Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Groping for Answers: Crooked Letters and Lopsided Reasoning

Way back on the Dachshund of Time, we encouraged our children to be silent and obedient. (And by "encouraged" I mean "beat with sticks.") Eventually, though, silence gave way to inquisitiveness, and obedience to precocity. Incessant questions were no longer discouraged as a form of impugnity; instead, they were encouraged as a sign of intelligence. To a certain extent, this was a good thing, for an answer is certainly more edifying to a child than a slap in the face. However, as with most indulgences, things went too far, and our culture eventually became one in which every inane juvenile utterance is taken as seriously as a Supreme Court decision. Over the years and decades, our indulged children become adults (at least physically), and the result is we're now a society who's default mode of discourse is the stupid question. Consider the latest "Tweet" from popular actor Rainn Wilson:

Rainn Wilson's Twitter has almost two million followers, and even in our "Look at me, I'm talking!" culture it stuns me that he would pose such a dumb question to such a vast sounding board. Indeed, given that Rainn Wilson's wife is from Portland and they are both Bahá'í and thus apparently believe in "the spiritual unity of all humankind," it could very well be that this question was posed in the spirit of irony. However, given that Rainn Wilson is also an actor in Los Angeles, pending concrete evidence to the contrary I have no choice but to take the question at face value.

First of all, everybody knows there's no angrier group of road users than drivers, since the very nature of driving is infuriating. This was succinctly articulated in the 1993 film "Falling Down," in which Michael Douglas goes completely insane after getting stuck in Los Angeles traffic. Conversely, cyclists tend to be very happy while riding, and it's usually only after being nearly killed by drivers that they get angry. (Nearly being killed is irritating.) So, if Rainn Wilson (or anybody) keeps encountering angry cyclists, he may want to consider the possibility that he's actually a really bad driver, in the same way that a man who wonders why women "never have orgasms" might want to look instead to his own lack of sexual prowess.

Unfortunately, though, many people would prefer to keep driving poorly and instead consign cyclists to the park, in the same way that the man who can't please a woman might assert that the onus is on her to masturbate. Also, Rainn Wilson may not understand that some cyclists actually need to get someplace, and that if he finds them irritating he could just as easily avoid them altogether and enjoy the luxurious interior of his car while driving around and around his circular driveway. Finally, he concludes all of this with the obligatory Lycra jab, which is so obvious it once again makes me suspect he's being sarcastic. But then I checked out Rainn Wilson's website, SoulPancake, and figured that maybe "Why do cyclists Always seem so angry?" is an actual example of what he feels is one of LIFE'S BIG QUESTIONS:

Instead of foisting this ill-considered question upon two million people and/or "God," he could have instead asked his fellow "The Office" castmember Steve Carell. Granted, his character in "The 40 Year Old Virgin" was to bicycle commuters what Tonto was to Native Americans, but he did race bicycles "Back in the Day." I know this because I once heard him tell David Letterman about it, but all I could find was this brief excerpt:

Shave Legs for Hygiene sound bite



Or, he could have asked Snoop Dogg, who's apparently so Lycra-friendly that he wants to borrow Lance Armstrong's skinsuit:



The disgustingness of wearing somebody else's skinsuit notwithstanding, it's at least a kind sentiment.

Rainn Wilson should also watch this video which was forwarded to me by a reader, since it proves that even the most hardened and dedicated urban cyclists is far from angry. Granted, he's self-contradicting and completely clueless, but his ignorance is clearly bliss:

Fixie from Dutch Simpson on Vimeo.

Yesterday I mentioned "asymmetrical dogma," and when it comes to lopsided principles none are more misshapen than those of the fixed-gear "culture." In this regard, the rider in the video stays solidly "on message," issuing such classic "fixie" soundbites as the wildly inaccurate description of what a fixed-gear is:

"Riding fixed-gear is basically one gear where you have no brakes..."

The Holy Trinity of Ways To Fail to Stop Your Bike:

"If you're mashing down traffic, only one way to stop is to either turn, or skid, or just ride through it."

The Zenlike quality of riding like an idiot:

"Another great thing about fixed-gear and just riding in general is just diving in between cars, I mean, being two inches away from someone's mirror is just unbelievable."

The oxymoronic riding-like-an-idiot-is-somehow-healthy-and-safe qualifier complete with smug environmental name-check:

"It's a healthy and safe way to get around town. And I guess I'm helping the environment too which is pretty cool."

And of course the testimonial to the unique perspective that only cycling affords you:

"Another cool thing about riding around the city is just you get to explore everything...finding unique places, it's pretty awesome."

Keep in mind of course that in the fixed-gear universe "unique" means "uniform," which is why he apparently feels an empty loading dock qualifies as a unique place:


In any case, if this rider had darted past Rainn Wilson's car and barely missed his sideview mirror, I admit a Tweet along these lines might have been warranted:

And another angry Tweet would also have been justified if he'd been the victim of a ride-by groping, as forwarded to me by the proprietor of this blog:

At first, I suspected the "MILF Hunter:"

However, the fact he was wearing a "chef's coat and black-and-white checkered pants" instead of an old HealthNet kit (in addition to the fact that the composite sketch looks nothing like Floyd Landis) leads me to suspect instead that he's some kind of disgruntled and extremely randy pizza man.

Speaking of Floyd Landis, even though he was raised a Mennonite, he is not an "Amish tattoo boy:"



L train 9 AMish. tattoo boy - w4m - 25 (L to union)
Date: 2010-06-25, 4:03PM EDT

i found myself describing you to a coworker today.. he suggested craigslist- creepy for sure- but here i am. you had light red/brown hair, japanese tree/branchy tattoo on your left (left?) upper arm. wearing some solid colored shirt. you were looking at me a lot, and likewise. i wish there was something cool to say to strangers on trains. those days never come..
i got off at union square, hoping you'd be behind me.
im the blonde, denim dress, big sunglasses that was into my book until you got on the train.
where do you hang out?! :(


Presumably, an "Amish tattoo boy" would be prohibited from using an electric tattooing machine--even if it was fashioned from a Campagnolo derailleur (as forwarded by the editor of Tucson Velo):


Campagnolo Derailluer / Tattoo Machine - $50 (Central East)
Date: 2010-06-26, 10:59AM MST
Reply to: [deleted]

I have a very uniqe item here.
This is a nineteen eighties Campy front derailleur from my old Cannondale. I was bored one day while minding the shop and decided to create this. I used a motor from a beard trimmer and a stainless pen barrel.
It takes standadr needle bars / grommets. I have never used it because I have actual tat machines, but it does work.


I only hope the seller's tattoos are not as poorly spelled as his Craigslist posts. In any case, surely applying your own knuckle tattoos with a "vintage" Campy derailleur would be a hipster's dream--though if you're going to "curate" your own "body art" you should at least read about curating first:


Uptown 6 - cute guy reading about curating - w4m - 20 (Upper East Side)
Date: 2010-06-25, 4:02PM EDT

Uptown 6 this morning around 9:30 or so. Cute guy reading a book entitled "A Brief History of Curating" and carrying a dress shirt on a hanger. You were really cute, and I'd love to chat sometime.


I hope they manage to find each other and curate a relationship.


77 comments:

wishiwasmerckx said...

First!

ant1 said...

ant1st!

wishiwasmerckx said...

Second?

ant1 said...

nice work wiwm!

Bad Lawyer said...

Hey, top ten!

ant1 said...

...two out of three ain't bad

wishiwasmerckx said...

Oh, well, as Meatloaf would say, two out of three ain't bad.

Steven Falkowski said...

BooYah! Tom Breslin

Anonymous said...

Holy crap you were late. TOP 10!

g said...

top 10? Gruber stuck in reverse

Todd said...

If you live in Los Angeles long enough you will realize Falling Down is actually a documentary.

Bad Lawyer said...

Snob--

As I recall you are the one who pointed out a while back that Road Cyclists are generally speaking pretty miserable sorts, demeanor-wise. After you made this obsevation I took special care to verify this truism, and I believe I can corroborate your testimony on this point. Sour-looking, miserable-seeming, joyless louts--and, absent lactic-acid burn, near death-traffic fatality, carpal tunnel syndrome or numb nuts--for the life of me....why?

Is there anything better than riding your road cycle? Well anything better that lasts as long as riding your bicycle for a few hours? I think not, so smile, dammit!
BL

ant1 said...

Ha! The mythical female orgasm! Very funny bike snob. What ridiculous concept are you going to expose us to next? Women's rights?

Josh said...

I love the sentiment that the absence of something, in this case riding a car, is somehow helping the environment. Like if you aren't riding a bike you would be required by law to drive a hummer as those are the only two options. You're not helping you're just not hurting either! I'm not spilling millions of gallons of oil into the gulf so I'm helping the environment!

n8k99 said...

with the pack? interesting finish for a guy on a bakfiets.

i try to stay angry at all times, that is why i read blogs, it keeps me angry, and when i'm on my bike, i am angry because i can not effectively read blogs, plus the lycra chafes or something.

Kyle said...

concrete evidence from Rainn:
that obscene tweet from yesterday was meant for my awesome wife, Mrs Holiday Reinhorn, FYI.

Ralphy said...

Diving in between cars helps the environment? Like, if he didn't have a fixed-gear bike, he'd be using a gas-powered car-in-between-diver?

Anonymous said...

Didn't kill any dolphins today --
U all owe me.

J said...

Either the Santa Monica bicycle groper is well-travelled, or he is part of some wide conspiracy.

Winnipeg Free Press: Police check for link in bicycle gropings

Ralphy said...

being two inches away from someone's mirror is just unbelievable

I can believe it. Every single morning I am two inches away from someone's mirror (mine) with nothing less than a razor in my hand.

Nogocyclist said...

2 million followers, and the wisdom he spouts is basically :I don't like people who ride bicycles.

What does this say about his followers?

I am the angry engine said...

http://info.bahai.org/article-1-8-3-2.html

Fuck Rainn Wilson, practice what you preach.

I am still the angry engine said...

oops.

Preach what you preach.

Anonymous said...

I'll tell you why NYC cyclists are so angry, because both pedestrians and drivers alike seem to totally disregard us, which puts us in danger several times daily on even a short commute to work. some examples are peds walking through the bike lane against the light (my retort is always a lusty "wake the fuck up asshole" could be seen as angry) or drivers turning in front of bikes after failing to look through their side mirrors, or doing so and just ignoring us. Or my favorite driving or blocking the very few dedicated bike lanes in nyc(this will buy you a "get the fuck out of the bikelane asshole", also I can see why people would say that is an angry response)

Go fuck yourself Rainn. what's with the second n by the way?

LK said...

It's such a conundrum, unhappy getting driven at vs. bored on the Rail-to-Trail.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Kyle,

Still not sure, since the cycling Tweet wasn't obscene. Maybe he meant this one...?

--BSNYC

Stupid Name said...

Where is Lance?
How come he has not shown his indignation on tweet?
Isn't he due for a media intervention shortly. ala Kornheiser?

Maybe Rain and Lance can go for a ride shortly.

BikeSnobNYC said...

...I meant this one:

http://bit.ly/dpJMBj

--BSNYC

Anonymous said...

Saw that cover of Outside magazine with Lance on the cover. Is he starting to resemble Lyle Lovett, or is it my imagination?

Anonymous said...

Yes, your imagination is starting to resemble Lyle Lovett

PawnShop said...

Campangolo nukkel tatooos

MIS SPLT

Anonymous said...

Yeah I thought so. It will be a miracle if my imagination can make it into the top ten in GC, considering how haggard I look!

gene99 said...

Here’s my BIG QUESTION: Why do I think better when my ASS is squeezed by LYCRA than when my NECK is squeezed by SILK (ok, 50 poly)? Does it have ANYTHING to DO with why my CHAMOIS smells WORSE than my TIE?

hillbilly said...

Funny, just this morning I was wondering why drivers are so angry. one, as usual, tried to hit me, I yelled "yo" because it seems to pop out of my mouth when terrified, and he let loose a string of expletives as if I had just killed his entire family. I'm sorry I alerted you to my presence. oh, and fuck you Rainn. (channeling Colbert. :Rainnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn)

PawnShop said...

...but would Quicksquirt McHurt hit it?

Billy said...

I'll believe anything that Dutch describes as: cool, awesome, classic, vintage, rad, legit, unbelievable, believable, insane, fresh, accurate, purported, global, funky, or flammable. That's the complete list, though. If he used any other descriptors, it's a lie.

Anonymous said...

Is there a subtle undertone of "postnatal" stress on the part of BSNYC at the start of this post?

Is the kid cracking wise already? Takes after his dad!

tuffwheel iiz!

Anonymous said...

Maybe little Rainy was the recipient of a
U-Lock beat down like that youtube of one of the friendlier denizens of NY.

Or Rain's bad driving got him a
lycra glove full of allen wrenches to the dental work. That could seem angry.

But that is nothing compared to the many road rage murders and mayhem that happen every week in our land of Happy Motoring.

USA numba one.

Marc said...

Anon 2:03

I thought the same thing about Lance starting to resemble Lyle. Do you think Lance rides around humming "That's right you're not from Texas"?

BTW, my copy of Outside magazine arrived with a very odd cover, The Water Issue. No listing of articles, no 8 best places to spend the summer, not even the month listed on the front. In fact, the cover is not even attached right. Looks like they removed the Lance photoshop cover and stuck this one on it. That magazine has been on a steady decline for the past several years.

Oh, RTMS, your posts have been brilliant since your return. The BRA did you right.

bikesgonewild said...

...somebody needs to rainn on that man's parade...

Auf Deutsch said...

Rain = regen (pronounced Reagan). Just sayin'

thegock said...

CMPY TATS

btw, Snobbie, Monday was hall of fame material.

Anonymous said...

AMish = morning ish

(ish pronounced like a Hot 97 radio edit eg "Hot new ish from Ed Lover comin up next...")

Salty and Sore said...

Congrats, wiwm!

Nice show.

Bombing through traffic has served you well, this fine day.

May you enjoy the zenlike pleasure of riding angrily for the rest of the day.

leroy said...

They can't read, they can't read Rainn's Urine Face.

(He's got to love no bikers.)

frilly said...

Kisses for wiwm!

No picture?

wishiwasmerckx said...

Frilly, if you want to see my picture, you have to go to creepyoldguysinspeedos.com. My picture is the one in between BGW and CommieCanuck.

Drink said...

BSNYC On the SF Gate top seller list
http://www.sfgate.com/eguide/books/bestsellers/

gene99 said...

My momma always said, "Life is like a soul pancake. Eat one before you ride."

I like chocolate chip pancakes. I chew on one before I CYCLE IN THE PARK.

The Abrahammer said...

I'm surprised no one has commented on the fact that mr. fixie's front wheel has brake marks on it. maybe he should change his description to "Riding fixed-gear is basically one gear where you have brakes whenever you're not being filmed..."

frilly said...

C'mon, wiwm, haven't you learned anything from hanging around here? You do not call yourself old--You're vintage!

If it works for bikes then it should work for people too, don'tcha think?

Leftenant Baha'ind said...

We are all manifestations of the sacred godhead and we are all united in peace, love, and joy. Struggle not with temporal illusions. Strive for the eternal. Remember the love of Baha'ullah.

BTW, fuck you Rainn.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Frilly, I know, I know...but as it turns out, the domain name "creepyvintageguysinspeedos.com" was already taken.

bikesgonewild said...

...wishiwasmerckx...

...sorry...i bought that domain name years ago as an act of self preservation...

...i hide under a pile of old velo-news & XXX magazines...

Anonymous said...

wish bike snob was still anonymous...

now its just eben weiss hating on rainn wilson and hipsters...

theshepherdsdog said...

awesome post. The holy trinity of ways to fail to stop your bike. super funny.

and i liked rainn wilson, until now.

Anonymous said...

Hey Monsieur Snob,

Are going to be guest blogger somewhere for le Tour de France?
I hope these Universal guys hire you again.
Excusez mon anglais

Suzee said...

Why doesn't God tweet?
Why is the Supreme Court supreme?
What is an "orgasm"?
How do you orker a cow?
Can I really eat my own soul?
Does arbitration alay linguistic potentials?
And, Billy @ 2.57,
Is purported an adjective?

I wanna know, and I wanna know now!

Quicksquirt McHurt said...

Fuck yeah, I'd hit it.

Nah. said...

At one point Rainn also mentioned something about wanting to party with Joran Van Der Sloot. Fuck that guy.

Proposition Joe said...

You fuck with me, I kill your whole family.

Anonymous said...

Suzee, god does tweet. @god

Sample letters said...

Awesome post! you took me in deep thinking..........

Holiday Letters

BAC said...

impugnity

Are you sure you want to use that word?

Are you sure that word even exists?

Are you, in fact, a rampant neologist?

I can find 'impunity' and 'impugn' in my dictionary, but neither really fills that particular grammatical void...

Luke said...

http://newyork.craigslist.org/mnh/bik/1818690561.html


I wonder if they smell authentic.

Justine Valinotti said...

Hey, if you think cyclists like us are angry, you should see the drivers who have to contend with us in their double-parking, er, our bike lanes. Now there's anger for you!

I used to be angry when I was younger. Now I find that I piss off more people by not being angry.

CommieCanuck said...

Bah, you punks. BGW and I were into this blogging when it was about the REAL bike, the dandy horse.
Kids today with their pedals and air-filled tires, posting on the interweb...feh.

In our day, a blog was written by hand and people would post comments on a single notice board after a 2 hour ride, uphill in the snow.

Anonymous comments and spelling errors were greeted with a beating, "trolls" were actually beaten to death and thrown under a bridge, hence the derivation of the name.

It all stopped with that Dunlop asshole and his pussy tires. ..good times....good times...

Anonymous said...

"Holy Trinity of Ways to Fail to Stop Your Bike" ...

"only one way to stop is... X Y Z"

Heh heh. Ok. I get it. It took me a day but I get it.

Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

SUBCONSAILOR said...

"All You Haters Sandwich My Hot Box."
ROFLMAO!!!

Anonymous said...

Not surprised by mr. wilson's tweets. he always struck me as a republican type.

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fixie bikes said...

rainn wilson is great.

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