Monday, September 12, 2011

Lou Reed

Raleigh, North Carolina

Today was a short ride of 50+ miles that took longer and felt harder than it should have because of the stupid long ride yesterday and the late start from Fayetteville.  Central North Carolina has some hills and Raleigh is especially replete with them.  Otherwise, North Carolina is gorgeous all over.

After briefly listening to the local black university band practice, I made my way over to the place I was staying.  Initially worried by the tight trim of his facial hair and neatness of home, I really enjoy my host Haigler and his roommate.  I would come to find that they both are studying material research at NC State, a subject dealing with the chemistry and physics of metals and polymers for novel uses.

We went to a bar, Sadlacks, to get me food and have a few drinks.  We happened to walk in on free bingo night.  It's a game entirely dependent on luck and usually played in silence by large groups of Olds.  Here there was an interesting dynamic of BINGO references and friendly competition between strangers.  The crowd knew all the in-jokes for any number, of which "Oh, sixety-nine," seemed to be a crowd pleaser.  It was a clique that could be held by perfect strangers.  It was also the friendliest competition I've ever been involved in.  A Jamaican guy complimented my shirt, remarking "cool doug."


There's an obvious appeal to being around like minded or similarly interested people.  A group allows you to have interactions with people without having to constantly explain or qualify yourself.  Cliques are groups of people with a greater potential to be friends with one another than with random strangers.  Or maybe that's just from dialogue.  You're more open and likely to form a friendship if there is some initial dialogue between parties.

With cliques there is an obvious shared set of interests held by those within it.  It could be this similarity of views which allows the relative ease of making friends within the group.  Or it's all arbitrary.  Humans are naturally communal and tribal animals, and outside of the geographic restrictions and need for communal hunting bands, this my be how evolutionary predispositions are modernly expressed.

I express my loyalty to my tribe by the clothes I buy, the music I listen to, and the hobbies I take interest in.  What is more influential, though?  Is my wanting to belong in a certain scene the motivation for my tastes or do I relate to this group according to and because of my tastes?  It's probably both and that's a boring cop out.  I want to know if I actually enjoy these black framed glasses and tight jeans or if I enjoy them for the sake of others' perceptions of me and how that makes me feel.

Is my hesitation to take upon any views not predetermined by my clique the same mentality of the redneck who think their truck and trailer are better than anything those faggots in New York have?  Theirs is spawned from a lack of knowledge which makes it easier to defend if you claim you didn't care about it in the first place.  It might be that these Urban Outfitter catalogs play the same role.  With the camaraderie of a clique comes equal resentment of Others.  I want to say that's wrong or bad, but I'm damned comfortable in these expensive graphic tees, and I'll kill any fucker who thinks me the same as some Ed Hardy douchebag.

North Carolina Kill Count 
Baby Gator: 1
Cat: 4
Caterpillar: 1*
Deer: 1
Opossum: 6 
Owl: 1
Raccoon: 8
Skunk: 1
Small Bird: 6
Snake: 2
Squirrel: 4
Toad: 3
Turtle: 7
Unknown: 16 
Vulture: 2

*saw it, was awesome

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