Things are getting pretty pathetic right now. There’s no other word for it. Looking at our local community now, versus the OG Beyond days, things have turned. And not in a good way.
It feels like a lifetime ago that we’d meet at Chinook each Wednesday for a relaxing and civilized evening of chatting about cars, or as we all got to know each other better, work and school. These days, careers. Kids. Life in general. No one ever had to be told how to behave or what was acceptable because everyone just knew. Telling people to behave back then would’ve been the automotive equivalent of the “Caution: Hot” warnings on coffee cups. You just already knew.
These days, every time a new meet starts up it’s only a matter of a couple or few weeks before attendees here and there start trying to show off, and there’s only one thing that ever follows from that continued behaviour: the forced shutdown of said meet.
These photos you’re seeing are from a recent meet that was organized quietly, because that seems to be the only way to guarantee it’ll go properly these days. At this rate, publicly announcing meets will soon be a thing of the past because word will inevitably get to the figurative cavemen of the car community who can only communicate through revving their engines or gunning it down aisles. Newsflash: no one cares. In fact, that just makes everyone hate you.
It would seem that in the span of just a few years, the basic concept of what a car meet is has become completely foreign to a lot of people. It’s about meeting like-minded people, checking out cool cars, and ultimately, making a lot of great life-long friends thanks to this common interest and passion. The key part here is that the cars themselves are stationary, and quiet.
Shows have entry fees, certain basic requirements for the “level” of car being entered, large time commitments, and operate on a much more infrequent schedule. Meets are meant to be the open-to-all, come-as-you-please meeting points for the enthusiast community, that also give us places to more often check out cars without having to go to the big events each year. However, crucially, they are a privilege and not a right; and if enough people can’t be trusted with that privilege, it’ll be taken away from all of us. More and more locations deny access to use their property for meets and it’ll only get worse if things don’t change.
Obviously yes, it’s awesome to see other enthusiasts noticing your car, asking about it, taking photos, and in general admiring what you’ve built, but if you’re going solely for attention you’re not there for the right reasons. If you so desperately require people to look at you though, do something unique to your car that’ll turn heads instead. Wrap it glow-in-the-dark pink with lime green polka dots even; get attention for the right reasons, not for being obnoxious or endangering others.
Actions have consequences, and in our world all it takes is one loose cannon to make all of us look bad. The way things are going right now, it’ll be a miracle if we make it to the end of the season without losing at least one more of our meets.