The Gross National Debt

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Definitely not good enough

.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
.
Among the many books I have, there are three which I will never read.

Book 1 is independently published. I received the book as an entry in the Benjamin Franklin Awards, an annual book competition for independent publishers in which I am a judge. I will not tell you the author nor the name of this book. I do not want to embarrass the elderly man who wrote it.

Book 2 is Syndey's Comet by Brian Herbert, son of the late SF grandmaster Frank Herbert. I don't even like to TOUCH this book. It is that bad. I might touch it long enough to hurl it and lots of profanities at Herbert if I ever meet him.

Book 3 is actually the kind of book I'd genuinely LOVE to read. But, I'm not gonna.

It has nothing to do with the writing of the book.

It has a bit to do with the content of the book.

It mostly has to do with the way a handful of people treated me.

"Baker, that don't make a bit of sense, even for you," you tell me.

It's just the way I am.

The book cover is at right. Looking at the cover, this would be a perfect fit for me.

I ride and like it a LOT. I hugely enjoy philosophy. Combining the two for me just, well, it's a case of cosmic congruence for me.

Except it's about Harleys.

I have nothing against the Harley-Davidson motorcycle. Correction. I do have something against Harley-Davidson in a way, hence this column. But what I have against this American motorcycle has nothing to do with the bike, but everything to do with a few people who ride Harleys.

More specifically, just a few people I have met over the years, more recently one in particular in the county where I live.

I 'splain.

I ride a Honda 1100. I call it Purple Haze. It has the loudest exhaust of any bike in the county.

Some time back I was talking with some other riders who ride Harleys. I asked about the rides they take. For non-bikers, "ride" has a variety of meanings. In this case, I mean a road trip.

I was immediately informed by one of the riders that their rides are for Harley owners only. No one else is welcome.

My Honda and I are not good enough, apparently, to ride with them.

This is an attitude I've seen expressed by a number of other Harley riders. Sometimes it's done without malice or an intent to discriminate, such as pouring rice under an import ride at a bike show. The rice means it's leaking. That's just funny.

The rider I mention above was clear in his discrimination. I am not good enough to associate with them.

He's exactly right. I am not good enough. I'm too good to hang around people who insist on dividing the world based on arbitrary information and refuse to accept other people.

Anyway, as to the book - I tried to read it. I read the opening chapter. The author even discussed the Honda motorcycles. He said clearly, the Honda brand is a better, tougher, longer-lasting and more reliable motorcycle than a Harley (which is also backed up by maintenance and repair records from around the world). He also said there's just something about riding a Harley that cannot be found in any other motorcycle.

Agreed.

But as I read the author's musings my mind continually ran back to the rider who thinks I'm beneath him. I thought about other Harley riders I have known who didn't exactly express the same opinion, but made it clear through their actions that I'm a lesser rider because my steel steed is a Honda.

What infuriates me to no end is that this kinda attitude goes beyond HD discrimination.

What really makes me mad enough to chew nails is: This kind of attitude is pervasive in society. We judge people based on choices they make which have NOTHING to do with the kind of person they are. For instance, Justin Beiber fans are sneered at, as is the singer himself. When done without malice, this is funny. When done to create discrimination, it's just freekin' wrong. If someone like Beiber's music, that's their business! It's none of your business and should not affect how you treat them.
Exactly like that.

Even beyond that, what takes my anger to the outer limits is:

I do the same damned thing. I will judge people based on a factor that has nothing to do with who they are. I consider that factor and decide I am better than they are. I have even done so in this column, expressing an opinion that I'm better than the discriminatory Harley riders. Never mind it is a defensive reaction.

Dammit.

That is NOT the person I want to be, NOT the person I try to be and it pisses me off beyond belief.

I have simply got to do, correction, BE better.

No comments:

Post a Comment