Tuesday, December 26, 2006

virginity, stupidity and motorcycles

when i am flying or on a bus i usually read motorcycle magazines. returning from ankara, i bought motorcycle and motor bike to keep me busy for half of the trip. there are four monthly mags in turkish on motorcycling and if you crush them all into one, it is possible one that is half way decent may result.

proof? ok here you go - both the rags i got ran the same story on yamaha's new release, the 250 cc scooter just hitting the streets, the city max. of course as a koç holding extension, yamaha carries great pr muscle and even if the bike were worthless (which on the contrary, being a yamaha, should be very, very good if not excellent, though i have not ridden it) it would raise enough noise in the press anyway. sure, a trade mag of course has to keep track of new models and inform readers. but what kind of journalism is it if both "rivaling" publications run exactly the same story, word for word, even including the pr photo provided by yamaha of a happy petiete lady riding the city max?

that's not all of it either, sometimes the motorcycle mags, not just the two i mentioned above but also the others two, motor on and motorize, too, translate company press or pr releases on one of those internet machines or computer programs and run that without even raw editing. the result often is a ridiculously unintelligible text that just wastes paper - not news, not evaluation, not pr, just plain manure.

sometimes though, they do original stuff, too. the ones i read on the bus both shot back at akşam editor-in-chief and columnist serdar turgut for attacking middle aged harley davidson riders. turgut wrote well back in november, he could not stand seeing elderly guys riding on harley davidsons (a.k.a. among bikers as "hardly abelson") and was "angry" with them for "getting into trips of creating crazy lives at that age which does not become them" and even "looks embarrassing". he accused the harley/bike riders in their 50s or 60s of pretending to resurrect the easy rider spirit of the 1960's - with bandanas on their necks and all.

turgut also wrote for his peace of mind, mick jagger were rather dead. the rock star gets on his nerves because he plays peter pan although with increasingly unconcealable wrinkles (my simile, not his).

of course jagger and his crew would never bother to take serdar seriously but turkey's harley davidson / hardly abelson crowd did. the harley owners group (hog) protested as squarely as possible that they were model citizens, not really rebels, even pointing out that the inevitable, rebellious looking bandana is for issuues of comfort rather tthan decoruous or defiant and it can even stop bleeding and save lives if it comes to that.

i ask myself why bother to respond at all? turgut admits he can't even drive a car and i bet he does not ride a bicycle either. numerous times, he wrote in self derision disguised as humor that he has balance and sight problems (i don't take him seriously on that, my guess is he is just over-house-trained) so he probably would not dare/care to even ride pillion on a bike.

besides, he is entitled to hate any group he pleases... so let him hate riders too, will take the pressure of his own self torment maybe... and what if he is a columnist and (it may be presumed) people read him... big deal? who really takes the press seriously? and if anybody is going to hate motorcycles and riders because serdar does, don't worry, serdar will hate him (them), too. others who aggree with him already hate them (us) anyway!

motorcycling is its own trip, everyone is affected differently. usually it is a love - hate affair that control freaks either go ape about or abhorr completely. i, for instance would not trust myself on a racer even though i manage to keep my right hand from rolling on further once i hit 120-130 kph on good highways, 100 on lesser ones (motorways is another story, i've forced the peg on occasions). in any case, if you are motoring on a two wheeler, it is something you do for yourself, not to win public approval and/or acclaim.

all told, who cares what serdar turgut thinks about bikers of 70 or 17? he is barely out of his shoals, writing on something he knows not the first thing about. explaining to him what biking is like describing an orgasm to a homely and pious virgin.

how goeth that deep purple (*) song of yesteryear, when easy riders were rolling, shot on the asphalt?

how did you lose your virginity mary long?
when will you lose your stupidity mary long?

mary long, from who do we think we are? the first stanza goes:

mary long is a hypocrite
she does all the things that she tells us not to do
selling filth from a corner shop
and knitting patterns to the high street queue

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