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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

I always suspected that motorcycle riding was basically an anti-capitalist endeavor. Perhaps long highway drones promote critical thought? I dunno. That's my theory. So I'll see your fanatic and raise you one.

JB - as one recovered catholic to another I say right on my bro. For those of you who don't know, parochial school is where you get sent when hell is too good a place for you. Consider the plight of an individual simultaneously the world's youngest athiest and the world's youngest altar boy and you'll cotton on as to why. If I had served out all of the detention I earned at various paroachial schools in my youth I'd still be in time out. You are not alone, amigo.

Anyway, my view on the main topic here is that we live on a small, wet crowded planet orbiting an undistinguised main-sequence star in a galaxy that doesn't even have a very interesting shape. That being the case it has always been hard for me to fathom the sense of self-importance, rightousness and the need to proselytise that humans acquire when they band together, especially in large groups, i.e., religious, governmental, social, although any number greater than two seems to do the trick just fine.

Although this is part of the general human condition, whenever you want a particularly egregious example of any excess you need look no further than right here at home. If you haven't traveled outside the USA you may not be aware that americans are not held in high esteem in a lot of the world. We tend to display a serious streak of chauvinism in our dealings abroad. And don't give me that "we're great because we're great" stuff. What we as americans are great at (beat the bejesus our of the rest of the world actually) is not as much hard work or intellect, but our ability to export and force our belief systems on the rest of the world. While dealing with the cultural onslaught our proteges are distracted long enough that we can grab their natural resources. An ingenious plan actually. All of this under the auspice of goodness and light of course. Of course we don't own this concept, our ancestors were pretty good at it too: crusades, inquisitions, imperalism, slavery.... it goes on and on.

Not, mind you, that I seen anything particularly wrong or immoral with this. I spend a lot of time watching big critters eat little critters around my farm all of the time. I am glad to be a big critter. I just think that one ought to own up to the truth. I don't necessairly consider gluttony a sin. The sin, I think, is lying about it. Especially to yourself.

Alas, we humans are, I'm afraid, not very good social creatures (as anyone who has ever tried to organize an office softball team will readily attest) unless we are whipped into cooperation by some external heirarchy. We are generally way too self-centered to act in a socially responsible manner left to our own devices. Heck the way I see it most of us are way to self-centered to even have manners. At least very good ones.

Nonetheless I dig it all, really. Out there are blue skies, green grass, women, Pabst Blue Ribbon beer, Flying Burrito Brother CD's, and motorcycles that rip! That is why I ride - to distract me from the rest of it. It's about the best way to get through the day.

I don't know that there is much that you can do for the Pol Pot's, Ronald Reagans's, Osama Bin Laden's, and Pat Robertson's of this world because they are true believers. But a lap around the big track at Willow on an R1 might be just the ticket to tune up your average Al Queda. At least it might scare them enough to crash their airplanes somewhere safer than in the USA.

Outside that, to quote Kerouac, I have nothing to share but my own confusion.

Cheers
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

What JB has done here, I think, is play a bit of a devil's advocate. The purpose of any editoral rant is to stir up some opinion. Judging from the volume and tenor of the responses here I'd say the trick's been done. Anything that gets people to think then communicate is a good thing.

Nothing exists by itself. Motorcycles are a subset of life. The occasional foray from "just the facts ma'am" bike reviews into more esoteric topics is just fine by me. That is the one of the beauties of this particular medium - it readily lends itself to this type of forum. I am really digging the responses to this topic. There are some really thoughful MO'ers out there from all angles on this. Of course there are some nimrods as well, but I dig you too.

Peace, out

Martin
 

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Re: Friday Fanaticism

Dude,

What do archaeologists have to do with oil? The average aracheologist I know doesn't know a petrochemical from a box of shredded wheat. Did you mean geologist?

I think that the problem of fossil fuel consumption is larger than just a resource management issue. We probably have at least 150 years of fossil fuels left at even pessimestic rates of future consumption. The problem is that if we continue to burn fossil fuels at even the present rate we will asphyxiate outselves in about 50 years. So the energy production picture is only part of the problem.

Cheers
 

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Re: Burns:: Friday Fanaticism

I don't know in what circles you travel but most of (especially) the third world does indeed dislike us - a fact so overwhelmingly obvious that it is incredible that one would claim to be both well traveled and oblivious to this. Where the heck have you been staying, the Hilton?

It makes a difference, of course, if you make an attempt to speak the local language, are polite, etc., and try to act like a citizen of the world instead of an overbearing nimrod. I am sure that you are that type of person and that these are undoubtedly all personal characteristics that you have in abundance.

And you surely mean that eastern Europeans looked up to us at the end of the second world war (and to a lesser extent the Japanese) Certainly you did not mean to include the Arabs, Chinese or Europeans (1/3 the world's population) because in that case you'd be wrong.

And our imperalism is just more cleverly disguised. Why, for instance, did we covertly scheme to topple democratically elected govts all throughtout the 80's when they were leaned to the left?

And it is our fault if other countries fail if we are pulling the strings behind the scenes that do them in. Ask the folks in most of central america their opinion on this topic.

Sheesh
 
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