Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Meh-ster of Puppets: Trendspotting



Even though I recently moved my consciousness to Portland I often fantasize about moving my body someplace else, too. That someplace else would probably not be Portland, only because if I was going to drag my body all the way across the country I'd probably want to finally deposit it in some area where it wouldn't get rained on all the time. (In this sense moving from New York to Portland seems like moving your keepsakes from your drafty attic to your flood-prone basement.) Also, moving your actual physical person is a big decision, and like any there are pros and cons:

Pros of Leaving New York

--Better riding
--Better weather
--Better people
--Better everything

Cons of Leaving New York

--Learning a different set of TV channels
--?

Also, if I were to move I'd probably miss the endless procession of celebrities. See, to those of you who live in cultural backwaters, celebrities are larger-than-life people you only get to experience in movies and on the glossy pages of magazines. Here in New York, though, we rub elbows and sometimes even crotches with them on a daily basis. Not only do I live right next-door to the distant relative of one of the seventeen dogs who played Benji, but just the other day I stepped outside for my daily allotment of Brooklyn-style misery only to spy the four sweetest words in the English language. Those words, of course, are as follows:

1) Comedy
2) Ventriloquist
3) For
4) Hire


I shouldn't have to tell fellow fans of the age-old art of telling jokes while being elbow-deep in a puppet's posterior that this was indeed the vehicle of celebrity ventriloquist Kenny Warren:

If I were to leave New York, I would miss thrills like this deeply, and there's no telling what dreadful assortment of c-list ventriloquists I would be forced to interact with elsewhere.

The other option would be to move and then take both matters and puppets into my own hands by becoming a ventriloquist myself, and my first step would be to engage Craig Calfee to build me a handmade bamboo dummy. Soon, dummy fabrication would become the new framebuilding, and in a few years' time I'm sure there would be a North American Handmade Dummy Show, complete with a Don Walker-esque promoter whose schtick would involve having constant arguments with his little "mini-me" doppelgänger.

Eventually, the whole "ventro" scene would "jump the shark" with the advent of fixed-gear ventriloquism, in which the dummy never, ever stops speaking (it's a Zen thing, it's like you're one with the puppet), and before you knew it throwing your voice would become the new trackstand.

Speaking of new trends, yesterday I mentioned that bike lock you wear like a belt, and subsequently many people have informed me that fashion blogger The Senatorialist or whatever he's called has identified the waist-borne bike lock as being ripe for haute couture appropriation by Karl Lagerfeld (or, as one very astute reader put it in a turn of phrase for which I cannot take credit, "Haute Karlizing"):

Whenever I see these bike messengers with their big bike chain wrapped around their waist I always think about Karl and Chanel. I keep waiting for the day I see Chanel models racing down the runway sporting heavy chain belts with leather threaded through - a thicker version of a Chanel bag's chain. This messenger's look is just begging to be Karlized.

The rider pictured is of course local messenger, bike racer, and Red Hook Criterium winner Daniel Chabanov, and as you can see his ventriloquist dummy is stowed neatly in his backpack. By the way, in addition to bike locks, The Sensationalist evidently thinks radiation suits are also poised to come back in a big way:

There's something perverse about divorcing certain items from their context and then turning them into fashion accessories, especially when you consider the reasons people use these items in the first place. For example, no cyclist wants to carry a gigantic chain, it's just that we're forced to because if we don't then our bikes will get stolen. I wonder if The Stenographer experiences moments of similar inspiration in situations like this:

I can just imagine the post:

Whenever I see these bike commuters being stuffed into squad cars with those big handcuffs around their wrists, I always think about Karl and Chanel. I keep waiting for the day I see Chanel models racing down the runway sporting heavy chain bracelets with leather threaded through - a thicker version of a Chanel bag's chain - rendering them almost completely immobile as they are beaten by shirtless police officers in hot pants. The innocent victim's look is just begging to be Karlized, I think the bicycle crackdown is simply fabulous from a prêt-à-porter perspective.

Speaking of New York's increasingly surreal bicycle unfriendliness, a commenter on yesterday's post said:

alaskavetusmc said...

Think NYC hates cyclists, check out how much the State of Alaska hates them:

and then linked to the following article:

Well, as they say in the fashion world, "Yeah, as if. In New York City, ghost bike removal is like sooo 2010."

When it comes to baiting cyclists, no city is more fashion forward than New York.

Meanwhile, musician, bicycle advocate, and Aerospoke tester David Byrne recently settled a lawsuit with some politician who stupidly stole his song, and has part of the settlement the politician had to apologize to Byrne on YouTube:



I greatly enjoyed this, though it would have been even better if Byrne had also forced the politician to include the standard Byrne disclaimer:

I also sort of wish he'd delivered it in the manner of a ventriloquist:



Either way, a victory for David Byrne is a victory for cycling--inasmuch as David Byrne is cycling, at least as far as our local advocates are concerned.

Anyway, as a huge fan of the video apology genre of filmmaking, I'd also very much like to see one for what could be the most offensive eBay bicycle auction in the history of retrogrouchery:

A reader alerted me to this auction, and while it has now ended the item description included the following:

I BELIEVE THIS BIKE WILL INCREASE IN VALUE AS TIME PASSES. ESPECIALLY SINCE JAPAN HAS BEEN DEVASTATED BY THE EARTHQUAKE/TSUNAMI.

Wow. So while the the world watched in horror, evidently this guy was thinking to himself, "This is great, my Bridgestone's going to be worth a fortune now!" The sheer tastelessness of the statement aside, I don't even understand the logic.

He must be the Gilbert Gottfried of retrogrouches.

118 comments:

Padded Leggings said...

yes

Padded Leggings said...

2

Padded Leggings said...

3

Padded Leggings said...

sweep

mikeweb said...

Kenny Rogers?

Anonymous said...

panties!

Marcel Da Chump said...

we climb
and we climb
oh, how we climb

Anonymous said...

these pretzels are making me smug!

Paul Bowen said...

Top tennage!

Terre Haute Karl said...

The senator should have worn a plaid shorts outfit like David Byrne's in his apology video.

David Byrne: No car. No songs in ads.

le Correcteur said...

top twenty, anyway. Damn.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or does the font jump in size and disappear to the right after this:

Speaking of New York's increasingly surreal bicycle unfriendliness, a commenter on yesterday's post said:

?

Anonymous said...

12:29 comment, it's not just you. I couldn't read the second half of those lines either.

Kenny Banya said...

Excellent, I'll hold on to my Shimano stash a bit longer.

Fritz said...

about the only thing I miss not living in NY anymore are those Italian hero sandwiches curated with hot capicola...

Gabagool

Anonymous said...

You could practice your ventriloquismial skills with your Big Dummy...

hey nonny mouse

I am a sad engine said...

Charlie Crist using "Road to Nowhere" is to ironic to be true, (but it is).

Florida hates bicyclist even more than nyc or Alaska.

The apology is the best that David can get from this Republicant douchebag?

I think Mr Byrne doesn't really have his heart in it anymore.

You have crushed his soul, snobby.

Dave said...

Cycle Killer, Qu'est-ce que c'est

Anonymous said...

I thought David Byrne didn't worry about the government?

Twistyface said...

I've never seen a ventriloquist who wasn't on the c-list ( in an Australian 'term of endearment-ish way).

Twistyface said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pontius Pilate said...

HAIL CSZR

-P.P.

Anonymous said...

top 10?

dcee604 said...

Ride safe!

dcee604 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Burt Reynolds 531 said...

The real retrogrouches were just as offended by that eBay listing as they were by the new Soma forks that don't have enough offset for them. Real retrogrouchery is a highly nuanced and demanding art form. I washed out early by adopting V brakes and threadless steer tubes right along with the unwashed masses late in the last century.

Fucking Republican* said...

Never apologize for anything. Just blame it on the Bush administration.

Anyway, Crist is a fucking RINO. He got his ass kicked by Rubio.

*better than non-fucking.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

This blog was originally going to be called 'Puppet-meh-ster: Trendspotting', but it turns out that David Byrne had copyright on that phrase.

Incidentally, he has also legally protected the 'plaid twinset of smugness', and that is why the sincere politico couldn't wear one.

Charles a' chaude said...

As a confirmed grouch, yes indeed the RB-2 auction is rather ludicrous. What, are some folks worried that Grant Peterson or Chris Kulzicki(sp?) is going to pop out of a merino wool duck blind and spot the RB-2 and try to buy it? Think of how much merino wool you can buy with 2K+ dollars! I'll bet Victoria's Secret could even find us some non-chafing butt floss to put under our wool for that kind of money. Odd, very odd.

Anonymous said...

Wearing a pristine anti-rad suit is just begging for a hot-Karl frenzy.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Oh so thats what you guys do with those big ass logchains in the city. I was thinking the chain would be used to pull tree trunks once felled by your artisanal axes. Or something intimidating looking to bring to the rumble.

Astroluc said...

like old latrobe... "33"

hillbilly said...

does david byrne own a car?

i was waiting for a 'big dummy' tie-in.

RB1 said...

that was _not_ me . and that was _way_ too expensive

Holden A. Dickinface said...

How did you resist the smug and ubiquitous photo of David Byrne that we have seen so many times?

Bailey said...

doesn't Charlie Crist in that video look like an aged Alberto Bangerdor in this picture:

http://www.cyclingnews.com/news/photos/castano-calm-as-contador-faces-disciplinary-action/143532

Just add 30 years and some fake tanning spray and he's nailed it

g said...

While I am not certain that Florida HATES cyclists, they do lead the nation in cyclists killed. Highway to Hell might have been a more appropriate song for Mr Crist. I bet AC/DC would have just beat the shit out of him for stealing it and not made him make some pansy-ass apology.

Udder said...

The Bridgestone/Japan listing isn't so far fetched. Look what the eruption of Vesuvius did for the price of vintage Colnagos...

Neil said...

that bridgestone guy should be hot-karlized.

Anonymous said...

Steve Tilford is still feeling dumpy, maybe you could give him a call?

Anonymous said...

also, Kansas is a great place to raise a family.

Chris said...

Snobby: Have you considered moving to Montreal?

Eco-Grouch said...

Save energy by only giving Warm Karls, and be sure to wear a sweater of merino wool during the Warm Karl. Turn your thermostat down 10 degrees during Karling.

BikeSnobNYC said...

Chris,

Non.

--BSNYC

futch said...

messenger bag, flannel shirt, fixie...oh dear god, zack de la rocha is a hipster.
http://i.imgur.com/zu9J6.jpg

Lucky Man said...

Boulder sounds like the place for you. It isn't as expensive as NYC, but still pointlessly expensive. And everybody who lives in Boulder thinks everyone who doesn't live in Boulder is an idiot like NYers think the same about people who don't live in NYC. Finally, there are cycling celebrities all over Boulder so you can say things like "Tyler Hamilton's agent rents the place across the street from me" or "I'm neighbors with the Rocky Mounts guy". Seriously.

Marc said...

Felt like you were channeling David Sedaris in the beginning of today's post. Up until the deep dive into the hypothetical ventro scene that's the voice I heard in my head. Nice collabo. You guys should work together again.

Anonymous said...

Dude,

Think Napa Valley, smug, rich and imposing.

You could commute with Robin Williams and Lance when they visit their estates.

All the smugness of San Fran with one hell of a commute

republocrat said...

for anyone looking to own Tri-dork's TT bike, I noticed a few in ebay's 'vintage' listings.

They have the at-the-time super-hot short as possible head tube. There are euro ones and the Taiwanese/Japanese copies.

I can't believe anyone is willing to spend $600 on a used Merkcx, and yet, there are bids for them.

While the Merckx might have been made in Belgium depending on it's vintage, many 'Italian' bikes were built everywhere but Italy by just about anyone who could handle the monotony of brazing for hours on end. Some legendary 'Italian' frames were built in sunny San Diego, CA.

If you pay more than $100 for any of those old framesets you would be an idiot.

SLAM said...

Snob. Move to Montreal!

pros: excellent riding/good people/cheap(er) living/loads of cultural events/bicycle riding POLICE!

cons: nothing to blog about/busy riding.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Love your post today!

That finger puppet, so cute.

The Karl Lagerfeld reference- LOVE IT!

wait a second. I got my comments section mixed up.
am I on SARTORIALIST or BSNYC ?

bikesgonewild said...

...you wanna move, you want decent weather but you wanna retain that ..."elbows deep in a...posterior" quality to your life ???...

...move to sf, get yourself an apartment in the castro...

...glad to help...

Anonymous said...

Florida hates cyclists, and so does Colorado.

http://publicola.com/2011/03/04/study-40-percent-of-bike-deaths-involve-alcohol/

Don't drive on Wednesday weed day.

Anonymous said...

Snobby,

Move to L.A. All of the familiar things from N.Y.C. without the rain.

-You can still easily be struck by a car riding a bike. If the police ever showed up to take a report, it's your fault.

-the drivers really do own the roads.

-Ride to nowhere in 'Bike lanes' that vanish into streets better described as shoulderless highways and bike paths to nowhere.

Your experience would be incomplete fewer drivers running red lights and far fewer pedestrians.

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add:

When the Yankees or Mets come to town, the baseball stadium is filled with mostly New Yorkers.

Velo Shitstorm said...

Bridgstoned. Wow, I wouldn't have even posted a fake Craigslist add that low. Just too soon. I am however hording Shimano components, Hello Kitty paraphernalia and DVD's of Japanese blurry crotch porn.

yogisurf said...

Good post Snobby. The only thing I missed was the 'neked' female Gadget Commander. I chuckle every time you 'work' her in.

Anonymous Coward said...

WORD WRLD

I too was a bit surprised not to find the plaid clad Byrne in today's post. When I see that photo I hear in my head the announcer guy from the Price is Right saying, "What's in this showcase? David Byrne! He doesn't own a Car!"

CommieCanuck said...

$2800 bucks for a Bridgestone? Sure.

Everyone knows that Shimano is now the world currency at times of disaster.

CommieCanuck said...

I am however hording Shimano components, Hello Kitty paraphernalia and DVD's of Japanese blurry crotch porn.

I just thought all Japanese crotches were blurry.
I've gone big on Hello Kitty "hand massagers".

Jasper said...

Comments are on fire again today - it must be before the Wednesday weed kicked in.

Anonymous said...

My 83´ Corolla is now worth at least 4 Serotta's, beyatchees.

Marcel Da Chump said...

You're a dad. You'd probably like to become a grand dad.
But you're a NYC cyclist, which cuts down your chances of becoming a grand dad. Enough said.

crosspalms said...

I'd have gotten here sooner but I was out by the bike rack listening to a Big Dummy. Never said a word. Ventriloquist, my ass.

Philip said...

The Fartorialist post is hilarious, but not quite as funny as one of the comments - http://i.imgur.com/qo8U9.jpg

Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with Jasper. The comments are hillarious today. I can barely read'em because my screen is blurred with coffee spray...

Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with Jasper. The comments are hillarious today. I can barely read'em because my screen is blurred with coffee spray...

Chazu said...

"And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile."

--David Byrne, Once in a Lifetime

"And she could hear the highway breathing."

--David Byrne, And She Was

Fucking Republican* said...

Listen, Republocrat, I'm a military contractor, and we won't provide our troops with old bike frames that we pay anything less than $2500 for. Anything less wouldn't be patriotic.

BTW, fuck you.

*better than non-fucking.

Kirk said...

I'd suggest moving to Anchorage, Alaska. You've got all the hatred for cyclists like New York. The local cycling scene is hitting a smugness level to rival Portland. Then there's the winters a wonderful excuse to buy new bike stuff, studded tires for the bikes you already own if they'll fit and one of those fat tire bikes like this.
http://fatbackbikes.com/index.php
Lot's of source material except the messenger scene is one guy and he dosn't really sport "messenger fashion" the tells are the smoking drinking and bad attitude.

Anonymous said...

Hey Snob,
Good take on the Shallowrialist!

He really should be hot-Karled

Marcel Da Chump said...

In comparison to the commentariat at Sartorialist, we sound like a bunch of cynical, foul-mouthed goofballs--
LOVE IT!

Anonymous said...

How to secure a bike - german way:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pTPFrww6zdA&feature=player_embedded

Happy wednesday everyone!

Incentive Bastage said...

Shimano sch... Hmmm.



Shimano shah minnow! That stuff is everywhere. SunTour Superbe, now that's the stuff to be hoarding. Especially the track hubs. Gonna put my kids through college with a coupla bushels of that stuff.

Rotard said...

So an RB2 is worth more than my 83 RX-7 with leather seats and driver's side smegma warmer?

AYHSM Apex Seals

Sartorialista said...

Depends. What color is your Mazda?

Anonymous said...

83, so that'll be a facelift one? Good choice.

Snobby, you should move to somewhere like Glasgow, if only for that complete culture shock whilst still nominally speaking the same language.

I like Glasgow. I don't like the steep corner heading up to Blythswood Square, though.

hey nonny mouse

Rotard said...

Color? Depends on which fender!

P.J. O'Rourke said...

Hey, effin' republican, don't forget Cheneys cut this time. Rupert and I had to chip in last time you stiffed him. We don't cotton to that shit. Dig? Kick-backs and hipster bitches! We're luvin' it!

campbell fdy said...

I also saw cvfh on sat. around lincoln rd. It left me with so many unanswered questions, that I forgot about it until saw its return here. Does he use the car to transport all of his(I'm sure its a his) celebrity puppets? Or is he so famous that he has to advertise on the outside of his car?
I always thought you were being too harsh on the big skanky but it was really smelled today

campbell fdy said...

...not was

campbell fdy said...

...not was

campbell fdy said...

...not was

Hot Carly said...

You're so vain, you probably think this sock is about you.

leroy said...

Wait, Kenny Warren? Oh my gawd, oh my gawd, oh my gawd!! The Kenny Warren!!??

How could you even think about leaving New York?

Anonymous said...

You should add to "Cons of Leaving New York": The Food.
The Best food anywhere is there. The Bagels are Calorie Neutral- it takes all the calories in 'em in order to chew 'em.

Anonymous said...

Is Karl THE hot Carl?

Provo said...

Cycling's much like taking a dump:
You can do it while laying down but it just works better when you're sitting.
Riding brakeless is like having diarrhea, you just have to go with the flow. Which, apperently, is a zen thing.
Palping fenders is the dumping equivalent of whiping your ass.
And getting doorslammed by the cops is like getting a steamy hot one by Karl himself.

AYHSMTW
(All you haters sniff my (un)tidy whities. Which is the dumping equivalent of sniffing each others Brooks saddles.)

Crakaveli said...

Bikesnobnyc, does the title of this post mean you're a Metallica fan??

Chafed said...

Move to the bay area, Snob.

pros:
1. The weather is good for bicycling all year round
2. No one argues about bike lanes.
3. The food is better.
4. The people are friendlier.
5. There are more than enough ridiculous bicyclists to make fun of out here.
cons:
1. More radiation from Japan nuclear disasters.

Foaming Solvent said...

Two words: Chico, California.

I don't live there, but you should.

Anonymous said...

Wow. I saw that ghost bike in Anchorage a few weeks ago on my way to watch Paris-Roubaix and it gave me chills knowing a fellow cyclist had fallen there. Shame the city took it down, it really wasn't in the way of anything and was well set up. A few years ago there was a ghost bike set up in Beverly Hills, and the city seemed to let that be for quite some time. RIP to the Anchorage rider.

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Fixie Bikes said...

you'd have to live with non-new yorkers. That would be terrible.

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