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.

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