Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Overwrought: Hang It On the Wall and Call It Art

Last night, I made art:


(Art.)

I don't like to use the word "genius" lightly.  For that matter, I also don't like to use the word "scranus" lightly.  So when I say that the above photograph is a work of scranus-tingling genius then you know I'm being serious.  Then again, I shouldn't even have to tell you how serious I am, because when you look at a work of Art-With-A-Capital-A like this you just know.  It's the same feeling you get when you gaze into the Mona Lisa's preternaturally knowing nostrils, or stare at the Milkmaid's jug (that's jug, not jugs), or contemplate the floppy little penis of Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

It may surprise you to learn that I know so much about art, but the fact is that I do.  I know that truly great art can lay bare the very workings of the Universe.  I know that some of the greatest art in the history of humankind has been rendered in the age-old medium of macaroni.  And I know that a genuine masterpiece is equal parts mastery and serendipity, with just a sprinkling of paprika for flavor.

Take my masterpiece, which "Photo Slut" magazine has already said is "like having sex with God on a hot bed of sauerkraut."  Sure, to some extend it's the product of a lifetime of training: the elite boarding schools; the nine years as an undergraduate at Bard; and then the successive MFA programs in 1970s billboard art, limerick poetry, and modern phrenology.  After that came the tough years of paying my dues as an aspiring artist in Brooklyn, quaffing artisanal cocktails and living in a $3,500-a-month apartment in a building still redolent with the cooking smells of the ethnic families my peers and I had only recently displaced.

To be honest, there were moments when I had doubts, like Jesus on the cross when he came this close [indicates small distance with fingers] to giving up the whole martyrdom thing and getting back into carpentry.  Sometimes at the bar, when I was feeling the financial pinch and had to pass on that sixth $21 dark chocolate-infused malt liquor-and-single-barrel rum mojito, I'd catch myself thinking, "Maybe I should just take that limerick-writing gig at Hallmark."  But then, on just such a night, as I teetered once again on the edge of selling out, I spotted a Knog light submerged in a glass of water, withdrew my $5,000 camera from my $500 bag, and produced what will undoubtedly be one of the most enduring images in photographic history.

But as inspiring as my story is, it's hardly unique.  In fact, the same self-affirming moment of artistic catharsis happens somewhere in Brooklyn every night, and this means only one thing: all these hipster assholes are here to stay.

Anyway, as I thought about art I thought about longing, and about how the two are intertwined.  Then I went to Craigslist, where I saw this Ross Apollo:


There was once a time when I longed for a Ross Apollo.  I coveted its split top tube, and its lofty sissy bar, and its noble ape hanger handlebars.  However, I never got one, and while I'm not sure why it's probably because my father rightly recognized that the bike was completely stupid and thus refused to buy one for me.  Now, though, I'm a member of the 1% (not in the #Occupy sense, but in the "Skim Milk Appreciation Society" sense), and the $250 it would cost me to own a Ross Apollo is a mere pittance when you consider I spend about that on a single night of spirited artisanal cocktail quaffing:

But this is where the cruelty of longing reveals itself.  Sure, I could own a Ross Apollo now (and an "orking" one at that, which is nice because all too often the orking feature on a 40 year-old bicycle is broken), but the truth is I don't want one any more.  Yet, while I no longer long for a Ross Apollo, I still have that same longing for other things that lie just beyond my reach, like waterbeds filled with champagne, heated dimmer switches, and solid gold remote control bidets.  Furthermore, I may obtain some of these things, or I may not, but either way at some point they'll wind up just like that Ross Apollo--something I once wanted with every cell in my body but which now means nothing to me.  Yes, material gratification is fleeting, and the only constant is the rosebud of longing, that gnawing sense of discomfort and non-fulfillment that torments us all until we die.



Speaking of longing, the North American Handmade Blah-Blah-Blah is almost here, and bike dorks from all over will converge in Sacramento, where they will slobber all over custom replacement horses while longing themselves right out of their shants.  Many of these bicycles will be steel (increasingly stainless steel, probably because of all the drooling) but for sheer ferric abundance it's tough to beat a Ross Eurotour:



The only aluminum parts on the Eurotour are the shifters, the brake levers and the brake calipers. Everything else, except for a few plastic parts is steel. The weight before accessories is 39 lbs.

Now that's what I call a North American steel bicycle.  By the way, he didn't specifically exclude the tires, so I'm going to go ahead and assume they're steel too.  As I read this, I fantasized about dropping a 40lb Ross Eurotour from a helicopter and onto the Sacramento Convention Center, where it would crash through the roof like a set of janitor's keys through a piece of wet tissue paper.  Then, Don Walker would have to rent one of those scrap metal magnets just to get it out again.

Also, I was interested to learn that, "back in the day," Ross bikes were manufactured right in my backyard:

The company moved its manufacturing plant to the old Arverne Hygeia Ice plant in Rockaway Beach, Queens, New York in the 1950s.

Though by the time I was longing for an Apollo they had probably moved to Allentown--not that I cared where they were made, for as far as I knew the lovely Apollo bicycle was dropped from a helicopter straight from heaven.  Lastly, I had no idea Ross even dabbled in high-end race bikes like two or three bike booms ago:


This was also the year the pricey high-end Signature series, which featured Cro-Mo tubing and Campagnolo or Shimano 600 components, was launched with Tom Kellogg in charge of the division.

Meh.  Sounds pretty wimpy.  As far as I'm concerned, if it doesn't sink hub deep into moist soil then it's not a true Ross.

Speaking of Sacramento, a reader has forwarded me this article about the inventor of the "Bike Valet:"

How come nobody calls cars a "clunky burden when it comes to putting them away?"  People build entire houses for their cars, yet apparently a simple bicycle remains the greatest storage challenge of the 21st century.  In any case, one man has risen to that challenge, and this article contains the inspiring story of how he came up with the idea for a decorative bike hook:

Tiller, a carpenter and furniture maker who kept bumping into his bike in his cramped apartment, went to sleep one evening mulling over the problem and awoke in the middle of the night with a solution – one that's getting buzz on design websites and bike blogs throughout the U.S. and beyond.

I don't need to tell you the rest--after waking up and falling over his bike yet again, he simply hung it from his "night boner" while he went to the kitchen for a glass of water, and the rest is cycling history.  It's a story as famous as Tullio Campagnolo inventing the quick release wheel skewer, or Mario Cipollini inventing breakaway thong underpants.

Speaking of entrepreneurs, a reader in Cape Town, South Africa sent me the following photo, which proves Portland isn't the only place brimming with bicycle businesses (even if they are car-themed):


Plus, while you're waiting for your car to get fixed, you can always enjoy some fat cock:


As the reader explains, it's probably a phonetic transcription of a food called "vet koek" in Afrikaans, but a cock by any other name would be as fat:


I wonder if it could "portage" a Ross Eurotour.

102 comments:

Kenny said...

...AND THAT'S HOW A BILL BECOMES A LAW!!

Anonymous said...

1

me said...

Podium!!! Yeehaw!!!!

me said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
theEel said...

weed1st!

Jeff said...

Fif.

Jeff said...

Damnit 6th then.

Anonymous said...

je suis a court de beuh

le Correcteur said...

top 10 2 days running; contract's gonna be good next year!

pebes said...

ten

Anonymous said...

Seriously, I watched Citizen Kane over the weekend and it was pretty depressing.

ROSEBUD GETS BURNED IN A FURNACE!

NOBODY EVER LEARNED THE MEANING OF KANE'S FINAL WORD!

That nobody was actually in the room when he uttered said word is another plot hole that we shall heretofore ignore for the sake of argument.

Serial Retrogrouch said...

whooo hoo hoo!!!

Fat Cock OS SL said...

Vertically compliant & laterally stiff!

le Correcteur said...

"like having sex with God on a hot bed of sauerkraut."

Should that be "on a bed of hot sauerkraut"?

Wondering,
le Correcteur

Anonymous said...

I'm going to read this before posting anything.
Ok?

Anonymous said...

http://www.retronaut.co/2012/02/death-caused-by-carelessness-by-the-bicyclist-1940s/

Bruce Jenner said...

Corn Flakes, cigarettes and turkey = the Breakfast of Champions!

Buffalo Bill said...

I hear Citizen Cane had a fat cock.

rural 14 said...

ant 2nd!

crosspalms said...

Knog, knog.
Who's there?
Water.
Water who?
Water you asking me for?

Anonymous said...

ROSS COCK

Quilled and lugged said...

I was thinking of asking if anyone knew what had happened to Kenny - first Ant1 goes missing, then Kenny, I was beginning to suspect bgw of doing them in. Maybe he is now rested after a good vacation

Anonymous said...

beat the frog and toad. huzzah

g said...

I hate to admit it, but the bike hanging thingy is actually pretty cool looking. Then again, I really love the Free Standing Triple Car Hole, so maybe my opinion is skewed.

Anonymous said...

Mona Lisa always looks non-plussed to me,,,

Serial Retrogrouch said...

Anon 12:32 PM,
WTF!!!!
plot is thick in that handy safety guide, but pages seem to be missing.

Billy said...

Love the artwork, sir snob. Did you figure out how to operate your camera correctly? Then again, you're not trying to capture a moving street scene of idiocy, only a stationary glass.

Dear Snob and commenters,

Perhaps you can help me with a scranal freezing problem. On a windy cold day like today, I arrive at work in fine fettle except for a frozen scranus. Every part of me is warm, perhaps even a bit sweaty, except for the scranus.

Any suggestions for keeping my scranus warm on a windy day? I'd prefer something stylish and handmade, like a Rapha wool scranus warmer.

Thanks in advance!

PatrickBateman said...

Fat Cock Tuesday!

grog said...

floppy jugs
Mona Babe

Anonymous said...

Scanusamento Blah-blah-blah

portland anonymous said...

billy at 12:58

check etsy for an artisanl knitted scranus cozy

Marcel Da Chump said...

The Ross Apollo is my "rosebud" too...

McFly said...

All You Haters Suck My Artisinal Carcas. You're funny. That carhouse is nicer than my real house. Rosebudddddddddd......

Cipo said...

eating pussy

McFly said...

Ghost Light i respect thee.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

Don't go to urban dictionary and look up rosebud.

McFly said...

"To that extend"? Ladies and genitalia I believe we have a Freudian slip.

DerZoots said...

My Dad had a Ross Euro Tour.
Reflective sidewalls and all.

singlespeedwaster said...

Top 50? Christ that's weak

Anonymous said...

Your photo is too easy and too accessible to be art. It would be closer if you had put the camera in the artisan cocktail and taken a picture of the knog outside the glass.

sdl said...

I will be impressed with Portland's bike-based business culture when there is a AAA-sanctioned tow service that operates entirely on bicycle. I wanna see a Fred towing a Brodozer on his Vanilla. Now THAT is a picture of smugness.

Buy-cycle said...

weed2nd

wishiwasmerckx said...

Recumbent C.T., that is no accident. In Citizen Kane, Orson Wells was trying to get the goat of William Randolph Hearst, and "Rosebud" was Hearst's pet name for the you-know-what of his mistress, Marion Davies.

Anonymous said...

an aging artist 'round the corner
dumped by a girl twice the younger

daresay he doesn't partake
crabon soles for roadies to rake

people say to struggle is to injure
the rich promote crabon shoe future

their sons and daughters may suffer
an artists fate, no money to render

clogs to clogs in three generations
forget about dynasty aspirations

technical crabon and aspiring art
tis' expensive, to not smell a fart

Anonymous said...

What's a Russian & Chips?

mikeweb said...

The old NYC area kids show "Wonderama" used to give away a Ross Apollo 5 speed every week.

Though one week they had a snake expert come on and let a 12 foot King Cobra sashay around the studio.

Then there was the time they showed a pre-taped story about the host of the show Bob MacAllister visiting the Playboy mansion.

Children's programming was a little different back in the 70s...

Anonymous said...

Ha ha, rust repairs advertised with a photo of a Lancia Beta......

hey nonny mouse

wishiwasmerckx said...

Anon 1:42, I prefer Khazaks and chips because Russians and chips are just too chewey.

Blog Drafter said...

Ethereal post but right now I'm longing for the old comments format. That'll make me happy.

I suggest you submerge a culturally and/or religiously sensitive figure(ine) into that water to 'giterdone more so in the fancy art world.

Anonymous said...

On the Internet, the reaction can often be like an instant litmus test. Does it fill a need? Is the design something cool and new?

via the bike rack article.

Marcel Da Chump said...

mikeweb, "Wonderama" was wonderful way to introduce kids to harsh realities of life...like disappointment.

Anonymous said...

And I thought Rosebud was a basselope...wrong for all these years

jno62 said...

sex with god on a bed of hot sauerkraut......... that is art baby!!!

ervgopwr said...

Cipo's eating rosebud, hahaha.

KNOG ART!

ROSS BIKE

ROSE PSSY

Anonymous said...

Yep, humans constantly push happiness in front of them. They never arrive at it until they give up the pushing.

Bob McAllister said...

Exercise , Excercise , C'mon Everybody Do Your Excercise!

Bob McAllister said...

Exercise , Excercise , C'mon Everybody Do Your Excercise!

GhostOfTyrone said...

Bring back Biek Snob.

Classier.

mikeweb said...

Seems the Prospect Park bicycles of death conundrum has been solved. Of course, since this idea is a great compromise that makes perfect sense, it's doomed to failure.

I never could understand why two lanes were needed for one way car traffic anyway. Not to mention why cars need to have access at all when there's miles of perfectly fine city streets already surrounding the park.

I'm sure this proposal will cause Marty and the PPW-ers to kick and scream like so many sugared up four year olds. Even more than they did when the PPW bike lane went in.

JB said...

"Russian & Chips"

Look it up on Urban Dictionary. I dare ya.

mikeweb said...

@Marcel,

Yes, I can remember being very disappointed every time I watched that show.

bikesgonewild said...

...i already have a 'bike valet' & the investment was worth every penny...

..."jeeves - prepare the fendered raleigh & lay out my rapha kit, please...ask 'kitchen' to prepare me a watercress & tomato sandwich & pack it with a bottle of champers in the saddlebag...
..."i feel the need for a pedaling excursion on such a fine day...hut, hut...be quick about it, my good man..."
...

...yup...worth every penny...

Anonymous said...

"Yes, material gratification is fleeting, and the only constant is the rosebud of longing, that gnawing sense of discomfort and non-fulfillment that torments us all until we die. [Smiley face]"

So true.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post. One of your funniest!

Anonymous said...

Whats wrong with Allentown? Did we not house the Liberty Bell durring the American Revolution? were we not the site of the last independently owned PBR brewery? or Billy Joel? clearly its a place where industry and and symbols of freedom go to hang out for a while until moving on to bigger and better things, Ross being no exception

Jasper said...

@hey nonny mouse

-Ha ha, rust repairs advertised with a photo of a Lancia Beta......

I think the joke may be lost on Americans - I don't think Lancia ever managed to ship a car over the ocean without it rusting to pieces...

Methinks said...

I bet god has a "solid gold remote control bidet". You would find out if you had sex with him, hot bed of sauerkraut or not. He is even wearing a come-hither pink nightie in that old ceiling picture thing. Speaking of which, I was trying to figure out if Adam's floppy little penis is circumcised or not. Hard to tell at that resolution. Because who would have been around to wield the knife? And if he wasn't chopped, where did the idea come from anyway? And is a Russian and chips tastier than a portion of airtime?

Bom Tooonen said...

Ka$hi's newest ethereal cereal ...

OMloops*!


* the epo/hgh/clear is in the box.

Marcel Da Chump said...

A WONDERAMA game: a row of about twenty kids--
the first kid gets a message, e.g,"We're having Captain Crunch cereal for breakfast"; the first kid has to relay the message to the kid next to him and so on and so on until it gets to the last kid. By that time they're saying something like: "Dad crunched the cat real fast".

Blitherer said...

The Ross Apollo was a second rate rig compared to the Raleigh Chopper. My father refused me that and I ended up with a Schwinn Stingray. Cherry Red. That was my own personal Rosebud...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raleigh_Chopper

Anonymous said...

When the listing said the bike was in orking condition I assumed it meant that it had the Seal of Approval. Ork! Ork! (give him a fish)

Anonymous said...

Not only did the great Mario "Chimpo" Chimpolini invent breakaway thong underpants, he is also credited with inventing the world's greatest invention ever - "Pussy On A Stick".
True story.

Anonymous said...

What's up with Google?
Terrible design! Terrible!

Anonymous said...

74, the year I was born...

Krys Hines said...

I think some days I enjoy your poetry as much as the post...K

Krys Hines said...

I think some days I enjoy your poetry as much as the post...K

Jasper said...

@Blitherer

Raleigh Chopper, now you're talking. My dad wouldn't buy me one either...

leroy said...

I don't know what I like, but I know Art.

What I don't know is was the glass half empty before you put the Knog in it?

leroy said...

methinks @4:08 -- flopped and chopped. I thought everyone knew that.

leroy said...

Purple metal flake Stingray. Sparkly like that butterfly bike Lance rode in the Tour.

methinks said...

Unlike your dog, Leroy, I'm not so much into getting within sniffing distances of another guy's tackle, even if it is painted on.

McFly said...

BGW,
A tomato or tomAHto sandwich? mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

bikesgonewild said...

...mcfly...i assumed that everyone knew a cultured person would only ever eat a 'to-mah-to'...

...now, as far as 'potato', 'po-tah-toe', well, i wouldn't really know...who eats those dreadful things, anyway ???...the irish ???...

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

ALL YOU DETESTER'S SUCKLE MY SOPHISTICATION...AYDSMS

McFly said...

I hate it when you bomb a comment, then you delete it, and the Google Nazi leaves a permanent visual receipt of your infraction. Delete is not really delete.

Anonymous said...

Panties!

Anonymous said...

Floppy little penis panties! I wonder, does God have a stiffie under his dress?

Anonymous said...

This fusilli is making me thirsty.
Speaking of pasta Art, remember the episode of Seinfeld featuring fusilli Jerry?
No, I'm not a serious person. Serious people scare me. I'm not even an adult, although my driver's license says I am. Funny thing about being an adult. You hang around long enough, you get made an honorary adult even if you've done nothing to deserve it. Then God touches your penis. What a world!

Anonymous said...

Dude, the tires on the Ross are accessories! That means they might be aluminum!

Anonymous said...

"Everything else, except for a few plastic parts is steel." Whoever the hell wrote this needs to learn to punctuate. I would never take bike advice from someone who doesn't know how to punctuate. That'd be like taking advice from Michelangelo about where to buy extra-large condoms! And what are the plastic parts? Chain? Chainring?

Anonymous said...

wed weed wcrm?
NEED POST

jacobmontereal said...

This is different. can't imagine that.

biking Philippines

cramitsucko said...

Snob, you're pure scranal delight.

Rex H said...

Great work has been made with pasta indeed. Who could forget such masterpieces as Macaroni Midler and Fusilli Jerry.

Blodsmak said...

AIRT IME!

Nationwide Auto Loan said...

That nobody was actually in the area when he spoken said concept is another story gap that we shall heretofore neglect for the benefit of disagreement.

OMR said...

Lovely shoes ! It's perfect for the summer

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

The2GirlsTeachSex said...

I would love to have such art folks.

Regards, Mikes
http://the2girlsteachsex.com/2-girls-teach-sex-review/

Robert said...

Your art totally sucks bro.

Tao Badass said...

well, I love that picture in there.

Mikes Tao
http://taoofbadass101.com/

flyingkahuna said...

ROSEBUD WAS A BIKE...

Really.

Not a Clitoris... Gore Vidal made that story up.

I even have a picture of the real ROSEBUD... with it's owner. BEFORE it was stolen.

Hey Oscar, What was Rosebud? (Hint: Not a Sled)

http://www.commutebybike.com/2012/02/22/hey-oscar-what-was-rosebud/