by Brian L Whitcomb aka Big Boy
Over the last decade I have been in several discussions and debates with many on how the kulture and motorhead industry is evolving. For that matter, to be honest, it’s not just our specific kulture but the world as a whole is evolving. Technological advancements are taking place every day. Some are great! Some in strictly my opinion are debatable, just from the stand point that it continues to dumb down people and to be honest, majority of people do not use it correctly.
Our kulture is at a very critical stage. There is a huge disconnect from the corporate dictators and society. Here is an article to continue to reinforce the facts. http://www.businessinsider.com/millennials-are-hurting-harley-davidson-sales-2017-7
I remember when people literally laughed in my face when Garage71 radio was launched. Now, who does not use a non-traditional music provider from TuneIn, to iTunes, to Syrius, Spotify, and so many more… The debate then was no one was going to listen to music on a device. Really? Today, internet radio at all levels is the number 1 source to listen to music. I remember a dealership owner saying to me after we introduced him to our app laugh at us and say well you can’t listen to it on a Harley. Really? H-D corporate hasn’t created an interface now with GPS? Are we not charging devices on motorcycles now? Are we not using either a hard wire or bluetooth to connect our devices to all our vehicles whether car or bike. If you say no, then you are either in denial, or you just have not upgraded your system in a very long time. The overall point is, denial. Denial to change. Denial to evolve. Denial to the truth.
I once enjoyed running one of the top three bike nights in Atlanta during the chopper hayday. We would have an easy 300+ motorcycles every week. Our record night was just under 2,000 motorcycles. We enjoyed every walk of life through our doors. It didn’t matter what color you were or what color your bike was. It was about having nothing but a good time. We always had a celebrity sneak in our doors and sometimes even showcased a builder coming through town. We had dealerships hanging with other dealerships with no drama and working together to better support a community. We enjoyed speed bikes to choppers to baggers. We placed attention is providing our guests with great service, great food, great entertainment, and a location by far one of the best on the strip of Buckhead in a better time in Atlanta.
Today, I debate what is it that we as a kulture are looking for? I attended a good community event, the Rockabilly Rockening, at B3 Bar & Grill this weekend. This local show is a show about just having a good time. It kills me to see people bitch and complain over a $10 trophy. Is that what it means to you to go to a show? What in the hell happened to it was about showboating? It was more about hanging out. It was about racing the road with your gal by your side. It didn’t matter what you spent on your ride, it was about if you even had a ride. You could be in a Pinto or in a roadster, no matter what, you were there. Now, with all the opinions, and the PC protocol, the social media safe zone, and the new found experts that we are destroying our own kulture.
For as much complaining we do, it’s obvious that we have become very disconnected with not only our kulture, but ourselves. My first car in high school was a 64 Cadillac. I got this car for several reasons. It was all a high school kid could afford. Well, it was a Cadillac. And, I had no desire of what others were driving. I wanted a classic. Now, even among car shows I hear people complaining about the car parked next to them, because they didn’t have a ridiculous amount of money to have a shop do all the work on it to “finish” the car. Well, what if that car is a family project and little by little they put more and more into it? What if they are happy with whatever it is they drive or ride because that is their vision. What gives the asshole big mouth know it all the right to say what is acceptable or not in a show? If you’re gonna get your butt hurt over a $10 trophy, stay home. Remember, it’s about hanging out. Remember, it’s about looking good in your dream car with your gal and enjoying life. Get your head out of your ass and live for what matters. And, if you are living for the $10 trophy, then you seriously need to re-evaluate your life.
But, what does all this have to do with our kulture evolving? Well, I will tell you what it has to do. No matter how “connected” we have become, we are completely disconnected from ourselves and a lifestyle that is about the quintessential American figure. It’s about tradition. It’s about heritage. It’s about music, food, comradery. It’s about life. Our Kustom Kulture is about what it means to build a foundation for our kids. It’s about building skills for ourselves. It’s about building relationships between people and not devices. Even with being around an event with people that I think have caused serious damage and harm to relationships within our own community, I focus on what a great day it was. The negativity, if not given an opportunity to spread, disappears quickly. No one wants to hear it. But, with it supported, we will see the continued internal disconnect within our own community.
Our kulture and lifestyle is a very small community. The politicians and corporate giants have it all wrong. We are a group of thought, of attitude, and a creative spirit. That doesn’t mean it’s misguided, or that our kulture is a bunch of thugs either. As we evolve, we need to remember what is this all about. It’s a lifestyle. It’s a brotherhood that has it’s own internal rules and laws that have traditionally held more value than society’s “fake” values.
I will always be my own person. I support when I can in efforts I feel as though deserve or need my support. I am fair not only to a community, but to myself. I believe in listening when the message is worth listening to. I will walk away from almost anything in a heartbeat when drama shows it’s head, especially when the ignorant are behind the cause or rant. Sure, everyone has an opinion. That doesn’t mean it has value.
These are my waking thoughts for the day while I enjoy my life and what I do everyday. I have been fortunate to do everything in life that makes me happy. I drive a beat up 60 Ford pick up every day. I enjoy my days on my motorcycle whether far and few between, it is my therapy. I love most music or can at least appreciate various genres without criticism. I value history and have learned on what is important and what I need to avoid. I do my best to influence in a positive way others. I think big picture and do my very best to ensure it is always a win win at everything I do and what we are involved in. It is how anything works best. It has the best outcome for all from business, to relationships, the spectators.
This debate and conversation is far from over. It is only a start of a healthy evolution of where we are headed. Either take the time to evolve yourself, or you will soon see your irrelevance for yourself in the mirror. If you can’t evolve, then get the hell out of the way… It’s Sunday Funday. Go and enjoy your ride and who cares what the hell your are riding or what the fuck you are wearing. It’s you and experience life.