Originally posted on GarageBoyzMagazine.com Issue # 9
I often think about the preservation of our Kulture. There are a bunch of questions and observations that make me fearful that our kulture of loving and living cars, bikes, tattoos and other kool stuff, could just fade away with time.
As we as a society drift apart and worry more about ourselves and our own worlds, will there still be a sense of community and camaraderie in the Hot Rod, Biker and Tattoo worlds? Now that so many people have come and gone with the latest trends and fads in each segment, is there anything substantiative left ?
For example the chopper craze brought out the $70,000 bike buyers and master builders and there was a "Chopper Shop" in every garage. Now, most of the choper companies are long gone, and the bikes are being sold off for pennies on the dollar. The Hot Rod scene is going thru a phase of Rat Rodding everything, so now instead of restorations being the norm, it’s “let’s flat black it and call it a day”.In the tattoo kulture anybody with an EBay account can buy all of the equipment needed to start tattooing out of their kitchen, and with the help of Craigslist let everyone know that they are doing it for $10 or an X-Box. Combine this with the car, bike & tattoo reality shows, and the internet parts warehouses, and the out right over commercialization, it all helps make our kulture seem so quick, cheap, easy and attainable.Is it any wonder that our kulture is getting so watered down? Are there still people willing to pay their dues and build their foundations in the history and traditions of our kulture?Or has the instant gratification of today permeated it too deeply. Has it become just so easy to buy your way into the kulture, that when the wind blows it is off to a new “hobby”? Has passion and commitment been replaced with one upsmanship and trend jumping? Will there still be guys and girls who will want to keep the old cars and bike running and preserved. Are there still kids who actually dream about becoming mechanics? What if through tougher laws and regulations it becomes damn near impossible to run a carbureted machine on public roadways? Will the outlaw riders ranks swell or will the cruise-ins be filled with flamed-out Priuses?
How about the tattoo Kulture? Will the professional tattoo artists have to be so guarded with their craft, that they may become unwilling to teach others in fear of further hurting the kulture? Are there even going to be people willing to go through the rigors of being an apprentice, or will the availability of cheap machines and the desire to make fast cash just put more dangerous scratchers out there. None of which would even have the chance to do a single tattoo, if there weren’t so many people looking for quick, cheap and easy. Isn’t that ironic, the same people who can’t commit to a 2-year phone plan, are willing to commit to a lifetime of wearing a horrible tattoo?
With the way things are today, and so many people just looking to save a dollar, we have all seen small and some not so small bike shops and car shops close down. Is this the end of the everyday man having the ability to open up a small shop and pay his bills and feed his family? Are the days of thriving independent shops, putting out honest hometown goods and services going to be a thing of the past? Lastly, how about the artists who paint and draw by hand? Laying down pinstripes, doing hand painted lettering and such. Are there still people willing to devote hours of quality and craftsmanship, for the sake of their art? Or are we destined to face a world of high tech machines and graphic artists who will produce more products faster and cheaper? Will there still be a generation of artist willing to learn and practice creating art by hand?
Don’t misunderstand my point; I know that there are plenty of people that enjoy our Kulture from the outside. They may not live and breathe cars, bikes and tattoos 24-7 like many of us do.These people provide an important role in our kulture as consumers. It is their interest and money that help fuel our kulture and keep a lot of us employed doing what we love. I don’t worry about running out of consumers of our kulture…rather I worry about running out of providers of our Kulture. So in closing I ask this simple question…Are you a consumer or a provider to the Kulture Community? If you answered provider, then what are you doing to keep our Kulture thriving now and in the future ?
Proudly Serving The Kulture Community... Rich "Bingo" Fournier (Bingo@Kultureblog.com)
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