17 November 2009

Opinion Piece Comedy


A reader in Indiana sent us this brilliant clipping from the Indianapolis Star in 1980.

This is brilliant. Have a read. It includes such classic quotes as:

"Not only are bicycles dangerous, they are as antiquated a form of transportation as the rickshaw. In no advanced city on earth will you find civilized people cycling to work. The urban cyclist is generally a crank, either profoundly antisocial or hopelessly narcissistic and following the strenuous life in hopes of achieving immortality or a legendary sex life. When you encounter him give him a wide berth and never turn your back on him."

21 comments:

Think Mps said...

hrm

I suspect Satire. Shall we have a trial or shoot him straightaway?

l' homme au velo said...

That seems to describe me very well,as I get Older I seem to be getting very Crotchety and Argumentative and very Anarchistic especially towards Car Drivers. I seem to have a strong desire to join Anti Motorist Organisations and Pro Cyclists Groups and also Anti Government Demonstrations.

I like the part where it says you should give Cyclists a wide Berth and dont turn your back on one,that is what we want from Motorists to keep their Distance from us at least 1 1/2 metre or 4 ft.

James said...

Reminds me of the National Post writer in my country who wrote this ridiculous article in September entitled "Time to Stop Giving Bicyclists a Free Ride":

http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/toronto/archive/2009/09/29/time-to-stop-giving-bicylists-a-free-ride.aspx

It wouldn't be quite as sad if it were written in 1980, but it's 2009...

dr2chase said...

That's not satire, that's Emmett Tyrell, Jr. He's an American conservative magazine editor (this according to both my memory, and Wikipedia). This is a representative voice of our conservative party -- welcome to (USof)America.

Klaus Mohn said...

Apparently, mistaking "peddling" for "pedaling" is an age-old tradition for this kind.

Klaus Mohn said...

Also, "the lush seats of Oldsmobiles" is pretty funny too, given that the brand went down a few years ago. All hail the future!

Jonathan at Five and Dime Bicycles said...

Rickshaws ARE going to make a comeback.

lagatta à montréal said...

Jonathan, I do hope you mean pedicabs, not rickshaws, which were a symbol of gross inequality and colonialism. Unlike the bicycle, a symbol of general social equality.

This piece of shit is still writing, three decades later. And it should come as no surprise that he is a global warming denier, and still an enemy of cyclists.

http://www.creators.com/conservative/r-emmett-tyrrell/pogo-stick-politics.html

Think, shooting would be too kind. Gas him with his own pétard! Definitely a trial. (Actually I don't support the death penalty for anyone, and think there are far better punishments to get this creep to atone for his advocacy of environmential destruction and "cushiony seats").

Anonymous said...

Actually, I feel sorry for him. He seems so intimidated and terrified by bicycles and their riders that I am concerned for his state of mind, especially considering the changes taking place in New York right now. I don't know if he lives or works there, but if he does, he must have a very difficult time walking out his door, for fear of encountering one of those lawless and vicious cyclists, or, heaven forbid, more than one. If he ever travelled to Copenhagen or Amsterdam, he would be immobilized by panic. I think that he must have had a very bad bicycle related experience as a young child, which scarred (and scared him) him for life. Perhaps someone can persuade him to try riding one again, so that the healing can begin. Val

Adrienne Johnson said...

I think this man might actually represent the last little bit of Berlin Wall still standing. A last hold out that sits in his Oldsmobile and is unaware that the Cold War ended in the last century.

Zane Selvans said...

I can't find it funny yet. Ask again in 10 years. If there are still bike lanes in NYC, and the SF Bike Plan has been implemented, and anybody has done anything useful whatsoever in LA, maybe I'll giggle. For now, his opinion is still too close to normal.

lagatta à montréal said...

He reminds me of old-school racists: A South African or US-Southern white guy, or a British Colonel Blimp in India. Standing in the door to block access for "coloured" students.

Although they are already on the way to the dustbin of history, and more subtle forms of discrimination - and exploitation - they can do a hell of a lot of damage as they go kicking and screaming into the sunset.

On an unrelated, pleasant topic - sunny almost warm weather up here on 17 Nov! Many happy, happy cyclists.

jasontinkey said...

it would be hilarious except for the fact that a large number of americans still feel the same way...check out the comment section on this recent piece from sweet home chicago:

http://www.suntimes.com/news/transportation/1859088,CST-NWS-ride02.article

miss sarah said...

Cycling equals having a legendary sex life?

I never thought of it that way...

That explains a lot:)

Matt said...

I too thought it was satirical when I read it and then it twigged that he was serious, and then I thought that was a long time ago, and I probably rode my BMX to school that day and the guy was probably dead now so that made me feel a little bit better, and then I read the comments and he's not dead and he's still an idiot. Oh my.

I don't want to ride my bike to make a political statement. I just want to ride my bike.

m e l i g r o s a said...

those narcissistic people on bicycles -and how dare they have fun too!?!?

mikey2gorgeous said...

Satire??

No - THIS is satire...

http://bamboobadger.blogspot.com/2009/10/why-i-hate-pedestrians.html

:D

David J said...

Yeh! It'd be funny if it wasn't still the dominant opinion.
Somebody give that guy his pogo-stick!

Christopher said...

To Indy's credit, we've come a long way in 29 years. Just today, the IndyStar, the major newspaper here, published a huge feature profile on a cycling commuter:

http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2009911180386

--
Christopher Newgent
www.theindycog.com

Trolly said...

Yeh! It'd be funny if it wasn't still the dominant opinion.

Fighting ridiculous caricature with... more caricature.

harpon said...

I often apologize for the years I spent in junior high school delivering the Indianpolis Star- on a bicycle no less! In fact I bought my first ten speed Schwinn varsity with money from the route, and a dozen years before this article.

Not surpising from that time or place. These days I often wonder if the oil compnies have bought up all the cycling interests- because of high prices, fat tires and unfriendly legislators.
Cycling is viable for so much more of the year in a warmer climate, but in a place like Indiana, it's still just in the way for many.