Friday, June 13, 2008
What you guys rebelling against?
A little while back I posted a question with a couple of groups in Facebook asking if anyone knew of any books about bicycle culture - especially the history of the recent explosion of bicycle activism. Nobody answered my posts, and I tucked the idea of writing my own book on this topic into my back pocket (I've also written to Bicycling Magazine asking if they'd consider publishing an article on bike bloggers. So far I've had no reply).
Well - it looks like a book on this has arrived. Chris Carlsson has written Nowtopia: How Pirate Programmers, Outlaw Bicyclists, and Vacant-Lot Gardeners are Inventing the Future Today.
This curious, multifaceted phenomenon constitutes an important arena of autonomous politics. The bicycle has become a cultural signifier that begins to unite people across economic and racial strata. It signals a sensibility that stands against oil wars and the environmental devastation wrought by the oil and chemical industries, the urban decay imposed by cars and highways, the endless monocultural sprawl spreading outward across exurban zones. This new bicycling subculture stands for localism, a more human pace, more face-to-face interaction, hands-on technological self-sufficiency, reuse and recycling, and a healthy urban environment that is friendly to self-propulsion, pleasant smells and sights, and human conviviality.
Fixed photo from this page.
P.S. - my left I.T. band basically aches all the time these days. me no likey.