shit was too funny. Maybe it's just cos I'm watching that video on BSNYC but even the text in the video seemed sarcastic.

"They thrilled the internet with their idea...of a mobile app...that gets people onto bikes."

So thrilling!!!

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Fixie Bikes said...

"urban futurists" I just gagged a little.