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Motorcycle Culture

Discussion in 'General Motorcycling Discussion' at netrider.net.au started by hornet, Nov 23, 2005.

  1. In the 'I'm sick of these selfish idiots' thread, late last night, I made the following observation.

    Dan responded with this......

    I responded ....

    He suggested that it could be a separate thread.

    SO..... discussion?
  2.  Top
  3. All culture is construct, apart from that which stems from human nature.

    Human nature is responsible for the "them and us" attitude that any one group of individuals feels towards non-members of that group, and contributes to the individual's desire to outwardly identify themselves as part of their chosen group.

    Even the baddest biker culture is underpinned by the same underlying human social themes as the most civilised society: protection of one's own, altruism to other group members in return for the expectation of the favour being returned, punishment and retribution where social expectations are not met... All basic human nature.

    The bikes, the clothes, the beards, the nodding or not nodding to other riders... Contrived outward manifestations of the desire to be seen as a member of the particular biker group and clearly not a member of "normal society." Many probably began as practical considerations - leather for protection, beards for warmth etc... But are now purely symbolic of group membership after their practical obsoletion.

    And a partridge in a pear tree.
  4. Well, Loz, you certainly know how to kill a thread :LOL:

    Very erudite stuff, mate :D
  5. Why are we discussing culture with reference to Australia? There's more in a tub of yoghourt. :p
  6. You're in the wrong thread for that, you should be over there ------> in Doonks' "What's for lunch" thread!
  7. Ok, I'll bite. I believe it was me who in, a 'thread associated with the other thread, that referenced the other other thread'.....took issue with the 'spirit' of motorcycling being presumed to be limited to a particular 'culture'

    What I meant there, was that through my 40 year riding life, in four countries, I have been part of, or have observed, several different 'flavours' of motorcycle culture e.g.

    British 'Rocker' culture, cafe racers, leather jackets, white sea-boot socks folded over boot-tops.......

    French 'Cafe' culture, stylish customizations with the emphasis on style, total aversion to having anything that resembles anybody else's anything, very social with gatherings at bars and cafe's into the early hours of the morning.

    American 'Cruiser' culture, large very commercialized rallies, 50% of bikes arriving on trailers or in utes, very dollar-status oriented, something like the occasional visit to the theater, definitely not a life-style

    German 'MotoTechnik' culture, very sophisticated power oriented customizations, little variation due to TuV restrictions on non-complying technology, emphasis on straight-line performance (autobahn), meeting tend to be ‘workshops’ rather than social.

    International 'Tourer' culture e.g. Iron Butt, to a lesser extent Ulysses, committed long distance riders, who do ride and meet socially, but only really hit their straps when riding 3000ks alone.

    I could describe others that I have not experienced myself, like ‘scooter’ culture and the ‘whole family does motocross from age 6' thing.

    One thing I have observed is that each ‘culture’ has over time become increasingly more intolerant and disparaging of the others. This I believe is a relatively new development, of maybe the last 10 years at the most. I probably sit outside any ‘culture’ now, and I believe that there comes a point, where to understand the ‘spirit’ does not necessarily require one. However, in the early days of anyone’s riding experience, any of the available flavors of ‘culture’ will provide reinforcement of the embryonic ‘spirit’, peer-group assurance, a baseline for the measurement of capability, and self esteem.

    The spirit of riding comes in many forms not all of which require any peer group 'culture' at all. A while ago I was riding at night on a narrow empty country road, slowly as it was roo infested. Out of nowhere came a night parrot with a wingspan of half a meter and eyes like saucers. He flew in perfect formation beside me at shoulder height for a while, and we stared into each others eyes, each revelling in our own brand of freedom. When I am told that only the reckless can know the 'spirit' of riding, I cannot help feeling that in many ways this statement only indicates that the individual inhabits a 'culture' that has yet to discover the full spectrum of what 'spirit' represents.

    ( above paragraph duplicated from a post of mine to another thread)
  8. what happened to our base instincts of....
    food drink shelter and sex..??

    does this also start wars?

    thats basic alright
  9. The "selfish gene" social theorist would put this down to an extension of the "them and us" family protection instinct.

    As more and more diverse people become motorcyclists, the very act of riding becomes diluted as a social differentiator, particularly for those who are not new to the game and keen to belong in the riding crowd.

    So your established community looks for ways to further segment itself and each individual chooses allies and "outsiders" even within the broader group and a heirarchy of fraternity is established.

    So, you'd call a cruiser rider a wanker if you're with your sportbike brothers. But if you're in a room full of average joes, you'd identify with the cruiser rider. And if you're in a different country, you hang out with the Aussie, and if the Earth is threatened by googly eyed space monsters you stand shoulder to shoulder with your Mongolian wife beating Zoroastrian brother.

    It's the same instinct that means we protect our brothers from our cousins, but our cousins from other families etc - and it extends from the selfish gene theory.
  10. Jeez, Loz, I was trying to start a brawl and you're being logical....... :roll:
  11. Ok, I'll go with the wife beating, but all my Mongolian buddies are Shamanists.
  12. I'm inclined to disagree.

    Let me argue by analogy. I don't own a radio. Bizarre, I know, but I've never got around to buying one. If I do get one, it will be for entirely functional reasons - traffic reports, weather, stuff like that. I really dont care if it has quadraphonic surround sound with dolby and phase-locked-loop, or whether the superhet uses circuitry or software for post-filter IF processing. I just want to hear people talk.

    A mate of mine, and Netrider contributor, has a sound system in his house that is quite amazing. I don't deny that the sound is impressive, but I can't get excited about it. Some people, however, immerse themselves in the culture of radio and can use words like superhet and PLL, and actually know what they mean. Moreover, they can talk intelligently about improving their equipment.

    Motorcyclists are the same. There are those that see the bike as a utilitarian tool - just like my radio - to get from home to work cheaply. But I question the extent to which they participate in "motorcycle culture" other than as targets for those of us who do (with delightfully eloquent phrases like "a bunch of chardonay sipping , peotry reading power suit , gay bar delving bunch of cretins that give motorcyclist a bad name. " The spelling is a clue to the author's identity :) )

    Then, there are those who've begun to define themselves by their participation in motorcycling, and, in doing so, reinforced a motorcycle culture. Guilty your honor! In doing so, we engage with the "spirit of motorcycling" in the same way that the search for the perfect radio engages hifi buffs.

    So where am I heading? Yes there is a spirit of motorcycling. No, not every motorcyclist engages with it. Some have been captured by the spirits of chardonnay, poetry, the perfect suit and a better bathhouse.
  13. Chairman, I hear what you are saying. Unfortunately you have merely precipitated a sudden identity crisis in Moi. I do believe after a 40 year commitment to it, that I have 'got the spirit'. Unfortunately though, I must also confess to a predeliction to both chardonnay and poetry. I can live without the suit, but the bathhouse, (providing it is not of the Greenwich Village variety), does appeal. So, who or what am I?

    * sits back and awaits the onslaught*
  14. I dont have a clue what this thread is about , jumping from radios , selfish genes, them and us theorys even sigmund fraud is looking down scratching his head thinking WTF .
    But I do reconise one paragraph :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL: :LOL:
  15. A renaissance man!
  16. fair go, Mark, he's not THAT old :LOL:
  17. Balls, there goes that theory out the window!