Thursday, May 29, 2008

 

Garrison Keillor, I pity your sad existence


There's a fine line between healthy cynicism and outright vitriol, and this past Wednesday, author/columnist Garrison Keillor stumbled across it like a teetering drunk. In perhaps the stupidest piece he has ever written, Keillor went after the veterans and troop supporters who rode in the Rolling Thunder rally on Memorial Day. Here are a few jewels of "wisdom" from a sad, pathetic guy who just flat-out doesn't get it:
"A patriotic bike rally is sort of like a patriotic toilet-papering or patriotic graffiti; the patriotism somehow gets lost in the sheer irritation of the thing."

"You don't quite see the connection between that and these fat men with ponytails on Harleys. After hearing a few thousand bikes go by, you think maybe we could airlift these gentlemen to Baghdad to show their support of the troops in a more tangible way."

"...the bikers riding in formation are more interested in being seen than in learning anything. They are grown men playing soldier, making a great hullaballoo without exposing themselves to danger, other than getting drunk and falling off a bike."

"No wonder the Current Occupant welcomed them with open arms at the White House, put on a black leather vest, and gave a manly speech about how he'd just 'choppered in' and saw the horde 'cranking up their machines' and he thanked them for being so patriotic. They are his kind of guys, full of bluster, giving off noxious fumes, and when they leave town, nobody misses them."

I suppose it never occurred to this pseudo-intellectual nancy that many of those so-called "fat men with ponytails" are veterans themselves who've seen the horrors of war firsthand; who've given their hearts, minds, and bodies so guys like Keillor would have the liberty to marginalize and insult them from the comfort of a computer chair.

Moreover, Keillor doesn't seem to've made the historical connection between motorcycles and military service, specifically with regard to how surplus post-WWII bikes became a respite, comfort, and escape for thousands of shell-shocked servicemen who had a difficult time adjusting to civilian life when they got home.

I'm personally no fan of President Bush, and I don't like the debacle we've created in Iraq, but I'm behind servicemen and veterans one hundred percent. Their sacrifice, bravery, and willingness to do what not many of us won't do makes them heroes in my book.

It's a shame that Keillor refuses to tolerate those who show their patriotism in ways he doesn't relate to. He's missing out on a golden opportunity to expand his awareness of the world and meet some truly excellent people along the way. And that, friends, is very sad. I wonder how differently Mr. Keillor would've seen this event had he spent some time walking and talking with those leather-clad vets -- putting his hand on their shoulders and telling them "thank you for your service", instead of demeaning the solidarity and freedom they represent.

Shame on you, Garrison Keillor. Shame on you, indeed.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

 

A huge thank you to KOSA-TV


The Midland-Odessa (TX) sportbiking community lost a dear friend and riding brother to a drunk driver earlier this month, and on behalf of the Superbike Blog, hats off to KOSA-TV for helping us spread the word about the charity bike show on June 8th which will benefit his family:



For more information on this event, please visit westtexasmotorcycles.com.

Thursday, May 08, 2008

 

Rally video with music by Dingo Sanctuary


Here are some highlights of the 2008 Iraan Annual Sportbike Rally, which was held a few weeks back to benefit the Iraan, Texas Senior Citizens Center.



Wednesday, May 07, 2008

 

U.S. Superbike and the mailbag


I've been getting a few of these lately:
"Dear Tim, I enjoy your blog very much but noticed you have not written about any of this year's racing series. Is there a reason for this?" - Perry in Florida
Yes and no, Perry. Part of the reason my writings on roadracing have waned lately is because my interest over the past 12 years or so has been primarily with the AMA series. But I'm sure I don't have to tell you that there's absolutely nothing to write about in that series these days. They should just change its name to the Yoshimura Suzuki Walkaway Cup and be done with it. I know I am.

Perhaps the purchase of the series by the Roger Edmonson group will usher in much-needed changes. I was impressed that he announced the return of superbikes to the Daytona 200 in 2009, along with various other policies aimed at shaking things up for the factories. But one thing's for sure -- something has to be done. I've seen better racing on riding lawn mowers than the U.S. Superbike Series is currently offering. Mladin by nine seconds, Spies by seven seconds, Mladin by five seonds -- geeeez. Pardon my while I pass out from a combination of boredom and disgust.

Here's hoping Roger and his minions bring back a proper racing series over the next few years. Until then, I'll probably continue to ignore what has become the most boring thing to watch since The English Patient.