Monday, August 15, 2022

Subcultures



I follow a bunch of storm chaser people on social media, as well as a few actual meteorologists. They are an odd, geeky bunch, united by the adrenaline of mostly violent weather and academic inclinations. Clear weather is boring to such people. When I was a child I was taught that a desire for action and academic proclivities were contradictory impulses, but when I grew up I realized they are not mutually exclusive.

When I was into running whitewater, there were some common traits among the people who participated in that particular subculture: free weekends, disposable income, and a taste for adrenaline. It's a time consuming hobby and once you find the friends you spend a lot of time with them.

There were also an unusual disproportion of former college athletes who checked both boxes but I never figured out exactly why that was the case, other than to mention that many people are mistaken about paddling being a "low impact" sport. Not on whitewater it isn't. Maybe on a lake. This led to people like me (un-athletic geeks) mingling with college athlete types. Strange bedfellows but it worked.

The point being that there are hobbies that are more than hobbies. They are subcultures that bring diverse people together. When I lived in the Chattanooga area, all my friends were from whitewater. Even when I did other things like hiking or mountain biking or even going to a museum or sampling a new restaurant, I did them with the same whitewater people. The storm chasers seem to be the same way.

I haven't found a subculture in Flagstaff to hang with in several years living here. I'm not sure why exactly but Flagstaff is notorious for difficulty putting down roots. It's hard to make friends or find a mate here. It would help if I got out more and found a subculture. It's a good way to make friends.

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