Wednesday, April 6, 2011

More cycling pretentiousness

Before I start my actual blog, I'd like to send a big FUCK YOU to the entire team at Blogger, and an extra special FUCK YOU to the particular idiot who decided that it would be fun to change the default language based on IP and not provide any way to set the language back to English - even for logged-in users who already have a default, English account.  

If someone in the Blogger office has a conscience, they will find this Einstein and give him a swift kick in the nuts.   And for that, I will thank them.

And now, back to our programming.    The rage has been unleashed and seeks to consume more.

And just at the right time, this little gem has come to my attention:
http://www.bangalorenotes.com/new_ethic_for_bikers.htm

It starts out on a particularly ambitious note:
[The Traditional Cyclist] lives a low footprint lifestyle in the first place, by consuming less of everything. Although this may be the case by circumstance rather than intent - we can't be sure, and there are undoubtedly some enlightened, simple-living masters in that community - it is nevertheless the case that the traditional biker is a lower environmental impact citizen, than the rest of us


Say what now?   Is "living a low footprint/low consumption lifestyle" the new way of describing "being so damn poor that they cannot afford a lot"?      In that same vein of revisionism, it is good to know that what we have hitherto thought of as people who eke out a hand-to-mouth existence are actually enlightened, simple-living masters.    

So apparently, when you or I assume that the poor are forced by circumstances to live a simply life with only the bare essentials, we are actually mistaken - according to the author, it is a lifestyle choice.  Makes a lot of sense, really.   It all started innocuously enough with the "slovenly look" becoming fashionable.  Food-stained faded white became the new black.  That led to Wigga culture - where it was the cool thing for spoiled suburbanites to emulate the tough conditions that a lot of inner city youth have to grow up in. This is but a natural extension of that thinking.   Poor is truly the new rich.

But wait, as the voice-over said, there is more.

He is also likely to be softer spoken (although, of course, we can't be sure about this) than others higher up on the economic food chain and possibly more compassionate (although again we can’t be entirely sure about this). Whatever the case, we only have the right to preach this ethic to the new biker.

Not content with the initial bit of romanticization, the author decide to give it his all, relying on his deep knowledge of ssocio-economic wisdom gleaned from either Soviet-era Communist propaganda, Amitabh Bacchan movies from the 70s, or both.    Apparently, one of the defining characteristics of being poor is that you are softer spoken and more compassionate than those who are economically better off.

Now, I am not sure which came first - the poverty or the compassion.  Or conversely, whether being cruel-hearted is a pre-requisite to being well off, or whether being well-off is a pre-requisite to being mean.   But I am so glad to learn that all only takes a fistful of dollars to change the nature of a man.  

Even the author seems to find this crock of bullshit a little hard to swallow (this may be a mixed metaphor but it is strikingly appropriate), given the degree to which he waffling here.

Not content with building an entire temple of bullcrap on a foundation that is more absurd than Paris Hilton wearing white at her wedding, the author then invites us to join him in this monument to smugness.

I'd like to digress and talk about porn stars for a second.   Now presumably, no one comes to Hollywood with the dream of doing the nasty with Randy Spears.   I am pretty certain that Jenna had visions of starring in the re-make of "The Sound of Music" or some such family classic when she left her farm in Kentucky and came out west looking for fame.   But to go from there to starring in the less-popular-remake "Saving Ryan's Privates" was not a one-step process.   It likely started with her being tempted into doing some risque modeling, maybe even working as an exotic dancer... and from there, it was a slow but slippery slope downhill.

And it is precisely this approach that the author tries next, displaying a degree of smarts that I had not suspected so far.

1.  I have no claim to being environmentally more sensitive merely because I ride a bike. [...]


2.  I will obey traffic rules (and make every attempt to lead by exemplary example in doing so)[...]

Who can argue with this?    You and I read this, nod and go "uh huh, that sort of makes sense".   We have been tempted, and our guard has come down.

However, at this point, in his excitement to get the money shot and shoot his "wisdom" all over us, the author kinda lost the plot a little with his progression.

3. [...]There is therefore, a great deal of embedded energy, and consequently embedded environmental damage, in my fancy bike - and I remain humble as a result of this.

4.  I ride my bike for pleasure and to stay fit, besides perhaps a few other reasons.

5. I am NOT cooler than the regular, non-biker guy just because I ride a fancy bike.  I am also funny looking when in biking regalia.

The porn analogy was going in a very disturbing direction, so let's get away from it and go with something different:  this is kinda like that Seinfeld episode where Elaine goes out on a first date and at the end, as she is expecting a goodbye peck on the check, IT makes an appearance.  

So just as we are digesting wtf these random snippets have to do with anything, and how my fancy bike with Chris King headset, SRAM Yellow drivetrain and bling bling carbon wheels makes me humble, and how much humbler I would be with a Cervelo S3 fully kitted out with Campy Super-record and Lightweight wheels, the author then proceeds to club us with this:

6.  [...]I will also try to work towards giving up my SUV over time, and living at peace with myself for doing so. 

7.  To be a “true” biker I MUST subscribe to an overall ethic of sustainability and leaner living[...]

And to be a true Douchebag De La Bicicleta, I MUST make the sweeping and simplistic assumption that all the millions of people who ride cycles for fun are also smug, presumptuous posers who have confused "riding a bicycle" with "being an insufferable prat."

Quick poll - how many keen riders, who ride 150-200km per week or more do you see spouting this sort of BS?  That's right, none.   On average, how many kilometers do you think members of the Clan Douchebag De La Bicicleta ride?     Yup, that's right - not a lot.

Yes folks - what you are seeing here is Fail on many different levels.

[...]But, to do so we must be united in subscribing to a common ethic and an ideal, and in achieving a true biker outlook

It is "cyclist", not "biker".  If you are going to be a smug, sanctimonious prat, atleast be a non-ignorant, smug, sanctimonious prat.

What say, chaps?

I say only Lord-Haw-Haw wannabe douchebags  say things like "what say, chaps" - a phrase that no one has uttered in England without getting justifiably beaten for atleast 40 years.

I would like to make it clear that the Guads ARE environmentally conscious and have nothing but the deepest respect for people who make actual, tangible contributions to the cause of conservation - be it donating money to a good cause, or making changes - no matter how small - in their lifestyle in order to be more environmentally friendly.   All of that is good.

However, the Guads do NOT recognize "being a smug twatwaffle on the Internet" as a contribution to the environment and shall mock and snark at all such cases.  

Clan Douchebag De La Bicicleta, the Guads are coming for every single one of you.

12 comments:

  1. Guadz, the cleaner of filth, let me enlighten you. Cycling is inherently humble. Setup an 8"drop and ride on the drops. It´ll always keep your head down.

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  2. while I am here let me request you to write more often. It is utter disappointment to click three times a week for many weeks and see the same old. fan base is growing.

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  3. Plus le uno (or something).

    Hey, at least articles like these give the Guads more fodder.

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  4. "I say only Lord-Haw-Haw wannabe douchebags say things like "what say, chaps" - a phrase that no one has uttered in England without getting justifiably beaten for atleast 40 years."

    Stricken the head of Nottingham's most famous blacksmith's nail you have.

    Or something.

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  5. +1 to headmech's comments. Glad this is in English and not Hindi or Arabic (Depending on which part of the World the Guads are chomping down upon.)

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  6. Me likes! And agree with the headmechanic! :)

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  7. Guadz one Word for the blogger issue. WORDPRESS. it could be either wordpress.com blog or a self hosted blog from wordpress.org.

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  8. Good one Gaudz!

    to the above suggestion - i recommend a self hosted blog. plz ping me for any help. Been working on wordpress since a long time now.

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  9. Wasn't Lord Haw-Haw old Cardigan, late of the Charge of the Light Brigade? Ah yes, I see the family resemblance. Jolly spiffing boot in the old privates, old man.

    Clan Douchebag De La Bicicleta - would that be CDB, or CDdlB? Just to have a handier, er, handle.

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  10. Twatwaffle: Brilliant, will be used often in the future.

    And I agree completely with Headmechanic's second comment. (I'd have agreed with his first one too, if I'd understood it).

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  11. Thanks guys for the offers to host the blog. I like keeping this relatively unattached, though. Will try to write more as well!

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