Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Hi, my name is Ryan and I’m esoteric…

Il calore e insopportabile.
The heat is unbearable.

That seems to be the trend as of late. The heat has been stifling lately, creating the type of temperatures that force one inside to hide in the dark, next to the window air conditioner (or in my white trash neighbor’s case, has them sitting in lawn chairs shaded from the sun – by their van).

I read a news article that said we can plan on the next 10 years or so being cyclically warmer, too. That is, whether or not you believe is global warming, the next 10 summers are going to be hot simply because they will be. If that’s true, I’m heading up to Alaska for a few, because I like to breathe air, not wade through it.

Now, then, global warming - is it real? Apparently that depends on who you ask. There are people who say it’s coming, and we’re accelerating it – unfortunately, I am told that those people are being paranoid and melodramatic, simply because they love grant money and hate America. Those that say that global warming isn’t happening are, I am told, simply government shills on the take from big businesses with bigger check books (but at least they don’t hate America).

I guess it’s up to you where you want to side, but there are some indisputable facts. One, it’s damn hot. Two, polar bears are drowning. The fact that polar bears are drowning probably should be telling us we need to fix something. But it won’t. Not until there are people in the right places who are more concerned about sound environmental policy than about pushing some caribou out of the way so they can drill for oil.

My biggest/best global warming argument is this: whether or not you believe global warming is happening, or if it’s cyclical or man-enhanced, what’s wrong with being green? I like mountain biking. I like getting out in the woods. I like nature. Don’t most of us like nature? Then why not simply agree we all need to be nicer to the outside simply because it’s the right thing to do?

Believe it or not, I didn’t intend this post to be about this. My Italian phrase a day calendar just set me off.

What did I want to talk about? Well, I think it’s going to be a long and winding road getting there, so I hope you packed a lunch, because I’ll be taking the scenic route.

Will Smith don’t gotta cuss in his raps to sell records.
Well I do. So fuck him and fuck you, too. –Eminem

I don’t bring it up often, but Eminem is incredibly talented. His rhymes are tight, and his lyrics are great. It’s not something that gets mentioned often though, because allying one with Marshall aligns you with his fans, and… well I told you about my neighbors sitting in the shade of their van.

Plus, he doesn’t dis Detroit, like a certain punkass who’ll remain nameless in this context.

For those of you who think I may be slipping a bit, this is Barb Object (the band is I Object!). She’s very punk rock.

And for those of you who may think I went way to far and too easy with that one. This is Towers Of London. They’re pretty punk rock, too.

And, just for one more, we’ll let the Towers slow it down with an acoustic number. Also pretty punk rock.

So what is punk rock? Somebody has the answer…

I just got a screener copy of a new film, called Punk’s Not Dead. It was really great, and if/when you get the chance, see it. It’s a documentary, but not a solid historical documentary. Basically, the filmmaker interviewed punk musicians, both old school and new school, and talked to them about what punk means. The ideal. It’s pretty entertaining, and pretty eye opening, as the basic message is that about the only thing you have no right to do is to tell someone else that their idea of punk rock isn’t.

To sum up, Eminem is pretty punk rock. And he’s from Detroit. And another guy is also from Detroit and is not as punk rock as Eminem. I Object! Is punk rock, and so are the Towers Of London, and so is everyone who wants to be punk rock (except the aforementioned unnamed guy from Detroit). And Punk’s Not Dead is a good movie, and if you want to read my full review (blatant self-promotion), you can read it here.

Oh, speaking of blatant self-promotion, the film also talked about the classic “punk episode” of Quincy M.E., and I wrote a post about it here, with links to clippy goodness.

Getting back on the road that has nothing to do with Eminem or global warming, it’s been a great biking season, if a little accident prone. Case in point: due to unrelated spills, TFN and I ran in the Tree Farm Relay a few weeks ago sporting a matching pair of broken ribs. Broken ribs hurt. The only known treatment for a broken rib is beer. That’s a little known fact, but try it if you’re ever in the situation.

Another thing I wanted to point out the importance of the brain bucket. Long story short, TFN took a huge drop in the bottom of a pit, hitting the ground at about 15-20 MPH. She hit the ground hard and slid a few feet. She walked away with the aforementioned broken rib and a bit lighter after leaving the proverbial pound of flesh peeled away on the ground. Oh, and she had a cracked helmet.

It’s not the first time I’ve watched people (including the best rider I know, my personal bike guru) take some sick spills with little or no consequence that would have been much worse had their brain not been in a bucket. I will never ride a trail without a helmet, I will not ride with anyone who isn’t wearing a helmet and although we never did when we were kids, I wear a helmet on the road, and my kids will bike in helmets too. Man, it only takes one small lapse of judgment, one second where you’re not paying attention, to launch you over the handlebars. If you’ve got a brain bucket on, it’ll probably be more painful, because your friends will never let you live it down but it’s rude to make fun of people in a persistive vegetative state from a head injury.

As it was, we both ended up banged up but still able to race. So, to reiterate, put your brain in a bucket, OK?

2007 Tree Farm Relay

Oh, and for those of you who’ve been keeping track at home, Team Angry Monkey gained a few new members, but I really wanted to introduce this one . We’ll be starting her training very soon. It’s how Yoda recommends these things be done.

Taking the scenic route once more, we got hooked up with a group called Beat The Train. Beat The Train meets at 6:30 in the AM on Saturday at Historic Fort Wayne in an area of Detroit that one doesn’t usually even drive in. From there, we ride out bikes across the city, through Mexican Village, Wayne State, Greektown, Mt. Elliot cemetery, the Heidelberg Project, Bell Isle, Downtown, The River Walk… 33 miles later, we’re back in Mexicantown for breakfast.

It’s an amazing way to see the city; first of all, we rode through neighborhoods I don’t even like to drive through, but there is the whole safety in numbers thing, and 20 cyclists had no problem.

Also, as we went through downtown, there were a ton of business owners, opening up shops and restaurants for the day, who said hello and actually thanked us for coming into the city. It’s the kind of thing that continues to make me want to have faith in Detroit.

Ok… I think I’ve run out of thoughts for the moment… if anyone can tell me what this post is about, you know where the comment area is. There may even be a secret message in here, but if so, I didn’t put it there…


Jennifer said...

I'm going to have to go back through and clicky your linkies in search of clippy goodness. At the moment, Zenzeriffic wants to hear I Object again. She finds Barb a very soothing influence -- seriously, calms her right down. Personally, I liked the Towers's acoustic number best, perhaps because I am a simple person who needs a simple message delivered in a simple way by a shirtless guy wearing a really sweet hat.

My point EXACTLY about the environment! Why the fuck fuck it up when it's not that fucking hard not to?!?! Green is pretty, and it smells good (most of the time) and that's reason enough for me.

I liked your punk article -- I giggled when you {{{SPOILER ALERT}}} described yourself as "crusty" and "old."

The Quincy post brings up a valid question regarding music and kids: does what a kid listens to influence his or her behavior?

In my extremely limited experience, and with the youngest of my four kids wanting me desperately to take her to that concert in Clarkston on the 22nd -- you know, the concert featuring all those bands with all those CDs with all those parental advisories on their covers -- what I have concluded is this: people make music; music does not make people.

Further, music does not influence the character of a person; people are drawn to specific types of music for all sorts of reasons specific to the moments of their lives; AND, music, just like movies and TV shows and books, is a great conversation starter.

Music is an essential element of culture. All music. Except Montovani. (Was going for the "what's not music" joke)

I listen to my kids' music. It helps me know where their heads are at. They have gone through phases of listening to what was "my" music at their ages, and it has helped them to know where my head was at.

This was actually funny, one day a couple-few years ago when Moose thought he would shock me by putting AC/DC's "Big Balls" in the CD player.

Naturally, I simply sang along.

Any good mother would.

Good post, secrets and all.

Angeline Rose Larimer said...