In a previous post entitled Why “Built Not Bought” is Bullshit, I spent some time unpacking why that phrase bothers me so much. In short, it’s the “not” that takes the custom motorcycle community in directions I don’t think we actually want to go. Truth be told, this was a thought that had been tumbling around in my head for some time. Writing it down let me fully think it through.
It’d be easy to argue (several did) that spending 1,800+ words to burn a bumper sticker in effigy might be a bit of an overreaction. Yet really, Why “Built Not Bought” is Bullshit is only a chapter in some as-yet-unwritten builder’s manifesto trying to claw its way out of my brain right now. While some might take it as preaching either to the choir or from the street corner, this is simply me figuring these things out for myself. That so many of you wanted to take that journey with me is both exciting and humbling.
So far the response has been overwhelmingly positive, and the most common rebuffs I’ve seen to Why “Built Not Bought” is Bullshit have come from people who didn’t read it. Good job, Internet. Don’t ever change. Specifically, a handful of people stepped up to defend a perceived attack on doing things yourself, especially when you don’t have the means to plunk down $60,000 on some custom builder’s piece of rolling artwork. Those who actually read the essay (thank you, by the way) know I meant nothing of the sort. In fact, I feel like my entire point was simply that building and buying are not mutually exclusive. That’s a decidedly pro-DIY stance.
The argument I attempted to make was that our community deserves better than “built not bought” — something more inclusive, and more honest, since nothing actually gets built without something first being bought. My sincerest thanks to all of you who understood that, and to all of you who shared it.
For me, this is just the beginning of my journey into why we do what we do. Stay tuned.