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February 27, 2006

Vandalism sparks debate as Brooklyn Industries responds

In the wake of posting about the vandalism done to Brooklyn Industries a debate, and discussion, has sprung up on the Blog that has photographs, Sucka Pants.

Before I address that I believe that it is important to hear from the victims in this tragic story:


In the early morning hours of Feb. 23, four of our storefronts were vandalized with slanderous comments deriding our bike themed window displays. "Bike culture not for sale" was scrawled across our windows with an acid based etching ink, a material that is nearly impossible to remove from window glass. Total damages are in the thousands.

It seems that the attackers misunderstood our motivation for the display, which was created out of respect for, and in the spirit of Brooklyn bike culture. We at Brooklyn Industries personally worked on the display from the ground up- from finding disused bikes and parts and welding them into working tall bikes, to designing the accompanying text. The damage was felt on a very personal level.

The bikes were displayed in our store windows as homage to creative culture. We are saddened that this misinterpretation resulted in serious damages. We apologize to everyone who enjoyed the displays, as we felt it necessary to remove them from the windows to ensure the safety of our stores.

Brooklyn Industries Website notice:

If there was any justice in the world the cycling community in New York would come together, publically denounce this violence at a Press Conference, turn in the miscreants to the Police, and support the safe return to the window of the display.

But we all know that ain't gonna happen any time soon, don't we Comrades?

Come on... please, please, prove me wrong, I DARE YOU!

As for the debate over at Sucka Pants: I was called an Idiot by one person for a comment I left, but the overalll tone of the discussion is civilzed, and thought provoking.

Parts of 2 of the most recent comments are interesting:

Mark H. writes:

If this is about biking and not about just using bikes as your own form of elitism, have you really lost anything for having a taste of your ideals put out before the rest of the world? You should be thanking the store for the evangelism, then take it from there to turn the poseurs into true believers.

Vandalism and such merely distracts potential 'converts' from the more worthy ideals you espouse.

An Anonymous writer compares NY and Berlin Cycling environments, and then says:

As a hypothetical, if we were to wake up tomorrow and find NYC totally bike-friendly (a la Amsterdam, Scandinavia etc.) and everyone and their mother cycling, while I know a good portion of NYC cyclists would be rejoicing, I wonder how many would be experiencing something similar to that described by a lot of Red Sox fans after they finally won the World Series...a sort of loss of identity based on a culture of reaction and rebellion. If biking were safe and easy and mainstream, would it still be attractive to all the bike punks? I have my doubts...

An opinion relevant to the discussion comes from a piece called "Bike Culture Cry Babies Get Pissed Over Commercialization":

Call us jaded by years in the "we'll co-op anything for a buck" advertising industry but one does have to wonder why "bike culture" fanatics feel their culture is the only one that shouldn't get a commercial nod. The only reason a store, or any other retailer or brand for that matter, mimics a particular culture or trend is to make their offering relevant to the public. If no brand did that, every brand would still be stuck in the fifties imitating American Graffiti culture. No one wants their sacred culture commercialized but in a capitalist society, there's little chance a culture with any cred won't sooner or later be bitten by a brand desperate for commercial success. Oh, and by the way, roads were built for cars.

From Adrants.

Aside from the "roads were built for cars" crack the writer makes some valid points, and the Comment by Tomdog is also dead on. ;-D

A Tip of the Hat to Sucka Pants.


2/27 - 530PM: Fritz, of Cyclicious, and a couple of his commenters, toss their 2 cents in on the story, and they aren't cheering on the Criminals. ;-D

2/28 - 4PM: Philip Gomes, of Spinopsys, tosses in his 2 cents in as well:

As someone who spends his day appropriating bicycle culture for commercial gain, I feel for the guys at Brooklyn Industries.

What a bunch of crybabies. Not Brooklyn Industries mind you, but the tossers who would do this. This strikes me as a reversed anti consumerist version of Goerings maxim of reaching for his gun every time he hears the word culture - except this time these anti consumerist sub culturites reach for some acid etch when their ideas reach a level of acceptance and appropriation.

Hey guys I don’t mean to burst your bubble, but this is a good thing. Guess what, the cultural concepts you live, eat, sleep and breathe are seeping into the mainstream.

He says more here.


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February 27, 2006 in Cycling News Network | Permalink


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Tracked on Mar 6, 2006 9:17:37 AM


hey thanks for the heads-up about the statement on Brooklyn Industries' website!

Posted by: Sucka | Feb 27, 2006 2:25:30 PM

I'm offended! I think I'll go burn down some Danish embassies or something.

Posted by: Fritz | Feb 27, 2006 4:35:45 PM

Wonder if there's a cartoonist willing to draw a picture of Muhammad riding a Bicycle?

Wouldn't that put SOME Lefty protesters in a bind? ;-D

Seriously, though, you are right, I wonder if any of the people involved in trashing that window support The War Against Terror, or think the violent protesters of the cartoons are way out of line?

Posted by: Kiril Kundurazieff | Feb 27, 2006 4:51:47 PM

Muhammad riding a bike... hahahahaha. You're evil, dude. and I'm being insensitive.

Posted by: Fritz | Feb 27, 2006 10:32:27 PM

Little ol' Me... EVIL?

Why I'm just a harmless little fuzzball...

On a Bicycle.

Hee, hee! ;-D

Posted by: Kiril Kundurazieff | Feb 27, 2006 11:15:34 PM

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