Why are audiophiles perceived as being wackos?

I have been pursuing this wonderful hobby of high end stereo equipment and music for almost 30 years. I do consider myself a passionate audiophile who loves to listen to music on a daily basis. The reason for this post is because it has been my experience that the great majority of people who do not pursue this hobby think of audiophiles as being wackos/screwballs because of the amount of time, money, and passion they put towards their systems. I find it very interesting that individuals who spend tremendous amounts of money and time pursuing esoteric tastes such as wines, watches, coins, etc, are considered connoisseurs or aficionados with a serious passion that is often respected even if it is not the other person's cup of tea. Another example would be people who love high end cars/boats who read all the magazines, go to the shows and invest large sums of money to purchase and tweak their cars or boats to get the last bit of ultimate performance out of their prized possessions. So I don't believe the negative viewpoint towards passionate audiophiles revolves around the amount of money that they can invest in their equipment. So my question for all you GON members is what would be your explanation for people outside our hobby having such a negative or condescending attitude towards our passion, where they infrequently would not have the same attitude towards other people's hobbies and passionate but unique pursuits? It would be a pleasure to hear about your experiences and what your explanation would be for this phenomena towards our hobby.
Why so much negativity? If everything associated with high-end audio is crap why participate in the hobby? Maybe we all need "happy pills". Or one of those intelligent chips...
A few additional comments...

Many audiophiles like to collect/trade gear to sample what is out there, either old classics or new cutting edge technology. Sort of like watch collectors...you can only wear one watch at a time, but each is unique!

Many audiophiles try to build the "ultimate" system...can't be done! Each 'phile has his own "biases" at to what aspect of fidelity is most important [tight bass, "slam", liquid mid-range, glorious high's, soundstaging, etc.] So a reference system built to please one audiophile might disappoint another audiophile, and vice versa!

Some "audiophiles" are just status "goobers", that will put together an expensive system, just for "braggin' rights"! Their expensive systems can sound like s**t, but hey, look at the price tag and "flavor of the month" brand names!

Some people can hear, but don't know how to listen! They are unaware of the sonic and fidelity nuances of high quality audio reproduction, and while a $40,000 system may sound somewhat better to them than a $400- Circuit City/Best Buy system, the benefits don't justify the cost. Especially since many people listen to music as background fill.

You can get basic transportation for under $15,000, so why would ANYONE spend $50,000+ for a real "driving machine". The ability to appreciate and enjoy applies here as well!
I don't read all previous posts and my opinion is simple: more common the passion (cars, wines, watches, horses...), more the acceptance of people about great amounts spent on that. Our passion is considerably rarer, so less understood.
The author of the text I linked to, reported that NASCAR used cryo process for many engine parts, including spark plugs and wires.

The writer did not challenge the quality or results of cryo, he simply stated that for HIS OWN engine and budget, he would not go to that extreme. Not surprising as he is a reporter, not Joe Gibbs, building the ultimate race machine.

Sdatch, regarding.

Why so much negativity? If everything associated with high-end audio is crap why participate in the hobby? Maybe we all need "happy pills". Or one of those intelligent chips...

I agree, that's why I spend time answering questions on these forums as well as providing photo coverage (at a financial loss) of all the major audio shows around the world.

I think my motives and actions are positive. I do get upset with people that frequent a forum for high end audio and look for opportunity to criticize what they don't understand and don't (themselves) work to make better.
Interesting link Albert. I'm surprised that there are so many other applications for cryo treating parts. With so many people nay-saying everything to do with the cryo process it's fun to see new uses. I never noticed Albert saying that cryo's sparkplugs were his idea, or something new.

Maybe it's all the cranky audiophiles that drive others away. Gotta go, I'm gonna get the sparkplug wires on my motorcycle cryo'd.