i’m pretty active on a car forum. it’s weird though because when i first got into it, i felt like i shared more than just a love of a particular car with the other forum members. i felt like we shared a love for an aesthetic now passed, for environmentally aware decision-making, for machines that are NOT designed with planned obsolescence in mind, etc. i actually i thought i could hang out with just about anyone from the forum in real life and have a great time.
here’s part of a recent post by a guy i used to think i would like chilling with.
I was planning to cruise around the santa cruise mountains at some point, but that was about it. I really dislike camping…i need A/C and a shower every night…i like nature but id rather keep it to day trips. Also i feel like im really indifferent about sightseeing and have little desire to go see much else at all…I feel like the drive out here was amazing enough…driving thru thunderstorms on the great planes and seeing many of the vistas all over the place…the alpine mountains and lots of neat rock formations in Utah…all without having to even stop the car. I did go to the Computer History Museum in Mountain View CA…which was interesting..but i didnt give myself enough time and rushed thru it then got to enjoy the silicon valley traffic returning from it. Iv been into San Francisco a couple times now…neat..but i feel like theres also not alot that i find interesting there and then getting in and out of the city is horrid no matter how you approach it…driving in and parking is miserable…taking the subway/BART system is miserable. I was going to go visit Yosemite…but then i discovered its $20 to get in, then all the hotels are booked solid and those that arent are in the $2-300/night range…dont want to deal with bears and camping…and then as pathetic as this sounds theres so many nice pictures of it on google..i feel like why bother…pictures are good enough for me.
there’s nothing in that quote i like, and a whole lot i don’t. he even makes me sound like a regular happy camper, and i know what a pain in the ass i am a lot of the time. he’s obviously depressed, hates everything, likes nothing, has a defeatist attitude, and is lazy. and i wanted to hang out with the guy! i really dodged a bullet there. but maybe so did he. maybe he’d dislike me just as much.
the sad truth is that the only thing i can guarantee i have in common with anyone else on the tercel forum is that we all like 4wd tercels, and even then there is a good chance we like them for completely different reasons. maybe they like tercels because they can trash them off-roading, or maybe they like them because they want to put a super-charged engine in one, or any other reason that i cannot relate to whatsoever. so even though we both like tercels, we come to that fondness from totally different places.
then there are varying levels of love for and commitment to the car. i think i have a strong but not unreasonable love for them (though my wife would argue otherwise) whereas some members on the forum are absolutely addicted to them. some members probably don’t even like them but just signed up to the forum because they needed help fixing something. so we don’t necessarily have even that in common either.
really, the common thread that binds us is thin and fragile at best. then we add in other factors like political leanings, sexual bitterness and frustration, religion, ego, lack of tact or kindness, and any other countless human variables as evidenced in the above quote, and that thread gets stretched even thinner. it took a while but i recognize this now and no longer seek to meet other forum members like i once did. i have met a lot of peeps from the forum and actually really like most of them, but i know which fucked up weirdos i will avoid in real life, and that’s most of them.