Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Why we suck

I figured it out, thanks to all this bike racing silliness. The reason why our society here in the US is seen as having no culture, or American's being soft. All depending on who you are speaking with as to which comment applies.

Maybe just very probably it's that we see something done as it's perhaps supposed to be done and we say "Awesome job!".
Mediocrity = Awesome?
Adequate = Superior?

Are you farging kidding me?

Are you going to stand there and tell me that a task done as it is expected to be done is above average, it's great, or it's awesome? If that's the case what were we originally aiming for? Marginally better than failure?

I guess if you have low expectations you will not often be disappointed. But what type of existence is that? What's the point? How does this fill the question of "why are we here". If you are living for mediocrity, you are basically just taking up space, air, and natural resource.
On top of it, this post stems from a thread on a bike racing forum. Yeah, bike racing! A sport where athletes drop thousands of dollars on coaches, equipment, and many other things to help them be a better athlete.

So let me get this straight. You spend $5,000 on a super light carbon bike, then another $1,500 on a fast, light, and super trick set of wheels, $1,200 a year on coaching, and lastly huge amounts of training time all so you can race better at an event that barely meets the minimum expectation of getting the race started on time and results posted correctly and in a timely manner? Does nothing to make you at least feel good about your efforts that day? I mean, you win a hard race and what you get after is to go up to a card table under a 10 x 10 tent and pick up a $0.98 tee shirt and $20.00.
And then you criticize those that say, hey, this could be done a lot better, and with very little effort the quality could be improved substantially?

I don't get this attitude, it is a duality that does not make sense. These two behaviors are diametrically opposed.

This is why we suck. We accept this mediocre, barely adequate performance as "awesome".

How the hell do you improve on "awesome"?

Shouldn't the description of "awesome" be reserved for only the very best, cream of the crop, practically unachievable accomplishments?

There is a great line in the cartoon movie "The Incredibles". "I'll sell my inventions so that *everyone* can have powers. *Everyone* can be Super! And when everyone's Super... no one will be."


7 Comments:

Blogger Gianni said...

One rest day and yer back at it, eh?.Ya gotta vote with your pocketbook sometimes.
Note in the cross world who's races get planned around. Pilarcitos and Surf City/VB- a little more style for the money.Some prizes and atmosphere go a long ways towards happy customers.

9:28 PM  
Blogger velogirl said...

While I'll agree with the concept about society in general, I have to disagree regarding the rant on the ncnca forum about VP.

You pay $23 to race. You get $23 worth of services. Robert isn't getting rich promoting races, and even if he is, who cares? He provides a $23/race service to us. If you don't like his races, then don't race.

My $23 pays for a safe race and a porta-potty. That's it. Results are great. Results aren't the promoter's responsibility -- they're the Chief Ref's job. Prizes? Not really, although folks seem to cherish their VP t-shirts. But we pay $23. Try paying $250/race like triathletes and then you'll get the bells & whistles (and maybe then you'll think the promoter is awesome).

BTW, good luck finding a coach for $1,200 a year. All the good coaches I know (myself included) are at least $3,000 a year.

I guess it all comes down to the fact that we get what we pay for, right, whether that's a $23 race or a $1,200 coach.

If Joe Racer wants to give Robert Leibold a compliment on a public, is it really necessary to trash both him and Robert? Yeah, maybe VP races aren't awesome, but we're damn lucky in NorCal to have someone like him busting his hump to give us our $23 races every weekend all season long.

10:11 PM  
Blogger Nome Agusta said...

Yes, it is nescisary to open his eyes to the reality that he blindly ignores.
I have no issue with Bob putting on $23.00 races. But a spade is a spade and let's not go trying to make it something it's not.
My whole point is about honesty. We should not compliment an organization for barely meeting the requirements. Again, I ask, what were we expecting? Slightly better than failure?
"Hey, congratulations, you have been doing this for 20 years and today you managed not Eff it up, Awesome!"

If you were an employer would you reward an employee that behaved in such a manner with a bonus and compliments.
Not if you want to be succesful.

I also have no issue with Robert making a profit, as a matter of fact I hope that he is. My point there is that we should stop pretending like he isn't and is just putting on race because he loves it so much. That's a pretty naive approach. Again, it's about honesty.

Gianni: Bingo

9:55 AM  
Blogger diskzero said...

Someone has been reading the NCNCA forums!

It is tough to vote with your pocketbook on this one.  Maybe if VP stopped promoting, the gaps would be filled.  It is a tough spot because at the scheduling meetings he is there willing to take the slots.  I suppose over time, is people stopped racing their events, he would stop promoting, but we would be talking several years and people just seem willing to take what they get.

Also, $1200 bucks a year?  What a deal!

10:26 AM  
Blogger Nome Agusta said...

I ain't payin no $3000.00 gawd damn dollars for a coach to race fuggin T shirts.

12:42 PM  
Blogger Johnny Sprocket said...

Uh oh, I only pay my coach $700 and up until this very post, I thought he was awesome. I'm going to retreat to a neutral corner, get in the fetal position and contemplate everything in life. That and give my coach a $2,300 raise.

3:49 PM  
Blogger Gianni said...

Next year, there will be a couple more gaps filled.
There will be prizes, pack primes, and clear age groups for the masters racing.
Women and children will benefit from this.
Even the 20th place guy will feel as though it was money well spent.

7:48 PM  

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