Monday, September 29, 2008
I'm probably too conflicted to even try to write about this, but I'm going to try.
So, on Friday my friend Pat (friend: regular at the bakery who sometimes buys me a beer and gives me free tech support) had a bit of showdown with the kids doing Critical Mass. From his side of the story, they were being purposely aggressive and he had a wedding to get to. They were taking up the whole road (which is the point of Critical Mass) and harassing him. According to him. I like Pat, and he does ride bikes, but he is also a SUV-driving Republican.
I'm going to assume that both Pat and the bike kids were in the wrong here. I agree with the principles of Critical Mass and was even thinking about going on the ride. I believe in direct action. I have done Critical Mass before and I think it's a good way to make a statement about how unfriendly cities are to cyclists and the enjoyment of life in general. For me, group rides and Critical Mass especially have been about showing how much fun bikes can be and that commuting to work or wherever can be a joyful experience. It's not about making people driving feel like jerks.
It goes without saying then that I strongly disagree with the Critical Massers who looked up Pat's address and then went out and SPRAYPAINTED HIS FUCKING CAR. How are we supposed to get anything accomplished if we repeatedly prove to this city what assholes bike riders are? Yes, I know we are better because we ride all the time. So start acting like it. Don't let your anger control you. If you want to spraypaint something, spraypaint the fucking slaughterhouse. Or McDonald's or something. People in cars aren't the enemy.
They're just cyclists who don't know it yet.
And next time you're on the internet, try doing some reading about Critical Mass and direct action. We need to make this look easy and fun and we need to look good doing it. And that'll prove a bigger point than defacing my friend's car.
Unrelated 'Firefly' tirade:
They killed Wash! I can't believe they killed Wash! He was my favorite character. (Yes, I know I'm a bit late to the whole 'Firefly' thing. I get there eventually.)