Sunday, August 02, 2009

Un-Critical Mass of self-righteous twits inflames Vancouver Craigslist

Critical Mass, the mob of cyclists who commandeer city streets the last Friday of every month, blocking traffic, disrespecting the rules of the road, and generally showing contempt for motorists and pedestrians, sometimes getting in fights and generally infuriating those caught in their web, has been garnering a lot of negative talk in Vancouver, notwithstanding their apparent ability to garner sympathy from or morally blackmail Mayor Gregor Robertson by fraudulently invoking the name of cycling advocacy (the police are tacitly assisting the CM civil disobedience by warning motorists to stay clear of downtown on the unhappy Fridays; the police presently intend to do nothing to stop the event).

I noticed one message on the Craigslist bicycle sales page calling on cyclists to respond to a CBC article on which there were a lot of anti-Critical Mass comments. The Craigslist poster assumed the bike traders would be pro-Critical Mass. But I have yet to see any follow-up message in support, and I have now seen about ten anti-CM comments (though someone is flagging some of the comments for deletion, as, I suppose, politics is not Craigslist's raison d'etre. However the original comment is not yet deleted.) Most cyclists see Critical Mass as doing little but increasing the level of resentment that is directed at cyclists, thus endangering all of us.

Anyway, I thought one comment was worth preserving, testifying as it does to the power of bicycles to save us from nihilism, up to a point - coarse language follows:

I work for a living,I graduated from Emily Carr art school,I love bikes more than any other monetary posession,I have more handmade bikes than days in the week,I got my first Sex Pistols record in London in 1977,,,Fuck you Fixie welfare asshole tatood squeegie Twatts making car drivers hate me even more......
I'm not sure how to read this ode to hard work, private property, and punk rock, but I was just thinking that Dag is maybe going to have to rethink his ontology of the "death hippie".

A "Fixie" by the way is a single or fixed-gear bike, as used in velodrome track sprinting, and which is now a trendy item on the road among a certain young crowd apparently more interested in racing than coasting or breaking.


BC real estate blog said...

Well, I guess once in a while cyclists do need their own space maybe to feel free on the road. They do not have much space for themselves here. For example in Netherlands there are special roads for them and it works just fine. Oh, and that comment is quite amusing, in a good way, Best, Jay.

truepeers said...

It would be nice to have the roads to oneself, as would be a lot of things we might desire. But, if you can't have what you want, there are a lot of places around Vancouver where you can ride a bike without cars. And getting around the city is getting better, with bike lanes, bike "sidewalks" or urban trails, the new Central Valley Greenway, etc.; but of course you still have to contend with cars in most built up places. And that is a negotiation we cannot avoid; so when some try to avoid it by violently blocking cars from the streets, they are trying to shut out reality it seems to me, and they only make it more dangerous when the time comes when one is alone and has to deal with cars again. Critical Mass, it seems to me, are not responsible for the improvements we have seen for cyclists and won't help us make any more because they don't want to make alliances and deal with the reality that we are a car-bound city for the foreseeable future; and so they don't engage in civil disobedience to reveal and negotiate our shared reality in useful ways and win people to their side by making people thankful that someone took on the risks of civil disobedience to show us the moral limits of our current rules. Instead, they are losing the war for opinion and so there can be no justification for more civil disobedience.

Anonymous said...

It would change things if we had police on the beat in this city. I saw some "Fixie welfare asshole tatood squeegie Twatts" actually riding bikes through Burrard Station. Between these idiots and the constant motorcycle noise, Vancouver is doing a good job of looking like a Mad Max hick town.