Customnation and coolization

So lately I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking about customization and coolness; check this one out:
Hello Master Silas –
I’m am writing at this time to inform you that your long lost great uncle has died. He was a wealthy philanthropist in my country. Shortly before his untimely death his entire family was killed in a paddleboat explosion. At the time of his death none of his nearest relatives were living. This unfortunate coincidence makes you his closest living relative and that recipient of his fairly large estate worth in excess of $700,000 quadrillion all you need to do to claim this inheritance is to send a check to me at….

Sorry, that’s a message about some money that I’ve inherited, it’s kind of lame because before I can get the funds released I have to send them $10,000 and wait for 6 months…

Anyway here’s the email that I meant to post:
Silas –
Please be explain me how customnation help to make something fancycool?

She's crafty.

She's crafty.

Ok so this is an email dramatization, but it’s typical of the email messages I receive, and it’s a damn good question.

Eventually everything that is handmade or customized that holds the title of Cool (note the capital C; you do that when you’re using “cool” as a proper noun) gets mass-produced. Understand my words more better by imagine them in your thought box.

Think about pimped out cars. Now think about that MTV show: Pimp my ride. Now think about the irony of having brush guards on your Chevrolet Suburban…

What was I talking about? Say, have you seen these new Scions that Toyota has been making? They are so cool you can customize everything from your rims and sport pedals to lighted cup holders and body side graphics (I’m pretty sure that these are some sort of fancy sticker) and don’t forget about sales people that call you dude and fist bump you after you sign the papers.

Secret Moderates?

Secret Moderates?

Sure there are still a lot of things you can do to pimp your car aside from what you can pay the dealer to do, but there is a lot of pre-pimpin’ that you can just drive off the lot with. Yes you guessed it: Pimpin’ your car is no longer cool. As a result of this, or at least in conjunction with, the “g” is back. Yep, it’s not pimpin’ your ride any longer now it’s called “pimping”. Yes you heard it here first: pimping cars has moved from “cool” to “suck”. Hey major auto makers and MTV thanks for ruining tricked out cars.

My decree has but one exemption: Switches… and wood paneling, I guess that’s two. So the coolest auto you could have now is like a classic wood paneled station wagon with all original components and hydraulics.

Cars are no longer cool to pimp, so where do we go from here? Back to DIY customization! Think about bicycles. Good, now think about pimpin’ them out… yes pimpin’ can still be used for bikes. “But Silas, I have never heard of that!” Exactly! Are you still thinking of pimped out bicycles? Guess what! You’re thinking of Scraper Bikes!

Ok I know that this video is like a year old,  more than a million people have watched it on youtube, and NPR has already done a story about Scraper Bikes, but seriously did you see that guy with the hat made out of composition books? And I ask you, “Where could I buy that stuff?” NOWHERE! These kids are going to rule the entire world someday very soon; I hope they accept my internship application.

These kids are taking everything that you loved about scrapers (cars) and applying it to bikes and it’s totally DIY, which means… have you been paying attention? Yes that’s right! Reinvention of a tired idea + DIY + you not knowing about it= cool.

I mean, did you see those things? they’re totally rad! They made rims out of construction paper and masking tape! I think I saw one of those dudes riding a bike with ribbons hanging off the end of the handle bars; that’s so awesome that if I even talk about it, I suck.

Published in: on February 8, 2009 at 9:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

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