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Thursday, August 11, 2016

Candy Quesne

La Mélancolie des dragons is Philippe Quesne’s absurdist theater play in which aging rockers stuck in a broken car are aided by naïf bicyclist Isabelle. Quesne, pronounced Cain, means oak in French, a language Labann has leaned on a lot lately for ever harder to find rhymes with chain. Play becomes an eye candy spectacle of kinetic art. Over a century ago (1913), French absurdist artist Marcel Duchamps produced the first ever kinetic sculpture, a bicycle fork and wheel mounted upside-down on an oak stool, a so-called readymade mashup of disparate functions, now lost. Bicyclists dread being stuck in place while spinning furiously. All too human. One wonders what became of humanistic Los Angeles artist and Midnight Ridazz regular Sarah Sitkin, aka Candy Cane.

While you’d expect artists and musicians like Talking Heads frontman David Byrne to warm to wheels, what’s happening with conservative actor/politician Arnold Schwarzenegger? The former Republican “Governator” of California denounced climate change against GOP hardliners and own Hummer collection, and has been seen recently riding a bicycle in Edinburgh, Scotland. Everyone is most assuredly allowed a change of direction and heart. Clint Eastwood, on the other hand, endorsed Trump, who claims any global warming warning is a Chinese ruse. Were he still alive B. T. Barnum would have had a better explanation for Trump’s polarized popularity, “A sucker is born every minute.” Eastwood once grumbled, “I tried being reasonable. I didn’t like it.” While acting responsible is only a duty to yourself, rest of world acts independently of your personal convictions yet suffers from your attitudes and vices.

Another setting star, Niner QB Joe Montana rides his bike to be closer to his family (and likely to ease knees for which he’s legendary). You can join him for better cardiovascular fitness, or race in Amgen’s Tour of California. Candy cranks out a roster of reasons why you should choose cycling. You can deck out your handlebars with a candy cane wrap by following directions from San Francisco's finest Mission Bicycle Company.

Along with other successful corporations with enormous facilities, Epic Medical Software maintains a fleet of black bicycles for their main campus in Verona, Wisconsin, so employees can borrow and cut the 10 minute walk across to a 2 minute ride. They emulate at least 2 dozen big companies including previously mentioned Apple, Facebook, Linked-in, Mercedes Benz, and Nike. Am intimately familiar with at least one company that actively discouraged bike commuting, now out of business. Although anecdotal, does say something, no?

Polls suggest the most popular color of bicycles is still candy apple red. Many builders default to red; some, like Richard Sachs, used to supply only his signature team red. With increasing use of carbon fiber, black has begun to supplant, though buyers also prefer brushed or clear finished natural metal. Doesn’t matter. Whatever wavelength of light gets brightly reflected gradually fades as sun sets. All offer the same sweet ride whenever you decide to go out and glide.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Braiment de l’âne

Conventions are over, presidential nominees and running mates named. For good reason Democratic Party is depicted as a braying donkey and Republican Party a bellicose elephant with a long memory of privilege and proclivity for stomping anything in its way. Extremism is brutish, repulsive, and uncivilized. America’s moderate majority has long since been beaten into silent submission by media aggression. If you apply logic to contest anything they say, or point out inconsistencies from day to day, you’re branded traitor, called coward, labeled liar who newshounds will gainsay. Dare impugn your honesty? They know nothing of thee: Influential Independent, no liberal tolerant, objective author, person who cares, seeker of truth, and singular creator of whom polarized simpletons will never be cognizant. To resist being cornered and to speak intelligently make radicals and thugs freak out and react with hostility.

Lived through one inane Republican administration after the next, all of which enjoyed congressional dominance, each of which were recovered by Democrats who spent tax dollars not yet collected. Mismanagement? Hardy. Rather national rape, race to oligarchy, resource disparity, and return to slavery. Honestly, who'd want to be associated with either party? Blue, red, or white, Eeewww! Divided you fall, leave some huge leverage hole for abominable despots or muslim clerics to fill.

GOP, the new know-nothing party, actively promotes class warfare, always causes recessions, and never succeeds due to its reactionary stupidity. Drug addled masses invite conservatism, monarchism even, because following dictates offers the luxury of turning off your brain. Xenophobic farmers and ranchers relate to GOP’s stranger disapproval and stronger approval of property ownership. Narrow-minded conservatives and nazis in Nebraska act as if blameless and everything everyone else does that doesn't perfectly align with their bizarre compulsions is criminal. Urban liberals for whom suffering fools and trading fairly are compulsions gravitate to Democrat side for want of an organized alternative. Meanwhile, majority going along in normality mode wouldn't think of blaming these mental defectives for their aberrant behavior, merely ignore, pity, or politely deter them. But some crimes can't be acquitted, and some diseases must be treated. Gun ownership presents a particular dilemma among martinets trying to enforce false notions of morality.

In shockingly clueless juxtaposition, Crews blurted out, “Right to own guns to protect families" and… "Sanctity of every single human life,” as if adversaries can be demoted to alien zombies and fetuses promoted to community property. Is this just an agenda drum thump from the stump or mindless admission of acumen slump? Has he not heard that insane gunmen are killing policemen? Those of privilege think guns and police protect their property and wealth; most don’t know how to apply either as deterrents, and tragedies strike more often to those who bring heat or own guns. Many sheriffs retire without ever having to draw one against a criminal, but you can be sure that recent killings will revisit innocents in a blur of retaliatory responses rationalized by self preservation. Speaker Cryin vowed retribution for a congressional Democratic sit-in protesting guns for the demented, a core conservative constituency.

GOP’s latest tactic is to cast a pall over Democratic nominee by belaboring a cynical witch hunt into prosaic email and phone text as if they might reveal state secrets, which they’ll continue through election day or until nobody pays any mind. GOP wasted years trying to impeach husband for having a legal pedestrian sex affair, when they could have jailed Republican religious clerics for heinous pederasty. About the only female head of state anyone remembers is Brit Hatcher, but she was a conservative medusa who turned anyone who looked at her into stone, probably why she wore that big hat. Chauvinists, misogynists, and rotarians are already against Billary, and they are legion. With the ill informed only hearing appeals to fear and pride, they miss what maneuvered them into a choice between bad and worse. GOP's "all or nothing" mentality is moronic, seditious, and tyrannical. Supportive mainly of automotive, Big Oil, commerce, defense, guns, and rules that apply to you not them - never gender identity, human rights, minority voting, sexual preferences, religious freedoms, and whatever else they deem suspect - key Republicans such as Clandenstine, Connedaway, Gorgon, Laundry, and Quaylude betray their inability to treat diverse individuals fairly, and lack of capacity to understand immorality. You can be sure whatever they say is rooted firmly in self interest rather than societal ethics. Rabble rally around their position, even though they seldom share in proceeds. Potential for greed is a powerful incentive.

Can’t they think of something better to do, like keep police safe from gun lunatics or reverse pubic debt every citizen shares? Agency, federal and state debt combined exceeds $30 trillion. Or is it a state secret where all this loot went? Bundles went to bankers, cabinet, chief, conflict caterers, foreign powers, and oil monarchy, instigators of terrorism against Americans. GOP nominee blamed lame duck for $19 trillion in federal debt, when a GOP run Congress was responsible. Duck inherited $17 trillion from Dubya, so did well to slow sprint to insolvency by ignoring mockery and improving prosperity. Debt spiraling out of control would doom every human.

As an Independent from the only viable party, never lazily pull one lever, and want to puke on every poster with moronic slogan, "Make America Great Again!" Not surprisingly, Donald aping Ronald accuses wrong parties with similar names, casts aspersions falsely, and says whatever supporters want to hear. Beset by conservative schoolyard bully tactics, Americans will jump to conclusions where angels dare not decide. Candidate has no chance to make good on this empty promise, even if he uses his billions to create more bingos for bimbos. Not presidents, representatives and senators govern nation, set policy, and write laws. The Don, like a mafia godfather, spreads fears and shame, as exemplified by Fox News fiction. America is already the greatest nation on earth from many perspectives; for example, its hard working classes are willing to abide any billionaire buffoon who insults everyone based on creed, gender, race, and service unto death. Support he enjoys signals a backlash against political correctness and descent into tribal spear rattling. Voters already dismissed as a hysterical egomaniac another supposedly self-made tycoon who presumed that qualified him as chief executive. Another dunce with no track record of public service, not even dog catcher, now blusters against a shady lady who spent 40 years serving in high offices, thereby inviting suspicion. Ironic how incessant drone "unfit to lead" now actually describes a POTUS pretender. Every vote for a marshmallow comb-over says another citizen has given up on this e pluribus unum crucible sustained through its diversity. Democracy loses all meaning if you hand over power to a king who'll delegate domestic and foreign policy and pontificate on issues over which he has no control. By the way, there is already a wall between Mexico and US under which countless tunnels have been dug. Every smuggled drug helps another clown run.

Electorate may miss an opportunity to restore balance in a congress dominated by Republican conservatism and tea party stupidity. Oust these maniacs and parasites. All attention is paid to animosities between Democrats (31% of voters) and Republicans (29%). But, as always, races will be decided by Independents, 38% of voters, who'll elect candidates on empty pocketbooks, merit, and message, not party endorsement. Independents are represented by a two wheeled horse, something bound to give a better ride than stubborn donkey or stupid pachyderm. Were you laid off during previous administration then rehired under current? Then you, too, should hold a grunge against bad governance.

What disgusts most is the degree to which inane commentary reigns in this election cycle. Issues which should be discussed are buried in illogical nonsense and sound bites. Democrats, with their clever speeches about responsible policy, sound to addlebrained throng as blah, blah, boring details, as if the braying of an ass. Unless an extreme sweet tweet that shocks, ordinary remarks have no capacity to capture minds or votes, and so are ignored. One ought to delight in accounts of how something went well, how whatever was accomplished served entire community, or how whoever participated was overjoyed with rewards and satisfaction. Instead, pols hit the road, spin wheels, and tour at your expense. Progress will never suit privileged few or those without a clue on how things could be better for you. Unless nation continuously improves and pulls together, it relentlessly declines.

“For I've been traveling on a boat and a plane, in a car, on a bike, with a bus and a train. Traveling there, traveling here, everywhere in every gear. But, oh Lord, we pay the price, with the spin of the wheel with the roll of the dice. Ah yeah, you pay your fare. And if you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there… And I've been traveling through the dirt and the grime, from the past to the future, through the space and the time… I've been traveling on a wing and a prayer, by the skin of my teeth, by the breadth of a hair. Traveling where the four winds blow, with the sun on my face, in the ice and the snow.” George Harrison, Any Road, 1988, on posthumous album Brainwashed, 2002