Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Curmudgeon Effect: Cultural Retrogrouchery

So, like, the world. What do we think? Better? Worse? The same? Every generation ponders this question, and every generation comes to the conclusion that the world was great once but that it sucks now. This is called the "Curmudgeon Effect." Consider the following quote from Socrates, a guy who lived in a time when people still knew how to think cause they weren't all dumb from their iPods:

“Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers.”

This quote certainly supports the theory that the "Curmudgeon Effect" is as old as philosophy itself, and that the aging generation is always critical of the one that supplants it. Moreover, it would also seem to support the theory that the world is not better or worse but is in fact in a state of stasis, since it could just as easily have been written five minutes ago as 2,500 years ago. However, when you take into account that whole ancient Greek pederasty thing, the quote starts to take on a slightly different connotation and it becomes tempting to think that, yeah, maybe things are a little bit better now after all. See, back then academia was a much different place, and it was socially acceptable for a philosophy teacher to have a sexual relationship with an adolescent pupil. Now, however, it's mostly frowned upon, with the exception of the athletic departments of state universities.

In other words, when you compare yesterday with today, the world looks a lot worse. However, when you compare yesterday with a really long time ago, you can see we actually have it pretty good. For example, here's how average schmucks lives today:

("We have no idea who this creepy old guy is.")

And here's how they lived 600 years ago:

(In the 1300s, death metal was called "life.")

Here's what school looks like today:

(School of hard knocks gentle coddling.)

And here's what it looked like at the turn of the (last) century:

(Check out the spoiled kid on the left with the shoes.)

Here's what an economic crisis looks like today:

("i'm totally protesting LOL :) #occupy")

And here's how it looked in the 1930s:

("totally bummed sh*t sux :( #dustbowl")

You get the idea. It's all summed up rather humorously in that famous Louis C.K. routine which you can watch on the Internet--something you couldn't do back in Socrates's day since there was no Internet and you were too busy fending off the socially-sanctioned sexual advances of your philosophy professor:



So it was with Louis C.K.'s sagacious observations in my mind that I read Kurt Andersen's recent piece in "Vanity Fair" magazine, in which he posits that American culture has essentially stalled:


Basically, he's saying that, despite all the new technology, nothing's changed from a cultural perspective since the 1980s:

Since 1992, as the technological miracles and wonders have propagated and the political economy has transformed, the world has become radically and profoundly new. (And then there’s the miraculous drop in violent crime in the United States, by half.) Here is what’s odd: during these same 20 years, the appearance of the world (computers, TVs, telephones, and music players aside) has changed hardly at all, less than it did during any 20-year period for at least a century. The past is a foreign country, but the recent past—the 00s, the 90s, even a lot of the 80s—looks almost identical to the present. This is the First Great Paradox of Contemporary Cultural History.

Now, I suffer from the "Curmudgeon Effect," and in fact I've dedicated most of my life to complaining about how much stupider things are today then they were yesterday. For this reason, I read this with great interest, and I thought Andersen made some very good points. At the same time, sometimes I also thought he was crazy. And sometimes I thought both things while reading a single paragraph:

Look at people on the street and in malls—jeans and sneakers remain the standard uniform for all ages, as they were in 2002, 1992, and 1982. Look through a current fashion or architecture magazine or listen to 10 random new pop songs; if you didn’t already know they were all things from the 2010s, I guarantee you couldn’t tell me with certainty they weren’t from the 2000s or 1990s or 1980s or even earlier.

I'm tempted to agree with him as far as the music goes, but it's a bit of a stretch to say you can't tell the 1980s from the 2000s because people are still wearing sneakers to the mall--especially when he also says this:

People flock by the millions to Apple Stores (1 in 2001, 245 today) not just to buy high-quality devices but to bask and breathe and linger, pilgrims to a grand, hermetic, impeccable temple to style—an uncluttered, glassy, super-sleek style that feels “contemporary” in the sense that Apple stores are like back-on-earth sets for 2001: A Space Odyssey, the early 21st century as it was envisioned in the mid-20th. And many of those young and young-at-heart Apple cultists-cum-customers, having popped in for their regular glimpse and whiff of the high-production-value future, return to their make-believe-old-fashioned lives—brick and brownstone town houses, beer gardens, greenmarkets, local agriculture, flea markets, steampunk, lace-up boots, suspenders, beards, mustaches, artisanal everything, all the neo-19th-century signifiers of state-of-the-art Brooklyn-esque and Portlandish American hipsterism.

I'd say that's a pretty shocking change. I have mixed feelings about Apple stores and all the other hallmarks of gentrification he itemizes, but the simple fact is that if you plucked me out of the 1980s and put me in an Apple store today my face would have melted. Here's what an Apple store looked like when I was a kid:



Steve Jobs had nothing on Crazy Eddie. Speaking of cultural changes, you could have fired up a Marlboro in that Crazy Eddie and nobody would have even looked at you sideways. Just try that now in an Apple store--they'll lock you in an iCell and then send you to Cupertino for "refurbishment."

("A computer is like a rocket-powered bicycle for my bank account.")

I do think Andersen's central point is a good one, though, which is that popular culture is the way it is right now because we have our heads up pop culture history's ass thanks largely to the Internet:

On the one hand, in a country where an adorably huge majority have always considered themselves “middle class,” practically everyone who can afford it now shops stylishly—at Gap, Target, Ikea, Urban Outfitters, Anthropologie, Barnes & Noble, and Starbucks. Americans: all the same, all kind of cool! And yet, on the other hand, for the first time, anyone anywhere with any arcane cultural taste can now indulge it easily and fully online, clicking themselves deep into whatever curious little niche (punk bossa nova, Nigerian noir cinema, pre-war Hummel figurines) they wish. Americans: quirky, independent individualists!

But to say that "fashion, art, design, entertainment" hasn't changed dramatically in the past decade or two is curmudgeonly by any standard, even if that dramatic change does mostly amount to an explosive rehashing of the most insipid fads, fashions, and spurious "movements" of the past 100 years. Pop culture is always stupid; its stupidity just takes a different form every generation.

And who knows? Maybe the fact that we're no longer trying to outdo ourselves with outsized ambitious projects like we did when we built skyscrapers or flew to the moon is a good thing and a sign that we are "maturing." As it happens, not too long ago I also read an article in the New Yorker about venture capitalist Peter Thiel, who also thinks that our society is stagnating:


Says Thiel derisively, "We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters." Is this really a bad thing? Maybe we didn't get flying cars because we realized that flying cars are stupid. People can't control cars on the ground as it is. Does anybody think it's a good idea to put them in the sky? Sure, Twitter is pretty stupid, but I'll take that over a Buick falling on my head any day. Plus, it turns out that we already had something as amazing as a flying car, and it's called a "bicycle," which is why more and more people are riding them now even though they've been around since the days of child labor. Sometimes all that rooting around in the ass of history actually yields some useful finds.

As for my own curmudgeonly view, I do find myself amazed at the way in which we all completely and utterly surrender to marketing and branding in a way that must surely be unprecedented. However, when I stop and think I realize it's not really all that surprising, since marketing is now our folklore and how and where we spend our money satisfies our need for personal expression. This is why in the 1960s people moved to communes, but now they're forming utopian societies of douche:

I've mentioned Rabbit Island before, and whereas once the goal was to "turn on, tune in, and drop out," now experimental societies function as focus groups and labs for new cocktail recipes, which are then served in the bars of the "gentriverse," thus perpetuating the artisanal economy (as forwarded to me by a reader):

I only hope those "foraged cocktails" contain truffle umami and smell like semen.

We may not be the greatest generation, and we're definitely not the worst, but we're certainly the most self-interested.

135 comments:

Anonymous said...

eine

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Laid back!

Anonymous said...

Nu Fred third!

Anonymous said...

erly bird

Anonymous said...

fuck yeah

Anonymous said...

where's the bikes?

Anonymous said...

mamma look, no hands!!!!

Super Grouch said...

Top 10!

zippy8 said...

I find your ideas compelling and wish to subscribe to your newsletter. Or lob some cash into your Kickstarter, which is the modern equivalent.

Anonymous said...

two instances of the word "bicycle", 0 of "bike".

dirtbag said...

top ten, bitches

dirtbag said...

well, elevensies then...

Anonymous said...

Another sweet, sweet finish in the first group.

This will do wonders to my GC standings.

Kenny said...

It's because all the cool stuff happened in the '80s and '90s, man!

Marcel Da Chump said...

A Dorothea Lange photograph and Crazy Eddie on the same page is progress!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Mr. Thiel said...
"Sometimes all that rooting around in the ass of history actually yields some useful finds."

Words I live by.

The recumbent culture has certainly undergone a sort of renaissance over the past couple decades. So all is not lost.

Not an American said...

I´ve been discovering B. Hicks, L. Bruce, G. Carlin, B. Maher lately. Now Louis C.K.
Cool. Please keep on giving more such references.

Anonymous said...

Wait a minute, I need to learn how to RESTORE AXES?

Like the one's they make now are actually built to last past the first 5mm of the blade? Please! That's why I procured the complete line of Ritte axes made by Zen bike fabrication in Portland. TWO whole centimeters worth of edge on those heads and each model has an awesome dutch sounding names.

Of course, when the head flies off because Ritte can't assemble anything to save their sorry @zzes, they'll just blame it on improper use.

theEel said...

tWeed.

Anonymous said...

I pedaled the whole way..

whom am I fooling i was walking



mr.pissta in the grouppetto

g said...

Man, Conan sounded like such a dork on that video.
"Yep" "That's right" "Phones are funny" "Heh, chairs".

Anonymous said...

merry christmas everybody!

crosspalms said...

I foraged for cocktail ingredients at my local liquor store and nearly had a heart attack. The guy must have chased me for 2 blocks before I finally lost him. Guess I'll have to sign up for the workshop and learn the ropes:
1. Walk in with axe.
2. Forage for cocktail ingredients.
3. Retire to island with loot and make cocktails.

g said...

On a slightly serious note, the article in that same issue of Vanity Fair by Stiglitz, The Book of Jobs was really good too. But I could have done without the Lady Gaga crap (nude boobies are the exception, of course)

Tom Carvel said...

Nobody beats The Wiz.

Buy-cycle said...

Top twenie? More bikes, less cultural analysis. But on the whole, well written and very informative. B- Pete Sampras says, 'you aced me!'

Hairy-legged roadie said...

Kurt Andersen isn't fit to carry Thomas Frank's luggage.

Loved Spy magazine, but looking at the later work of Carter and Andersen makes me think skewering the rich and famous was mostly about envy, not principle.

Doug said...

Great word, curmudgeon. I wanted that instead of "codger" for my blog/internet persona, but velocurmudgeon had too many syllables for general consumption.
As we age our on-the-bike prowess is a distant memory, thus we have only our curmudgeonery to keep us going.
I pine for the days "mountain biker" meant only one tribe and not several competing and warring tribes, when our tires were the only suspension, blah blah...you get the picture.
Someday the Wildcat Rock Machine may gain curmudgeon status. Just wait 'till his son gets to the teenage hormone stage. Then we'll see some real angst!

mikeweb said...

XXVIII-circa

WRM, I almost never say this (though I often think it), but this one was a masterpiece. Though this makes me suspect that Vito had free reign at the keyboard this time...

But we have made progress, even in our television depictions of marketing men: in the 1960s we had Darrin Stevens, a Madison ave. ad-man with a silvery haired boss, married to a blond witch. In 2011 we have Don Draper, a Madison ave. ad-man with a silvery haired boss, married to a blond witch.

Anonymous said...

I was a curmudgeon.
Then I got a medical MJ card.
Now I'm an old guy riding a recumbent.
They call me Recumbentclause this time of year.

Ho ho ho. Mutha fckers.

Anonymous said...

In Wisconsin we had Crazy TV Lenny, at AAAAAAAAAAAAmerican.

Ruthie said...

That Crazy Eddie commercial brings me back to watching A Charlie Brown Christmas Special on Fox 5.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. I gets better, and then it gets worse, and so on.

I'm reminded of something Cormac McCarthy wrote about modern families. I'm paraphrasing, but essentially he notes that it's a huge trend for grandparents to raise their grandchildren now, as their actual parents are too drugged out to care for their children themselves.

McCarthy then raises the question as to who will raise the next generation? The great-grandparents? The new grandparents that were too messed up to raise their own children and are now encumbered by age as well as incompetence?

I suspect we will soon have a massive dying off of some sort. I don't look forward to it.

Anonymous said...

I don't know. I gets better, and then it gets worse, and so on.

I'm reminded of something Cormac McCarthy wrote about modern families. I'm paraphrasing, but essentially he notes that it's a huge trend for grandparents to raise their grandchildren now, as their actual parents are too drugged out to care for their children themselves.

McCarthy then raises the question as to who will raise the next generation? The great-grandparents? The new grandparents that were too messed up to raise their own children and are now encumbered by age as well as incompetence?

I suspect we will soon have a massive dying off of some sort. I don't look forward to it.

mikeweb said...

@Not an American,

I'm a big fan of Louis C.K. and G. Carlin, also B. Maher, though sometimes his logic has huge holes and philosopically he has a little too much in common with Dennis Miller for my liking.

I also recommend Lewis Black and Craig Ferguson.

Anonymous said...

@ Anon 1:07 "the second."

Quit copying me!

hoky pokey said...

Plus, autism rates are rising.

Anonymous said...

recumbent conspiracy theorist: The longing for great ideas from the past only apply to the ideas I want, not to yours...

Ooops, I guess I just proved the WCRM's closing point...

Anonymous said...

Build your own island? Now that is impressive!

Doug said...

I get my culture every day. I eat an epic burrito with lots of sour cream, left coast style!

Paul said...

Good post but still need my bicycle-fix. When it is too cold to ride without freezing your eyelashes together, reading blogs is my only form of bike-escapism. To where should I take my addiction?

Cousin Brucey said...

ScranusNipple!

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Ha Ha Ha DoucheMachine!!!

I think you posted your McSweeney's article on the wrong site today!

Let us know when you post today's BikeSnob blogular thingy.

Mcfly said...

44 comments

grog said...

Yes. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Today you can walk outside, look up at the sun, feel the warmth. One million years ago, you coul've done the same.

Benny Kanya. said...

Rides again!

le Correcteur said...

"popular culture is the way it is right now because we have our heads up pop culture history's ass thanks largely to the Internet."

Classic.

Ghouliani said...

Bring back the mob, the violent crime and watch the city blossom! Who's responsible for malling up goddamn NY???

Anonymous said...

Crazy Eddie's got a bridge now. Don't know how sane the price is.

Lucas Brunelle said...

Where is my Jetpack they promised me in the future?

Where is the flying car they promised me in the future?

Where is the flying bi-cycle they promised me in the future?

All I got was this stinking computer gain which makes me pretend that I am flying , driving in the air.

No video game with fixed gear stunts though. I guess I have to do it and not pretend.

The future is here, live with it.

Anonymous Coward said...

I think the Rabit Island about page kind of says it all.

Nipple

shaun said...

In linguistics, the rate of language evolution is correlated with the size of the community within communication. The smaller the group, the faster the language evolves.

Maybe the same is true with culture. Our community within communication is essentially infinite for general topics, so the rate of evolution of general language should be nearly zero. Maybe the same is true of culture in general.

Or, maybe we're all just lazy and nothing is easier than jeans and a t-shirt.

Lucas Brunelle said...

game

I don't read vanity fair or new yorker to hear how good things are, they only hire whiny writers.

db said...

Finally! A post under the "Death Penguins" label...

I am a sad engine said...

People wore tennis shoes and Jj
ans in the 40's, 50's, 60's, and 70's too.

Sad to see writers masturbate on paper in public.

OBA said...

Leave my beer gardens alone, Mr. New Yorker Magazine! Do you hear me? Go pick on the artisanal pickle or the gourmet hot dog condiment, but keep your stinking cultural criticism tentacles off my god-damn beer gardens!

streepo said...

"Pop culture is always stupid; its stupidity just takes a different form every generation."

true'r words hath ne'er been spake.

Hophead said...

Snob, some days you bring a tear to my eye. Great post.

Udder said...

Things are indeed different now. We've all learned how to loaf away a good portion of our lives online.

Despite the current downturn, it's remarkable that our economy has sustained itself as long as it has with everyone consumed by web surfing, tweeting and online shopping.

Anonymous said...

Nice cultural navel-gazing. The holidays are making you soft.

Anonymous said...

Drivin' that train...
High on cocaine...

leroy said...

"There are more things in heaven and earth ... than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

leroy said...

Say what you will about pop culture recycling and stagnating, I remain inspired by ground breaking Alley Cat cinematography.

And if a certain director is reading, I'd like him to know: "I'm ready for my close up, Mr. Brunelle."

I even brought a soundtrack.

http://tinyurl.com/Brunelle-Soundtrack

Ahh, life on the edge.

Anonymous said...

excuse me...can anyone here help me? i was looking for a blog about bikes? anyone know where that might be?

Anonymous said...

good one today, wildcat snooze-machine. i was having trouble sleeping.

Anonymous said...

Here's hoping that Rabbit Island turns into a mini Deliverance.

Snob taught me this said...

Every generation feels itself entitled to whatever the previous generation worked hard to produce or steal. This generational process works as long as the current generation produces or steals something of its own to pass on. When the cycle gets to the point where the current generation produces nothing but feelings of entitlement and exaggerated self-worth...shit happens. Personally, I feel America has, at the most, five more generations before we really do become Canada's underpants, assuming that Canada hasn't perished by then as well.

Anonerfications said...

The comments section is FULL of wussies today.
"Where's all the bike jokes today, I'm sooooooooo bored being bored by this boring blog blah blah blah."

Jeeeez-US!

leroy said...

Anon 2:50 --

Did you miss the reference to bikes being the new flying cars?

And thank God for that.

Imagine the protective head gear we'd need if cows were flying over Manhattan.

Newt Gingrich said...

That picture of the children working gave me a chubby.

I mean more than usual.

g-roc said...

I'm disappointed by the lack of gardening content today.

-Do not put anything in my flower box.

Anonymous said...

I like to drink Jack Daniels. That's a mans drink. IT should come with bail money.

Do you ever black out? Or as I like to call it, TIME TRAVEL?

David Henderson said...

Never have so many had so much and been so unhappy. Some of it (unhappiness) is the result of the paradox of choice.

Interestingly when people are given too many choices they can become overwhelmed trying to pick the correct/best one.

Today we have more choices than we have ever had.

This idea comes to me from Radiolab's discussion about Choice and how much is too much.

bikesgonewild said...

...wow...the intellectual depth & scope of today's post, albeit having been lightly peppered with bsnyc/rtms/wcrm's curmudgeonly yet typically humorous references, is of such an objectively sociological nature that i'd imagine that within such a culturally conceived format, it would be hard for someone to descend to the depths of inserting sleazy & absurdly incongruous scatological comments regarding the nature of, oh, say, 'martha stewart (tm) offering advice to her daughter whilst helping her suck someones dick' for the cheap humorous effect it might offer a very limited number of readers...

...let's hope the high brow nature of today's post doesn't allow for that to happen...

...just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

Let's talk about truth in advertising. On the right side of your blog, there's a girl in sunglasses with a really nice rack. But click on it, and it takes you to a website where a middle aged guy with droopy shoulders is modelling t-shirts. Talk about bait & switch,

Anonymous said...

Pyrite Snob Pyrite !!

philip williamson said...

Funny post. I think "trenchant" is the word of the day.

anon 1:07 - in some cultures and times, grandparents raised kids because the parents were working all the time. It might create even more cultural continuity, since old oldsters are enculturating the youngsters.

Nebraska bike commuter (non-DWI edition) said...

Scranipnusple

bikesgonewild said...

...anon 3:32pm...now that is actually quite a well conceived comment...

Anonymous said...

I didn't know where I was for a second, and I still don't. I liked it though.

alex said...

louis c.k. = brilliant

Griddle said...

Death penguins?

Billy said...

Can't stop laughing! ("A computer is like a rocket-powered bicycle for my bank account.")

Dave Eggers said...

Scranus Nipple

Anonymous said...

"While I love [sociology] and embrace it in all its forms, I'm also extremely critical. So I present to you my venting for your amusement and betterment. No offense meant to the critiqued. Always keep [floffing]!

g said...

A team that I can qualify for!:
here

patrick said...

I regret to inform you that this post exceeds the amount of insightfulness and eloquence permitted on blogspot.com. This reads more like an op-ed from your beloved New York Times. Well done.

Charlie Didrickson said...

I'ma git an island an name it something and put a whisky bar on er an call it goose whiskers ...

on yer left

John T. Angle said...

"WHAT? YOU DIDN'T TALK ABOUT BIKES??"Waaaaaaaaaaah, *sniff sniff*, Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah..... Sometimes there are better things to talk about. Thanks for veering off course Wildcat rock machine. I'm sure most of us would read no matter what you wrote about.

Anonymous said...

You trying to ditch your advertisers?

DeafMetal said...

Flying cars.
Oh how I miss thee.

JB said...

I don't much care what the topic of the blog posts are, just that they exist for my amusement and mild enlightenment. But I am worried that you may spending too much time reading and not riding. Or, do you have text projected on the backside of your Oakley Razor Blades so you can read while you ride?

MMMmmmmmmm said...

Texty Blades
A rusty good read.

Anonymous said...

Curmudgeon computer panties!
Panty panties!
Panties!

Anonymous said...

"their make-believe-old-fashioned lives—brick and brownstone town houses"

Wait, what were we supposed to do, burn the houses down? Build condos with our bare hands? These old things are pretty solid considering how imaginary they are.

wishiwasmerckx said...

The comment section of a bike blog is not exactly the proper forum for fashion commentary, but

"everyone who can afford it now shops stylishly—at Gap, Target..."

If you shop at Gap and Target, you are definitely not stylish. Cheap, practical and pedestrian, yes, but not stylish...

JDH said...

Rotary phone in the Apple store ad! C.K.= laugh riot.

Rudy Gonzalez said...

http://artasamurderweapon.blogspot.com/

wishiwasmerckx said...

99th...

wishiwasmerckx said...

...and 100th...

Anonymous said...

101 Dalmentions!!!!!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Louis C.K. on transcoastal flights:

"Now you watch a movie and take a dump and you're home."

Sounds pretty much like a typical day at the office for me.

The REAL Rudy Gonzalez said...

Ooooh look at my blog blog
ME
ME
ME
ME
ME
ME

Anonymous said...

Took you a while to build to it and bring her on home.
But you managed to do it - much like a great Barry Manilow tune.
And for that I say "Well done, sir".
"Well done, indeed".


Harumph

Ben Levy said...

Great,great post brother Snobby. The great lobster on high has to be most pleased in another one of your most thought provoking posts. I found it most enlightening.

A-Meh

Anonymous said...

Hey, I have sex with my thesis supervisor all the time.

In fact, after sex, as we lay in bed, we read the latest installment of Bike Snob . And hmmm it's good!

Anonymous said...

Devolution in Dollywood!

Anonymous said...

I like it when Snob diversifies.
Keep'em coming!
Thinkin' about the future!
Thanks for writing!

Grateful Life said...

Everything IS better.
Women!
Amazing beauties with perfect booties!

Anonymous said...

Best Made has got to be the douchiest company/group of idiots ever. We need a time machine to bring 1975 NYC back to kill those morons. What a bunch of clueless, vapid, soulless, trendy, spoiled, and arrogant asshats.

I've rarely seen such brazen shallowness masquerade as authenticity. I can only hope it's a joke. But if it is, I can't imagine a more crass existence.

cyclotourist said...

Everything I know about So-Crates I learned from bill & Ted.
That was back in the 80's.

Coathangrrr said...

600 years ago was the 1400s, or the 15th century, not the 1300s. 2011-600=1411

Just for the record and all.

UrbanRidingTips said...

Dear Mr Machine, I am interested in contacting you about advertising on your site. I run a small artisanal workshop principally concerned with outdoorsmanship, and I think the way your blog is going it won't be long before our demographics co-incide fortuitously. Thanks to the generosity of my customers I have capacity to pay far in excess of market rates.
Please contact me on bedazzled_axes@bmc.com
Yours sincerely,
Peter Ennis

paulb said...

...we already had something as amazing as a flying car, and it's called a "bicycle,"...

Going in the notebook, that.

ce said...

Every philosophy I have is as sharp as a scranus, so you always double down on the good nipple.

Mcfly said...

The woman in the 1930s Depression Era pic looks eerily and oddly and specifically like Catherine Keener which is turn giving me morning cause I am thinking "Man she would probably do ANYTHING for half a sandwich."

Mcfly said...

*wood....morning WOOD

Klaus Mohn said...

Incompetent douches getting wasted on cocktails and playing with fancy axes. Yeah, I can't see ANYTHING that can go wrong with that.

Spence said...

Styles have changed with new generations going back as far as the American Revolution where tight fitting clothes preceded more baggy styles. Wondering what the significance is of this sameness. I can't speak for the 50's, but young people in the 60s didn't dress like the Elvis biker, they dressed up like the 1932 guy and dressed down as well. Maybe the 1932 guy was dressing up to be more employable, just after the Depression. Until the late 60s, going to dances boys wore ties, girls dresses. Film of period dance TV shows suggest this, although they might have had a dress code. We dressed up to go to school, there was a dress code, remember debates about changing it. Clothing really broke out in the mid 60's with Carnaby Street as a result of prosperity. Maybe the stagnant economy since the 80's is a reason.
As for me, I collect 'obsolete' cassettes, cycle on 'obsolete' roads, and look great in 'obsolete' thrift store and abandoned clothing.

mikeweb said...

By the way,

Flying bicycle y'all.

AYHSMP

JB said...

I don't thing the BMC artisanally striped axes on Rabbit Island need to be sharpened very often:

"Look at my chain saw!"

"No, this didn't come from Home Depot, it died of natural causes."

"Let's pose with our axes next to a bunch of DeWalt power tool cases."

Anonymous said...

http://www.amazon.com/Psychic-Soviet-Ian-Svenonius/dp/0965618390

fred_in_winnetka said...

Best Rapha collabo?

http://www.rapha.cc/timothy-everest-and-rapha-threepiece-cycling-suit

Anonymous said...

RetroPanties!

Anonymous said...

at 6:15 in Brunelle's "rumble through the bronx" youtube vid one of the expert riders is nailed by a slowish sedan whilst running a red light. The lady emerges from her car clutching her chest, perhaps worried she may have injured the douche..gust of wind my ass

Paul said...

Great post Snob - one of your best.

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Beach cruiser prices have escalated to an outrageous price these last few years and together the founders realized there had to be a way to make things more affordable.
bike bell

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