Sunday, November 17, 2013

Passion? My $.02...

I have seen this picture posted and reposted on different Facebook pages and blogs over the course of the past few months. I get it. I understand the premise of the quote and I understand why people LIKE it on those pages. I also understand that it is borne from the ever-increasing "internet mentality," where any unfavorable commentary, critique or criticism of a picture posted on the immeasurable technological web of the world is perceived as a personal attack. And, yes, I understand why people subscribe to the spirit of the message, but, being a contrarian, I must take issue with it.

I take issue with throwing the word "passion" around in a way that allows for the loss of the true essence of what it means. Passion is rapture. It is ardor, fascination, and intense affection. It is a word used to describe the most zealous form of love, devotion, and obsession. Passion is an enthusiastic infatuation or dedication to someone or some thing. I am in no way suggesting that one cannot be passionate about cars or modifying cars or driving cars. I do believe, however, that, when this word is used in the realm of the aftermarket culture, if one is to announce a passion for modifying, that the commodity put forth should reflect that passion. 

Of course, we here at JDMphasis believe in supporting original designs and authenticity. The 'Innovation over Imitation' ethos is something about which we are, in fact, passionate. We discourage corner-cutting when modifying and urge enthusiasts to pinch their pennies just a little longer to afford the real deal products, as opposed to buying the cheaper replica or knock-off part. My belief is that the object of one's "passion" should reflect and embrace that passion. It should be something of which one retains great pride. A car riddled with knock-off and replica parts does not illustrate an overwhelming enthusiasm for the culture. It does not illustrate a passion. Is it actually possible to be proud of something knowing that, in its conception, corners were cut? Once again, my opinions are not always popular (and, I'm sure, are the direct reason that I am often labeled a "hater"). However, I would not willingly skimp or cheap out on something about which I declare I am passionate. The very nature of such a declaration contradicts logic. To make an analogy, I cannot envision someone who brands himself a passionate collector of timepieces walking around with a replica Rolex watch on his wrist. It is ludicrous. To me, he is not actually passionate at all. It is a ruse. He is pretending; faking the funk. His "passion" is based on a lie. Therefore, that "passion" is phony.

I believe in the idea that a project belongs to the owner and he/she is free to do to it what they desire. I believe there is a difference between taking a position on issues of subjectivity and issues of objectivity. For instance, who I am to tell someone that they should not cut their springs to position their car an inch off the ground, while stretching a 225 Nankang tire on a 11" wheel, and running a camber setting that resembles subarctic temperatures? That is a matter of taste. Some like that style; some do not. Like everyone else, I have opinions on these types of issues, but they are just that - my opinions. It is not my car. However, the replica/knock-off issue is based on a reality. The reality is that supporting replica companies harms the real innovators of the tuning world. Copying the design of another is stealing. Plain and simple. That is why, at JDMphasis, we are more apt to write about supporting the true talent of the aftermarket world by encouraging people to buy real, as opposed to preaching that stancing a car or stretching tires is dumb. And, yes, some agree with my viewpoints and others do not.

So, to address the above quote, yes, I, too, urge you to "do it your way" and do not let the opinions of others dismay you (mine included), but at least understand why I may question your "passion" for the tuning culture or for modifying when you are rolling down the street in your project on which you knowingly and willingly chose to cut corners. I do not buy that passion as genuine.

Furthermore, and on a separate note, I would like to post the original photograph from above.

Notice anything about it?

Yes, of course, it was altered to add the script, but the original watermark was also cropped out of the image and a new one was added. Oh, the irony of affixing a quotation apropos the subject of passion while falsely ascribing credit to yourself! Do I even need to point out the obvious fact that photography is a passion to many and, in a growing social media world, a watermark is often the only means of acknowledgment for photographers? Is it not hypocritical to write a quote about rejecting the thoughts and opinions of others all while stealing someone else's work and crediting yourself? Sadly, I cannot say that I am surprised...

JDMphasis... Innovation over Imitation

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