This makes me want to shoot myself in the face. And I'm not completely sure why.
Maybe because Republic Bikes has been one of those ads that shows up next to my gmail for the past six months or so - "You can be cool for $349!!!"
Or maybe it's because Urban Outfitters is suuuuuch big business - more than 140 locations, and more than 1.5 billion dollars in revenue in 2007. And I'm snooty and convince myself that I love the small and local...even though I totally bought some pens and a kick-ass dinosaur at Target last week.
Or maybe it's because the owner, Richard Hayne, is an active Republican who contributes to conservative causes (including gay-bashing politician Rick Santorum). Ironic, huh?
Or maybe it's just because I ride fixed, and I hate that I love hip stuff. And I tell myself that I like it because of the feel and the history and all of these things unrelated to hipster-douchebaggery...but what if, deep down, I just want to be cool? Or even worse...mall-cool?
Or maybe it's the opposite - maybe it's not that I don't want to be cool, but that I do. Maybe it's that I hate that some kid can click three buttons, wait a week, and have a (pretty rad-looking, though I hate to admit it) bike. I spent almost a year gathering parts and dollars, and I feel like that's how it should be. And part of me wants to attach neon lights to my bike, reading "I MADE THIS MYSELF." I worry that my experience will be cheapened by the entrance of fixies into the world of mass-production. But my experience was still mine, right? And what was right for me isn't right for everyone...right? Let's not judge, y'all...
(my baby, by the way)
I feel like Urban Outfitters takes good ideas, Wal-Martifies them, and uses the profits to support political agendas which would make many (most?) of its customers sick. It's big business, you know? Fat dudes and cigars. But bad intentions can lead to good ends...and maybe this will lead to more people biking, enjoying the lifestyle, and making the world a healthier, greener, funner place.
And I can't ignore the fact that I wouldn't have found out about all this if I wasn't on the Urban Outfitters website in the first place. Fuck me, but they sell cool-looking headphones.