Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Awkward Exchanges: Class Conflict

Further to yesterday's post, in which I apologized for being wrong about crabonity of those $300 Mavic wheels with the $1,500 coating on them, a reader pointed out that I was wrong about something else:

Anonymous said...

I hate to call you out on being wrong again, but the US Dollar is currently stronger than the Canadian. I guess that you will have to ask for forgiveness. . . again.

October 4, 2011 12:01 AM


"What!?!," I exclaimed, spraying cognac all over my monitor. (I wasn't actually drinking cognac, mind you--I just keep a spray bottle full of the stuff near my computer and give the monitor a little "spritzing" whenever I read something surprising.) Sure enough, after consulting "the Internet," I confirmed that the United States of American Dollar™ is indeed currently more mighty than the United Provinces of Canadian Back Bacon Slice or whatever it is they're using for money up there these days. And it's not just a little more mighty, either. It's almost six pennies more mighty:

This means that, in order to be a full-blown Canadian millionaire, you only need US$945,433.32!

Needless to say, my next call was to my accountant, who confirmed that, yes, I'm only 945,000 American dollars (or, as they're currently being rebranded due to the poor state of the economy, "USA Fun Tickets") away from Canadian millionairehood. Dropping the phone, I slipped into a reverie. A wardrobe full of plaid suits, satellite TV (including all the dirty channels), a late-model Hyundai in the driveway...and best of all, I'd get free healthcare for when my Tim Hortons diet finally catches up with me!

Speaking of materialism and avarice, you've probably heard by now that a computer company named after a fruit that keeps the doctor away is about to release a new iteration of its popular "smarting phone." Now, if I know my fellow Americans--and I think I do--this means that it won't be long before the number of people waiting outside the Apple store in SoHo is at least twice the size of the Occupy Wall Street protest down in Liberty Park. In fact, I suspect a good number of the protesters will simply drag their soggy mattresses uptown and switch causes. Really, Apple should just save everyone the trouble and hold their press conference down at the protests.

Also, there's no word yet as to whether bicycles will be involved, but many readers have informed me that rival company Samsung has harnessed the awesome marketing power of the boring urban-themed bicycle to flog its own iPad-like device:

If this is for real, it has to be the most pathetically lazy fixie "collabo" to date. Really, it's barely a notch above attaching the thing with hose clamps. Then again, maybe I'm just out of it and the "half-assed collabo kludge" is the hot new trend in viral marketing. Either way, I'm looking forward to the next lackluster tablet tie-in bike, which will probably consist of a used SE Draft photographed in the general vicinity of a Motorola XOOM. What kind of idiot carries a tablet under their top tube anyway? As far as I can tell, there's only one practical application for that sort of "portaging:"

Sure, you can't see it while you're riding, but it's good to know she's there.

Anyway, given stupid advertising exercises like this, one could be excused for thinking that everyone who rides a bike is a well-to-do consumer with a fat wallet full of USA Fun Tickets. However, the truth is that's not the case--at least according to this informative pie, which was forwarded to me by a reader:

So wait, you mean cycling for transport isn't the exclusive domain of wealthy white liberal urbanites? I wonder why more people don't realize that:

(There's something David Byrne doesn't own. Can you guess what it is?)

Furthermore, the site with the informative pie also had a link to an article. This was harder to understand than the pie because there were lots of words in it, but it basically says that you can ride a bike in the United States and be a normal person at the same time:

This despite the commonly-held stereotype:

One strand of the highly adaptive Homo pedalis can be identified by telltale markings: a single leg of skinny jeans rolled up, a plaid shirt unbuttoned to alleviate perspiration and a clumsy retro helmet.

I was right with him until the part about the "clumsy retro helmet." What is a clumsy retro helmet anyway? Something like this, perhaps?

I suppose that would render a cyclist fairly clumsy. Oh, those silly urban cyclists with their retro helmets and their trendy bikes:

Anyway, if all sorts of people from all different walks of life are indeed riding bicycles as the delicious pie and the accompanying article both claim, then that can only mean one thing: class war, baby! Sure, maybe not full-blown French Revolution-style class war complete with frilly cuffs and decapitations, but at least the modern kind wherein office workers and food-delivery people are forced to interact with each other outside of a food-delivery context, as in this installment of "The Ethicist" to which I was alerted by a reader:

Frankly, I'm not sure what I would have done in that situation, though I do think they should change the name of this column from "The Ethicist" to the "Passive Aggressivist." The revolution may or may not be televised, but it will almost definitely involve lots of awkward social interactions.

89 comments:

name said...

sweeet victory!!!

Anonymous said...

FIRST ... TEAM ZOOTS!!!

sufferist said...

HEre i am biatches

Anonymous said...

2nd my bad team zoots

sufferist said...

Now back to read the post

mikeweb said...

Got elbowed out.

Kenny Banya said...

Damn, Vito is getting you up early these days

Jolene said...

Hot Damn!

Anonymous said...

Born in the USA!!! Born in the USA!!!

Perry said...

Wow, just wow.

Amy said...

almost top ten, darnit.

Anonymous said...

WOOOOOO!!!!! 2 b the man u gotta beat the MAN

Anonymous said...

13st! Herrow... ladies.

Buffalo Bill said...

Couldn't make the top ten today, had to stop at timmies for a cruller and a doubledouble.

cwg said...

That's nonsense to believe that bike trips are distributed evenly across the populace. If you look at it per-capita, using a normal curve to approximate population/income level, you can see that that 50% of trips made poorest and richest is greater than the middle two groups. In otherwords, the richest (smug) and the poorest (no choice) individuals make, by far, the most bike trips.

Marcel Da Chump said...

A food delivery guy locked his bike to mine. I took the air out of his rear tire. And waited for him.

RANTWICK said...

I prefer not to carry any money, since my Canadian funds (1 back bacon slice = 1.2 litres of US liquified pennies) keep attracting hungry dogs to my back pocket.

Buy-cycle said...

Sorry i'm late, 4.20.

Cycling Squirrel said...

something about a bill becoming law?

Anonymous said...

I think if I ever found another bike locked to mine, I would consider the new bike a gift and schlep the whole thing to the nearest place to get the lock cut off. Then donate the gift bike somewhere.

Anonymous said...

Think this calming thing will work in your city?



http://www.economist.com/node/21528302

Save teh Freds said...

Nosh delivery guy should have returned ten-fold by deflating all four tires. Passive aggression oneuppance.

Nogocyclist said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nogocyclist said...

Everybody bikes?

Here in the more rural southeast, I would be surprised if even 5% of adults even rides a bike once a month.

Now as for the percent that actually use a bike to take a trip, as opposed to taking a simple ride, that number would not even make 1% per annum.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

skink said...

Jolene, damn hot!

Anonymous said...

_

Anonymous said...

More bob Marley or ima fucking kill ya!

Dave said...

Did you know that David Byrne doesn't own a car?

CommieCanuck said...

My guess for David Byrne was dress sock garter belts.
Do I win?

Anonymous said...

The Beebe Barton Bathysphere makes a guest appearance on BSNYC!

grog said...

It's good to know she's there.
Thanks Snobbie!

CommieCanuck said...

Yay, new iPhone, yay.
(not really)

The guys at Engadget have been masturbating furiously since yesterday to images of black rectangles with rounded corners. Yes, there is an app for that.
[cough]losers[cough], sorry I have a cold, it's LOSERS.

Charlie Didrickson said...

I Hear David Byrne has a new song coming out titled "The Blog I Read."

I'm writing 'bout the

Blog I read

I have to sing about the

Blog I read

I'm embarassed to admit it hit the soft spot in my heart

When I found out you wrote the

Blog I read so

Take my shoulders as they touch your arms I've

Got little cold chills but I feel alright The Blog I Read was in your eyes oh oh

Oh...I'm living in the future.

I feel wonderful.

I'm tipping over backwards

I'm so ambitious

I'm looking back I'm

Running a race and you're the blog I read so

Feel my fingers as they

touch your arms

I'm spinning around but I feel alright

The blog I read was in your eyes



Na na na na...na na na na na na na

Na na na na...na na na na na na na

Na na na na na...na na na na na na na

Na na na na...na na na na na na na

Na na na na...na na na na na na na

Na na na na...na na na na na na na

Na na na na...oh oh oh oh oh oh oh



Oooooh...I'm living in the future

I feel wonderful

I'm tipping over backwards

I'm so ambitious

I'm looking back I'm

Running a race and you're the blogs I read so

Feel my fingers as they touch you arms I'm

Spinning around and I feel alright

The blog I read was in your eyes



Na na na na na...na na na na na na na

Na na na na...na na na na na na na na

Na na na na...na na na na na na na na

Na na na na...na na na na na na na na

Na na na na...na na na na na na na na

Na na na na...na na na na na na na na

Na na na na...oh oh oh oh oh oh oooh..

leroy said...

My dog wants to post a comment about how the Samsung tablet holder displaying Recumbabe gives a whole new meaning to the term Bento Box.

I won't let him.

Honestly, he's such a dog.

Labia Major Taylor said...

This post has 'souplesse'

David Fucking Byrne does not

Anonymous said...

This post was amazing. Really good. Thanks.

The Ethicist...jesus. The Times is paying someone to imitate a 14-year-old girl talking shit with her friends at lunch (albeit a really bourgie one with a thesaurus). I want to write a recursive email along the lines of "Is it ethical to consult with the Ethicist?" It'll probably make him blow up like the computer in the Prisoner after Patrick McGoohan asks it "Why?"

-tuff wheel iiz!

Anonymous said...

"The revolution may or may not be televised, but it will almost definitely involve lots of awkward social interactions."

The best line I have read all week. And I read Harpers!!!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

ummm pie.

CommieCanuck said...

I've been stuck to my monitor watching the new iPhone conference in live streaming...It appears this new device will allow you to talk to other people at great distances without the need for wires or a taught string.
NYSE Carrier pigeon stock plummeted today on this announcement. Campbell's soup is filing chapter 11.
I'll use this new-fangled shit when they pry the semaphore flags from my cold, dead hands.
[up] [right][right][down][left][left][right][left][down][down].
AYHSMF all you haters, suck my flags.

Anonymous said...

What planet is this "Ethicist" from anyway? The victim here should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. My first instinct would have been to skip lunch and wait for the turkey to return so we could engage in a diplomatic discussion of his likely canine ancestry and prospects for a very warm eternity.

CommieCanuck said...

That's f_L_ags. Calm down.

Guillaume D├ęsy said...

I'll trade a canadian beaver fur for the samsung bike.

And here's the deal, you keep the crappy bike and I get the tablet.

Anonymous said...

Ugh, I've had un-attentive cyclists lock my bike to theirs a couple of times now.

In the more egregious of the two incidents I had to wait couple of hours for the guy to return. When he returned and I politely pointed out what he had done e didn't say a word of acknowledgement,and rode away.

hillbilly said...

the former Ethicist, Randy Cohen, is an avid cyclist. Not sure what my point is. Oh yeah, I don't have one.

g said...

I would imagine that any time the recumbabe is hanging from the top tube, that bike already has sufficient "beaver" on it.

Anonymous said...

I got dropped on the way to the podium. No Zoots.

What, me worry? said...

What is Transportation Alternatives doing to educate these new and apparently utterly ignorant cyclists?
Can Michael Murphy provide this information?

i am a interweb engine said...

The revolution will not be televised, but it sure as well better be on the interwebs u-tube for our video enjoyment.

Stupid Name said...

" In otherwords, the richest (smug) and the poorest (no choice) individuals make, by far, the most bike trips."

Nonsense, the 1 % richest, and the 45 percent poorest are skewed by the sheer quantity of people, Why do you think that there are so many crabon fiber tri-bikes out there.

The reality is that 75 percent of each demographic who don't ride hate us.

Anonymous said...

The actions described in the last bit are not passive-aggressive, they are aggressive. Passive aggression mean aggression through inactivity, especially where one has previously expressed an intention, or has agreed, to act. Roughly. It doesn't mean aggression that stops short of hitting. The food guy locker-upper was agentic and aggressive.

Anonymous said...

Then again, maybe I'm just out of it and the "half-assed collabo kludge" is the hot new trend in viral marketing.

Or, as Wonderella would say, "Sometimes half-ass is exactly the right amount of ass"

Blog Drafter said...

Ben Hur is on. I can't wait for that famous line:

"Look for her...(gurgle)...in the...(gurgle)...Valley of the...(gurgle)......Fixies!" (dies)

James said...

http://www.maggiesnotebook.com/2011/04/arkansas-leftist-jim-lendall-wants-guillotines-for-tea-party-off-with-the-heads-of-wealthy-arrogant-aristocrats/

wp said...

EFF U blog boy!

more recumbabe...oh, nevermind.

cheers and cold beers

Southern Rock Machine

Penis Mightier That The Sword said...

More Juggalos or Ima fucking kill you

Pantsless in Poughkeepsie said...

Anon2:13 : "agentic"?

Is "agentic" for "douchey"?

yogisurf said...

What a great set-up...the naked recumbent lady eyeing sweaty thighs.

Pantsless in Poughkeepsie said...

That should have read:

...pretentious for...

(oops)

rural 14 said...

ant 2nd!

I Go Around and Around said...

Quick, how many quartiles in a dolomite?

Delivery guys work really hard, but I think fatigue whacks their brains out a bit. I saw one lock his bike to a piece of pipe on the back of a plumbing truck outside my building once. Another locked his bike to a gate he had to go through in order to get into the building. Took him a little while to figure things out.

Of course, they could have been totally ripped off their a$$e$ too.

bikesgonewild said...

...david byrne may not 'own' a car but over the course of a year, i'll bet his credit card receipts show several entries listed as 'car service'...

...just sayin'...

Anonymous said...

This ain't no Mudd Club

Drugs said...

This ain't Ross Bleckner's loft on White Street.

Nebraska bike commuter (non-DWI edition) said...

Let's see; there's blueberry, and raspberry, and lemon, and key lime; some of my favorite pies right there.

And BGW; I'll bet those receipts exist, but I'll also bet he has a helper human to take care of them and keep them from desmugging his demeanor.

Friendo said...

MAVI CRAP
SPRT ZING
BACK BACN
HALF ASSD
HOSE CLMP
CLAS SWAR

bikesgonewild said...

...@Nebraska bike commuter (non-DWI edition)...

...i'll bet you're right because, hey - "...this ain't no foolin' around..."...

Marcel Da Chump said...

My number one Rock n Roll regret: missing out on a Talking Heads show in the summer of '83 (with the B52's opening!) at Wollman rink in Central Park.
Arrgghhh!

Etherhuffer said...

Mid 1980's Seattle. Diamond parking company. 55 gallon drum, empty. Honda Civic hatchback. If you didn't pay they used a bike cable lock and tied the barrel to your rear bumper.

Caller: hey man, you got a hacksaw?
Me : yeah , but at 1 AM?

Put the barrel in the hatchback and drive away. Call your buddy at 1 AM totally drunk to come cut it off. Priceless

LK said...

Marcel - 83? Johnnie was dead and it was all about Texas hairball punk.

JDH said...

I have decided to loose the bonds that hold me(delivery people)when they lock their steed to mine. I carry a cordless Makita(TM)cut-off grinder. It weighs three pounds and has a belt loop leather holster. Goes through solid chains like shit through a goose. Well worth it when I'm on my lunch HALF hour. Used it once and people thought I was a thief! Not that they did anything, you know how white people are.

0man said...

It's fun and healthy ...

Anonymous said...

Pantsless in Poughkeepsie: it means acting in a way that imposes one's will on the world.

Shame you fluffed the line really, it could've been quite funny.

Marcel Da Chump said...

LK--Johnnie?...not Rotten...he was alive...Sid died...but not before he stabbed Nancy.

The Ramones in '83...or was it '82...could have been '81.

Had an encounter with Joey at an after-hours club on Avenue C called SAVE THE ROBOTS. He said to me: "leave me alone or I'll punch your face in".

mikeweb said...

Marcel,

I remember 'Save the Robots'. dropped in there a few times... I remember sitting at a table next to Joey at Veselka diner one late morning. He wasn't in a face punching mood at the time.

Anonymous said...

Final line: really good. Applause.

CommieCanuck said...

Had an encounter with Joey at an after-hours club on Avenue C called SAVE THE ROBOTS. He said to me: "leave me alone or I'll punch your face in".

I believe those were Joey's wedding vows.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Commie,
the chick he was with; she would've said: "hit me with your best shot!"

Marcel Da Chump said...

Mike, he was a sweetheart. I was totally obnoxious.

Anonymous said...

So Snob, looks like you have $433.32 not spoken for, make that $433.30 I'll send a bill for my 2 cents worth of info. WAIT, I'll save on postage(both of us)if'n I have the delivery guy pick it up.

Anonymous said...

In Mpls, the new Portland, most of the peeps driving bicycular traffic are of the lumpen proles. Why? Cuz all the dentists live in the suburbs dood.

Only a couple of Williamsburg equiv neighborhoods have the hipster stats to ride in the uber-klasses. And most of us are now unemployed with layoffs of the government union workers and the depopulation of the core cities of St. Paul and Mpls since the 1960s.

We are just Detroit without the nice housing stock going to ruin. Welcome to the bike culture of the depression.

JDH said...

After viewing more of the occupy ws videos, i wondered, are those fair trade ponchos, jeans and cigarettes? what about the tarps? just sayin'.

Rupert Murdoch said...

AYFTPSMB- all you fair trade pussies suck my balls.

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Fixie Bikes said...

"I'd get free healthcare for when my Tim Hortons diet finally catches up with me!"

I really hope tim hortons isnt terrible for you

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mira said...

"I'd get free healthcare for when my Tim Hortons diet finally catches up with me!"

WOW, great words ever