Well, after several weeks of celebrating the good old USofA’s birthday, sadly watching two close friends suffer the losses of their fathers (both great men, who will be missed), and your usual soul lifting/crushing day to day life experiences, I think I may have finally found reason to bravely spew forth upon you the truth, or something much uglier. We shall see.
Let me really start by saying thank you to our man Lee here. Not only is a hell of a machinist and fabricator, but also the kind of friend any man would be lucky to call “Oh High and Righteous Leader” (that’s what you told me to write, right?). In the few years that I have known this man, I have seen him create some things from raw metal that would make the Tin-Man blow a load in his alloy shorts. Parts that now reside on bikes across this country and beyond, proudly displayed by their owners knowing that the bit in question is of the highest quality. And every clip on mount, headlight ear, or foot-peg bracket made by hand in the shop of a true craftsman. A true craftsman, who after toiling at his various machines for hours every day, still had the decency to write to me and commend me on my fledging (or is that flailing) attempts at writing about the world we live in. Hell of a guy Lee is, and if you disagree… Well, he’s a hell of a big guy too, so take that up with him.
Ok… Now that the ass kissing is out of the way.
I noticed something very interesting recently. A fellow (unknown to me personally) rider recently lost his life in a motorcycle accident and afterwards, the media and several people I know took the circumstances surrounding his death to ridicule and make fun of the deceased. Really kids? That’s our society now? Goddamn shame. The man made a decision, and it cost him his life. He was a grown up, and I am sure understood the possible outcome of his choice. And now he is dead. His family will mourn, his friends will suffer. But, apparently that isn’t enough for the people of the world. We have to turn it into a debate about what our rights are. An argument about who gets to tell who what to do in their lives. How about we save the political pandering till the guy is six deep at least, huh folks? And if you don’t know the story I’m talking about, watch the news every so often ya friggin’ weirdo!
On second thought, don’t bother. Nothing much there but sad stories and made up bull shit.
Another faint odor of a thought that’s been floating through my skull as of late has to do with the overall custom bike industry. I am in NO WAY a part of that or any other industry, but I do try to follow it somewhat closely. Maybe it’s because of my shop ownership pipe dreams, or the fact that I am sexually aroused by vintage motorcycles. Wait, I meant intellectually aroused… Ya, that’s it.
Anyhow, I as an outsider couldn’t be happier about the seeming lack of interest in the “INDUSTRY” by the general public as of late. Sure, plenty of shops are going under, and one time bike “builders” are heading back to their accounting firms to beg for their “real” jobs back, but that’s all good if you ask me. And, I know you were about to. Now what we’re seeing are the real innovators and creators at work again. The guys who founded the principles of bikes as functional art are again free to make some two wheeled, fire breathing magic without fucking camera crews up their asses. They can build without every NASCAR loving tool and his unruly brats trying to get his autograph on an eight dollar Wal-Mart “CHOPPERS FOR LIFE” T-shirt. There are great things ahead for those of us that are carnall… I mean spiritually attracted to these machines, and this life. I mean those of us that really spend our time learning the history of motorcycles. Those of us that get lost on our garages for hours, just trying to figure out a new way to mount a killer taillight on a chopped CB750, or some off the wall brakes for that custom Panhead. Keep it up folks. And keep telling the plastic gangsters that we aren’t interested in what they’re selling. Eventually your fishing hat wearing neighbor will go back to thinking you’re a scumbag, and looking away when you roll into the driveway instead of running over to ask if you saw that new neat-o OCC bike on TV last night.
And really, can we ask for much more in life?
I think not.
Well shoot. I think that’s all I can really complain about for now. Hopefully you all out there in cyber land dig it. If not, oh well, maybe next time. Keep it real folks.
Mike, it's actually "Oh Bright and Luminous Leader", not that I make it a habit to correct those who dole out the love, as it were, but I am shiny.
A shiny, shiny man......