Modern Society’s Wickedest Hobby: The Dark Grey Area of Slashing Car Tires

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I have had my fill of organized art and steered clear of the canonized canvas and plastic smiles in cold minimalist lobbies, for a New-York-minute. As I invested more time in sharing a beer on fire escapes with some of my more eccentric acquaintances, I accidentally stumbled on an exciting world of adventure. I had to go through many filters of the friend-of-a-friend type to get some details. Well! The closest I got was ‘I know a guy who knows the guy’. But I will give you the facts and let your imagination fill in the rest.

It is a very small clique. A pool of dreamers that jog in pairs late at night in alternating neighborhoods. Essentially they believe that cars obstruct the pleasant relief of the city. They have a ‘bible’. They bend a knee to Professor Avenarius (from Milan Kundera’s Immortality. Now I have to read it!). They adopt his hobby (or revolt) against vehicles. They usually jog safely past midnight carrying some sort of sharp device (a knife) and slash car tires at more or less random. That is as much details as I have on this strange approach to releasing steam.

The rules are wrong. If you can’t cross a bridge, destroy it! It’s a mad, mad, mad world. It seems to me they simply like to mingle with danger. It’s about the buzz, the thrill. They couldn’t possibly be seriously ideological about fighting against the powerful, well organized mechanized global army, sure of itself and blood thirsty. (But then again if Putin is doing it, anything is possible.) It would be like fighting for decolonizing the world. But surely they don’t strive for gold but for a feeling of rebellion. Which in itself is a notch closer to ideology. Bandit like but interesting enough.

In a world where our entire social circle is our role model (everyone is spying on everyone) it is rare to see a sub-tribe, alone in its opinions, looking for the ‘god particle’ only with the stones in their hands. Instead of shutting out the world and catching a late night game show that gives you ten seconds to count how many triangles are in the picture, they seek solace in danger. Or is it something bigger than danger! And danger is just a bonus. Food for thought!



As originally published on March 28, 2014 by AskANewYorker – Modern Society’s Wickedest Hobby: The Dark Grey Area of Slashing Car Tires


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