While confused during a recent bike ride through parts of northern Euruope/Germania that reminded me of Vikings or their not-so-distant cousins Neanderthals.
While confused during a recent bike ride through parts of northern Euruope/Germania that reminded me of Vikings or their not-so-distant cousins Neanderthals.
Do you wake up as soon as you recognise the pillow your head’s been resting upon (all your life)? Or do you go back to sleep?
It is, indeed, a comfy pillow. But let’s call it out all the same, eh, dear worst-reader.
I recognised the fascist pillow I was sleeping on the first time I heard Rush Limbaugh use the words feminine/feminist and, yes, he went there, …nazi. This moment was/must have been about/around the mid to late 1980s. Femi-nazi, or the like. What a vulgar display and place to rest my/your head. I honestly cannot remember that pillow but I do remember the lighter fluid I used to light it up.
I eventually found a way to get out of the madness. I am an expat. I am worstwriter.com.
Good luck suckers.
Of course, I do have the following worst-question: how is it that my beloved #americant can elect Barry-O… but… then… because of a woman candidate… also elect the likes of #Trump directly thereafter… which… then.. has lead to…
Answer: something other than stupidity elected Barry-O and or…
Sorry to answer my own question with a question and waaaaaay too many ellipses. On the other hand–
Shouldn’t consume-to-survive #americants protest buying Dodge Challengers now?
Good luck suckers. (Even though you don’t deserve luck. Instead you deserve…)
Rant onwards suckers.
Below is a shocking, nuanced-filled email exchange with an old friend. Unfortunately, even though I wish otherwise, there’s not much I can do about what is really going on back in my beloved #americant–that can lead to such an email. I am not only an expat but I’m also no longer a believer. Indeed. I have long-since learned that even the Nazi salute is an American invention. Consider that next time you hear the Pledge of Allegiance–from whence things came. And while you’re at it, have a look at the Bellamy Salute. The good news is, we Americans copied the salute, too… from the bat$hit Romans. But I digress. And so. Here’s a worst-question: how deep is the damage (or is it rot) in the soul of #americant that would lead torch wielding nutjobs, as though they were hunting a Frankenstein’s Monster, through the streets of Charlottesville, VA, this past weekend? And another worst-question(s): is the quilt of my beloved #americant held together by fibres of hate? Where the fcuk do these a$$holes come from? Who are their parents, who are the mothers that would fcuk men to make these stupid white people–in 2017? Oh wait. I know exactly who they are. I was raised amongst them. And so. For those who still sympathise with the result of last years election, way to go suckers. But I bet you still haven’t woke up to how badly you’ve been played. Wow.
The nuanced email. Note the aggression towards things that are not rightwing–which is where any aggression should be right now.
Hi Tom, §Well isn’t the news fun? Hippies and Right Wingnuts clash at the prestigious campus of the University of Virginia. What a fitting location for a nice Sunday morning clash. Why aren’t these folks in church? Haha. §At the same time it is really stupid that the Righteous and Self-defined Politically Correct Left go running around the country removing statues and the like. WTF? We used to rail against rewriting history. Now these fuckers just want to outright deny it. Obama bought so heavily into this BS that the only thing anybody can remember him doing in his last year was forcing the nation to allow transsexuals to use whatever bathroom they want… Really? WFT is POTUS doing telling states such a thing and since when are there even enough transsexuals to make a blip in demographics to justify such a move…? §The Left are acting like idiots with their esoteric BS and this is inciting the right, understandably. At some point they both look like fascist. People forget that fascism can come from the left or right… §Anyhoo, how was your recent visit to the Baltic sea?
And here’s my response email.
Dear Old Friend, §I’m a bit surprised at your tone regarding history and Charlottesville. The removal of statues that represent treason (the fucking south and their dumbass civil war), slave trade and, frankly, the stupidity of white people, have no place on publicly owned property. Put it anywhere you want on private property, btw. It’s really no different than secularism and the fact that the ten commandments have no place on the walls or state monuments or state houses either. And. Yes. I’m all for taking “In God We Trust” off of our fiat (fake?) money, too. $Charlottesville is just another example of how the elites, i.e. the owners of the United States (of which there are few), is playing Americans. And Americans are responding accordingly. The country has been so dumbed-down and enamoured with stupidity that it was only a matter of time, after electing a tried and true fascist to the white house, that moronic white supremacists would then seek out there day of reckoning post the first black president. I’m only surprised it took till now to happen. Btw, is there any connection between the stupid white man that wrote that 10 page manifesto against women as computer engineers and all the stupid white men that can’t get laid so they wear swastikas and raise their hands in a Hitler salute? Of course, not unlike most people who think they are supreme, ultimately the only thing these guys show the world is how they are just a bunch of under-achievers. America… totally lead by underachievers? §And heed this, Dear Old Friend: The Germans lost WW2 but the fascists won. (That’s from George Carlin!) §By-the-buy. There is no such thing as a left fascist. Don’t allow yourself to be confused by all the propaganda (fake?) news you read, watch or listen to. FYI, fascism is a response by capitalism to everything that lead to the Russian Revolution of 1917. Fascism is an alternative authoritarian system propped up by capitalists. Hitler was a national socialist that would never deny fascism. Mussolini was a tried and true fascist, as was Franco of Spain. You can have left authoritarianism, which is often the case in South America and, perhaps, even certain parts of Europe and Asia. But fascism is always from the right. §You’re welcome. §Hang in there. Good luck. Yours.
For a man like Cornell West to say that he’s never seen this kind of hate in his life says a lot about #americant, the lost American way, about being played. Indeed. If you still support #Trump or anything GOP you have been played to the hilt. Congratulations sucker.
“So, in that sense, you know, I think what we’re really seeing, though, Sister Amy, is the American empire in decay, with the rule of big money, with massive militarism, facilitated by the scapegoating of the most vulnerable, of immigrants, Muslims, Jews, Arabs, gay, lesbians, trans and bisexuals, and black folk. The white supremacy was so intense. I’ve never seen that kind of hatred in my life. We stood there, and nine units went by, and looking right in our eyes. And they’re cussing me out, and so forth and so on. They’re lucky I didn’t lose my holy ghost, to tell you the truth, because I wanted to start swinging myself. I’m a Christian, but not a pacifist, you know. But I held back. But that kind of hatred—but that is just the theater. It’s big money. It’s big military. And it’s the way in which this capitalist civilization is leading us toward unbelievable darkness and bleakness. And the beautiful thing is the fightback. It was a beautiful thing to see all the people coming back. But they had more fascists than anarchists, more fascists than fightback.” -Cornell West
Good luck suckers.
Ok. Ok. As I write this I think I have exactly 1958KM on my Charger GX Touring. I’m sure I’ll pass the 2k mark within the next few days as a number of commutes to Köln are in the works. We also just got back from a week-long vacation on the Baltic Sea, at Germany’s most northern point. The original plan was to go by train with our bikes (my better-half as the Charger Mixte Nuvinci) but we couldn’t secure tickets for the train car where the bikes are stored. Next time we’ll have to reserve the tickets probably three to four months in advance. Since there is no way to take the bikes with our car, we went ahead and rented a midsize utility van. The cost of the van is the same as the train. Luckily the eight hour drive through German holiday/vacation season wasn’t all that bad. Someone we spoke to up north said that most Germans this year flew to the Med for their vacations anyway. Good for us.
Btw, if you’ve never been, and you have the capacity to do so, and you’re interested in nature, fresh air, beautiful brackish waters and rolling hills not unlike Tuscany, check out the Baltic Sea coastline of Germany or Denmark. Even though I’ve been living in Europe for a quarter century (sounds so much better than writing 25 years), this was the first time I was at the Ostsee (East Sea, as the Germans call it). I was not disappointed. It is stunningly beautiful up there–but you’ll also have to be tolerant of the rain and coinciding über wetness. When hanging out in the forests in the north, there is an uncanny feeling of the past that lingers around your every move. And not just a recent past. I kept thinking of vikings while there. Maybe even neanderthals. Cool!
The plan for this little getaway was to do all our local commuting with the bikes, including a days trip to Denmark via ferry. In fact, we didn’t use the utility van once. The ferry ride, for instance, took us across the Flensburg fjord. Once in Denmark we rode the 60KM trek back to Germany around the fjord. What a ride it was, too. More on that in a bit.
Back to the Charger.
Would you believe, dear worst-rider, unlike other bikes I’ve owned, the Charger GX Touring still feels brand new. The Giant TCX cross racer I purchased last summer, which has around 3000KM on it, but of course only weighs 10kilos, and I don’t ride it nearly as much anymore since purchasing the Charger, feels ten years older in comparison. Riese & Mueller have made the right choices regarding parts for these robust e-bikes, including great tires, brakes, screws, bolts, etc.
Btw, I Purchased my Charger GX in mid-February and it was (finally!) delivered at the beginning of May, 2017. I suppose, for some, two-thousand kilometres in less than four months might not be a lot. But as I’ve said in previous pseudo-reviews, we actually replaced one of our two cars with this e-bike. Since I live in an urban environment, I can easily do all my shopping, chores, errands, etc., with it. In fact, I rarely ever ride it anywhere without the Ortlieb panniers. I’m never concerned about how much the bike weighs, either. My wife calls it my SUV. Although I’m not using the front rack much, when I do use it, I’m glad it’s there. Even though the rack is only rated at 3KG, I’ve carried much more than that with ease and comfort. This is, without doubt, an extremely useful and fun vehicle.
I no longer look at the Bosch CX system range estimator to determine how far I can ride on a battery. Instead, I consider the amount of time I’ll be on the bike. The thing is, I’ve yet, even after rides of 80+KM, actually drained the entire 500W battery down to only one bar (out of five). If I’m off on a daily tour I consider whether or not I’m gonna be gone the whole-day or half-day and then determine whether or not to bring a charger–or, better yet, just carry my wife’s battery as a spare. I’m really surprised at how well the Bosch motor and battery work on this bike. It is very impressive!
On a recent trip to northern Germany that included a 50+-KM ride from Denmark back to Germany after a fjord crossing by ferry, I put the battery to its hardest test yet. I did a lot of trail riding, some mountain bike riding and a few long uphill road passages. Remember, fjords were cut out of cliffs during the ice ages. Lots of passages have to be ascended. Anyhow. At about 20KM left for the ride, just before re-entering Germany from Denmark, I hit a number of pretty steep hills. I actually put my bike on “eco” mode while my wife left her Mixte on “Tour” and, when necessary, “Sport”. I really thought I’d end up giving her my battery before we made it back to our bungalow. But that wasn’t the case. In the end, she made it home with only one bar (out of five) but i still came home with two bars. Wow.
There are not many negatives about this bike, except for the hard rear-end and the accompanying even harder Brooks saddle. So let me just say this: riding this bike is waaaaaay hard–especially if you’re off-road or you have to ride on pathways that are full of obnoxious tree root knots (which are abundant here in Düsseldorf and Köln). But get this. I love riding this bike hour after hour. The saddle and Thudbuster combination is perfect. It’s the best friggin seat I’ve ever experienced on a bike. Even though I’m up to the hardest rubber mount on the Thudbuster–and I’m still a little lost on how that thing actually works–I wouldn’t change anything on this setup. My wife’s Charger Mixte has a spring seat-post and a traditional rubber/plastic saddle. I don’t like her saddle at all (but she also hates mine). The Mixte saddle moves too much, literally shifting me backwards as the spring in the seat-post does its job. The Brooks saddle and Thudbuster, on the other hand, although not as flexible, is as comfortable as comfort can get–on a friggin e-bike! I only wish that there was more feeling from the Thudbuster.
My Brooks saddle is starting to show wear. I considered it broke-in after about 1200-1500KM. My only concern about it now is that I over did it with leather treatment. I’ve erased the raw look it had when it was new. But I’m good with that. I’m curious if the leather will start to crack and, maybe, flex more now that it’s broke-in. I’m not sure I want one of them old Brooks seats that looks like it’s been through a century of riding. Even if this saddle fails because of my inexperience in caring for it, I’m buying another one toot-sweet. Learn by doing, eh. Oh. Before I forget. I’ve tightened the leather tensioning bolt on it once (one full turn) and tightened the strings on the bottom that, I guess, are supposed to prevent it from developing wings that could push on my inner thighs.
Have I mentioned how much I love this saddle?
The thing that makes the Brooks B17 the best saddle in the universe (for worst-moi) is the fact that its thick, hard, stretched leather is the perfect place for a human to place not only his/her ass but those damn seat-bones and the infamous perineum. The leather both supports and cushions and allows you to actually sit on your seat-bones. Even after three or four hours of riding I do not get the same amount of numbness as I do with conventional seats. Heck, this saddle is even better than the fancy (Selle) race bike seat with those centre cut-outs that I have on my cross-racer.
There’s really nothing to report regarding up-keep of this bike. I’ve actually allowed myself to get a bit lazy lately when it comes to cleaning it. But I still regularly clean and oil the chain and derailleur. The chain gets a thorough cleaning every fourth or fifth ride and less thorough cleaning every other ride. Even if that’s overkill, I’m good with it. Other than adjusting distance of brake levers, there’s been nothing to do with the brakes. The rear disc brake does rub a bit, which prevents the rear wheel from turning freely when I’ve got the bike off the ground. I’m gonna have that looked at during the next service appointment. It looks like there’s no more room to the move the brake calliper to free up the disc.
As far as my choice of the “Touring” model of the Charger GX, i.e. the one with the chain and derailleur, I wouldn’t have my final drive any other way. Although I get a kick out of my wife’s Nunvinci hub, it just can’t compete with the efficiency and precision of this chain setup. I ran across a fellow Charger GX owner recently who has the Rohloff hub. Watching him struggle through gear shifting reassured me that a conventional chain with an excellent derailleur is the only way to go–even if you have to get your hands a bit greasy to maintain it.
As you can see in the pic, my rear wheel is beyond its heyday. I would say that my road to off-road riding is about 70-30. I noticed during recent mountain biking that grip isn’t as good in the rear as it once was, but it was also quite wet at times. I suppose this type of wear is to be expected for knobby tires that are mostly used on the road, which actually speaks for them. The question then becomes: what do I replace the tires with? Do I stay with knobby tires? These knobby tires do not feel like off-road tires–even on paved roads. Or do I go with more street oriented Big Ben plus tires? A bit more thought required.
Nuff for now.
Rant and ride on.
A pseudo-review of this book is here. I recently felt compelled to re-read it. Reason? Something has stuck in my head for the last few years based on something I read about this book a few years back. I can’t remember who wrote it–or maybe it was something I even heard someone say–but it went something like this: A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn is a book of propaganda.
Whaaaaa? Propaganda?–I thought and thought and thought.
How can such a book be propaganda? All this book does is tell a certain side of a story in a certain way–regarding the history of the United States. It is a point-of-view of the history of the United States. Or? After re-reading it recently, though, especially in the aftermath of the #Trump election that is an abomination, and what’s going on in Charlottesville, VA, I finally realised what someone could mean when making the claim that Zinn’s book is propaganda. And in that vein, allow me to worst-elaborate as only worst-writer can.
My favourite parts of this book are the chapters that cover the history of the US from the Civil War to the end of WW2. I’ve always thought that this time period has determined what #americant is today. In essence, between 1865 to 1945 the United States finally cut the umbilical cord to Europe and set out on its own–as a small rodent prodigy. Luckily, that rodent prodigy, via the genetic and historical proximity of its birth, was endowed with two things that would determine THE future of the western world.
Coincidentally, such a combination, in order to grow, needed two more things.
I know. I know, dear worst-reader. Fcuking and thinking haven’t proven to be a good combination–considering the human condition. Which also means, according to worst-writer, my beloved #americant achieved its greatness within a grand divide–a juicy oyster-like crevice, if you will–that is between two human acts that are mutually exclusive, especially when compared to other species on this earth.
Big dicks and little brains. Let the magic begin, eh ladies!
The other grand thing that happened between 1865 and 1945–according to what I got out of Howard Zinn’s book–was that the little brain of America was being programmed to think in one very particular small-brain way–which may or may not coincide with the size of genitalia. The ideology of GREED was being permanently embedded in the American psyche after the Civil War. And not just embedded. It was made part of the whole–the whole idear of America–which, IMHO, was/is the only way to get around avoiding facing the reality that is our original sin (slavery). Howard Zinn doesn’t go anywhere near the reality of GREED in his historical re-counting. He simply narrates a somewhat left of centre point-of-view regarding racism, capitalism and a love for all-things greed. And that’s where the crux of Zinn’s book runs awry. Or. Put another way. I’ve finally figure how some people can consider Howard Zinn a propagandist.
One of the motivating factors for writing this post is wanting to expand one of my recent tweets. This tweet was motivated after reading about what’s been going on in Charlottesville, VA. A place I know well, btw. In fact, I lived in various parts of VA in my youth. It is a place I was glad to leave. It is a place I never care to return to. But enough about worst-moi. Below is the tweet I wish to worst-expand on:
Allow me the following question: what does the racism and stupidity of white supremacists in Charlottesville, VA, have to do with Howard Zinn being a propagandist? The answer, I fear, is easy. It’s all just a matter of perspective, of point-of-view, of racists being tired of being discriminated against. I mean, shouldn’t everyone have their say? Shouldn’t even stupid white people and their stupid politics and their well-earned poverty (yes, they’ve earned their poverty!) have a say? That about sums up how #americant can get to where it’s at… after the fcuking Civil War. Whose turn is it to have their say? For right wingers, Howard Zinn had his say (in his book). Since he had his say, others, not unlike the white supremacists of Charlottesville, VA, deserve to have their say, too. Ain’t that how it works, dear worst-reader? One side of the political spectrum wins. Then the other side wins. In-between there is faux newz, Rush Limbaugh, David Duke. Indeed. Really, really stupid white people start gathering after having spent most of their lives living in the wake of their fail-upward belief in a system that has ultimately duped them to the hilt of both mind and cock. This is all way better than openly avoiding (our) original sin.
Greed + small brains = …
It’s all a matter of perspective.
If one reads through some of the book reviews that are quoted on the Wiki page about Zinn’s book, there is one common theme that runs through all of them. Those who praise Zinn are from the left. Those who do not praise him are NOT from the left. For those who think that the political left and right are two threads that may or may not run through what people say about Zinn, I reckon I can’t argue with you on that. That’s because I see the left and right as one these days. Especially considering where my beloved #americant is in its current political iteration. With that in mind, #Trump didn’t win the election. The other politician, the one who would have obviously been better, simply threw the whole thing to the $hitshow. But don’t misunderstand me here, dear worst-reader. I’m not making false equivalencies either. But. But. But. If you want there to be two parties battling over what you want to believe in, that’s your problem. Seriously. It is your problem.
We are dealing with Everything and the All of #americant, dear worst-reader. Whether it’s love, family, community, church, government, etc., etc., greed is what makes the whole $hitshow function. Greed is what makes people stupid enough to allow white supremacists, in fcuking 2017, to protest their right to take their country back–and, of course, make it great again! Up till the end of the 20th century, America did a pretty good job of managing all this greed. I mean, there was enough (greed) to go around. When, for whatever reason the barrel of greed that is #americant ran out, like our original sin, just avoid it–no matter what the means as long as all that’s left are big dicks and little brains.
If Howard Zinn is a propagandist, I’m good with that. Reason? I’d rather read his version of history than that which is being written now by those with LITTLE dicks and little brains. Re-reading this book can never be the wrong thing to do.
Rant onwards, suckers.