Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Riding (S)low

It's my natural tendency to oppose popular culture, take a step back and say, "What's going on here?"

On the pulse of the auto industry is an upcoming style that emphasizes as low profile tires as possible, as large of wheels as possible, all the while riding on the lowest "stance" possible. The first time I witnessed this style, I didn't fully appreciate it.

What I did appreciate, however, was the video production quality that is being churned out by these low-riding fiends. I love the syncopation to the featured music, the panning camera angles of the cars as well as the emphasis on the details that set a given car apart.

This cinematographic style is reminiscent of skateboarding videos in that they are taken using fish-eye cameras and are meant to portray an action or object more so than a person or emotion.

If you have not yet had the opportunity to see one of these videos, view the one below to at least get a sense of what I'm referring to.

Despite the spectacular videos that are being created in lieu of this new style, it is evident this school of style is becoming overwrought. As a direct result of all the publicity these high-caliber videos are giving these cars, wannabe-boy-racers can be seen imitating the latest styles appearing on YouTube with their choice of wheels, cars, paint jobs and suspension setups.

This car "lifestyle" is being touted as something that is ever-evolving, "dynamic" and "flowing," as if it were a tapestry. With the growing amount of awareness surrounding it, its "dynamism" appears quite the opposite.

It is rapidly becoming stale and boring. The originators who set up their cars in such a way are failing to continue to innovate and further lead the field in design, while the imitators are already catching up, making everyone's car virtually the same.

You can witness this here:

So as you can see, there is a confluence of what's popular and what's new. And in truth, the "what's new part" about HellaFlush, Simply Clean, Stanceworks, whatever brand you want to label this new car culture/lifestyle smoothie as needs to continue more than it is already.

Everything is beginning to look the same, or as if it's derived from somewhere else. These rides need an injection of innovation before they become as peripheral as JDM cars are today. (JDM cars, or Japanese Domestic Market cars have recently had a resurgence thanks in part to these modern low-riders).

By no means am I casting aspersions, but rather, I hope this given culture can thrive as all car cultures deserve to. At the end of the day, the cars' styles will change, but the memories will last forever.

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