Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Ambition: The Silent Killer

America is synonymous with ambition, and Merriam-Webster defines the word "ambition" as follows:

am·bi·tion noun \am-ˈbi-shən\

Definition of AMBITION

1
a : a confection of nuts or fruit pieces in a sugar paste
b : to rub gently in one direction; also : caress
2
: an enzymatically controlled anaerobic breakdown of an energy-rich compound (as a carbohydrate to carbon dioxide and alcohol or to an organic acid); broadly : an enzymatically controlled transformation of an organic compound
3
: a fold of skin that covers the glans of the penis —called also prepuce

I like to think I'm an ambitious American. (At least according to definition 1a.) In fact, it's my formidable ambition and drive that compels me out of bed by mid-morning every day, motivates me to turn on the TV, and occasionally even inspires me to undertake important projects like having hero sandwiches delivered to my home.

But there is one ambition that burns within me like a severe case of "epic" burrito-induced indigestion, and that is to one day have as much free time as people in the Pacific Northwest apparently do. I mean, they must have panniers-full of time on their hands, because I can find no other explanation for how much effort they're able to put into putting on and participating in wacky cyclocross races:



As ostensibly hard-working as we are in this country, there's a tendency to dismiss copious amounts of leisure time as somehow harmful to the soul, and to repeat hoary adages like "Idle hands are the devil's playthings." (To be fair, this phenomenon is often observable in nature.) However, once we liberate ourselves from the demands of soul-eroding tedium such as "having a job," or "needing to do stuff," or "generally caring about anything," sometimes we find that long-dormant portions of our consciousness begin to stir, and we can finally begin moving towards enlightenment.

Either that, or we just start painting our faces and getting really awesome at useless skills like riding cyclocross on unicycles:

This is not to say that some New Yorkers aren't similarly devoted to bicycle-themed irreverence, as you'll see if you peruse the photos from this past weekend's "Bike Kill" on the Sucka Pants blog:

Indeed, just as the eyes are the windows to the soul, the bicycle is the key, and you can use it to unlock either your inspiration or your inner idiot--or both, since they're usually the same thing. (I know this is true for me.) That's also why (as we saw yesterday) people write songs about fixed-ger bicycles in which they boast about their "tore up jeans and beat-up Vans:"

(Actually, both his shoes and his pants seem to be in pretty decent shape to me.)

Speaking of having time on your hands, if you're looking for something to do you can always go down to Occupy Wall Street and take your turn on the bicycle generator:

However, if you're a "hipster," please note that the protestors respectfully decline your services. The problem is, "hipsters" are only interested in trackstanding, and while it's highly effective for showing off your matching bag-and-pants ensemble at intersections and parties, it's not very useful when it comes to actually generating electricity. In any case, last time I was down there I noticed a lot of drumming going on too, so if they could also rig up some sort of drum generator I think they'll be in pretty good shape for the winter.

Meanwhile, you may recall that there was some controversy on this blog last week regarding the manufacture of human babies, with some readers even decrying the process of spawning as the height of arrogance and ecological irresponsibility. Well, as you may have heard, the U.N. says that as of Monday there are now seven billion people on Earth (give or take a few million):

This milestone raises a number of interesting questions, including:

1) So, like, is seven billion people on Earth a lot compared to other planets?

2) If every single person just gave me one penny, they'd hardly notice and I'd be rich. So why are people so greedy?

3) Can we make all the obese ones ride bicycle generators? It seems like that would solve at least two major problems at once. (USA Fun Fact: America's 300 million people weighs as much as the remaining 6.7 billion of the world's population.)

In the meantime, as humans continue to beget other humans some would argue that it's only a matter of time before our planet becomes a toxic wasteland. This is why anti-pollution masks are rapidly becoming the new "helment:"

The above product was forwarded to me by a reader, but keep in mind that in a pinch you can also just rubber-band a cycling chamois to your face:


Just make sure it's clean first--unless you're one of those people who finds the scent of dirty chamois arousing and who scours eBay looking for used cycling attire:

(Eeew.)

If you're lucky, you might even score some that's been worn by a celebrity:


Says Ms. Todd:

"In 2008 I got terrible saddle sores cycling 350 miles through France."

Now that's arousing.

Speaking of long cycling trips, recently I was reading about the Long Island Railroad disability fraud plot:

Apparently, one of the alleged scammers collected disability payments while enjoying a bike tour:

And a third defendant, Steven Gagliano, 55, of North Babylon, N.Y., who receives more than $75,000 in payments annually and claimed to be suffering from severe and disabling back pain, went on a 400-mile bike tour around New York State, the complaint said.

Well, I'm pleased to announce that Mr. Gagliano has retained me as his attorney, and my defense hinges on proving to the jury that one can actually ride a bicycle with severe and disabling back pain thanks to the brilliant invention known as "Back-Up Barz:"

(If the bike doesn't fit, you must acquit.)

If that isn't enough, I'll then call to the stand my expert witness, Grant Petersen, who will testify as to the incredible healing and restorative powers of incredibly long quill stems.

Justice may or may not be blind, but it's definitely lugged.

78 comments:

sufferist said...

I'm here, you are not!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jasper said...

Early doors, late for work

Anonymous said...

HELL YEAH

TheEel said...

fourth,?

Anonymous said...

awesome

TheEel said...

also, Weed

Rob said...

Top Ten for the...er...win.

Kenny Banya said...

top ten?

Empty There said...

hello

Buy-cycle said...

top 10 ?

mikeweb said...

Not ambitious enough.

Kenny said...

AND THAT'S HOW A BALL BECOMES A LAW!!

db said...

Hey, I actually do have some ambition. Now, if only I could discover my special purpose...

Quilled and Lugged said...

You'll always find me in the kitchen at parties, trackstanding

petrus said...

Unreal.

10 min, 14 comments. The crowd goes wil.d.

Bees blood.

crosspalms said...

I'd like to read that dictionary of yours, but do I need to wear a totobobo to do it?

Dave Z said...

Does Peta need me to rub DZ Nuts on her saddle sores?

mikeweb said...

That photo of Peta cycling is lacking a certain something... I think she needs to consult with Liz Hatch about proper riding attire.

Etherhuffer said...

@Mikeweb Like what, Saran Wrap jerseys? Sounds fine by me. Then we could see their recumbabe sports bras!

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Recumbabe doesn't worry about saddle sores.

Anonymous said...

JAZ HATCH






you dirty dirty minded

Anonymous said...

That monkey is going to get saddle sores if he keeps that up.




balls

SingleSpeedMark said...

I always thought ambition meant "the ardent desire for recognition of accomplishment often without actual possession of the necessary ability ", but I could be wrong.

Memento Mori said...

I'm going to put up my fixie and ride a fixed gear.

Luddite ever since 1994 said...

I'm trying to figure out if I would enjoy WCRM more if I actually bothered to watch any onf the videos on offer

Terre Haute Karl said...

That's quite a picture they chose for the Times article.

leroy said...

Well now, this is odd.

Everyone knows that "Ambition" is Sanofi-Aventis' name for Zolpidem, a sedative-hypnotic used to treat short term insomnia.

Or am I thinking of Ambien?

I always get those two confused.

Thank goodness my dog promised to wake me up before we go go zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Mute Boy said...

commentarily challenged....

Sold said...

Peta's cycling shorts are on BUY IT NOW eBAY FOR 500GBs. Turn them bitches inside out and gently mist the chamois with warm tap water, work it against itself and GET YOUR SNIFF ON YOU FREAKS WITH FLAGS AND THE FLYING OF THEM!!!!

Etherhuffer said...

If Grant Peterson touched Cippolini's quill, would there be an inkjet?

Anonymous said...

Luggede ambitione.
Is crabon, no?

Marcel Da Chump said...

I can't even spell ambition.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Anonymous said...

quality of posts is dropping off



must be the cheap hardware and crappy anodizing

Anonymous said...

Gross, just gross.

g-roc said...

I may not have a suitcase full of courage but I have panniers (pronounced pa-nee-ays, not pa-neers) full of time. Well, maybe just one pannier, kind of sagging because it's only half full of time. I think I'd rather have the suitcase. Maybe one of those Ortlieb suitcases that clamps onto my rack so I could be smuggly courageous.

Anonymous said...

We have plenty of time in the Northeast to create wacky cyclocross races, costumes are optional.

http://vimeo.com/24194852

Anonymous said...

Paneers of time....on the toilet.

DELI BELI

Yah4PetaTue!!!! said...

@SingleSpeed at 12:57pm, Do you also know the defination of "ironic" in all you vast wisdom? I do it's WRM.

Martin W said...

Steven Gagliano's lawyer should know that it's actually possible to finish 40th in a professional stage race while suffering from disabling back pain, if Andrey Kascheckin wants your job.

balls said...

I would rather have a pannier full of time than a suitcase full of ambition.

(Or for that matter, either is better than a small bag of dirty bike shorts. I think "Sold 1:36" will inspire a trashcan full of barf.)

Anonymous said...

I'm 44, the world's population has doubled from around 3.5B to 7.0B in my lifetime. that's a little out of control. I have no point other than that is pretty amazing. How many people can the earth hold, i wonder before it gets to heavy and falls from the sky. think about it man.

Marcel Da Chump said...

@Quilled and Lugged,
nice Jona Lewie braze-on.

4fuxake said...

3:18 man you just blew my mind.

Billy said...

@Luddite ever since 1994, I find watching the linked videos through helps maintain the proper sense of simultaneous ironic detachment and incredulity for reading Snob's posts.

CommieCanuck said...

7 billion people means those Starbucks are not running out of baristas any time soon, and those kids enslaved in South American plantations will keep the java coming.
7 Billion is nothing to worry about, it's only a problem if they get on my lawn.

Joke: What's the Capital of Greece? About 2 euros, which you're not going to get and just lend us some more money, Fritzie.

TheTye said...

I have mild to severe back pain every day... and being on the bike is one of the only things that makes it feel better.

Anonymous said...

Yo Snob!

Re Portland. Again?
Jealous much?
Envy Often?

NTTAWWT

But,I admit...
I too where a costume cycling. It's high tech and doesn't smell but it makes me look like a knob end sans the ambition.

Quilled and Lugged said...

MdC - My panniers are full of 12" remixes too...

Knobbly said...

"We have plenty of time in the Northeast to create wacky cyclocross races, costumes are optional".
Rats, I read that as clothing is optional. Maybe in the Southeast.

Luddite etc said...

@Billy - yes, but are they worth digging into my panniers of time for?

ervgopwr said...

JIZZ HTCH

PANN EARS?

Ambition you say? I try to have just enough to stay relatively comfortable. Part of that strategy means never working too hard, in other words not having too much ambition.

I'd gladly take a penny from every other person.

HALF APNY

Large Marge said...

TRAK STND

GENR ATOR

LITE SOUT

Anonymous said...

@ambinshun- u confucius wit china

JB said...

anon @ 3:18: That's why we're cutting down all the rain forests, dumbass. Less wind resistance will allow the Earth to keep spinning with all of the extra Chinese and the blimplike United States of Americans.

Etherhuffer said...

Ambition=wanting to hump Leroy's dog.
Beastiality=actually doing it.

Thus, its a fine line between ambition and beastiality if I do say so myself.

Control your dicks! said...

Overpopulation, this just in:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/01/science/earth/bringing-up-the-issue-of-population-growth.html?_r=3&hp

Anonymous said...

JB 5:18, I keep hearing this "extra" stuff, but they've had a one child policy for a couple of decades. There might be a lot of them but I don't know about the extra ones. Mind you, they're starting to blimp out too, so maybe that's the extra.

Fred said...

Without ambition, there is no failure.

This explains my perfect record.

PantyEars said...

DOTTIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!(CUE AIR HORN)

Gordon Gekko said...

Greed is good!

JDH said...

"Ambition is the last refuge of failure."(Oscar Wilde) Man, don't I know it. Do I win anything for being first to quote? Sorry, that seems ambitions.

We're here too said...

Anonymous @ 3:18

Man, I believe you should get some women to think about that, too.

leroy said...

According to my dog:

"There is no perdition
Quite like ambition."

He has a way with doggerel.

He should pursue that.

PEDL POWR said...

Occupy Generator Goldsprints!

Toto Bobo said...

No more cough or running nose, I can focus on my artwork!

Anonymous said...

Rappin' fixie dude with the pink backpack is just painful to watch. Ugh, I thought the fixed gear scene closed a while back?

innerlighter said...

To Snob and Ervgopowr, I'll gladly send you each a penny provided you cover the postage.

meh

ce said...

Snob, I used to think you were funny, but then you started using blue bar tape. Now I just think you are "strange funny" and I won't be reading your blog anymore.

I may happen to stumble across your blog from time to time in the future, but it will only be by chance, as I scour the internet tirelessly in search of that fabled, yet elusive photo of Peta and Liz riding tandem.

ce said...

If anyone happens to interpret my innocent reference to "riding tandem" as some sort of sexual innuendo and is caused offence, please note that it was posted within the contextual confines of Comment Sixty Nine and as such has been afforded immunity from the usual high standards set for the BSNYC comments page. It's in the rule book.

Anonymous said...

Keep the blue bar tape!

Spence said...

All this humor is nice and all that,
but I'm on to you, it's just a distraction as you consistently IGNORE the ONLY story worth following, the continuing saga of Kim Kardashian,
her $90,000 purse purchases, her $2 million dollar engagement ring, her divorce,
I mean you're headed straight for the dustbin of history, just a heads up, I'll get some Real News from People and Star from now on. I think Kim is stalking me through these magazine covers, I'm flattered of course but she's so short. It was never meant to be.

Anonymous said...

Here in the Northwest, cyclcross is our weekend job...

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Fixie Bikes said...

I'll give you a penny if you give me a penny.