THE PROBLEM WITH THE YOUTH OF TODAY
”THE PROBLEM WITH THE YOUTH OF TODAY, IS THAT ONE IS NO LONGER PART OF IT” Salvador Dali
As I write this, on yellow double spaced lined paper, with a pen and ink in long hand cursive, Cyril Huze celebrates the 5th year, to the day, of his Blog. It will be a good measurement to see from the time I finish this evening, fold the paper, stuff the envelope, lick it, stamp it and send it to Agoura in the morning, to the time you read what I have to written. It may end up being the single greatest reason he claims, “In only 4 days, this blog has more readers than the largest American V-Twin print magazine.” Am I addressing an obsolete audience? Perhaps, but I am part of it. I am here, and here I will remain. I have loved everything motorcycling for so long, that I have no 401K, but a collection of old two wheeler I intend on pawning when old & feeble, if I must endure to the end. I understand progression, from stone tablet, to metal plate, on to papyrus, then bound printed material, until we reach the words that only appear on a screen when our gadget is powered up and working properly.
I also see a much shorter progression, from no front brake, to a windshield and a cup holder, to a sun roof and on to an assisted living facility. Hopefully I’ll die because the lack of front brake causing me to rear end the obstacle in front of me that was able to stop quicker. This leads me to think there is a time in our life we choose to stagnate. I do not believe this is a conscious decision. I have always giggled at ex-pro skaters who leave their tiny 4 wheels for and 18″ rear and 21″ front, going from a shaved head to a waterfall, from a goatee to a full beard, but it isn’t just these disposable heroes that yearn for identity, it is all of us. My early club scrap books, show bike riders morphing from skinny kids with too much grease in their hair to a plump Barry Gibb type that should have his blow dryer taken away. The “V-Twin” crowd is stubborn and slow to change. The bike that is most popular today is still based on a 1936 design platform. This is why I believe if the printed work is fading fast, we will some of the last to abandon it.
Of course I am wrong quite often, but I still don’t see myself kneeling down with a grandchild fondling a disk, or browsing the internet in order prove to him my former glory. I will pass on dusty books, magazines, sales brochures, race leaflets, and the same yellowed pages I have gathered up at swap meets my entire life. Motorcycling is just over a century old and, it’s albeit poorly told history, is only in print and the voices of those who still brag. I had the honor of knowing Jim Davis, who at 104(he lied about birth date in order to race at an early age and never recanted!), told me stories of racing on the board tracks with a Flying Merkel, then raced for the HD factory team. These kind of history are only in verbal lore or printed work and will remain priceless even when someone posts a blog on the subject. Now will the printed magazine end up as ” oddities in some backstore racks” as Cyril claims, I cannot say. I suppose it remains in the hands of those still using the presses.
Can they, will they recognize the revivals that keep motoring interesting, or will they hone in on their preference. “Kill your idols” is what I’ve heard, and that always boggled me, until I realized it is impossible to deify someone you know. We can only idealize someone beyond our grasp. We stagnate, and then we must pass the mantel, or we produce a magazine without passion for a decade before it becomes relevant again, then you are patted on the back for sticking to your guns, if you haven’t already gone out of business. I digress. But this may be just what we need, less progression and more digression.