Saturday, August 26, 2017

Block Amain

Advertisers and oppressors automatically offer you choices between equally awful courses, suggest you pick sides, taunt by insulting and name-calling when you hesitate. Disregard them. They replaced reasons with tokens, since they’d prefer you never think for yourself. Note signs under which gangs and governments cravenly cringe, express detachment, or find solidarity: Arm bands, badges, brands, crests, flags, glyphs, insignias, logos, marks, patches, pins or tattoos. Each can be blatantly despicable or secretly discriminate. Other are innocuous.

As discussed under A Basket or a Palm, Companion Reader (2nd Edition, Nov. 20th, 2008, p 471) the swastika was derived independently by ancient pagan cultures as diverse as Celtic, Mycenean of SE Europe, North American Pima Indian, Sanskrit scholars of central Asia, and Scandinavian. Any basket weaver would recognize its interlacing pattern as an omen of good harvest, thus luck. Nazis only latched onto an eon obscured symbol for their godless regime devoid of all spirituality (but not superstition), which inevitably demands ethical treatment. “Baskets should be to gather and share, not covet and hoard.” Recent history has rendered swastika as divisive a symbol as ever known, standing for genocide, greed, heinous narcissism, murder of innocents, and sadistic perversion. Psychotic murderer Charles Manson has one tattooed on his forehead.

Those who’d rather not commingle, refuse to federate, wave a nearly as schismatic flag. Deliver klansmen some stars (as sparing partners see after a haymaker) and stupid bars (as felons spend lives behind). Indeed, many white supremacists are rightly incarcerated for antisocial animus. In the insular world of NASCAR, they festoon cars and RVs with them, race as if participants don’t matter, and show no respect for rest of nation. Most fans staunchly support Trump, so you know where they’re coming from: Rubes without culture chugging Buds to slaughter what few brain cells they were dealt.

When did vehicles become weapons against citizens and innocents? Calling victims protesters doesn’t legally entitle drivers to mow them down, even if they are impeding traffic. After all, bicyclists and pedestrians, whether alone or en masse, represent traffic just as much as motor vehicles, which take up more area than their fair share. There has never been any right to proceed at speed, only the tenuous privilege of being permitted to use public thoroughfares whenever possible. Ratio of roads mobbed versus vacant is 1:10; to go freely you merely have to choose a suitable timeframe, such as 4:30 AM. Even during afternoon and morning peaks, not all space is used; buffers exist that bicyclists slip through, and sidewalks practically never get used except at malls. If you instead choose to go during surge in a huge SUV or truck, which can’t get out of its own way, you will often get stuck. Why don’t they expect it? Questions their intelligence. Bike&Chain fully realizes that “Why?” is central and essential to bicYcle. Why not cycle instead of seethe at betrayal of beaten and congested streets?

In SE Asia, dualist Yin Yang focuses on how everything consists of dark and light, empty and full, evil and good, female and male, negative and positive, old and young, opposite but reconcilable sides. This millennia old Taoist circle of intertwined amoebas, each containing a seed of other, may entreat tolerance, but stances so extreme have no place and ought not be abided. Just as you can be obnoxiously aggressive, you can be unduly passive, such as reading, talking and writing instead of showing up and taking action. Yet who wants to assume a place in harm’s way? Remark as if you care, and shrewd users take you for a chump. Better to ask questions and feign ignorance than profess preeminence. However, without deeds, losers usher mental defectives into offices of power and policy making positions. Voting alone won’t do it; organizing a new party would better represent ideals and needs than two who currently preside.

Related Gankyil, Dzogchen’s circle of primordial energy, has three parts which spiral in a way that unifies. Literally "Wheel of Joy” in Tibet, its three jewels alternatively suggest base, path and fruit - Buddha, Dharma, Sangha - discipline, meditation, wisdom - infinite, innate, external - or subject, object, action. Similar to but not to be confused with Triskelion, a 3-fold spiral to which ancient Europeans, Neopagans and postmodern BDSM identify, a Gankyil rotating resembles thing you see when you are waiting for computer to save you time. Of universal symbols discussed, none more screams bicycling: Wheels wisely revolving through disciplined effort to arrive at a destination.

Gangkyil’s trinity could also suggest art, science and spirituality, mankind’s 3 known ways of exploring reality. Earthlings can barely wrap their minds around 1 idea, never mind follow 3 swirling together interactively, each tugging upon the other. Truth will never consist of so few dimensions, usually many more than you can conceive. Any meter square environment exhibits evaporation, fermentation, insect communication, Krebs cycle, mitosis, nitrogen fixation, photosynthesis, protein digestion, reproduction, and whatnot. Whether or not you’re aware of all that concurrently occurs is irrelevant.

Some people distribute ink by publishing books. Some keep ink in the form of tattoos. Gangsters and prisoners delight in flaunting misdeeds; makes potential assailants in a violent population think twice about murderous retribution. Carrying a crucifix reminds one of how life is rife with undeserved death and pain, though only the worst reserve this princely status and religions generally condemn fleshy mutilation. Hung on a cross now seems merciful compared to seared alive in a nuclear attack. Modern expertise trumps primitive cruelty by making suffering appear inescapable. You’re a slave or soldier kept alive to serve obediently without personal latitude. Those with might should be expected to fight every threat to an individual’s right to escape this plight.

Recall a campus polarized over communist professor's tenure denial. Students on either side wore No and Yes lapel pins. Labann wore a blank one. There's always a third alternative, usually unimagined, possibly others unexplored, as well. Control freaks and petty authorities abhor choices that loosen their grip on you, reason enough to make initiating feints and perfecting parries your mission. Mainly block any expectations you’ll react in ways to which they presume you’re conditioned after a lifetime of nationalistic slogans and scholastic lies. Anarchists associate with a Circle A. If you do what’s best for entire community you’ll regret it less.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Define Insane

Sociologists estimate that 25% of people suffer from some personality disorder. Most guess that percentage is too low, given how much mayhem, murder and terrorism is reported. And how can you ignore nearly half of those who voted in 2016 elected an impeachable sociopath? News reporters prefer aberrations and perversions and seldom discuss mundane normality and reliability. Although majority associates mental illness with raging psychosis, it mainly describes life threatening depression or minor quirks commonly treatable and typically harmless other than setbacks that affect self. Oddity may even be celebrated as charismatic allure or magnetic attraction. Why stifle yourself? Express how you feel. Leads to charity, cures, friendships and patronage.

But don't ask a cyclist, "How are you doing?" He or she is suffering, of course. For whose sake? Bicycles are torture racks. Masochists? Besides, few to none would stop to discuss. One word replies are all you’ll mercifully get, unless you roll alongside, then you'll hear an earful of anecdotal fragments interrupted by curses, gasps and street noises, possibly a litany of complaints you probably didn't expect or ever wanted to confront. Doctors define insanity as persistent behaviors that harm self or repeatedly fail. Bicycling, blogging and complaining qualify.

Bad enough it takes 3 to 5 times as long to reach destinations, cyclists can't spare a minute. Will never regain 10,000+ hours spent pedaling, never mind dogged activism, event attendance, and relentless jeremiad. Do diehards expect to recoup 415 days at the end of their lives? Will it matter then? Is nothing society needs produced while they waste time? Then again, over a career bicyclists avoid 1,400 average hours stuck idling in gridlock sucking up petrochemical toxins and sweating through traffic threats as do drivers for 14,000 hours. Bicycling beats driving to a gym for a lesser workout. Yet, unless you're a jet attendant or pilot, taxi or truck driver, train engineer, or whatnot, transportation only occupies 2% of your lifespan. People sleep 33%, and work 35% or more, though policymakers deem them inconsequential by what they spend to improve.

Races on closed roads give an impression that motorists don’t really rob time from cyclists. Froome could vroom over 3,450 kilometers past exhilarating vistas and fragrant French farms to his 4th yellow costume win without dodging vehicles that continually and disgustingly fart a miasmatic fume in your face. However, without enormous automotive inducement, would they even pave streets? Asphalt derives from crude oil tars after gasoline and other fractions are extracted. Some argue that pavement of concrete or stone could be laid, but cutting and hauling them requires heavy duty tools and trucks running on fossil fuels.

Grand tours revere barriers to bicycling, stick what only peloton can overcome in spectators faces, but you should instead heed how several hundred can ride bikes for 2,000+ miles over intimidating terrain, not impossible but oh-so probable after all. Makes you wish you were fit and young enough to compete beside. Have personally tagged along with triathletes just to join joys of flying freely. Yet family has been deterred from bike path outings by outsiders acting crazily.

Specialized Bicycles Foundation debuted the Outride ADHD spot during Le Tour de France. Ride for Focus proposes that bike riding helps treat this disability affecting one out of nine American children. Always acknowledged as a mood leveler, bicycling, as recent research shows, increases concentration needed to achieve scholastically. Sure, you have to pay attention to ride; meanwhile, it increases blood flow to brain and limits video distractions. Insights in B&C came from displacing incessant outside agitprop with inner thoughts derived from the equivalent of 5 work-years of riding. Bicycles probably decompress every bit as well as sensory deprivation chambers.

All physical exercise including manual labor has a similar effect, but bicycling offers concentrated doses of enzymes and hormones. Bicycling definitely appeals to artists, autistics, brainiacs, indigoes, and whoever can’t afford to make several thousands per year in car payments. Any adult who finds employment can at least buy a bike outright, though charities exist to assist teens to build their own from used parts. Bike ownership does represent ongoing costs, particularly apparel, tires, tubes and wear ware, with which youth may have difficulty. Why does government do so little to address this need? Wouldn’t take much, staffed and stocked vans adjacent to bike paths to fix flats and teach skills, small expenses versus a trillion they spend every decade on motorways, and some severely needed jobs similar to New Deal era WPA. Great returns could come from small investments of effort, revenue and time.

To engage school kids voters would have to support Safe Routes to School programs, which provide bike lanes on streets, financial assistance, police patrols, storage lockers and racks, and teacher encouragement. Who is going to go on record telling children not to board busses but ride from home alongside? The first one killed en route will result in a precedent lawsuit. Teachers already require signed permission slips just to take class on a field trip by bus. No, the best way has family members or reliable groups escorting youth after hours and weekends on bike paths, provided such facilities exist, get lit, maintained, patrolled, and regularly swept, and lie within a reasonable distance. The jersey barrier mural above shows a kid gleefully outdistancing his dad on one.

Attempts by activists to establish infrastructure has only succeeded in enlightened communities against formidable resistance from automotive lobbies and neighborhood nimbys. Many taxpayers resent paying for education, never mind individual accommodation, saying they neither benefit from expense nor have kids who attend. Both arguments exemplify stupidity, since society as a whole benefits from an educated populace capable of making change, performing work, reading instructions, and transporting self. Ultimately, all bicycling facilities ought to connect, just as road network, include signs specific to cycling, and so become a true transportation alternative.

Reactionaries, exemplified by Trump, ascribe causality to unrelated sources and bemoan anything they think might deny them what they crave. This impedes what works and strangles any sense of community. Contributors made to feel unwanted or useless stop. Sends a chill throughout population. Misogyny attacks majority, 51% of humanity. Women as equals to men is an idea whose time has come. A woman almost became nation's president, right after first African American left office.

The 20th Century with its prejudices, problems, and totalitarian ambitions is over. In the 21st, a whole new utopian paradigm will sweep away internecine greed and unilateral sacrifices. If not, all life on planet will die. Suicide bombers prefer this option; take out as many as you can, as if self immolation deserves a retinue of billions. You’re no Chinese emperor or Egyptian pharaoh! Every Nazi falsely believes her/himself superior. Tyranny thrives on such absurdity. Unless you pertinaciously advocate for civil rights, you quickly fall victim to bullies yourself. Is cycling safe amidst senseless hate?

Pundits predict that media attacks on POTUS will fail. But do they goad retaliation with collateral damage? Social media grants self aggrandizers a forum to browbeat the weak and whip up resentment against the powerless. To get in good with conservative core of cretinous reactionaries from Mesozoic era whence fossils formed, Tyrannosaurus Trump had to dump upon children, cripples, elderly, invalids, mutilated soldiers, policy victims, single moms, social security recipients who’ve earned entitlement, and whoever survives on social welfare, since they represent revenue outflow congressmen can’t conveniently steal. An appeal ought to go to fairness and social justice, not single out personalities who violate arbitrary norms.

Forget revolution. Foster evolution. Upheavals always ruin things that already work well. What deserves to be eliminated ought to be carefully excised or supplanted with sensible options. Sure, attempt something new, but discontinue if it doesn't work. Beats abiding policies that never met goals, the worst of which was letting politicians pilfer internal revenue. Art often applies new ideas and materials, overthrows conventions, and tosses out the old and reprehensible, why it so benefits society. Some aspects stubbornly remain the same, such as criteria of art’s worth relative to when it was produced. The great example will always possess value. Some not recognized as insane continue to cause harm and never adapt.