Thursday, February 24, 2011

fire all of your guns at once and...

Recently I had the pleasure of taking the Amtrak from Chicago to Detroit for a buddy’s wedding. Getting there meant waking up at 5am, taking the el and then sitting on the Amtrak for 8 hours. And it was unbelievable. I just got to sit there and read and enjoy silence and not think for the first time in what seems like forever. There were no screaming children and there was no strict, hard and fast deadline within which I needed to do whatever it was I was supposed to do (like, when my kids finally go to bed, if I want to do anything, and this includes eat, read, shower, get on the internet, do work, write music, judge a blowjob contest, watch tv…anything at all, I’ve gotta figure out how I’m gonna pack it all into the tiny exhausted sliver of time left before I pass out, and if we go out, I’m constantly thinking about the babysitter and the inconvenience/money that is at stake for every hour I’m not heading home). It was, and I’m not shitting you people here, one of the best times I’ve had in recent memory.

In fact, when I replay the whole weekend, the trainride out there was the highlight. This throws one thing into sharp relief: my life is getting weird. If sitting in a seat with no one bugging me for 8 hours is the best time I can hope for I may as well get it over with and move into a home. Although, at a home, you don’t get to watch Illinois, Indiana and Michigan unfold outside the window, and this was truly one of the nicest parts of the ride.

For most of my adult life, I’ve been in a van. The feeling of watching shit whip by into the past, the feeling of riding along the timeline of your life, seeing what’s in front of you and watching the past dissolve behind you, is so ingrained in me that on that train I felt like I was finally back in my element. I was finally able to relax and just unplug and enjoy myself. And it was at some point on this journey that I saw, in the driveway of a dilapidated shack that butted up against the train tracks, somewhere in the middle of a dumpy Michigan town in the middle of nowhere, two very nice crotchrocket style matching motorcycles, one blue, one yellow, just chilling in perfect tandem.

It got me to thinking, whoever owns those bikes (and GOD I hope it’s a husband and wife, but I bet it’s just one dude or a pair of dudes) obviously spends most of their money on their ride, as the house was, in no uncertain terms, a shit shack. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with that. To borrow from the classic tale: some folks spend all their money on a nice suit and wear underwear full of holes and some people get the nicest underwear and wear the cheap suit. There’s distinct advantages to both and I’m not trying to tell these ruff-riding hillbillies how to stretch their checks.

But the question that came up in my mind, which I’ve been thinking about for a while now, is what they do. Do they ride those things around that shitty little town to the crappy bar or the Burger King or take it out to the casino? I mean, I don’t want to sound like a dick, but it seems like all the glitz and glamour and freedom that comes with getting the fancy bike is kind of undermined by the stark reality of the strict ‘no glitz, no glamour, no freedom’ policy that’s being put out there by the town. I guess it seems sad?

Nah…it’s not quite sad. It’s funny and kind of weird. Eh…it sucks. No. No. Hmmm…

Look, motorcycles are the realm of the dildo. This is a pretty unequivocal truth. The Harley Davidson logo is far and away the most obvious signifier of the clueless dipshit (even more than tapout or ed hardy…it’s true) and these sporty asian bikes that all the big black dudes ride now are equally lame.

That’s because all motorcycles are lame. Yes they are. I don’t care about your friend that fixes up Hondas from the 80’s and is the ‘most laid back dude ever, bro’. I don’t give a fuck about the fancy Hitler bikes or the Italian bikes. I don’t care how ‘fun’ they are. People say those running shoes with the toes in them are comfortable as shit but that doesn’t take them out of the realm of being the most pussy-repellant, dorky, shitty looking, wouldn’t-be-caught-dead-in-them shoes I’ve ever seen. Same shit goes for motorcycles. One guy who can pull off riding a bike doesn’t diminish the overwhelmingly wack cultural currency that motorcycles have worked so hard to cement into the fabric of our society. Motorcycles signify a few things about the owner and almost nothing else ever. Those things are:
1) I’m a dork.
2) I’m an asshole
3) I ran out of things to spend money on, so I bought this dumb idea.
4) I really admire a dork/asshole/moneywaster
5) I have an obsession with ‘freedom’ and ‘the seventies’ and bullshit like that
6) Small penis
7) I ran out of ways to point out to strangers how much cooler than them I think I am.

Now, not all bikers fit all 7 categories. In fact, I’ve got a few friends who ride motorcycles (some very, very close friends, in fact) and I’m not even sure what their deals are (Six seems the likely culprit). I’m not saying that in all cases it’s an all encompassing douche-tude that ensconses you once you become a bike enthusiast. In fact, lots of people can like their bikes and be otherwise so cool that you can completely overlook their dumb obsession. I’m just saying it’s a blemish, a blight on your character. That’s all.

And, fine. If we MUST, let’s get it out there. Old ass men who live out west and just live to ride are pretty awesome. You can’t really fault that shit. But that’s not you. That’s not your buddy. You two look like you’re riding your blue and yellow surrogate dongs around your crappy little town just solely for the purposes of getting the word out that you’re exceedingly awesome. And that’s what dorks and assholes do. Sorry.

Hey, just my two cents. I ride the fucking dinosaur train after all.

42 comments:

Heather said...

i heard you were at the garden bowl and almost shit. i was already way too inebriated to leave.

also, your girl bree olson is on vacation with charlie sheen. google it.

suckcity said...

"I’m just saying it’s a blemish, a blight on your character."

This is such a closed minded thing of you to say that I'm actually bummed out to be reading it.

It would be one thing if you had left it at "I think bikes are lame for A, B and C reasons," but the fact that you seem to think you have it all figured out when (and I'm going to go out on a limb here) you've probably never ridden, let alone owned a bike is something I really wouldn't have ever pegged you for.

I would elaborate on my feelings towards bikes if I wasn't so sure that it would be falling on deaf ears. The most I can do for you is extend an open invitation to take one of my bikes out for a ride if you ever decide you'd like to have a bit more of an informed opinion than the one you have, which seems to be based entirely on a pretty mainstream portrayal of some generic, impotent yuppie with a handlebar moustache, wearing a skull-and-crossbones bandanna and riding a shiny $20,000 psuedo-macho midlife crisis machine.

suckcity said...

Also, just as an aside: as long as we're pigeon-holing entire groups of people based on a common thread they might share, how does the comparison of yourself and the music you've made (in terms or whatever you want - honesty, integrity, quality - it really doesn't matter) to, say, any member of Good Charlotte, sit with you? I mean, you're both just PUNK ROCK bands, aren't you? Isn't that all that ever really needs to be said? About your punk rock band, about my punk rock band, about ANYBODY'S punk rock band? We all just fall under the banner of Good Charlotte, don't we?

Is it really fair to take the most obvious, "universally recognizable" member of any group of people and arbitrarily make them the archetype of everybody else who might share that one common trait? If you can take me as a person and boil me down to a middle aged fat man with a wolf shirt, leather chaps and a tiny dick based SOLELY on the fact that I love building and riding motorcycles, does that mean I can just peg you as some b-side Benji Madden?

Also - I am serious about the offer I made in my previous post. I do hope you'll take me up on it, even at the risk of being thought of ass a dorky asshole with a small penis and nothing better to spend his money on.

eric said...

I'd have to agree with suckcity. Also, this entry made me think of a couple things..

1- You whine about being a father a lot. I'm not saying that being a parent is easy, because it definitely isn't. Furthermore, I know that this is what you're living, so you write about that naturally. Still....suck it up a little bit for fucks sake. I've never heard anyone whine about parenthood so much before. Mind you not all of my friends have blogs so maybe I'm wrong here. However, I've been reading this blog for a few years now and I've always enjoyed it. The real aspect of it, the humor, the general goings on in the world, etc etc. I don't think it's out of line to express this.

I realize someone will probably just chime in with "well if you don't like it, don't fucking read it asshole", and I suppose to an extent they would be correct. I like the blog generally, it's not insane to wish it would return to its original form is it?

2- the negative generalizing is a bummer. It's not even about bikes at all to be honest, it's just the negative generalizing attitude in general. It leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I knew a dude who was horrible for this. All he ever did was stay home, work, surf the net and then talk shit about EVERYONE. It's sickening.

Yeah maybe people on bikes can be douchey, but still, they are just enjoying their bikes, fucking give em a break. At least it's something positive in their lives.

It's A-Me, Martucci said...

"Is it really fair to take the most obvious, "universally recognizable" member of any group of people and arbitrarily make them the archetype of everybody else who might share that one common trait?"

That's what an archetype IS, you weirdo. He seems to be having fun here roasting the biker archetype. BTW - abundantly obvious to anyone with half a brain that, amidst all the "ass kickin bike roastin carnbage", he's making the concession one CAN in fact engage in bikage and be a perfectly decent human being (e.g. the friends he alludes to) as opposed to a humorless, hyper-defensive, reactionary assclown completely playing to "biker boy" type (e.g. yourself).

Some of you people readin this shit really need to up your ability to discern tone. Jesus christ

It's A-Me, Martucci said...

Brendan bein meeeeeeEeeeeeeean

eric said...

I know what an archetype is.


Remember when he talked about the Jersey Shore and said those kids were alright? Because it's not like they didn't know what they were doing. They were doing it because they did in fact know, and actually enjoyed it. He then commended them for doing so.

I'd rather see that.

dustyfloors said...

I'm angry!!!

suckcity said...

"That's what an archetype IS, you weirdo. He seems to be having fun here roasting the biker archetype."

Well for starters that is a stereotype not an archetype, but I'm not getting into that conversation. You completely missed the point I was making. I wasn't ripping on his assessment of what many people would consider to be a "biker" stereotype, I was simply pointing out that it would be pretty unfair and uninformed to use that stereotype as a universal generalization to cover everybody who rides a motorcycle.

James said...

suckcity, just how sensitive are you? It must be tough being you, huh?

not-me-you said...

Stereotypes are universal generalization with the intent to cover everybody. They are meant to be unfair to everybody that falls above or below the curve of the said stereotype.

It's A-Me, Martucci said...

Well, "for starters", that sentence of yours I quoted doesn't even say what you seem to think it does. Let's reexamine: "Is it really fair to take the most obvious, "universally recognizable" member of any group of people and arbitrarily make them the archetype of everybody else who might share that one common trait?
Well, yes. It would be fair to make that person the archetype, because that's precisely what an achetype is, albeit in your own dum-bo words. I mean, you literally said it yourself. No, you're arbitrarily accusing him of inferring all bikers conform to the archetype, which didn't occur. I see some harmless humorous speculation born of genuine curiosity (blue/yellow bikes by shack) and shameless ripping of ye ol aforementioned archetype (the shit that follows). How does acknowledging/ripping an archetype inherently suggest everyone sharing the pursuit/lifestyle/role of focus conforms to that archetype? He even said such isn't the case.

Further, for all this hubub about sterotype/archetype you make, the terms are inextricably linked anyway, to the point they're often interchangable. Archetype typically IS stereotype. Anyone who fits the commonly-associated Harley biker stereotype ("One that is regarded as embodying or conforming to a set image or type") - i.e. tries their best to live every day like they're Wyatt from Easy Rider - would generally be considered to be the ideal biker archetype, per this definition (of archetype): " An ideal example of a type; quintessence." Inter-fucking-changable in many contexts.

So shove all that dawg

BEEXtrix Potter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
BEEXtrix Potter said...

Ok yallz a lil change of pace. How satisfying would it be to make a human centipede consisting of James Belushi, Kevin James and David Harbour? I know right? Worst dudes ever

BEEXtrix Potter said...

Ok ok, it would need to be more of a human donut, as clearly none of them deserve to be spared of ass-mouth. It ok, we're not going for practicality and sustainable life here folks.

BEEXtrix Potter said...

Think there was ever a conceived scenario for the Saw franchise wherein a character played by Kevin James had to run at top speed on like, a flimsy, rickety treadmill surrounded by wood chippers or some shit? What a missed opportunity! ...honestly this is all about kevin james

suckcity said...

"How does acknowledging/ripping an archetype inherently suggest everyone sharing the pursuit/lifestyle/role of focus conforms to that archetype?"
----------
"Look, motorcycles are the realm of the dildo. This is a pretty unequivocal truth."

"Motorcycles signify a few things about the owner and almost nothing else ever. Those things are:
1) I’m a dork.
2) I’m an asshole
3) I ran out of things to spend money on, so I bought this dumb idea.
4) I really admire a dork/asshole/moneywaster
5) I have an obsession with ‘freedom’ and ‘the seventies’ and bullshit like that
6) Small penis
7) I ran out of ways to point out to strangers how much cooler than them I think I am."

"...I’m not even sure what their deals are (Six seems the likely culprit)."

"I’m just saying it’s a blemish, a blight on your character."
----------
Those seem like a pretty solid start.

And again, I'm not here to argue semantics with you. But if you must, then sure, I'll give it to you that "archetype" and "stereotype" CAN BE interchangeable in certain contexts, but the point I have been trying to make all along is that in this context they can't be. Because a large portion, and I would even go so far as to say majority, of motorcycle owners resent the idea of the "Harley biker stereotype, (One that is regarded as embodying or conforming to a set image or type)" being considered their archetype (An ideal example of a type; quintessence), which, again, brings me back to the same point I have been making all along.

Did I just get trolled two times? Fuck, I hope not.

Sean said...

of course there are far too many variables to make some sort of broad generalization for EVERYONE in a particular category.... but i don't think that was Brendan's intention. It seemed to me like it was more of a "the vast majorrrrrity of bikers are lame, in some way" which i would have to agree with (in my experience, at least)...


# lame bikers > # cool bikers


People need to liiiiiighten up... it's not like he was creating "faggot lists" or anything here....

James said...

All bikers are nancy boy queers.

It's A-Me, Martucci said...

I dunno, did you see a troll? Because honestly, I just saw someone who I felt so utterly missed the gist/tone/spirit of today's subject matter as to be laughable. . ..And in regard to (the examples you cite above where you feel are indicative of Bren shamelessly over-generalizing in a real sanctimonious, soapbox-y way), I would in turn redirect you to my inital remarks about tone and the discernment of such (which was My main point all along).

Why NO, he's definitely not just REALLY having fun saying "These are all common (negative) stereotypes typically associated both with biker culture of yore and modern incarnations, which I'm now going to proceed to have some good' ol fun shamelessly rippin into Friars Club roast-style, and possibly pepper with a few OBVIOUS throwaway jabs (ala "Just a blemish on your character") for texture"--WITHOUT actually SAYING all of this--on account of having the good faith that this won't be lost on his collective audience! No, I'm sure he just really, truly DOES believe that "EVERY biker boy, everywhere, 4-ever, always" possesses every one of the traits touched upon, as you posit, in the same way that everyone who speaks at a Friars Club roast means everything they say, 100%. Seems the much more likely explanation. Jesus christ, "literal-minded McGee".

It's A-Me, Martucci said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
It's A-Me, Martucci said...

Your single biggest problem, BK - overestimating your audience. Jizz n farts baby, jizz n fartz! Give da peoplez what dey want!

Jamie said...

Ough @ the realization that my Mom and Dad whined more to me about being parents than BK does in his blog. And at least in the blog you can sense the underlying love.

Owner Operator said...

"For most of my adult life, I’ve been in a van. The feeling of watching shit whip by into the past, the feeling of riding along the timeline of your life, seeing what’s in front of you and watching the past dissolve behind you, is so ingrained in me that on that train I felt like I was finally back in my element. I was finally able to relax and just unplug and enjoy myself." - This shit was so perfect BK. No joke I amlost teared up. I'm jeaslous of the life you have lived. A true hero of mine.

Cheers n beers, DC

Drunken Acorn said...

Ok I could give two shits about bikes and the people who ride them. The reason I think everyone who rides a motorcycle is douche is because every time you pass one another on the street you wave uncontrollable as if to say "Look at me I'm cool, I also ride motorcycle, I don't drive a car like the rest of these tools." Just the fact that "Bikeriders" have to wave at each other is soooo fucking lame. That's all I gotta say about that. Good post BK.

Sean said...

man, martucci is really spot on today

i think a uh... "props" is in order?

Sean said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sean said...

... eh, it sounded better in my head.

Sean said...

sooo, love the name of the title!

Sean said...

i think if you ran like a forum or something it would be cool. the blog is awesome, don't get me wrong.... but you're pretty hilarious.

Sean said...

also, martucci, you're a pretty funny guy too. i genuinely enjoy your witty antics.

Sean said...

also, where did that guy with the "too hot for him" (ex?) gf go? It seems alot of people who used to be regulars are less frequent. I hope they still read it. i think they do, they prolly just chill and read it. But i dunno, i miss those guys.

Sean said...

my bad for all the comments, but for some reason i was "schelebrating" tonight and all i ended up doing was getting hungry and deciding i'd read this entry again. I like it better the second time around, to be sure. SO yea, just chillin' in the drawer, everyone else went to bed.



See. this could be a forum. it'd be like a slow fucking aim.

I doubt anyone would have the time/want to tho.... not even myself. maybe.

Virgil Smith said...

"i've got everything i need. my loft, my motorcycle, my hip restaurant down the street and my neighbors are all artists or hot girls over 18 who needs community when you live right in your scene?"- The Lawrence Arms

Banana@1000MPH said...

there IS a forum (not run by BK - but loosely associated with him) called The Sock Drawer - where we bitch about things. And there's the Red Scare forum - which is less BSC oriented, but is run by Toby - who is almost like BK.

YeahYeahNo said...

Why is everyone glossing over the fact that suckcity thinks the "most obvious 'universally recognizable' member" of punk is Good Charlotte? Is that really the first band people think of when they hear the words "punk rock"?

It's A-Me, Martucci said...

Boy this got wHacky! Bren might I suggest sporadically devoting entire upcoming entrees to ripping apart increasingly obscure passions/pursuits (e.g. model train enthusiast...MCA DiscoVision collector..so forth) and see if you can maybe reproduce the same awkwardly misplaced sense of "personal betrayal" seen today?

Oh & thanks sean, you're an inspiration

It's A-Me, Martucci said...

who knows, maybe you'll hit on myyyyyyyyyy secret hobby, and I'll explooooooooooooooooooode in a guyser of ineffectual internet rage!! (delicate whisper) it rhymes with d o g s

Heather said...

i like martucci and his words, im with sean.

who wants to put together the bsc forum?

or the bsc soiree?

Hamilton Martin said...

what a fag

angie said...

How do you feel about women who ride motorcycles?

Craig said...

As someone who has worked at a parts supplier for old british bikes for the part 8 years and doesn't(and will never) own a motorcycle, I have to agree. 99% of our customers are self-important douches.


P.s. Your blogs on parenting are the best. I don't think they're whiny, but I don't really care.