Aug 1, 2015

"Maybe I'm a lost cause"

Ok, first, the title.

This is from a song by Beck...


I'm plenty depressed, I'm sure, but not that much.

I do, however, identify with the phrase a bit.  Let me explain.

I know I'm getting older. Of course I do. But I'd like to think I can at least keep track of the world around me.  Be aware of choosing to be behind.

But this last week, so many things have struck me as just... unfamiliar.  And to a degree that I just shook my head and thought, I should just stop trying to keep up with the world.

I could never catalog these moments, but here's just a couple that stick in my mind.

I went to the bike shop twice this week to get a fork fixed, as I described in an earlier post.  Of course I browsed around. That's half the fun.  But I barely recognized what I saw.  Maybe I've only been hanging out with racers and watching XC races, but all the bikes looked enormous.  I hate to use the old threadbare phrase, but "where's the motor?" Part of this is the emergence of 29" wheels.  Of course, that makes the bike bigger.  Also, suspension forks have grown longer and longer.  Whereas I've been paring down and paring down a la St. Exupery, the rest of the world's been getting 4" forks, then 5", now 6".  And that's not so shocking... I've hung around bikes with 10" of travel before.  The point I'm trying to make is that the activity I love I hardly recognize.  Who rides these things?  Where?  No wonder it feels like trails are getting impossible to ride for me.  It's not that I stink (which may be true) but that those building trails are making them to challenge these Uber-bikes. Now consider taking a bike with a rigid fork and no rear suspension, along with flat pedals, on those trails.  Knife at a gunfight.  That's not a complaint.  I know this is happening.

Maybe this is parenting? You put your head down for ten years, and I guess life will keep moving forward.

t's far from being just about bicycles, though.  It's about the grocery store just as much.  How did we ever live with only one kind of everything.  We still had limitless choice, but it seems to me that everything has now multiplied out of control---why IS that?

Why are there at least 5 different kinds of Oreos? Why does everything do this these days?  Have you been down the chip aisle lately?  Tostitos alone has tightly rolled chips, regular tortilla chips, scoops, rounds...

and why?

What has changed that created a need for Frito's scoops? No one asked for the Tostitos version, and now you think we want another scoop option? 

See what I mean?  It's beyond my understanding.  Is it important?  Of course not.  Unless you want to think you understand how the world works.

Closer to home, I work on selling Bibles, among many other things.  Let's forget about translations for a moment- sidestep that discussion.  We sell 2232 different KJV Bibles. Perhaps we need to stop worrying so much about getting a bible just right for us and start working on obeying it? We sell a horse lover's Bible.  A stock car racing Bible.

It's as if life has splintered.  Maybe the internet did it.  There doesn't need to be any common consensus now because anyone can find a group to belong to.  That's good, right?  But it does mean that you don't have to "eat regular chips".  Why bend a little to hang out with your neighbor when people just like you are only a few clicks away? And these days, they can be posting live video of themselves, so it really is almost like they're in the room with you almost as much as that neighbor who, let's face it, can be kind of annoying and you can't log off the moment you're finished listening.

What do you think?

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