The Communist Party Was Less Controlling…

Background Reading

Summary

marine parkway bridge

marine parkway bridge


TakeAways

Someone today on a forum cited at length this passage from the article above:

“…to shoal somebody who was riding faster than you is like pushing your full shopping cart through a floor display so you can beat the guy with just a loaf of bread and a tube of toothpaste to the express lane. Of course, the truth is that some people are faster than others. This can be because they’re carrying less stuff, or they’re in more of a hurry, or they’re simply more physically fit.”

I don’t happen to agree with the article in its entirety but that is not the point. What is astonishing is that the owner of said forum assumes that quote any of the material in the forum is a breach of some sort of contract.

So I guess that by quoting a passage quoted by a user of this forum I am in breach of said contract? Can you think of anything more Orwellian than that?

When Did Liberals Adopt Fascist Methods?

What seems at play here is the fact that we have lost faith in the rightness of our message. Most of what passes as Urban Cycling Thought is the parroting of something that someone else said the last time everyone was sitting over beers and getting stupider by the moment. And given the fact that most of the members of these groups are relatively young or ‘new to the movement‘ they drink up what their ‘betters‘ tell them and do so out of a desperate need to belong.

If this were the late 1800s or even the early 1940s I could see this sort of thing happening because that was the way of the world, back then. But evidently it has become popular for blog owners who are either incompetent or technically naive to understand that a forum that does not shelter its product behind a firewall is ‘fair game‘.

It simply makes little sense to hide behind some idea of ownership of ideas and content that largely relies on citing other thinkers (e.g. The NYCSnob) and not realize how craven that approach really is.

I have listened as countless participants in these forums complain that they were warned by ‘Big Brother‘ that their ideas were ‘not kosher‘. That their accounts would be dissolved and they would I guess be banished to that state in the Church of Urban Cycling where your soul wanders aimlessly on the spokes of the Great Eternal Wheel.

It is as if, there were some God Complex being drawn upon by these forum owners who do this sort of thing. Since I am not a member of these groups I am wondering why anybody would join them. But the need to ‘belong‘ is fairly powerful. And the requirement of ‘purity of thought‘ is as strong in these circles as it ever was in the land of the Tea Party.

Even Liberty University Welcomes Bernie Sanders

I notice that the New York Times has posted this as a ‘first draft‘. I take that to mean that they are uncertain whether the lead they got was authentic. But the idea is nevertheless intriguing.

What is missing in most of the pews of the Church of Urban Cycling are heretics. This is different from the kind of activity that is downright ‘nasty‘. Rather it is the spawning of conversation that is ‘not orthodox‘. It is what you do when you bring a ham sandwich to a pot luck where everyone is ‘eating halal‘.

What has transpired within the ranks of the Urban Cycling Movement is a ‘functional conformity‘. The first step was to ‘hide behind the skirts‘ of the pedestrians and users of Mass Transit. When your movement is as puny (in numbers) as are bicyclists you really cannot get on the governmental gravy train unless you have better numbers.

So in many cases what had been advocacy groups devoted to cycling suddenly became part of a alliance of other groups that were all looking for a teat sow that is government funding.

But what has instead happened is that these groups have funded forums that are essentially self-serving. They are most afraid that some of their membership my be ‘too critical‘ of what they do or do not do. It’s a bit like being Donald Trump and his new wife and being photographed in a social context with the Clintons. Perish the thought!

What this says to me is that you have very little to offer the world in terms of critical thinking. People in the Church of Urban Cycling often wait to hear what their Pope has to offer.

That leads to some rather strange and contradictory behavior. You have the Pope demanding that no one use reflective paint on their bicycles or clothing because he finds the product offered up free of charge by Volvo personally offensive.

And then not more than a few months later a fellow decides that a street grate which he finds dangerous is painted and labelled as a failing of the the local DOT and gets fined.

My question would be why would anyone in this self-righteous group ever mark anything with bright or reflective paint, don a helmet, or for that matter buy and use hi-vis reflective clothing? Given the decrees of the ruling elite in this Church there should probably be a movement on to encourage dark or even black clothing (in the ninja-style) for cycling and a sharp decline in the purchase of lights by the membership.

After all these are the folks who went so far as to create posters celebrating the ninja look along the Chicago Lakefront Trail! And then put those posters up for sale! Yikes!

Well clearly 1984 by Orwell was a prescient tome. It just surprises me that both Fascists from the Right and the Left are so very busy fulfilling its predictions.