Saturday, September 15, 2012

Butt Conserving

Waging an ever escalating battle for authority in a wastescape where churches, military, news media, police and politicians have all been exposed as corrupt, all you have left are lonesome bloggers, personal correspondents, and self. You'd hope, like Diogenes, the Cynic/Stoic of Sinope with his lamp, that at least one is as incorruptible as all those dead artists and writers you once admired. People take themselves too seriously; it's why you see so many disorganized and suppressed protests lately, from Occupy to Pussy Riot. Officials wrest control and outraged victims react badly. Nevertheless, you ought to exercise freedoms, like muscles, or they atrophy. You must always act after thinking things through; being absent, brainless or rash will kill you. Then again, so will religious bigots on slightest provocations.

Living fully means applying both body and mind. Diet, exercise and sobriety prepare you to earn a living and make wise decisions. Commuting by bike is one way to stay in shape. Some claim it's perfect, but nothing ever can be. If you live far from work and still want to ride, dozens of precautions must be observed, both in properly equipping self and riding along crumbling pavement afforded all traffic. Fear and inconvenience remain atop list of excuses not to ride. But, compared to motoring, biking is far less dangerous. This sense of vulnerability was broken down by blogger Dave Horton in "Fear of Cycling".

Labann always says, "You can ride almost anywhere at right time." Prohibited from highways, long commutes traverse narrow rural and suburban roads where motorists drive faster than usual. Suburban soccer moms spoil the safety of limited congestion. Yet all streets are empty more than full. While most roads are thick with impatience at rush hour, you can ride right down the middle of proverbial Main Street at 5:00 AM, but being alone on a bike at night is even scarier than being buzzed by school busses. As the Swiss documentary "Urbanized" explains, people are returning to cities because of rising fuel costs and sustainability issues. Bicycles suit millions packaged together. Yet conservative opinion continues its anti-bike tirade to consolidate oil profits.

Since a bicycle is not a vehicle, you shouldn't mimic motorists. You should cross when everyone else has red lights; in presence of other traffic remain right of solid shoulder line except to dodge debris and establish sight lines; slow and yield at stop signs (already law in Idaho), but stay moving so you can accelerate if needed; take to gore areas and sidewalks when otherwise unsafe on avenues and bridges; use all of road and best pavement in absence of other traffic. Motorists need not concern themselves with exhaustion, dress dependent on weather, remember to constantly hydrate, or scout and time fast routes. Not going to list again the 10 items to bring and wear. Just do it and soon figure it all out yourself.

If only those words are necessary that change minds and chart new courses, then best paragraphs are minefields of memes that suddenly explode into reader extremism or repentance. Anything else is boring or rebarbative. Imagine writers laboring for years in obscurity only to be ignored? Why bother? More time ought to be spent on making facts useful than merely recording them, more time really doing things than talking about doing them someday. But are people worth your efforts? History inevitably will be repeated by majority who doesn't read and doesn't want to be saved. Meanwhile, terrorists try to impose their will on others by attacking embassies and markets of bystanders or running for office through tactics that alienate 50% of voters. Appealing to fears and pandering to emotions will always profit more than raising awareness and using reason.

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