Slow Reveal: Synergize This

Pope Alexander once said, "To air is human; to forget, divine." I couldn't agree more, for as a human animal myself I make airers and forget to do crap all the time. Fortunately, now and then people email and alert me to the airer of my ways. For example, I recently learned that the phonetic pronunciation of bakfiets isn't "bake feets," as I have heretofore been rendering it:

Dear snob,
I must take issue with your fonetic spelling of the word 'bakfiets'. 'Bake-feets' is incorrect; the a in bak is short, it rhymes with 'fuck'.
Here is how it is pronounced.

Well fuck my feet, I've been pronouncing it wrong all this time! Given the ".nl" at the end of the sender's email address, I'm assuming he's from the Netherlands (or possibly their hated neighbor to the east, Holland) and as such that he knows what he's talking about. Anyway, the upshot of this is that I guess I should start saying "buck feets" from now on, but as an American it is my civic duty to mangle any and all "furrin" words, so I'll probably just keep saying "bake feets" anyway.

Speaking of linguistic matters, a commenter yesterday also had the following question:

Anonymous said...

Dear Snob,
Regarding the line "SRAM has picked this week to flog its new Red group", when did you abandon the treatment of corporations as plural nouns, e.g. "Cinelli have become the bicycle equivalent of a middle-aged divorcee in a Versace dress" or "Mavic may very well have found a solution to their self-destructing carbon spoke problem"? I always found the use of plural nouns for corporations on this blog jarring, although I do not believe it is in fact grammatically incorrect.

December 19, 2011 4:54 PM

My response to this is a hearty "Whuh?" The truth is, I don't worry about stuff like grammer and spealing when I write for the same reasons I don't use a power meter when I ride, and those reasons are: 1) I don't understand it; and B) What little I do understand is extremely boring to me. However, there are certain misteaks that even I can spot, such as this one which was forwarded to me by a reader:

(I can't believe I forgot to get Sidi a fiftief anniversarsary present!)

Obviously, the mistake is that the "s" in Sidi should be capitalized. Duh.

But if you're into grammatical mistake porn, there's no better place to find it than Craigslist:

To my star crossed lover - m4w (Park Slope 7th Ave and 5th St)
Date: 2011-12-18, 1:57AM EST
Reply to:

I was wearing a black jacket with white writing, and my heart on my sleeve. You were on a bike wearing a beanie. Our eyes met and worlds collided, boooom! (that was the worlds colliding)

Who are you...I want to know


You're Future

I hope "You're Future" and his erstwhile lady in a beanie eventually find each other, get married, and celebrate many, many anniversarsaries together. Then, they can have the world's douchiest wedding--though they'll have a hard time out-douching the current pretentious nuptial champions, as forwarded to me by a reader:

Apparently, instead of just having a wedding, these people decided to turn their union into an allegory of douchefication:

It would be easy to say that the couple, in their mid-30s, abhorred the idea of a traditional wedding, but Mr. Friedlander and Ms. Schmidt are not the sort of people who are in the business of abhorring things. They did not want their wedding “to be just about us,” the groom told me, but rather, about the world of creativity and social purpose that they inhabit.

Also, they figured they'd save the Earth while they were at it:

During the reception, Mr. Friedlander asked his guests to please recycle their cups, “because we’re really in a serious situation with climate change.”

If someone asked me to recycle my cup at a party "because we're really in a serious situation with climate change," I'd collect every cup in the joint, make a big pile in the middle of the dance floor, and start the world's biggest plastic cup fire--assuming of course I wasn't too busy proving myself worthy of attending in the first place:

When guests arrived on Saturday night two weeks ago, they were greeted with name tags that asked them to declare a commitment. Lest they not take the request seriously, the hosts had additional cards printed that asked them to “Name something you are really committed to.” The cards contained further imperatives: “Name one action you can take in the next 24 hours that is aligned with your commitment.” Other cards prompted guests toward a treasure hunt in which they were encouraged to meet new people.

I suppose a typical card looked something like this:

Name something you are really committed to: Saving the Earth by recycling cups at parties

Name one action you can take in the next 24 hours that is aligned with your commitment: Using the same cup twice.

Though I take it a step further and have officially pledged to become a one-cup household. One-cup households are on the forefront of the sustainability movement, and we use a single cup for everything: drinking, rinsing after brushing, playing Yahtzee, and even collecting our menstruation. "A toast to the bride and groom!," I'd announce to all assembled, though the "clink" of glasses would be replaced by an eerie latex silence. Anyway, a lot of people are worried about the state of the environment, but I'm not, because with visionaries like these we should have the whole global warming thing sorted out in no time.

Of course, when you read something like this, the inevitable question is, "What the hell do these people do?" Well, here's what, though it raises more questions than it answers:

Ms. Schmidt, who once served as the creative director of Moomah, the children’s cafe in Tribeca that caters to parents in denial about some of the distasteful aesthetics of child-rearing, made the cards in her favored style of heavy stock, neutral paper and quaint typefaces. Through her company, Screech Owl Design, Ms. Schmidt makes beautiful, twee paper products that would seem to demand an existence inside a Miranda July snow globe. Synergistically, Powerhouse is among the many places where Ms. Schmidt’s work is sold.

I was especially confused by Moombah, the place "that caters to parents in denial about some of the distasteful aesthetics of child-rearing," but then I went to the website, and I figured out it's just a Chuck E. Cheese for assholes:

In any case, if you're wondering what all this has to do with cycling, the answer is "nothing," apart from the fact that I wish the wedding had been crashed by a bunch of drunk naked people on recumbents. Also, this wedding was about "synergy," and (further to yesterday's post) SRAM is/are continuing to capitalize on the intense synergy that results when you combine the soporific words of Levi Leipheimer with boringly ambiguous photos:

Really, that? That's your favorite part? Guess the new Red group is all downhill from here. Still, this is high praise coming from Leipheimer, who is not easily impressed:

And whose vision knows no bounds:

I can't wait to see the right front brake pad.

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