These are divisive times, my friends. The POTUS speech yesterday might be the thing that - in my lifetime - has most evenly divided rooms full of smart people into two very separate groups, who see this particular issue the opposite way, with a clear line drawn down the middle - and they are now undergoing the process of learning to really hate each other. This is not good.
I've written on this blog multiple times about the nature of divisiveness and our American tendency to divide and subdivide and sub-sub-divide in an effort to define ourselves as individuals. Even as we're increasingly dependent on each other as a collective group (the connection economy as defined by the power of this here internet-thingy) we seem to be putting up bigger and firmer walls against those who don't see the world like us. For example, Cyclocross. Also for example, Triathletes, but they don't count. See what I mean?
I'm in the early stages of trying to plan a trip to ride in SSUSA this year. It's in August, in PA, a singlespeed-only "race" you might call it if you observed it from really, extremely far away. Up close, it's not what you'd think of as a "race" or "exclusive" in any way, but then again gears are not permitted. What else would you call it then?
The temptation is there, as it has always been, to cut yourself, de-friend those who think about things the other way. And now, conveniently, doing so is a click away. I'd like to see the Facebook numbers on this phenomenon and compare them to the average 7th grade cafeteria. My suspicion is that the number of friends lost on Facebook this week, per capita, is about 10 times worse than the questionable emotional patterns of a bunch of 7th graders. Facebook has that data, of course, but it's embarrassing, and they ain't sayin.
I say, don't do this. Keep the dialogue and the trails open with as many other user groups as you can. It's when they can carve us out into small enough groups that they'll finally close in for the kill.
And also, think of all you might miss. For example, the things we can all agree upon: #hippopotopotus.
And, of course, VOTE. Which is the only voice you have that actually counts, and always has been.
One thing I've learned from racing: always, always keep the process moving forward and your eyes looking up, up, up.