Friday, June 22, 2012

The First Installment of the 2012 Summer Blather Series

The naiveté and cynicism of my backyard.

This morning I think to myself that it's time to fix up the bicycle.  The chain is a little too rusty, the gears are loose, the brakes could use some tightening, the stem's a bit off. There are two people who can do this: 1) me and 2) someone else.  I am a proponent of two other things: 1) not doing activities I don't absolutely have to do and 2) supporting businesses I believe in.  I believe in bicycle shops.  I believe in riding bicycles.  Well, not a quantitative belief, maybe.  Perhaps nothing exists at all.  But more the qualitative belief that as they do exist in my conception of whatever I guess is the physical world that surrounds me, I believe they play an important part in keeping that world a sustainably fun place to operate in.  So I take my bike to the bike shop.  The cool thing is the bike shop nearest my apartment is open ridiculously early in the morning.  I ride in and ask for a tune up (chain, brakes, gears, stem, etc.) I'm not sure where the guy who owns the bike shop is from.  He has that sort of Eastern European countenance and a slightly vague accent.  Maybe, I think to myself, he is Czech.  I hope he is Czech, I think. It would be cool to have a Czech fixing my bike.  "Sixty dollars." "Two days."  I walk my bike out the door as he's reaching for the order slip.  "You don't want me to fix the bike?"  No, I'll do it myself.
The Buddhists say that suffering comes from expectation.  They say that right?  Anyhow, that's what I get out of it.  Rather more fundamentally (funny phrase, that) the Buddhists say that suffering comes from attachment. Which one might say manifests most potently as expectation.  The expectation leads to disappointment, which, frankly, is what we feel all the time, whether we are disappointed or not.  But here we might be able to reduce further. Or do the opposite of reduce, whatever that is.  Expand? Enunciate?  We afflict ourselves with poles.  We have two poles between which we operate and affix ourselves between (to varying degrees.)  (We affix our affliction.)  These two poles are Cynical Naiveté and Naive Cynicism.  The former is a stubborn disavowal of certain blatant facts about ourselves; a willful ignorance of our failures and successes.  The latter is a rabid assumption that nothing is on the up and up or straightforward; a rampant reduction of interactions to calculated movements. (Or maybe these two poles have better available definitions, but hopefully by this point the point is mostly made.)
The fact is, I'll likely take my bicycle to the Brazilian down the street from my office.  He opens later, but he is the guy who has been the neighborhood bike grump longest.  If he charges me $60 and tells me to wait two days, I may just leave it with him anyhow.
What does getting my bike fixed, my obvious failings as a do-it-yourselfer and some shoddy reasoning have to do with a surf blog?  Maybe not much.  Maybe everything. The prevailing winds of "surf culture" seem to blow between the same poles.

4 comments:

tjbreuer said...

DIY is great. Especially when you have time to do those things. But when you got a job, children and relationships that you need to maintain in this world that keeps on speeding up and getting busier and busier by the minute, it's hard to take the time to do the things you would like to do but just can't get to. In surfing, much like your bike, you can do a ding repair yourself and you could probably shape your own board and you probably could fix your wetsuit but, in the world we live in today, we need to prioritize what is important and urgent. It seems that unfortunately, the work and jobs that seem silly, are at the top of our priority list in order for us to maintain our quality of life which is supposed to improve with these jobs with good pay but instead end up making us miss the really important things, like fixing your bike, and fixing your surfboard or wetsuit, so you can enjoy life. It's a conundrum. It's hard to get off that hamster wheel. And don't call yourself lazy for not fixing your bike. It's hard take care of those things when you are running in the same place just to stay in the same place...

vintagegood said...

This was fantastic..post like this are what I love. Stop being a fag and fix it yourself and spend the 60 bucks on that bungalow for two gallons of paint

EditorialBoard said...

Yeah, Carrin, you're totally right.

Mr. Lentini said...

hahahahahahah oops that was me