12 May 2010

Welcome to the Playboy Mansion of the Bicycle World

Bicycle Medicine Sticker
So I finally took possession of some frame stickers featuring my pharmaceutical packaging spoof and promptly slapped one on my Bullitt. Inspired by Damien Hirst's series of art in the same vein.

Interestingly, when I first blogged about it, the jury was split in the comments. Those who took issue with it questioned the usage of 'Viagra'.

Which suprised me. Viagra is a cultural reference and is used as such. If one gets all sorts of 'associations' when seeing the word, then don't buy the sticker. It's not a global bicycle advocacy campaign, it's just a sticker using a cultural reference. A metaphor.

Like saying that Copenhagenize.com is The Playboy Mansion of the Bicycle World. Which is, of course, true. Despite the potential for a long list of people's 'associations' with that cultural reference.

How about The Disneyland of the Bicycle World? No... god, no... Disney is a multi-national corp that is only interested in profit. And did I, declared secular humanist, use another cultural reference by writing 'god' in that sentence? Oh, bother... as Winnie the Pooh would have said. Except he was invented by a declared pacifist... not at all appropriate when we're all 'at war'.

And isn't saying 'Pooh' rather disgusting? It sounds an awful lot like... well... "poo"! What are we teaching our children?! We should certainly change that name. Let's boycot Disney until they do it.

Like the children's book I bought in North America a couple of years ago featuring classic rhymes. Amazingly, the rhyme "Ride a cock horse to Banbury Cross", which has been around since the 16th century, was altered to "Ride a hobby horse to Banbury Cross". No cock horses allowed, apparently. Let's just alter literary history. Sanitize our world by censoring cultural references.

Further into the book, the text of the classic Pat-a-cake, pat-a-cake, baker's man rhyme was changed to omit the evil 'prick it and pat it and mark it with 'B''. No pricks allowed, apparently. It was written as 'roll it, shape it and mark it with 'B''.

Well... enough about fucking Viagra... and by writing fucking I am, of course, referring to the Austrian town of Fucking. :-) (is it just me or does that smiley look like two testicles and a penis?!)


Lasse said...


So where to buy the stickers? - If one can do so without becoming cocky? :-

tensaimon said...


I'd like to support your stance on this post. As I thought about the last one, and the reaction it provoked, I came to the conclusion that the posters who objected were being at the very least somewhat humorless, and possibly very intolerant of some of the quirks of male nature. The equivalent would a man being disparagingly dismissal of women for liking shopping and a good chat.

If women would like to be respected whilst continuing to engage in activities (shopping and chatting) that men don't really enjoy, it seems only fair and reasonable that men's amusement at penises should be likewise tolerated even if women find it not to their taste in humour. Tolerance goes both ways.

(notwithstanding I posted saying offending women wasn't a good approach - on reflection I retract that comment in favor of support)

And of course, viagra is a common cultural reference: often used to imply 'adding vigor', without necessarily implying that the vigor added is in the nature of a larger erection.

Finally, there's nothing better than a good rant - well done!

Lucas Jerzy Portela said...

"Disney is only interessested in profit" -> not exactaly. Everybody likes to forget that Walter Elias Disney forged and constructed the cinema language as much as Eisenstein, Grifits and Welles.

Watch Snow White, Bami, Sleeping Beauty, Fantasia - masterpieces of the seventh art, not only comercial products.

Mikael said...

Stickers here.

Walt Disney was a brilliant creative mind. But I didn't write 'Walt Disney'. I wrote Disney. Meaning the multi-national corp.

townmouse said...

Haha - America, founded by puritans, remember?

Surely Copenhagenize is the Legoland of the cycling world: just like real life but a little shinier and a little happier and all the people have smiles indelibly etched on their faces.

Klaus Mohn said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Klaus Mohn said...

I wouldn't say that Copenhagenize is the Playboy Mansion of the bike world. It's probably fairer to put that tag on the Copenhagen Cycle Chic page: real sexy, nevermind the "male gaze" overtones of the photography :)

Copenhagenize is what you bring up as a justification, like "I buy it for the articles, I swear!"

Sue 'sans' helmet said...

A most revealing post - if only I had read it before studying 'Commercial Law'!

In one fell swoop you have single handedly revealed to me the 'golden thread' of buying & selling - erections!

robincph said...

Go Michael let it all out, a little fun therapy for us all.

Mikael said...

cocktails at the Playboy Mansion today at 4...

Playboy Mansion Parties said...

Most people play it safe, and thereby live a normal, uneventful life. They don’t take chances, they don’t experience new things, they don’t go out on a limb, and they don’t know the sheer highs that life has to offer. One of these highs is attending an event at the Playboy Mansion.

Daniel Sparing said...

:) this post made my day.

BTW, if I am already commenting... any Velo-City Global teaser posts coming up? Can't wait for the conference.