Thursday, December 11, 2014

First World Problems

First, I hope you all enjoyed reading the three part short story as much as I enjoyed writing it. Truth be told, it was never intended to be as long winded as it was. To be frank, it was supposed to be a completely different subject matter. Meaning, it was originally envisioned as a different story all together. Though I have not abandoned said subject, I am going to put a pin in it for now.

Second, I know you are all desperately hanging on to the edge of your seat, even waiting with baited breath in eager anticipation of my review of Walz Wool caps. While I am intent on bringing it to you, that too will have to wait. Sorry.

Besides, I wouldn't be doing my job part-time job hobby if I didn't talk about the gold-plated elephant in the room. Sure Bike Snob beat me to it (and at this point it was like a week ago), but I would like to think that he and I can write on the same subjects without it resulting in an Anchorman style show-down. Plus, as I don't get paid for this, I write on my own time. Also, I tend to have some louder, more annoying points that I would like to make. 
So without further a-don't...

The gold-plated Giant Defy road bike, a shiny pile of shit that is exactly what one gets when money meets stupidity.

This is not the first time this has been attempted. Meaning, gold plated bikes are nothing new. While I still consider it a waste of resources, at minimum, the first attempt was considered something shiny and cool to look at. You know, the sort of thing that you see and think "sure, that's cool, but..."

But for me the novelty wears off quickly when one considers the price tag. Well, the price tag and the fact that the pedals are assembled incorrectly;

You have to look past the artisanally hand-stitched, Stingray (yes, STINGRAY) clad, gold plated water bottle to see it, but when it was reassembled, that pedal body was put on the wrong axle. Call me an asshole but I would expect more for ONE MILLION FUCKING DOLLARS! 
Call me a dirty "hippie" but I can think of a bunch of great things that one could do to better humanity with that same million dollars. Not one of which includes blowing it on something you won't use. Yeah, I hear you saying, "Hey, it's my money. You can't tell me how to spend it." and you would be right, but you would also be a douchebag who takes what was a perfectly good (yes I said it) fat bike, and hangs it on a wall. 

"If you’re spending one million dollars on a gold plated bike you would have the coin to buy an ordinary Salsa Mukluk to actually ride. This one stays on display so you can say you own the world’s most expensive fat bike" *

*Right next to your "World's Biggest ASS" award.

To paraphrase Matty B from Merlin Metal Works (and Independent Fabrication), 
A bike is a tool, something you use. A bike is not meant to hang on a wall. 

Most discouraging still, there are 13 of these things out there.

"If you are fortunate enough to have $1,000,000 burning a hole in your pocket, the Beverly Hills Edition will be limited to just 13 pieces, which will be laser engraved with the artist’s signature, date, and include a certificate of authenticity."

 ...At least, as it happens, my money gets put to some good use after all is said and done...

"Hugh Power, The House of Solid Gold’s CEO says that the majority of the proceeds (80% or more) from the gold bike will go to The Way to Happiness Foundation International – which..."

wait for it...

 " a non profit associated with the Church of Scientology."

Oh how fucking perfect. 

At least Lord Xenu will be pleased

Anywhore, I could have gotten over the fact that this is a thing, I mean hell, I didn't lose any sleep over it, but then this happened:

What started as a $700 Giant Defy road bike equipped with Shimano Claris, ended in a steaming, shiny pile, with a price tag just shy of $400,000. "Half the price?" you ask. Indeed, savings brought to you by Krylon.

Call me a skeptic, but that rear derailleur looks like it got the rattle can.

While the front derailleur body got nothing...

I don't know about you, but I expect a little bit more for my money, ya know? 
At least the fat bike has a jewel encrusted head tube badge.

...and now that the price has dropped, I can finally afford to decorate my wall with gold.

"In case you’re wondering, the House of Solid Gold plated fat bike is still available – the price has even dropped from 1 million, to just $495,000!"

(just kidding)

This is not the first time I have said this, but it is probably most applicable in this instance so please, hearken unto my words...
 At the end of the day, You can polish a turd but it is still a piece of shit. I mean it. This type of shit is the reason other countries hate us. It is all vanity and excess. We cannot afford to pay our loans to the Chinese, yet we can wave our fat bikes around in a show of lavishness with no other intention than proving we can. Before you accuse me of bias, I'll say this:

If you think I am being unfair and criticizing only the high-society types, then clearly you have never read this blog. It is true that the rich are often in a better position to show their ass, it is not limited to them. Even the poor try to live outside their means and get buried in debt for the sole purpose of appearance. It is marketing like this that gives the rich something to waste money on, and at the same time says to the poor, "See? If you had more money, you could have this." With that in mind It is at this point that I would like to make myself perfectly clear, it does not matter to me where you fall in the social hierarchy. Gold bike or not...