What's up with kooks, freds, toys and RONALDS ??
I think you’re on the right track here - I don’t think you can be a fred unless you’re trying. If you’re cruising around on an old mountain bike in shorts and sneakers with a grin on your face you’re outside the Fred/not Fred binary.
Similarly with architecture (my profession) - it sort of misses the point to critique a design that isn’t trying to achieve anything except basic cost effective shelter - you can only really get to work on something that’s trying and coming up short.
Fascinating, because in Boston cycling culture, I've always known a "Fred" to be a cyclist of a certain age who is so experienced and practical with cycling (especially commuter cycling) that they leave all fashion aside--when you're young, they seem like your nerdiest uncle--but they are the old heads who know the most, and who will teach you everything you could hope to know about vintage gear. It's a bit like birdwatchers (sorry, "birders.") Too into the craft to care if they look wildly dorky to others. Maybe couldn't put together an ensemble, but never newcomers.
The best communities find ways to be inclusive while simultaneously leveling up the Freds and Jerrys who come bumbling along.
Kook gets tossed around a lot without much specificity, but I think the most meaningful use of the term (in surf culture) is an overly aggressive intermediate or beginner surfer - someone who is disrespectful and even dangerous for others to be around
This spoke to me as a member of the ski community in Utah --- the Alta lifers use the word "JERRY." I think you hit most of the angles of the concept, but I find myself constantly frustrated with a subset of clones who are so monoculturally dedicated to "not being a Jerry" that they aggressively gatekeep and shame based on signifiers that don't represent the core "non-Jerry" mindset. I.e., not having the newest or trendiest gear, even though a whole new ski setup could cost upward of $1500, and many of the people rocking the new gear are on "big ski" flow team! Another example is not skiing in an unsafe and aggressive manner, which these bad actors consider weak (even though it doesn't necessarily mean you're less skilled). These microaggressions crowd out others who are also lifers but have a safety, conservation, respect, inclusion mindset. What to do when bad actors weaponize these concepts and distort the OG philosophy?
Your are possessed of an ingrained genius, seeins' how ol' Ronald has SERVED and continues to SERVE Billions and Billions.
another banger 'sletter. at the risk of being pedantic, in phish-world parlance, "chomper" refers specifically to someone who will not STFU during monster jams (once heard two bros discussing careers in systems engineering during what would have otherwise been 15 minutes of mind-melting musical improvisation). the chomper is frequently an inept dork/fred/jerry/kook/etc., but often times is someone who should know better but might have had a little *too much too fast*. i only raise this clarification because i find that "chomper" is a useful and broadly applicable term in any live music context where some vibe-killing fool (or two) needs to be told to chill out and tune in to, you know, the music.
I’ll be forever battling “The Ronald Within”