When you're young, unless your parents took you around the country, or perhaps around the world, you probably felt like the planet wasn't much bigger than your backyard. There might have been the occasional road trips to here or there, but the majority of the earth's activity seemed to revolve a few feet around you. Of course, as you mature over the years, you come to find out that there's much more out there, beyond your comfort zone. I can recall visiting family in the Midwest at a very young age, culture shock slapping me in the face as I stepped out of the airport terminal. It took a little time for me to wrap my head around the fact that all of "this" was going on outside my little bubble.
Message Board Madness
Recently, the Import Alliance event was held in Nashville, TN, catering to thousands of car fanatics, many of them Honda fans. The event has grown each year, and Honda Tuning Magazine was there to cover it. A good variety of cars were displayed, some sporting enough innovation to become internet sensations. Like most big events, as soon as it was over, the picture threads began storming the forums. Many talked about the great time they had, or made honorable mention of some of the stand-out cars that would no doubt haunt the message boards for the months that lay ahead. As with any thread, the negativity found its way into the mix pretty quickly.
We're Not Making A Rap Album Here, Drop The Coast VS. Coast Drama
A few members from the West coast made comments about rednecks, and poor quality cars. I didn't attend the event personally (I doubt the negative Nancys attended), but from the pictures that I've seen online, there were some outstanding projects parked at the meet. If that's what a redneck Honda looks like, I'll take two.
On the flip side, some of the East coast members (some of which didn't event attend the event) fired back with comments about the annual Eibach meet in Southern California, and things heated up. The Eibach meet is pretty straight forward. We put the event on each year to bring Honda freaks, just like us, together. I'm pretty confident the Import Alliance organizers do it for the same reason. It's not a contest to see who can get more cars, or who can get better quality cars; it's about trying to tighten up our community. As silly as it sounds, some people are in this for the long haul, and want to see it progress in a positive light, rather than fall by the wayside. Listen, this isn't a team sport, not everyone has to like each other, and we don't all have to hold hands in unison. However, there should always be a certain level of respect between one another. After all, we're all in the same boat, no matter what region we reside in.
Regardless of who started throwing verbal jabs first, it's a sign of our community's immaturity, and it's time to grow up. Import Alliance, the Eibach meet, and any other event around the world that promotes Hondas should be praised, not chastised. Rather than making it a competition based on which coast has nicer cars, or more cars, why not focus on the fact that there's something tailor-made for you to show off your hard work. You can pretend that you're not there to show off, and that you don't care what people think, but if that was the case, you wouldn't have been up until 2am detailing your car.
It's What Makes Us Tick
These are enthusiast-created gatherings that bring together some of the best builds around. Whether it's a track car with the latest power-making technology, or a street car sporting the sickest wire tuck known to man, ideas and inspiration are bouncing off the walls at events like these, and we need to soak it all in. Progression can't be made if we're separate forever, and let's face it, every time we get the feeling everything's been done before, something new pops up and we're all fighting to do it better than the next guy. This stirs interest and drives competition; both are necessary for our community to keep growing. Embrace it....