Get A Job, Tight Pants
Article By: Chris Callen
Good, you got past the title so we can assume two things, either A, you are already chuckling and share some frustrations of your own or B, you are half way to pissed off and looking for ammunition. Either way, stick around for a minute, I think I may fill the bill. Now, this might not be my most popular editorial but I realized something over the past thirty days, this shit is getting crazy. I mean, next month we celebrate twenty full years of doing this monthly rag so to say I’ve seen it rise and fall is one thing, but the level at which truly odd happenings are smacking me in the face, well that deserves a small rant. Of course, it is no secret that our beloved industry is suffering some hard times again, and while companies everywhere look for better and even more efficient ways to do things I can’t help but point out some obvious, at least to me, facts in this scenario. Much of the traffic we see go on today that has to do with the Motorcycle Industry happens on social media, and in related fashion the millennials or new next generation seem to be the golden children of this movement. That’s been aggravating to some, I’ve secretly thought of the whole thing as kinda cool since the seventies were one of my favorite time periods. Anyway, in their efforts to relive the glorious seventies that most of them weren’t even alive for, some of the more radical in that group have decided that age old mantras like “Down With The Man” will somehow enrich their experience or elevate their standing among their peers. They have taken all we do here and have truly become the haters. If someone gets a good deal, they rain on it, if a cool bike is built they pick it apart and if a run or a ride, even a builder gets some sponsorship they accuse them of being a sellout. They put up their little hate websites and parade around with their cooler than you strut with perfectly manicured costumes of coolness, dictating to the masses what is or is not acceptable.
While this may please the balls off of your little girlfriend, sweetheart, I gotta tell you, this whole attitude pisses me off. You see, it wasn’t long ago, that those of us that made our way through life as a motorcyclist had very little in the way of social acceptability and making a living in this was hard. Even at my fairly young age I can still remember having motels put up the no vacancy signs as I pulled into their lots and when it came to sponsorship for an event, well the local Harley dealer was about your only hope. Nine times outta ten if you happened to be on a chopper, you were even screwed there. But still we lived the life and made our money where we could, and that was good enough. Fast forward a few decades to when motorcycling started to reach into the world of the straights and people started to take us seriously. Sponsorship, both on a private and corporate level became obtainable and making a living got a little bit easier. We were finally in a place where the average Joe could see past our sometimes-rough exteriors and had learned to appreciate the lifestyle we cherished. Presently, however, we have reached a point where, for a segment of this misguided group, it has become uncool to have sponsorship and they have dumped on many of the grassroots efforts that have made unique and different events come about. As long as you are holding an event or making a part for less than ten people, regardless if you have to come out of pocket for the experience of it, then you’re touted as keeping it real and somehow admired for your ideals. Well, I may offend a few along the way but brother I gotta tell you something about those so called ideals, their hollow yet at the same time full of shit. In comparison, the real seventies had an over abundance of these creatures called hippies… No, no, not the kind of hippies that people pretend to be today with essential oils and hot yoga, I mean good old-fashioned, free love havin’ hippies. These cats were all about “down with the man” and even started to bring the institution down around them in their heyday of make love not war and care free living.
But then something strange started to happen, the hippies turned thirty something and got scared as hell. They started to realize that they were getting older and didn’t have anything to show for it. They got up one day and shaved their faces and arm pits, got haircuts and ran off to get jobs. In no time at all those lofty ideals were replaced with BMW’s and professional careers, wives and kids and the hippie way of life fell by the wayside. I suspect that this movement will go much the same way, once these “righteous muthas” realize they can’t make that cheddar here, they’ll move on. And then where does that leave the industry that’s put so much focus on them? But wait, maybe I’m being too harsh, after all, the whole social media expansion has brought so much exposure to all this, and the millennials, well their revival of the seventies and these lofty ideals have made all of this so much better, right? Then why has the industry seen such a slump in business, reporting the first dip in the sales of tires and batteries in a decade? I suspect that the reason is that for all the time spent looking to blow each other’s minds on instant-spam we have overlooked some of the basic principles of what this thing is really about: riding motorcycles. The fun of it isn’t from racking up the hit count on your latest post or from how many followers you have but in the act of doing. Of putting your hands on a piece of steel and making it your own and then taking it across the country to kick it with your friends, NO MATTER WHO IS WATCHING!!!! The most ironic part of this whole article is that the title says get a job tight pants, but in truth most of them already have marketing degrees or work for big pharmaceutical companies, at the very least their old lady does and they only do the motorcycle thing on the weekends. You see, in the end someone must pay the bills in the middle of all this righteous indignation. So what happens when they all run off for those jobs? Well, the rest of us will still be here, just like always. It’s a crazy time man… crazy time. Oh well, this is the shovelhead issue, something truly positive that came out of the seventies, check it out!