I always like to go to Best Buy and torture myself by looking at all of the flat screen/video game/laptop porn available. I’m that guy sitting in the lazy boy in the center of the $12,000 entertainment center with the 60” plasma TV and ground pounding sound system on full blast watching Jurassic Park. Nine times out of ten I get the “Dude?!” from the customer service geek who has to walk across the store and yank the remote out of my hand.
But, I digress. Last night I was hanging with my brother, Casey, and we had some time to burn so we walked over to the video game section to check out the latest and greatest. Dude, we both stopped in our tracks when we came face to face with Lebron James on a gargantuan flat screen with picture quality that made us take a triple take. It looked like we were watching SportsCenter! As a couple guys who used to blow rolls of quarters playing NBA Jam, we were awestruck.
So, we grabbed the controllers and started playing. Five minutes later we were elbowing, cussing, cheering, and being tapped on the shoulder by the aforementioned customer service geek. We dropped our heads in shame and placed the controllers back so the pissed off grade-schoolers behind us could finally take a turn.
Just then, I took a look around the store at all of the incredible technology and five-foot stack of Rock Band boxes, and I realized that two months from now a lot of it will still be there. What happened? It seems like we’ve priced ourselves out. Heck, when I was a kid everyone could afford a Nintendo, and we would play it on the 22” tube for hours.
Moving towards motocross, I see the same trend. Who would have thought the day would come when we would have EFI race bikes with titanium-nitrate coating on the forks? I like to read the bike tests that have the old-school guys riding the new bikes. Most of them climb off with wide eyes and are like, “Holy smokes. What is that thing?”
Been there. When I rode the 2009 KX450F, I was straight dumbstruck. No bogging, no bottoming out. The new bikes are lighter, faster, stronger wonders of modern technology that make the average guy feel like a rockstar. The problem is, they cost $8,000, and you might as well get the gap insurance because if you blow one up, you either have to throw her in the river or pay the two grand to fix it.
We’ve been mulling about this topic in our sport for a few years now. I’m just realizing that it’s everywhere and I think it’s the reason things are the way they are! The automotive industry is asking for a bail out because they’ve created these rolling spaceships that no one can afford to drive. It’s ridiculous. We did all of this to ourselves! We let inflation get way out of control, and were so blinded by the wonders of technology that we just pushed the button and put it into production.
I’ve been driving a lot lately and listening to the news, and to all of these people crying the blues about losing their fortunes in the stock market – save it! The stock market made them that money years ago, they didn’t bloody their knuckles earning it! It’s a joke. Okay, I’m getting off on a rant here and losing my point.
What is my point? I’ve actually written about it a few times. We're our own worst enemies. We created airplanes and automobiles that could fly and go fast before we made sure they were safe. We built huge houses and buildings before we made sure they wouldn’t burn or fall down. We went out and bought and created all of this cool stuff before we asked if anyone could afford it. We’re humans and it’s in our nature to ultimately hurt before help. Things are getting better. Things are slowly changing. But damn, it better pick up the pace.
Reality is an amazing thing to take a step back and behold right now. I have a pretty tough time keeping up with reality. It seems like creating a bubble for yourself and staying nestled within its comfort is a pretty good way to go.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to run to the RCR hanger and climb aboard a private jet to fly to Miami to watch Clint try to win the Nationwide Championship. Will someone please explain to me how that is reality?