Get over yourself. It was an unprovoked assault by a policeman in uniform. Real funny. Must be 'cause everyone except you is stupid.
In all honesty I’d hate to think I gave anyone the impression that I side with officer Pogan. Rest assured that I think he’s a disgrace to Patrick Pogan, Sr., he’s a disgrace to Massapequa Park from whence he hails (as well as to neighboring Massapequa), he’s a disgrace to Nassau Community College where he probably majored in homophobia with a minor in snacking, and he’s probably going to be a disgrace to the strip club where he will ultimately wind up working as a bouncer because his only asset in life is his oafishness. More importantly, I’d really hate to think I gave anyone the impression that I think I’m smart. Please know that I’m as stupid as I come, which is what allows me to recognize stupidity when I see it. Trust me, the only reason I know the people on the iPhone lines are idiots is that my first impulse is to stand in that same line for 45 minutes until it finally occurs to me to ask the person in front of me, “Hey, do you know what this line is for?” I’m only human after all. I’m sort of like the “Dexter” of idiots, in that I criticize stupid people not because I’m better than them, but because I’m one myself. All I’ve got going for me is that I’ve come to learn over the years that if I want to do something, there’s a good chance it’s stupid, so I should probably think for awhile before I do it.
But there is a bright side to being stupid. As I said yesterday, stupidity loves crowds, and when you’re stupid you’re never lonely. And if you ever want to see a crowd of people operating in a bovine fashion that’s exquisite in its stupidity, come to New York City and watch pedestrians in Midtown. Here you can watch herds of people walk out into the middle of the busiest streets in North America despite the fact that they don’t have the light, and then express surprise when they’re subsequently flattened by wheeled traffic. All it takes is for one idiot to start walking, and then the rest follow. They’re like cattle who don’t realize they’re in danger until the bolt actually shatters their skulls. If you’ve ever seen the way sharks trick schools of fish into swimming themselves into one giant fish ball, and then simply take bites out of that ball like it’s an apple or something, you have some idea of what I’m talking about. And the stupidest thing about them is that they don’t even realize why it’s happening to them, as you can see in this (ahem) hard-hitting article from the New York Post. “Ever try to cross Sixth Avenue at lunchtime?,” the writer, Andrea Peyser, asks. “It's like human pinball. You get more warning before a lightning strike.” Actually, Andrea, you do get a warning—you get a red light and a giant electric sign that says “Don’t Walk.” I think it’s safe to say Andrea Peyser is a fellow stupid person.
Speaking of stupid, that creepy guy Rod Stewart who looks kind of like Barbara Walters once sang either “Every picture tells a story, don’t it?” or “Every picture’s of assorted donuts.” Because I’m stupid, I'm not sure which. But assuming it’s the former, I’m inclined to agree:
Both of these pictures tell the story of one of my favorite phenomenona in cycling, which is the bike with one part on it that costs more than the rest of the bike put together. In the first example, submitted by a reader, the carbon fiber Zipp wheel is the obvious standout. It fails to tie the rest of the bike together much in the way that the hardware store chain does. (A diligent thief could cut through that chain with a pair of toenail clippers.) In the second example, submitted by me, the Brooks saddle is so dear compared with the rest of the bike that the owner has elected to lock it instead of the front wheel. (The bike also sports a pie plate larger than the charger upon which John the Baptist's head was served to Herodias.)
However, when you're stupid, cycling isn't always easy to appreciate. For example, I recently received the following request from a reader:
I know we are a fringe element and hardly worthy of mention, but you seem to be holding back with respect to the randonneuring community. I feel slighted. I mean think of the opportunities. Generators. Fenders. Berthoud bags (not to mention the arcane world of decalaurs.) Where else do you find silly people riding through the night, in storms, on fixed gears, in the mountains for fun? So the Cascade 1200 isn’t hard enough? Go ride that 2000K in British Columbia.
If I seem to be holding back, it's not because randonneurs are a "fringe element." It's because the whole thing goes way over my head. I followed one of the links included in the email and the first thing I saw was a "call for poets." Frankly, I avoid poetry and anything that inspires poetry. I don't want to smell wet wool, nor do I want to read poetry about the smell of wet wool, and I have a feeling the randonneuring community's capacity for pretention may be as capacious as their saddlebags. Also, I love long rides, but I have no interest in excessively long rides, or in rides that involve sleeping in a bed other than your own. I avoid touring and 24-hour mountain bike races for the same reason. I don't believe in doing anything for more than five hours at a time, whether it's cycling, or working, or reading, or even watching TV. (I do however consider riding for five hours and then watching TV for five hours a day well spent.) I also avoid sleeping in strange places because when you do and you wake up from nightmares involving geese it can take awhile to re-orient yourself and figure out where the bathroom is.
Another thing that goes over my head is philosophy. Sure, I suppose I can be philosophical myself, but sometimes I have trouble discerning where philosophy leaves off and marketing begins. Take "Rapha Continental:"
The Continental is about participation, exalting any and all who endeavor to ride with passion and heart. Central to the project is our desire to discover the places and people that do and have done the style of riding that we’ve only just begun to call – Continental.
I'm going to be completely honest here--I spent a decent amount of time studying this site (though naturally less than five hours, in accordance with my rule) and I still don't know if this is a line of clothing or a team or a philosophy or what. Every time I think it's something I click on another link that tells me it's not what I thought it was. For example, for awhile I thought it was a team, but then I read this:
The Rapha Continental riders are not a team. At least not in the typical sense, or the racing sense. We are a group of individuals united in effort and focus, and we do cooperate.
Eventually I gave up. I feel like something tremendously important may be going on here, but I also feel too dumb to understand it. I get confused by things that say they aren't what they appear to be. It's like looking at a Magritte painting--which, I might add, I also don't understand.
Fortunately, there are people out there dumbing it down for us stupid folk. Sure, sometimes this can be dangerous, like the King Kog Crass t-shirt (sadly no longer available), which may appear to be easy to understand, but is actually quite insidious in that the design was stolen and wearing it can actually make you look dumber than you actually are. But there's also more straightforward stuff you can purchase in order to appear countercultural, like the Pentabike, which has a similar fixter appeal but also has a tidy backstory and doesn't appear to have been stolen from anybody except the Wiccans. (Perhaps someday soon we will see products being sold as "Certified Pop Culture Plunder-Free.")
But what if your sensibility lies somewhere between metal and Magritte? What if you're just looking to inject a little pop art and whimsy into your ride? Well, if this is you, soon you'll be able to lock your bike to a David Byrne bike rack:
Ah, yes. Clever and ironic, but not intellectually challenging. It's the perfect lukewarm pool for the masses. Sure, David Byrne may have gotten all flustered while trying to explain the process of powdercoating, and sure, it may have taken the reporter and him a full hour to make the six-mile journey to Brooklyn. But until Rod Stewart designs an "assorted donut" bike rack, or until Letle Viride weighs in, I can safely say that these giant tie pins are some of the best bike racks ever designed by a pop musician.