Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bicycles are, like, so gay

I like bikes. I like the idea of sweat-powered transportation, and of cars being a quirky, inefficient novelty in an ideal society filled with pristine, safe, soundless mass transit. The Federal Reserve tax-leveraged debt slavery system that so many people support as a means to forcing enslavement to yet another facet of our police-state's subsidized transportation network, though, is inimical to those former decencies. It will further ensconce the idea of centralized planning, death-enforced payroll withholding, and a host of other unpleasant things, such as:

* Fed, IMF, TPPA & successor cartels' ability to use transportation funding to break local resistance to centralized banking decrees;

* All the integrated nation-/world-wide nepotism and aggregation of marketing budgets in political campaigns resultant from such power;

* The creation and expansion of travel tariff firms that use the "responsibility" of individual operators/owners to justify rent-seeking behaviors, such as design and maintenance violations, victimless moving violations, and "public health" checks like emissions tests for vehicles of a certain "age" (e.g., market value, reflecting the purchasing power of the owner).

Traveling farther down the road of another form of "everybody drives" transportation further ensconces the massively complex schemes meant to justify how safe it is for nearly everyone to be a licensed vehicle pilot, establishing unilateral standards for ninety-year-olds, sixteen-year-olds, and people of nearly all ethnicities, sexes, chemical dependencies, criminal records, IQ, and dynamic spatial intelligence levels. The gradual phasing-down of cars that would accompany the transition to a better world would be entirely dissimilar from the further cementing of a "me go in my machine!" philosophy of bikes. Once you subsidize bike paths further, you'll get handicapped people claiming the civil right to use motorized bicycles--and they will deserve it, and earn that right. And then you'll get less- and less-handicapped people receiving that right, and eventually, bike lanes will just be "small car lanes," and it'll work its way right back to the highway.

Bike advocacy is so heavily centered around the "urban" lifestyle, which is what makes it so gay. Take Manhattan: you have a bunch of trendy, self-centered assholes who think they're really cool for taking the subway, walking, riding bikes, and (maybe) occasionally sharing a cab. Stretch that out to the rest of the city lifestyle, though: the city is a tumor, in as literal a sense as is possible for a settlement of people. Cities are gigantic dumps of energy, resources, and life. When you live in a city, it seems really cool and fancy and great and modern--all that shit. But then, what happens if the cables of power, the pipes of water, and the truckloads of food, products, and young people stop coming in? The city dies. Even taking into account the hyper-breeding of a bunch of imported dwellers, the financial and governmental conglomerates that keep a city going only exist because of the resources that they suck up from hundreds of miles of surrounding countryside.

If the food stops coming in, the city dies. It cannot feed itself. If the power turns off, the city dies. Some of them can power themselves, but only for a little while, because the raw materials they need to keep the plants running come from somewhere else. Even if a (dense, urban) city has its own factories, it isn't a net producer of anything. It can't be, because the dense city-scars we have now are still, in their hearts, the Dickensian, Sarumanish cities of early industrialism, built around the gilded townhouses of the managers and the sprawling tenement hells of the proles, with very little (or, more frequently, zero) room in-between for (actual, productive) rivers, farms, mines, forests, plains, and all of the other things Terran humans still need to live. (If you've read the history of NYC's Central Park, or of the "design" of San Francisco, you'll recall the failed attempt to address some of these issues, now reduced to a means of controlling real estate prices and availability.) It's quite possible to build and use cities that are different than these, but the trans-suburban appendages expanding now still aren't offering the sustainable fix.

The situation remains the same for people, too. Without younger people coming in to look for jobs, culture, opportunity, et cetera, the city dies. Twenty-year-old interns, rent-controlled septuagenarians unaware of an outside world, and forty-year-old fund managing bachelors, do not keep the city alive, any more than the city keeps the nation alive. People interested in kids, aging, and other aspects of nature, tend to get the hell out of the city, and though cities are always eager to attract dusky proles to drive down prices in the service sector, they can only obtain renewals of their managerial class by forming a monopoly on regional theater, music, art, etc., and using the city's advertised "prestige" to cause people to continually want to move there. There are so many movies about New York and Los Angeles, and there were so many stories about London and Tokyo, because something always had to motivate a new crop of kids to want to move to the big city and become cops, actors, bookkeepers, doctors, etc., able to maintain the parasitic edifice that draws in the rest of the province's water, calories, power, and youth.

How stirring, really, that cities have come to be considered progressive. When they were first formed in the modern way, cities were seen as the tumors they are. Cities were the bastions of the robber barons who built reeking fortresses in which to hide the wealth they had stolen from ordinary people. In the first few decades of cities, the majority of liberal, progressive people realized this (even Marx and Engels noted it), and they lamented the ways in which the old guard had set up these extractive new settlements to stymie human progress.

Back to art. That's actually a hilarious part of a lot of cities--the theaters--because the audiences come primarily from the suburbs, outer boroughs, or out of town. The "locals" might go a lot because they're close to it already, but they can't support the industries by themselves. If cities allowed their artistic monopolies to dissolve, or lost control of the ability to summon people to centralized courts, filing and licensing authorities, or had to give up their museum artifacts, then--like people abandoning congested traffic for a seat on the magna-train--cities would go the way that the car would, and no one would come to the awful places anymore. It takes a lot of money, a lot of advertising, and a lot of political requirements to keep government offices running in capital cities, so that less disgusting, lower-crime financial and political districts can't develop in competing locales.

Oh yeah--the gay thing. This dovetails with homosexuality because cities, being non-renewing, are Homonormative. It would be great if we could all just live in little apartments, suck each other off a few times every week, evaluate corporate HR filings for a living, ride bikes or take the subway whenever we need to get somewhere, and appreciate all that life has to offer. But if the truckloads of food, power, amazon.com goodies, and young people stop coming in, it all dies. The ability to do all those things--to receive resources in exchange for imaginary makework; to pedal to the corner market for organic Chilean mangoes; to suck all those cocks--exists only because of the vulgar breeding, building, trucks and factories that spill out of the badlands.

As Marie Antoinette might have said, "Let them ride bicycles."

3 comments:

  1. I would happily read 500 pages of this. Superb.

    Two things off the top of my head that bike advocates never seem to really contemplate: their vehicles still require a paved infrastructure; and just where does all that tire rubber come from anyway?

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  2. My mom used to ride her bike between the city and the village back in the 1950s, "in the old country". About 40 minute commute.

    Now, the village was located about 10 (sic!) miles from the center of the city, and there were 2 more villages in between, surrounded by productive farmland. I imagine there was some sort of paving on the road, but come on - we've had paved roads for millenia. I've done this commute as a kid myself in the 1980s - and it still was villagey and pleasant, even with the new asphalt.

    Anyhow, in contrast, an American city will easily have a suburb that is 30 or more miles away from the center, but in the same city, with nothing but roads and endless housing lots in between. So, i don't need to spell out which one is the bigger hellhole.

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  3. where I live, only quite rich people can live in the country (actual country, not suburbs). Property values are crazy. Also, it is not like they are self-sufficient - they too suck in food and resources from near and far...

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