Archive for the ‘Comedy’ Category

Eat Pray Love

March 13, 2011

Ever since Oprah shook her head, sagely, and said, “I love this book,” I had to read _Eat, Pray, Love._

Actually, I have no idea on why I picked up this book.

Overall, Lizzy Gilbert is a decent writer who keeps me interested.

On the other hand, she’s clearly selfish and narcicistic.

I try to have compassion for all beings, but it’s so tough to have compassion who someone who’s so wealthy yet so poor inside. Someone who is seen as smart, but is so stupid. And someone who claims to be so deep, but is completely shallow.

I can forgive people a lot, but she really does spirituality a disservice here by making India into a kind of spa crossed with Disney Land and an Ashram.

When I first started reading about Eastern religions, I learned how unimportant I was in the universe. This made me feel much, much better. I started to focus on helping other people instead of myself. I worked part time and went to nursing school part time. I meditated whenever I could and read as many Buddhist and Toaist books as I could. I gradually learned the differences between Theravada, Zen, and Tibetian Buddhism.

Despite my 12 hour days, bitchy co-workers, and dying patients, I was actually happy. Or at least you could say, I was done with depression.

Lizzy, and the other hand, eats pasta and gets hit on in one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and she is still sad.

Now I realize that I have come from a rich country, and have been really lucky. I don’t feel like I can judge anyone. But to read this book just made me feel as if she were giving the third world both her middle fingers.

The book only gets worse when she leaves Italy. I have to say that I know diddly about Yoga philosophy. However, it can’t be completely different than the other types of meditative and contemplative practices.

Yet, the way she writes about it makes it seem like this kind of product.

In meditation, we learn that there is always some suffering in every human activity, but we learn, by careful practice, to fucking DEAL WITH IT. We learn we are big enough to handle our life and our problems. We learn that any kind of expectation is going to lead to disappointment.

What’s Liz’s version?

She tells us that with a little Yoga, we can have BLISS. All the time. Forever.

This is total bullshit and a setup for more pain and disappointment.

Also, in Buddhism there’s the notion of the Hungry Ghost. Liz is totally a hungry ghost.

This notion can be taken figuratively as a mental state in which one is full of desire which burns up all else. They are in a deluded state because of an intense greed. This is exactly how Liz is.

For example, when she’s in Italy, an awesome country by her own standards, she gets jealous of someone going to Slovenia. Why?

It reminds me of a little child in front of Saturday morning cartoons watching the toy commercials. They could put anything on that screen, and the kid screams, “I want that.”

I would have expected a trip to India to teach her more than what I learned in my public library, but alas, instead she sells a completely pain-inducing and disappointing version of Eastern philosophy. This could only have been made by those trying to sell something.

In fact, I could not stop thinking of “The Century of Self” and “How TV Ruined Your Life” especially the aspirational episode of the latter. Just as a factory farm breeds a perfectly plump, big breasted, antibiotic infested chicken each time, our stew of aspirational media is producing perfect self-centered humans each time who only think with their impulses and senses. It’s like a junkie only seeing their next fix–all other thoughts are squeezed out.

Very sad.

It scares me that this book is so popular, but it taught me a lot of the world we live in.

It’s Not Funny Anymore

November 7, 2010

Actually, it _is_ funny, but I just don’t have the sense to see it.

I guess I have been depressed lately, but I have not been that far down to call it depression. Moreso, I have just felt very, very strange as if my personality were undergoing a seismic shift. I guess this is due to be getting every single thing I had ever hoped for.

I all ready had a beautiful, athletic, kind, supportive, brilliant, and interested wife for almost a decade.

This was great, however, I now can surf all the time, and I have enough income to not worry anymore. Plus, I have enough autonomy and fun in my career to be 100% satisfied with my job; it’s truly a dream job.

Finally, I have completed a novel.

I wake up happy everyday, and I get a great bike ride to and from work in perfect weather every day of the year.

There are people from all over the world who would kill to have this level of success, and good fortune.

Oh, I freely admit that this is almost all purely due to luck. I’m the opposite of a self-made man. I feel that everyone in my life, good and bad, played a huge role in where I am today, and I am eternally grateful to them esp. the assholes. 🙂

Thus, I feel a bit bad for feeling so weird. Again, not depressed, I laugh too much for that.

Yet, I don’t have the impetus to do any long term projects out of work such as stand-up nor fiction. I do get out and talk to people, but I feel that there should be something more. I don’t know what.

Anyway, not complaining.

Today, I actually wrote some jokes which is a good sign.

I hope to pump out some good comedy in the days to come.

I Want My Jokes Back or Thank Ya’ll Tea Baggers

October 5, 2010

It wasn’t long ago, in the Bad Old DaysTM, when we had many, many comedic “safe” targets for our jokes. Now, we can all agree that this wasn’t necessarily a good thing especially if you belonged to several of the safe targets like I did.

Then in the 90’s right when I was in college and exposed to sweet comedy for the first time, the double edged sword of Political Correctness raised its Janus head.

On one hand, I did appreciate treating everyone with good manners. Heck that’s how I was raised, to respect others regardless of any of their characteristics and no matter how ugly or retarded they looked or acted.

On the other hand, we were completely missing our targets for jokes. Instead of laughing at my jokes women destroyed the mood with remarks like, “Uh, it’s not funny to make fun of retarded people.”

Duh, I know that. I would never say anything hurtful about a real person. Ever. But I thought it was pretty clear that I was just trying to convey, in a shocking, and thus funny manner my feelings to get a laugh or perhaps just a smile. Instead it was thump on the nose after thump on the nose because I’m slow; one might say slightly mentally challenged when it comes to social skillz.

For years, the I struggled in the desert of wit with only myself as a target. With PC taking every label off the table, too, there was little I could even call myself to get a laugh.

Oh, there were a few valid targets, but for me, white males were such a nebulous group, and good comedy needs something specific to mock. I felt shitty going after the two fish in the barrel of Southerners and Christians in part because my family were both, and because I felt that the whole Red Neck thing was over done.

Then came Sarah Palin and the Tea Baggers came, and it was all OK again.

They combined a few things that were missing in older targets.

First of all, they were all privilidged in some way. Poor people have a really hard time taking time off from their 12 hour workday, cooking time, and time to play with their children, and sleep to go to DC to bitch about how much the government was helping people.

Plus, unlike other targets, Tea Baggers are like me, white and middle class, just a generation older. This is especially great for me because of all the times that older people tried to make me feel stupid or try to tell me how uninformed or naive I was.

Sweet payback time!

Also, they are hate filled. Haters always make good targets which is why I do like to mock racists and terrorists, though I think that Nazis are played out unless I guess you are a Tea Bagger and don’t know the difference between a 1930’s political party, a World Religion, and a small group of social inept criminals.

Tea Baggers don’t know many things. They do know that they are angry, and that they are filled with hatred, and that they want their country back.

Talk to a Tea Bagger, and you’ll find that if you want to get beyond a few stock catch phrases “I want my country back” and “Obama is an Islamo-fascist-Nazi-Socialist!” you’ll be labeled an “elitist” yet another meaningless term sitting in the babble like a half digested corn in a turd.

In fact, since all their dialog is silly, hate-filled, and since they are wealthy enough and had cushy enough lives, and because they are agitating for changes in the government beyond their understanding to deny themselves benefits that they have earned just because they wasted their money, and they trusted the wrong people, and because they can’t stand the sight of a Black President, they make really big fat targets for comedy.

Now, like Neo-Cons and McCarthyism, we can dig up the old jokes, dust them off and retrofit them.

For example, hear of the new Tea Bagger invention? A screen door for a submarine.

What do you do when a Tea Bagger tosses a grenade at you? Pull the pin and throw it back.

Then there’s the clip that started it all off. The one from John Waters which tells us what Tea Baggin’ really is which is why they call themselves the Tea Party now though I like the original way better.

I don’t know why, but I kinda like to cling to the past. Call me conservative. 🙂

You Are So Arrogant

September 23, 2010

This is going to be an angry rant, so if you want humor better try the Disney Channel or something.

I’ve noticed something in the last ten years or so that in politics people are getting better and better at empty rhetoric.

The first time I noticed something trying to best me w/ a cheap rhetorical trick was in the mid-90’s actually.

I was arguing that Clinton was not as radical of a leftist as he was made out to be.
I did this by pointing out that in many of their leftist positions, Clinton did the opposite.

A pretty simple argument that points out the facts, right?

Instead of looking at the fact, the person said, “You’re a great debater.”

The thing was, I didn’t want to “win” a debate, I just wanted our conversation to stay in the realm of reality. I try to do this by talking about real concrete things that we all agree on. My friends love this about me.

Fast forward to now.

Our society is getting more and more disconnected from reality. I think this is because there are a lot of really bad things going on, and people can’t face up to the facts of life.

The more that life is slapping us in the face with the limitations of energy, American power, and so on, the more people lash out and try to blame certain groups. Of course this makes no sense because if those groups were really in power and as evil as they were made out to be, people would shut up and get in line real quick. Or they would be dead, and I wouldn’t have to hear from them.

Thus, the rhetorical tricks just get better.

One of my new favorites is getting called arrogant by pointing out the very obvious truths of things.

I find this funny because the person is totally unaware of what this word means.

Arrogant doesn’t mean truthful. It doesn’t mean courageous enough to speak the truth to people who would rather put their head in the sand.

Arrogant means thinking your better than other people and that the rules don’t apply to you.

So the next time someone tries to dumb you down by calling you arrogant for speaking the truth, don’t take it.

If was dumber than everyone around me, I’d shut my mouth and hope they woulnd’t notice rather than insulting them and drawing attention to myself of what an idiot I really am.

I think that it’s arrogant to be dumb and still expect people to take me seriously.

A Rant on Dubious Freedom (Buddhism and Bicycles)

November 13, 2009

My biggest personal insights on freedom occurred around 2003 when Bush was going on and on how we had to shed blood for our “freedom”.

At that time, I was reading books on Buddhism. One of the biggest lessons I got was how our defilements take away our freedom. Buddha was a man who sought to liberate himself. However, instead of taking up arms against an external oppressor, he sat and examined what things were making him unfree. This is kind of interesting if you understand his background. He was a wealthy prince who had three palaces. Basically, he could do whatever he wanted. Yet he still felt unfree.

At the time, I was struggling to make ends meet. Worse was the huge student debt I had. I felt trapped by my circumstances, and I felt that if I only made enough money that would be the way out. All I wanted was enough money so I could have enough free time to write and to not worry about making ends meet.

Now here’s someone from 2600 years ago telling me that even if I had as much money as Gates, I’d still be unfree.

In a sense, that sucked. In another sense, that all ready made me feel more free. Like the Buddha, I began to question what it really meant to be free. I had all ready known that having a big house and an SUV wouldn’t make me free.

Also, free time wasn’t looking like the big benefit that I thought it was.
I had all ready spent over a year working part time only, student loan payments be damned, and I still wasn’t completely happy. I was spending more time cyberslacking as well as trying to put together enough part time jobs to keep myself in rent, food, and beer. I had no discipline, and I vacillated from one extreme of wanting to work long hours and make a lot of money to wishing I could work not at all.

In meditation, I found, in very short intervals, freedom from the oppressive thoughts of my own mind. I didn’t have to worry about my junky PC getting repossessed, nor getting tossed into a gulag, nor living to be 40 and feeling that I had wasted my life. I could just spend some time at peace.

This feeling made me really sit up and take notice when Buddha spoke of freedom. According to Buddha, one was under the influence of three poisons: hate, greed, and delusion. Only when free of these poisons was one really free. I saw the wealthy politicians constantly losing their anger (hate). No matter how rich they were, they were always struggling to secure more contributions (greed), and nothing they said really made any logical sense (delusion). If even the president was not free, how could I ever hope to gain freedom?

Then I read that my mind was all ready pure, clean, and radiant beneath the mental poisons. That really gave me hope.

I thought I had a really profound thought. However, having had trouble articulating even my most pedestrian ideas to others, I really didn’t talk about this notion of freedom too much. It would only lead to BS arguments except, of course when speaking with my wife or my good friends (you know who you are).

I really thought I had an original idea: “Americans talk so much of freedom, but while they continue to let the media poison their minds, they are just making themselves less free.”

It turns out I wasn’t so original.

In a back alley, I found a stack of books called Book of the Year from Britannica. Of course, I took home, 1973, my birth year which to me is the nexus of all things cool. It turns out that in this book, they speak of the same notion: “…most of us wanted freedom to do anything our hearts desired…this notion of freedom is only a childish desire to violate the laws of cause and effect, and you pay a heavy price for this delusional freedom.”

Seeing the economy collapse beneath consumer and housing debt, isn’t that what’s happening right now?

It goes on, “…we think we have freedom in everything we do, but our behavior is shaped by influences that our cultural traditions hide from us.”

This ties in with another book, I am reading, Autophobia. It’s a great book because it tries to take a balanced view in the automobile debate. This is huge for me because I am trying to find my way as a cycling advocate. I am finding that in many ways cycling is seen as a threat even though where I live only one in two hundred people regularly cycle.

Cyclists are blamed for traffic jams, car accidents, and all sorts of ills, probably swine flu.

Cyclist advocates are accused of trying to take away people’s freedom that the car offers. For years, I had been trying to be neutral in the car debate. I reasoned that cars and bicycles can co-exist. I do still believe this. However, to focus on the feelings of automobile drivers puts cycling advocates at an extreme disadvantage. It severely limits what an advocate can do.

It’s also an absurd situation to put cycling advocates in as it’s a double standard. No negotiator has to factor in their competition. Good negotiators figure out what they want then they ask for me with the intention of backing off from there so they still get what they want. Cycling advocates are too afraid to even ask for what we have been promised by law because we don’t want to offend anyone. We are weak, and we wonder why we never get anywhere.

We are too afraid of what other people think of us. For example, in latest news, McCain called cycling and pedestrian advocates elites. Of course nobody in the media mentioned the obvious. Here’s a guy who, on one hand, is advocating a fight for “freedom”. On the other hand, he’s taking away choices (biking and walking) and basically mandating in terms on infrastructure that we have to drive. Taking away choices is the opposite of freedom.

A strong cycling advocate would mention this. A weak advocate would try to prove why we are not snobs perhaps by showing how bicycles take cars off the road and make things better for motorists. A good negotiator doesn’t really care what McCain thinks. They would take steps to eliminate McCain by campaigning to get his ass out of office.

I have heard cyclists who don’t like critical mass because it might turn people against us. People all ready are against us. These people are selfish and they have bought into the billion dollar auto industry delusion that a car means freedom and that “roads are for cars, only.” This is seen as fact, but it’s just a belief and a recent one at that.

Because most of us were born with legs and none of us with wheels, we are all pedestrians at one time or another. Therefore, idea of roads is delusional.

Worse, people are so threatened by bicycles, it’s not even funny. Even some so called liberal environmentalists go ballistic when you mention critical mass. “It should be banned,” said a friend of mine. That’s right, we must save the earth, but do it in a way that makes driving as much as we want feasible.

Note most of the 0.6% bicycle commuters own and operate automobiles. So it’s not even like a small elite of cyclists taking on drivers. Many cyclists swing both ways. If that’s not weak enough, figure that while cyclists are accused of being “elites dictating how people live,” note that the US government supports driving directly. Not only by building highways and destroying any other way of getting to places, but by actively helping auto lobbiests using taxpayers money. How does this work?

I got a CA license recently and shortly afterwards guess what I got? A letter from the AAA asking me for a membership. Why would an organization that I despise contact me without my permission. Where could they have possibly gotten this information. That’s right, my private information was given away by the government to an organization who’s job was to lobby the government. It’s one big happy circle.

Imagine if the local cycling club wanted the government to divulge the names and addresses of all the new motorists so they could solicit them for donations. People would go ballistic. This is an outrage. Communism. Unfairly using the government to dictate how people act. And so on.

But automobile advocates all ready do this. How many bike lanes should we have according to the AAA. None. They are against any bill that allows for any alternative to driving. They feel this way because they are interested increased “mobility.”

What does “mobility” mean? For me, it means making things further apart so we need to drive more. Why do this? Because there are many groups that get money the more that people drive: the oil industry, the automobile industry, the insurance industry, healthcare (obesity and accidents), and the asphalt industry (see Autophobia for details).

I wonder who’s interests AAA really supports. If they supported the common person, they’d advocate for more “accessibility” that is things being easy to get to instead of their empty and pointless “mobility”. People want to get places and do things. To drive for driving’s sake is a big waste of money. In fact, if it were seen as a tax most people would be against it. Imagine all the money you’d save if you didn’t have a car. That money is in your pocket. You could retire quicker, work less, and worry less. You’d have more time with your family. If you walked places, you’d get fresh air, excercise, and a chance to meet people. This is how I live, and it’s great.

Instead, the auto industry spends vast sums of money getting the government to limit our choices under the banner of empty “mobility”. And they see cyclists as “elites dictating how we live.” Give me a break.

If you think of things this way, you will see how vastly unfair this advocacy is. There’s not a single politician in California who really gets behind bicycles. Even so called environmentalists go for the dead end solutions such as electric cars and monorails. The media is totally against us in every way. Not only do they slant everything towards auto drivers, but they demonize us by printing nonsense like what McCain blathers without even putting in the other point of view.

With everything stacked against me, why do I cling to the piece of metal between my legs?

Because it makes me happy. I’m serious. If you don’t believe me, stand on a street corner of a busy street. Is it pleasant to be there? No. Look at the faces of the drivers. They will be distracted and look a bit annoyed or bored.

Look at me when I cycle. I usually have a smile on my face even when people are trying to drive me off the road. Why am I happy? Because I made a choice. Most people drive because they think that they have to. I actually thought things through and cycle because I want to.

Do I want auto drivers to be unhappy. No. That’s why I am a cycle advocate. I want to share the joy I have with others. I practice sending goodwill to drivers each time I bicycle. At this point, it’s a habit to wish well to drivers.

Think about all the money people spend on their cars, and the amount of money the government spends catering to their every whim such as the huge boondoggle that the highway system is. Yet people’s commute times are roughly the same as they were 100 years ago, and people don’t seem any happier. Truly an example of running to stay in place.

Yet, mention any downside to driving and people get hostile and angry. Then they blame cycling advocates for being hostile and angry. Sounds like projection.

May all drivers be happy and without hostility. May they see me so they don’t run me down. 🙂

I don’t want my tax dollars to pay for…

September 18, 2009

Words can’t express how sick I am of this statement. I’m writing this post to put an end to this stupid lie once and for all so we can get on with our lives.

DISCLAIMER! YOU HOO! READ THIS FIRST: Note, this is going to be directed towards people who have said this stupid phrase. This includes me. If you hadn’t said it, read no more. There’s nothing for you to see her. You have been warned.

First of all, most people say this when the government is actually going to help people. Why someone would be so opposed to helping people is beyond me. It’s almost like they are Darth Vadar fans or something. Why not just wear a Hitler mask around; it’s so much more direct than your insane babbling. If you wear your selfishness on your sleeve people are going to think you are a dick. So just don’t speak out against being nice or helping people again, it makes you look like an asshole.

Next, why do we actually think that we have tax dollars? All our money is made by the government thus it’s the government’s money. We are just using it for a short while. The tax code has been around for a long time, longer than any of us were born unless our name is McCain so let’s just deal with it. Nobody is making us work a job. I don’t work so I don’t pay taxes. If it’s really hurts your feeling so much to help another human stick to the barter system.

Finally, why do you think your money is going to welfare or whatever? How much do you pay in taxes? A couple of grand. That’s chicken feed when the budget is trillions of dollars. You lose more cells when you mastrubate (if you are a guy) or menstruate (women) than your relative contribution to the federal budget. You aren’t even big enough to be a fly to the cow that is our government. So stop worrying about it. The military is 50% of the budget. Just pretend your money goes there. Or the highway system.

Anyway, that’s how the government works. They take your money and spend it on what you want. If you want to spend the money on Stinger missiles, well you bought part of that. Medicare, welfare, Other People’s Money pays for that. Who are you to tell them how to spend their money.

…but I’d have to kill you.

May 11, 2009

Whenever I hear the phrase, “I could tell you, but I’d have to kill you” it makes my blood boil. What a way to combine arrogance and stupidity.

It’s always stupid to say such a thing.

First of all, how many people have these secrets that are really important? Not very many. In fact, many of these secrets are really just arrogance.

An example is the torture memos. There was a prediction that all hell would break loose if they were released. Guess what? All hell has not broken loose. In fact things are pretty peachy today. So those idiots who said that we need to keep this stuff classified are discredited forever.

Second, you’d have to kill me? Why would you have to kill me? Let’s say you could kill me, which is highly arrogant. “I could kill you just by thinking about it.” Do it, GI Joe.

Why would you have to kill me? Let me tell you a secret, “I have no credibility.” Not on TV, not in public, not anywhere. I’m not an expert on anything. If you told me a deep secret, and I called the news, nobody would listen. I could go to a street corner, and I’d be just another crazy. So to say you _have_ to kill me is dumb.

It’s also kind of aggressive and rude. “I’m going to kill you b/c of the contents of your head.” WTF? Say that and you sound like a complete asshole.

So if you want to sound idiotic, arrogant and kind of like an asshole living in an imaginary Bond world say stupid shit like this.

Or even better yet, just kill me anyway. Just fuckin’ kill me and spare the stupid drama. No need to tell me these stupid, precious state secrets.

I’m going to pop some pills now. I’d tell you what I’m on, but…oh never mind.

Critical Mass I: Kindly Informing a Slight, Forgivable Misunderstanding

April 25, 2009

This was originally going to be used as a comment for a Critical Mass ride video on youtube.com which claimed that Critical Mass was a protest by crazy left wing bicyclists who sought to “take over the city” and “shut down the streets”. There was a seething hatred toward the ride.

Just as I have purchased, insured, and drove an automobile for many years, I challenge anyone who has problems with Critical Mass to ride a bicycle to work, to school, to pick up their children, to purchase groceries, and to visit people for a single day. You are also welcome to come any of the lovely bicycle rides in San Diego. I feel that only when we have sat on one another’s Brooks saddles can we truly speak from a point of reason and experience rather than from that of ignorance and hatred.

Also, I’d like to clear up some misunderstandings regarding Critical Mass. For me, the ride is not a protest ride. In Critical Mass riders, there are as many political views as bicyclists. Just as you can’t dismiss a driver as a right wing homicidal maniac, don’t judge a cyclist until you meet and speak with them. This requires getting out of your car.

When I traveled across the US, many automobile drivers took us into our house, fed us, and treated us like royalty. When I see an automobile driver, these are the people I see. When you see a bicyclists, I want you to see a smiling face of someone who is enjoying every second of their life: the fresh air, the sunshine on their face, the exhilaration of freedom, and the good night’s rest that a day’s cycling leads to.

The reason I ride is because it’s a lot of fun. I hope all the driver’s out there forget their tempers and come and enjoy their night with us. You are all welcome to come.

In San Diego, the police escort us, so the ride is actually sanctioned by the city just as other events that have police protection.

Also, if you study the CA state driver’s exam book, bicycles are allowed on the city streets by law. There is nothing in the book saying how far bicyclists have to ride from one another just as there is no law against many cars clogging up the streets on a daily basis in what people describe as a “traffic jam”.

No need to tell people to stay home. It’s a free country. The more cars on the road, the more the streets get clogged, and the safer cycling is. Yet we can ride just as fast traffic or no. Jealous? Don’t be. There’s plenty of room out here for another cyclist. Join us.

As for protests, what is there to protest? All the drivers are nice people here. The streets are large enough for automobiles, bicycles, skateboarders carrying surfboards, and pedestrians to ride side by side as long as we are all willing to respect one another. I often yield for automobiles even when the law does not permit it for my own safety as well as my own peace of mind. Sometimes drivers don’t see me. I understand. Often drivers will yield to me many times when it is not required by law. In the vast majority of cases, both cyclists and drivers are kind and patient. We remember things in a way that reflects our world view.

Again, come to ride, watch from the sidelines, or sit in traffic. Whatever the case may be, I hope you enjoy every night. Life’s too short for anger.

Fallacy of Equality

April 18, 2009

There is a little misunderstanding in advocacy groups. I made this mistake myself for about a decade.

I like to call it the Fallacy of Equality. Basically it states that if you are advocating for an alternative, you must give equal time to all sides including your opponents.

This is complete nonsense. When has anyone who has tried to sell us inferior, dangerous, and unnecessary products had to point out that there were inexpensive or free alternatives by their competitors?

About never. So why should advocates be “fair”?

I am both a Linux and a bicycling advocate. For years, I believed that I had to give equal time to Microsoft products. Then it occurred to me that Microsoft spends billions of dollars a year in advertising (that’s corporate for advocacy). Do they ever mention that you can download a bootable alternative that runs circles around their software? No. They mock Linux.

In the Linux community, I try to be positive and to welcome everyone with equal arms. This means being kind to MS Windows users as they might not have realized that there are alternatives. However, this does not mean that I am going to accept that every expenditure for the government, corporate, or otherwise should take Windows into account? Again, see above. Microsoft does not do this why should I?

Similarly with bicycles. I was recently told that I should give equal time to automobiles because no form of transportation should be privileged. Again, this is nonsense. There is only so much money for transportation. Every cent spent promoting automobiles detracts from cycling. In fact the number one reason that people don’t cycle is because they fear getting hit by a car.

Need I mention the yearly automobile company spending in advertising? Need I point out the countless free advertising that auto companies get every time a cyclist is the butt of a joke in a movie? Should I mention the millions spent in pushing autos with public money with driver’s education programs across the country? Why should I give up the pennies for bicycles to give “equal time”.

When are the big guys going to have to give “equal time” to my views? Imagine Microsoft spending a few billion in Linux promotion? Linux would “eat their lunch” in a level playing field. Imagine a true cost comparison of a lifetime of either cycling and driving including the 40,000 victims of driving a year, countless cases of diabetes, heart disease, and childhood asthma that our car crazy legacy. Again, there would be no comparison and bicycles would win every time.

So the next time you want to advocate X and someone asks you to be “fair and balanced” or give equal time, ask to split the total cost in promotion down the middle. I’d gladly take half the transportation budget in dedicated bicycle paths. Never happen? Then don’t bother me with equal time. Now excuse me while I chase some more funding crumbs from the table of crappy, mass produced products.

Shamelessness

April 17, 2009

Not to belabor the point from yesterday, but I was still thinking about it on my ride home today.

I realized another thing about some drivers. They have such a deep hatred of bicycles that they don’t realize how dangerous they are. When you are on a bicycle, a car is the Nemesis, the Big Bad, the Terminator.

Driver’s don’t seem to get it.

When I violate a traffic law on my bicycle by mistake, I feel real shame. If it works out then I feel like I let the whole bicyclist community down by making us look like a bunch of outlaws. If there’s a near accident. I apologize to the people who would have hurt me. I realize that I really messed up and I almost paid a big price for not paying attention. That’s totally on me. I want to crawl in a hole.

My question is, why do drivers,when they break the law, and almost kill me, get angry at me? What’s their problem? Don’t they have a sense of right and wrong and the notion of shame? Don’t they care?

I have come the conclusion that no matter what I do, I’m always going to appear to be a criminal to many a driver. I could be the caregiver for their grandmother. I could support their favorite cause.

They just don’t get it. They think it’s all a big joke. Or they get really pissed. “Bikers why can’t they stay off the street.”

This knowledge is not depressing to me, it’s a big relief. I feel a big weight off my shoulders. It means that I will be hated by some NO MATTER WHAT I DO. I read in a book called The Science of Fear by
Daniel Gardner that people fundamentally think different when they think in political terms or are emotional. That’s why the guy didn’t even hear me yesterday. I could have been offering him a million dollars no strings attached, it would have all been nonsense to him.

When people are driving, and they encounter a cyclist, the cyclist is a nuisance. They are vermin. They are terrorists even. Not people we can talk to. “We don’t negotiate with terrorists.” Closed door. End of story. Good-bye.

That’s great. I don’t have to feel a big burden to make people like me. I don’t have to make excuses for riding a bicycle because no excuse will be needed.

Oh, I’m still going to carry out my plan of yielding for everyone no matter who’s right or wrong. I’m still going to smile to everyone I see. I’m not going to let a few assholes turn me into them. I’m not going to lose this fight.

Right now I’m going to turn to my favorite text that always makes me a better person: The Perfection of Patience.

“Anger destroys all the good conduct, such as generosity and worshipping the Sugatas, which has been acquired over thousands of eons.

There is no vice like hatred, and there is no austerity like patience. Therefore, one should earnestly cultivate patience in various ways.
The mind does not find peace, nor does it enjoy pleasure and joy, nor does it find sleep or fortitude when the thorn of hatred dwells in the heart. “