Saturday, September 25, 2010

Some People Will Believe Anything.

The day to day existence of a greaser is something that my friends and I take for granted. Greasy pomps, big cuffs, guitar playing and cool hot rods are some of the things that we experience on a daily basis and think nothing of it. The world of squares, however, is an entirely different matter.

Seemingly oblivious the the tedium of their mundane existences, they will go through life unaware of anything else. Living vicariously through bad TV and even worse top 40 music, they are easily confused by any type of sub-culture. Everything is so literal to the squares.

The stereotypes presented by the mainstream media propagate theses urban myths even further. Unable to think for themselves, they will try to neatly pigeon hole unknown factors into the neat and homogenized categories presented to them by said media.

When confronted by anything else, it is absolutely incomprehensible and simply does not compute in their limited cultural awareness.

The mainstream media has never been known for its dissemination of radical ideas or acknowledgment of alternative sub-cultures. Over the last fifty years or so, the depiction of any type of peripheral cultural groups has always been interpreted through the lens of sensationalism, which has gotten more and more pervasive, and , indeed, seems to be the only way that any newscast or TV programming offers its biased opinions onto an unsuspecting public.

This why I am always amused by the great unwashed masses' limited perceptions. The ridiculous and naive assumptions that they make are funny, but frustrating at the same time, It is pointless to try to explain it, so I just ride the wave, deriving an almost perverse pleasure at baiting these rubes. It's almost as easy as shooting fish in a barrel. Here are a few examples.

1. Are You In The Band?

Whenever me and my friends go out and see a show, we are greeted by odd stares from the patrons at the bar. Greasy pomps and western shirts almost assure that people will assume that you are in the band headlining that night. Some of them will come up and attempt to strike up a conversation. They will act all weird and squirmy and ask you what time are you going on stage.

A few years ago, I was waiting for the doors to open for a Dwight Yoakam show. I was hangin' out minding my own business, when a gaggle of rednecks began to eyeball me suspiciously. They approached me nervously and asked if I was in the band. They looked slightly inbred and I did not want to provoke them, but I asked them rhetorically that if I was in the band, what would I be doing out here all by myself. Not being fully convinced, they still insisted to have their picture taken with me. In retrospect, I probably should have said. " Hell yeah, I'm in the band" and demanded that they should buy me drinks, but that would have been to easy.

The bar staff usually assume the same and this a really good way to get into a sold out show. Not being a weasel, however, out of principle I will pay the cover because I know that I am contributing to the band's pay.

This also a great way to get backstage without encountering any hassles. I enjoy meeting the bands and talking about music. All the free beer is an added bonus and none of the bar staff ever question my presence there. The fact that I am not acting like a retard probably helps as well, and I get a real chuckle out of confusing the groupies. They always want to know where you are from, and when I tell them I am from the east side of town, they get confused and walk away mid-conversation.

2. T-shirts.

I like band T-shirts. I try to make it a point to get one at shows because it is a memento that will last a long time and rockabilly bands always have cool t-shirts. Once the band is long gone, I still have the shirt and will wear it around town.

Unfortunately, squares don't seem to understand the simple concept of band t-shirts. I have been asked on many occasions if  the t-shirt that I happened to be sporting at the time was my band. They never seem to understand when I answer sarcastically as to why I would be wearing the t-shirt of my own band.

3. Iron Crosses.

Through the many hours of mind numbing TV, squares haven't seemed to grasp the concept of the iron cross. I'm sure that these lemmings have seen many episodes of Jesse James various TV endeavors, but are oblivious to the rock 'n' roll iconography that he integrated into his bikes in the form of the iron cross, They are probably more concerned about the gossip surrounding his marriage to a Hollywood starlet. Hell, Jesse even designed a kiddie bicycle chopper rife with iron crosses.

I have all kinds of shit that has the iron cross icon including a lot of bicycle parts. I am often confronted with inane questions as to whether I am German or if I was a nazi.

I just respond withe fact that it is a Maltese cross and the symbol of the Knights Templar.  That seems to throw most people for a loop and some will just write me off as being some sort of religious zealot.

4. Leather Jackets.

Even though the weather never gets too cold up here, the climate is similar to Seattle. It is damp for 5 or 6 months of the year and one needs a warm jacket.  A perfecto style leather jacket is a good choice because it keeps you warm while still looking cool ( no pun intended).

I am assuming that most folks haven't seen "The Wild One" with Marlon Brando. A truly iconic movie that defined an era even before Rock 'n' Roll was born, the cultural reference eludes most people, particularly cops.

Their obvious and primitive stereotyping leads them to believe that I, and all who wear these iconic jackets, are some kind of biker.

Bikers haven't wore perfectos for several decades now, but that doesn't keep cops and squares from eyeballing me suspiciously.

When I am just chilling at the local coffee shop, even crotch-rocket riders will ask me, "What are you riding?".

I always enjoy telling them, "See that bicycle over there? That's what I am riding." The utter look of subsequent confusion amuses me to no end. Leather Jacket, bicycle....Huh?

It also amuses me when people assume that I will automatically start a rumble.

5. Canada Border Services.

If there have ever been a bunch of humorless idiots , Canada border guards are it. I am assuming that these people were not smart enough to become cops, so they were relegated to guarding the borders of my beloved Canada.

Due to the vagaries of politics and bureaucracy, we are often forced to go south of the border to see a good band. The hostile attitude that bands encounter at the border is  a deterrent for most bands to come up here.

Whenever I have gone south to see a band, me and my friends are always confronted with derision upon re-entering our country.

One particular night comes to mind. A bunch of us greasy sum'bitches decided to make the two hour trek south to catch Junior Brown. Upon our return, we had to get back into Canada. A funny aside, is that US Customs never gives us a hard time. Upon declaring that we are going south to see a Country music show, they are more than glad to welcome us.

Country music does not seem to endear us to Canada Customs however. We had a designated driver, but the rest of us were drunk as skunks.  The pomps, tattoos, drunken demeanor and the shitty car we were driving, were too much for the gastropod border guards.They made us park the car as they proceeded to thoroughly search it. They yelled at us as they admonished us to stand up straight in militaristic tones.

Drunk as we were, it seemed amusing at the time, but as the booze began to wear off during our overly long detainment it began to dawn on me that these idiots were thinking that they had rounded up a bunch of hardened criminals. They were just to oblivious to the fact that they had just encountered a few drunken greasers who just wanted to get home.

Those are just a few observations, so remember, kats 'n' kittens, don't believe everything you see.

1 comment:

  1. You forgot to mention when a square asks you what your tattoos mean. This happened to my friend a couple weeks ago while we were standing outside the vintage shop. I told him, "It means she's a whore." which is what he was thinking anyway. In his mind, she's a girl with a tattoo, she must be a whore!