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13 March, 2004

Prejudicially avoiding stereotypes

Although in themselves perfectly practical and undeniably useful, certain items imply something about the owners. Common examples are shell suits worn by obvious non-athletes, and off-road vehicles exclusively driven in an urban setting.  Two others possibly only reflect local fashions, but are items I'd never even consider owning, to avoid the risk of being classified alongside social groupings of which I'm a little contemptuous:

Panniers are an eminently sensible way for a cycle commuter such as myself to transport items to and from work, or to do my weekly shopping. However, I'm not a self-important cycling activist nor a member of the Green Party, so I stick with my rucksack.

A Leatherman multi-tool would be rather handy, to tighten the screws in my glasses for instance, yet the only people around Lancaster who carry such tools are the University's computer technicians (no problem with them) and, much worse, wannabe techie geeks. I'll definitely keep my Swiss army knife!
That's a little unfair: the multi-tools are fine. The objectionable aspect is the little leather carrying pouch, particularly when openly worn on a belt, like a pathetic imitation of a weapon holster.

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