We live in trying times. Hurricane Ike has pulverized Texas. Wall Street is in turmoil. And, most horrific of all, the New Kids On The Block are preparing for their reunion tour.
At each checkpoint you had to do a task like sign the manifest in your own real blood, bring roadkill, shotgun a beer, get slapped by a groupie, be anointed with fake blood and let all but 30 psi out of your tire.
I also read this comment from a participant on one of the sponsor's sites:
I listened to Bathory and Dissectiont the whole night.
I've taken the liberty of annotating this particular photo in order to draw attention to the bloodied animal, the depraved expression, and the torso in dire need of a manssiere.
And here's a closer look at one of the photos from above:
I suppose if I heard about a bunch of 14-year-old kids in rural Kansas riding around doing something like this I might understand it. I've been to rural Kansas, and while it certainly has a certain beauty I could also imagine it breeding a certain restlessness and destructive boredom in an adolescent hungry for social and intellectual stimulation. However, it's much harder to understand something like this when the participants are a bunch of adults in one of the cultural capitals of the world, who have thousands of dollars of high-end bicycle equipment, and, at least in some cases, also have expensive educations and white-collar office jobs as well as access to all the socially and intellectually stimulating pursuits those assets afford them.
Could they not think of anything better to do with their bikes or themselves? Moreover, if any of these people actually have romantic partners, what kind of exchanges did they have with theirs the next morning?
"What did you do last night, honey?"
"A few of us stopped by an art gallery. Then we had dinner, talked for awhile, and saw a really great show. What did you do?"
"I pulled the wing off a dead pigeon, shotgunned a beer, and wrote my name in blood."
Then again, I guess I shouldn't be surprised when people choose the stupid route. If you want to race your bike, why should you enter an actual race? Those are hard, and sometimes require you to get up early. Why not do an alleycat instead? And if you want to have a visceral experience, why go hunting or fishing? That would require you to think, and to learn something, and to deal with the consequences of taking a life. Plus, you can't really do it while dressed as your favorite Norwegian black metal hero. Indeed, you can only sit in your office in front of you iMac for so long before you feel the desperate need to legitimize your brand-new knuckle tattoos by wrapping them around a bloody animal while dressed as the people who live the lives which you covet yet of which you are also afraid.
I hope I'm wrong in my suspicion that any animal, no matter how low on the food chain, might have been killed just for an alleycat. But even if I am wrong, I think a bunch of yuppies riding around playing with roadkill represents a new low. I'd love to see some comments from the participants, who can perhaps show me that I'm overreacting and can prove me wrong on all counts. I mean, I must be, right? After all King Kog, home of the vegan toe straps, was one of the sponsors.
Oh well, I'm glad all the frat boys are still managing to have fun after graduation.