Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Radical! Consultancy is the New Counterculture

Rain. It's wet, it's cold, and increasingly, it's filled with flesh-burning acids. For centuries, cyclists have had only two choices when it rains: get wet, or take the bus. But not anymore! Because now, there's Überhood (forwarded by a reader):



No, "Überhood" isn't the new name for Williamsburg, Brookyn, nor is it a Klan-inspired "hoodie" for the fixie set. Überhood is actually the innovative new cockpit-mounted umbrella system with which I can find no design flaws whatsoever, and which not only protects you from driving rain, but also from the hated sun, which has the power turn your forearms to bacon and give you melanoma armwarmers in short order.

So how much would you pay for a bike-specific umbrella that will either poke out your eye during mounting or dismounting, turn inside out with the first gust of wind, or else just blow away entirely? No dollars? Negative six dollars? Go fuck yourself? Well, if you act now, you can have the Überbrella Eye Removal System for only $79!

Plus, for a limited time, we'll also throw in this Certificate of Idiocy!

That should look great on your wall, especially because it features a simple design you can still appreciate without any depth perception because you're now forced to wear an eyepatch.

Speaking of commuting by bicycle, if you use either the Brooklyn or Manhattan Bridge, you've no doubt encountered the "Pedestrian Safety Managers," who the Department of Transportation has been forced to deploy because, unlike animals, human beings in New York are completely incapable of reading signage. Well, muckraking local news blog Gothamist has an interview with one of the safety managers, and the big revelation is that apparently bike messengers are jerks:


How do tourists respond to cyclists?

"The tourists are very polite, very kind. They listen to what we're out here to do—to help the public, help the pedestrians and the cyclists get along."

"Those messengers, they don't care. They're kicking tourists. I'm seeing it."


In case you don't know, a "bicycle messenger" is an artisanal delivery person who transports items and correspondence by bicycle. If it helps, think of him or her as sort of a "human email." Needless to say, there's no actual demand for bicycle delivery anymore (excluding food and marijuana of course), so any messenger companies that still exist serve only to "consult" for television shows and Hollywood films, or to else to model boutique cycling apparel. What this means is that, if you actually see an actual messenger delivering an actual package, he or she is probably just showing an actor how it was done in the 1980s, or else delivering marijuana. Or, it's also possible he's being filmed or photographed by someone on a scooter, so that the results can be uploaded onto the Internet as a form of "bicycle culture." (Which is simply a euphemism for any cycling-themed "viral advertising.")

This is not to say that messengers don't work hard--in fact I just noticed a video on Prolly's Purple Bikey Blog which shows just how arduous it is to be a rolling Zoolander:

Content: Fergus EP2 from cadence studios on Vimeo.

Now that nobody needs messengers to deliver packages, it would appear that they mostly just carry their extensive wardrobes.


And clearly they've hired a top-tier Fred consultant, because there's going to be some perfect Primal Wear product placement:

I can't wait to see it, since it promises to do for road cycling what "The 40-Year-Old Virgin" did for bicycle commuting:



I'm sure dorks crashing bikes never fails to score through the roof at Hollywood test screenings. "Ha ha, the guy on the bike fell down. Fail! Streets are for cars, silly."

Of course, if you're tired of Hollywood hegemony, consumer culture, corporate corpulence, and other forms of alliteration, you can always endeavor to unlatch yourself from the societal teet and live "off the grid." As it happens, I was perusing the Kickstarter recently looking for worthwhile projects not to fund when I came across a documentarian who wants to do just that:


Though the funding period has expired, it would appear he wanted $10,000 to document how to live for free:

Starting this summer I will leave from Washington, DC to zig-zag, largely unplanned, across the southern US. I hope to become largely integrated into these subcultures, as they exist separately and with much overlap, in different communities across the US and truly come to understand the meanings of both radical self-reliance (existing without any external means of support) and, on the other side of the spectrum, communal living.

To me, this is as American as it gets: making a movie about living outside of society and needing a bunch of money from strangers in order to explore the idea of radical self-reliance. The project is simply antithetical to its subject--it's like building an animatronic Lancaster County because you're interested in the Amish, or like constructing a synagogue out of pork by-products. Still, the fact is that not only is self-reliance expensive, but it also requires lots and lots of people:

Already producers, cameramen, editors and composers have expressed interest in-and begun to sign onto- the project, and now I need your help in keeping it moving. The approximate budget break down is $3,500 for video and audio equipment, $2,000 for gas so the crew can follow me, $3,000 for food expenses and $1,500 for shelter and other miscellaneous expenses of the crew. None of this money will be going to me (the subject) to assist with my survival, nor for anyone's profit.

This being 2011 you can pretty do the work of a film crew with a single smartphone now, but I suppose that's not technically being "off the grid" since you need a service plan. Maybe someone from the counterculture can start an underground telecom company and introduce a "Radical Self-Reliance" plan. I'm imagining three or four people with impressive beards riding bicycle generators with satellite dishes strapped to their heads.

Actually, it would probably look a lot like the Überhood.

146 comments:

Big Charlie said...

There is no F in way!

Anonymous said...

podium! Vockler's tongue waggle

Anonymous said...

Waou, early woohoo

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

damn, missed the podium, no Peta Todd for me, at least I have my fixed gear....definitely not hipster fixie though

Anonymous said...

Wasnt that steve roberts guy from the 90's doin the free thing on his bent with a built in handlebar keyboard and the like then he got sponsered...and then came the bus...but what if he had kickstarter???
my pissta is rokin the G4 large.....

Anonymous said...

Top fucken 10 Zoooooots!
Early early break goes the distance.

Anonymous said...

top ten

sweet

cycle

petrus said...

Top ten on retro!

Bees blood.

Spokey said...

ahhhhhh, top ten twice in one week. Time to strap the Sandals back on.

Anonymous said...

hummm, a little early for weed. Oh, fuck it.

thegock said...

TOPP TENN

Mcfly said...

whatev

mikeweb said...

I don't get no respect, I tell ya!

theEel said...

WeED.

Marcel Da Chump said...

Respect the Safety Managers or I'ma...

I so horny said...

I thought they already made a movie called Free Willy?

Buffalo Bill said...

As my dad always used to say: "It's not a real sport until someone gets an eye poked out"

GhostOfTyrone said...

Paul Rudd in a Pink Floyd jersey. I'm guessing the term "likeable" appears in his character's description... and the streak continues.

Anonymous said...

a fold of skin that covers the glans of the penis —called also Überhood.



balls.

Unknown said...

Teat not teet. As in; where is that teat I need to suckle on?

mikeweb said...

My tip for the DOT monitors:

A bottle of Bourbon and a taser equals instant respect.

Shram said...

my pissta is likewise rokin the G4 large.

Kenny Banya said...

As good as it gets Snobby, gold.

JB said...

Psst. Uberbabe has some serious gams (products tab).

streepo said...

I like how you, thematically, completed the circle. The Uberhood covered it all.

ant1 said...

ant1st!

Stephen Shore said...

Lay offa Bard or Ima fucking kill you!

paulb said...

Kickstarter has taken the artisanal craft of grant writing out of the academic and nonprofit ghettos it used to inhabit and made it an entertainment for us all.

mikeweb said...

@JB,

Also check out the installation video on the specs page. Lots of talk about nuts and screws, all with a very pleasing background.

Jasper said...

Ah, there's one born every minute...
Would someone like to do the maths to see if we have had seven billion minutes yet?

Marcel Da Chump said...

Stephen Shore,
got photos?

GhostOfTyrone said...

Jasper -

Was that a cruel attempt to get that song from "Rent" in our heads?

Kenny said...

AND THAT'S HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAB!!

Esteemed Commenter DaddoOne said...

Just finished eating my shrimp Sukkah. Would love me some of that Pork By-Product Synagogue

Chris said...

The astute will recognize Fergus from a Blackberry commercial, or Nor Cal Cat 3 races.

grog said...

There's no F in Recumbabe!

crosspalms said...

After I lose my current job when they catch me reading bike blogs on company time, I plan to open an insultancy.

Anonymous said...

Good find JB. Uberbabe in the green shorts is uber-yummy!

Kenny Banya said...

Thank YOU JB and MW, I hope that install video is on the Friday Fun Quiz.

Anonymous said...

Uber-stupid!

H

Big Charlie said...

I would like to see an uberbabe and recumbabe collabo. Let's get Liz Hatch in there too for good measure.

Male Model Cheek Bones said...

I can pretty do the work...

hillbilly said...

isn't it nov 2? how are these duders (there ya go snob) qualified to say that bikers bike year round? rain or snow? they don't. also the ones on the mb rarely if ever keep peds off the south side.

Anonymous said...

radical, sexual self-reliance = masturbation

Grump said...

Snobby, you miss the point of the Überbrella. It's made for fixie ridin' trackstanders. As long as your speed stays under 6 mph, this great product will work just fine. A product like this reaffirms my belief that anything that you think up, can be sold.

db said...

"Wow" to the Uberhood assembly video. Shouldn't there be a "Cameltoe not included" disclaimer in there? Or was I just too distracted to see it?

Etherhuffer said...

I would like about oh 15K Kickstarter bucks to buy copies of Jean Jacque Rousseau so that all these modern primitives can find out that their philosophy is wrong wrong wrong. Harumph

bikesgonewild said...

...being abjectly delusional used to be the property of tortured souls who lived in the shadows...

...now, it's an event, it's being filmed & it costs a lotta money...

...is nothing about psychosis sacred anymore ???...

Anonymous said...

I have to get green shorts for my Parks tool tray.

ervgopwr said...

Make sure your Uberhood shaft is centered...that's what she said.

Anonymous said...

"Human email" - snort

Matt said...

As usual, the Dutch are ahead of us: fiets paraplu

I once tried to buy one of the Basil paraplus by rummaging through the Dutch equivalent of Nashbar's site but I couldn't decipher the language and eventually gave up. Pity, too, because angle that thing forward and it would be fucking awesome in a tailwind.

Anonymous said...

For the record I have never been able to make it through more than about 18 seconds of one of those "I ride a fixie blah blah blah..." videos. Nothing says "I'm so fucking hardcore, like, I mean HARDCORE!" than a stupid little video posted on the Intergoogle.

Mister Rogers said...

It's a beautiful day in the uberhood.

Anonymous said...

Good God! That Ubergirl sure knows how to wear a pair of shorts.

streepo said...

The uberbabe can hold my nuts for me anytime. I especially like the part where the narrator tells her to make sure the shaft is centered

EDwerd said...

Excellent post! That commercial was pathetic. . no rain.

Jasper said...

@GhostOfTyrone - my apologies. I have never seen Rent, so I had no idea it would cause suffering. Perhaps you could whistle a Pink Floyd tune to take your mind off it.
They had one about a bike back in the days when they were still interesting - 1967 I think it was.

CommieCanuck said...

a fold of skin that covers the glans of the penis —called also Überhood.

But I though that was called ambition?

CommieCanuck said...

There are many successful versions of the biek umbrella, a retrospective, if I may be so bold:

The Dutch Pedophile.

The Numbrella-bubble boy.

The Twat.

The already ripped off Chinese Uberhood, now with Android 3.0.

The safe Sex.

The Betty Page.

The reliable skank.

all look equally cool.

Burt Reynolds 531 said...

Early bike messenger cyclocross!

http://youtu.be/vyyiPZNnGzc

Cool.

GhostOfTyrone said...

Jasper -

I think I will whistle "Winds of Change" by The Scorpions instead. Thank you for the suggestion.

Harold said...

Ha! If you get an $80 Uberhood PLUS a set of $120 "backup Barz," your ownership certificate will be endorsed by a Nigerian banker [who needs some help with a financial transaction]. Also, your next 3 "contacts" at Match-dot-com will be free. Limited time offer.

Samuel 'Actionless' Jackson said...

Yes me little drooogies. It is so. All the snakes used in the film 'Snakes on the Plane' were in fact holograms derived from the major meatstick that hangs from the sculpted ManGod known to planet earth as 'The Cipo'.

Anonymous said...

i'm sure mr blumenthals parents will be happy that he is now trying to leech off of other people, they are probably pretty tired of supporting his lazy ass after 30 years. how about this Ted, go get a fucking job. or maybe you can join the freeloading Occupy losers. i need some wednesday weed, like right fucking now.

Anonymous said...

fergus tanaka? WTF, was alejandro goldstein not available for the video.

Überdrugs said...

hmmm... weed illegal and quite inexpensive.

Painkillers seem to be ok though. A little bit too ok:

http://health.usnews.com/health-news/managing-your-healthcare/healthcare/articles/2011/11/01/deaths-from-abuse-of-painkillers-triple-in-a-decade-cdc

Anonymous said...

Speaking of animatronic Amish people, you ever been to Roadside America?

http://www.flickr.com/photos/itinerant_wanderer/3418532141/in/set-72157616437515662

Buy-cycle said...

I must thank you snob. Many moons ago I came to a fork in the proverbial road of life. One road lead to a cul-de-sac of fixed gears under the vacuous lifestyle of hipster culture. Breaks and traffic lights were seen as oppressive, and everyone in a car was a paper pushing work droid. Lucas Brunelle videos and chrome messenger bags further enticed me into a grim life of hipsterism. But then I came across your blog and I saw the light! And it was knog. Also, I saw quicksliver.

Anonymous said...

how bout an Apocalypse Specific Bicycle ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ckvF5I_BWWc&feature=related :D

Jonah Gibson said...

...like building an animatronic Lancaster County because you're interested in the Amish... Freaking epic curation of a simile.

Quilled and lugged said...

Someone needs to point Fergus in the direction of Ev Bogue - he's seriously carrying that much shit in his bag all the time? Plus all the stuff he is too stoned to remember to put in the mail? And he expects to get paid to deliver stuff? I wouldn't even trust him to put a pizza in the oven and turn it on to the right temperature, let alone take it out before it is burned to a crisp....

Ian said...

That's a pretty cool bike Ted's riding - a Fuso built by ex-California Masi framebuilder Dave Moulton. He has a blog here: http://davesbikeblog.squarespace.com/

Mcfly said...

ASSOS has been makin those uberhoods for years and they are only $879.00, they are different though because they are black and they say "ASSOS" on them so obliviously they are much better.

Cup Those Nuts said...

Will the girl in the green gym coach specials cup my nuts in her hand whilst I install if I make the purchase, thats like $39.50 PER NUT which ain't bad.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the pedestrian safety idea, but I do have one correction, as I have witnessed several cyclist incidents at the entrances/exits to bridges. It's not mostly messengers causing havoc (bc even newbie ones to the city eventually, hopefully, learn how to ride their fixies after a few months of 10 hr days). It's the FAKENGERS. Not that I expect Joe public or city worker to know the difference.

But yes, once again, while i would normally encourage the proliferation of cycling in our country, the fixie trend is not dead and continues to produce the kind of obnoxious, entitled, self-absorbed and clueless riders that make the vast majority or cyclist look like jackass idiots.

Thank you fixie hipsters! I know you resent the terms, but you don't deserve a more creative description.

ladymtbiker said...

Hey Burt Reynolds 531-- great Tati cross clip; a perfect accompaniment to Wed weed day.

Anonymous said...

i thought i was on fox news blog but then it came aparent that you guys are not fox news. seems like you are all on drugs. only queers ride the bike and men drive with big motors. you should go to school so you can get yourself a car and not be a hobo. sometimes you have to work hard and save and i no that you young guys have no work ethac but you still can make a good choice.

Zamo said...

Chadwick Jin-Tao, internatonal bike messenger of mystery.

Mattburn said...

according to google patents, one of those was already tried. (and it at least folded so as not to poke your eye out) http://www.google.com/patents?id=1SxpAAAAEBAJ&zoom=4&dq=bicycle%20umbrella&pg=PA1#v=onepage&q=bicycle%20umbrella&f=false

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

You think bacon forarms are bad? It only takes one long ride on a recumbent on a sunny day to develop the dreaded melanoma shins. Damn, I couldn't wear pants for a week. Although that wasn't all bad. I always remember my sunscreen now.

As for rain I just do like you do and get under something till it quits.

Great post ubercat rock machine -thanks.

Anonymous said...

I live in Lancaster, PA and it IS animatronic.

Anonymous said...

"anti-pollution masks are rapidly becoming the new "helment:"
Totally, I don't wear a helmet but I will put on my totobobo when cycling in smog rich Manila streets traffic. You won't believe what's left on the filters - 100% pure soot.

leroy said...

Oh great.

Caught my dog drinking from the toilet again.

He had filled it with Strawberry Daiquiri and garnished with an Uberhood.

leroy said...

Anon 9:47 --

My dog would like to buy you a drink.

How do you feel about a bowls of rum cocktails garnished with Ambien and a large umbrella?

Anonymous said...

The Uberhood is nothing new, they had them in the '60s:
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/en/thumb/f/f9/Prisoner_sm.jpg/225px-Prisoner_sm.jpg

Anonymous said...

I live in Lancaster as well and I get all kinds of crazy poon-tang from the tattoo girl to the Amish "My dad is going to kill you if he finds out you gave me a cream pie."
Rock on Lancaster!

Anonymous said...

Want one!

bikesgonewild said...

...hell, leroy...i'd let your dog buy me a drink like that - except that i know he does a lotta his drinking outta toilet bowls...

...nice dog, well informed about a lotta stuff but, well, you know, he IS still a dog...

grog said...

Nice interview with David Byrne in the magazine email version. Hope you play with it Snob. Did you know he doesn't own a car? But he does take the bus.
Rock on!

Anonymous said...

I live roughly equidistant from Portland and Bend. And dangerously close to Hood River, where you are not allowed to park downtown unless you have a $30,000 softail on a Thule carrier attached to a white Subaru station wagon. The hipster suction from those communities creates a balancing force that keeps my community completely hipster-free.
The close proximity of Bend, Portland, and Hood River creates a douchery vortex which may have caused you to not notice that Bend has the world’s largest fixie: http://cyclepub.com/

big d said...

fuck! last again?

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OMR said...

Lovely shoes ! It's perfect for the summer

http://www.xtraorbit.com/1366.html

Fixie Bikes said...

Pedestrian safety managers? really? damn it more people standing around telling me not to do things I wanna do.

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