William Gibson Part I

William Gibson’s connection to bicycling, or more specifically, to bike messengers, began with his novel Virtual Light which recounted the adventures of San Francisco bike messenger Chevette Washington. Chevette has stolen a pair of high-tech sunglasses which are embedded with a kind of software that details the massive redevelopment of San Francisco and forebodes the even further displacement of the city’s poor and disenfranchised. Like all of Gibson’s work, Virtual Light is a critique of end game capitalism and envisions a future in which the annihilation of the middle class is complete and the working classes consist of people like Chevette who subsist on marginalized low paying jobs like messengering, and squat in place like the abandoned Oakland Bay bridge.
Gibson evidently solicited help from a messenger named Markus, aka “Fur” who published a messenger zine back in the early nineties and shortly afterwards died of a heroin overdose. Gibson’s elegantly turned tropes and dystopian themes have won him prominent place of notoriety in the mainstream of literature and have solidified his reputation as a techno-prophet. He single-handedly invented the concepts of “cyberspace” and “virtual reality” and may have contributed to the evolution of “reality TV”. instead of 15 minutes of fame, the most we can hope for is 15 seconds.

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Busy…

So busy lately. Wanted to take the time to follow up on the bike Fandango 2010 but, as usual, I am immersed with doing other things. here’s a link from my trip to keep my vast readership occupied: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tg8F1VS1UDA
I recently saw the writer William Gibson at Barnes and Noble promoting his book Zero History. I’m hoping to post something about Mr. Gibson’s work soon. In the meantime, I’ll be thinking about the open road.

Landed in glacier Park

Wonder of wonders! Just about the first thing i saw when i entered glacier Park was a bear! I’m pretty sure it was a black bear, and, being the elusive creatures that they are, the picture I got(which I’m afraid that you won’t see now because once again the library computer that I’m writing from does not upload pics!) that I got was pretty indistinct. I know that he either saw, heard or smelled me because he jumped up and then scrambled further into the bush where he continued to frolic and rummage for grubs or whatever it is that bears rummage for.
I don’t want to mention tea party again, okay, I will: Tea party! There is something comically and diametrically opposite in the American character that can accommodate the kind of people who identify so closely with whatever it is that they stand for (I don”t think even they know what it stands for because many of the issues that some of the members support are the exact opposite of what I would construe as being libertarian…

I met a very interesting biker on the road to Glacier near Libby Montana. Doug Charleston was riding along route two when he spotted me. He had a friend driving with as a support vehicle and claimed to be riding 150 to 200 miles a day. He insisted on giving me his mirror(worn on glasses), which I never use, but accepted out of politeness and then, after ensuring there wasn’t anything else I needed, including gator aide and inner tubes, he went off on a tirade about being forced to submit to security screenings at airports and being “profiled”. Then in the very next breath complained that Mexicans should be profiled and screened at random during highway stops. Now Doug seemed to be a generous and charismatic man, deeply religious, who failed to see the essential contradiction in what he was saying. I think we should either all be profiled or none of us, but i have a problem with profiling one segment of the population because of their racial or ethnic profile.

Meanwhile, back at Glacier On Monday night, August 2nd I saw the wonderful singer Jack Gladstone at the amphitheater at McDonald Lake. Jack is part German and part Blackfoot Indian, and is full of amazing folklore about Indians and very wry and astute observations about the history of America. You can check him out at: http://www.jackgladstone.com/Oki,_Welcome.html

Leaving Troy Montana

One of the last things I did before leaving Troy Montana was to pay a visit to the garbage dump. In Troy Montana there is no garbage pick up so you bring your garbage to one place and your refuse(wood, plastic etc.) to another. It set me to thinking(yes doing that again!) what New York would be like if the Tea Party proponents got their way and we reverted back to a completely non-government style of “government”. Imagine it, everyone dragging their garbage on the train to the city dump! What if there was only one dump in the entire city like Troy, let’s say out on Staten Island, everyone getting on the Staten Island Ferry with bags of garbage and throwing it overboard…! or people leaving their garbage on the train and claiming someone else left it there!

Speaking of the Tea party, I read a commentary column in a weekly newspaper published in Spokane Washington called The Inlander by former State Senator Mary Lou Reed in which she describes a dramatic shift to the right by the Idaho Republican party that demonstrators that they have been co-opted by extreme Tea Party advocates. She describes the July fourth parade in Coeur d’Alene Idaho and a bunch of Tea Partiers riding an earth moving machine singing “This land is Your Land, This Land is My Land…”, co-opting the lyrics of Woody Guthrie’s song to their twisted message…” Ms. Reed goes on to say that, “the contradiction was striking between the baby terrifying vehicle and the familiar words of Woody Guthrie, famous for his great folksongs and his left-wing politics…the crowd where I was standing watched in baffled silence…” apparently there is no line between what the right stands for and what they are willing to steal from to convey their confused and rummage store style of politics…

It is also apparent that the Idaho Republicans must have been smoking some tea when the wrote up their party platform for the coming elections. Among other things, they want to repeal the 17th amendment to the constitution, the direct election of senators by popular vote and also abolish the Federal Reserve and restore the Gold Standard to back up the American dollar. This is the kind of paleolithic direction that the Republican party is taking and they are just regurgitating the old “States Rights” argument that the slaveocracy advocate John C. Calhoun used to advocate back in the 1830’s and 40’s. To quote William Burroughs’, “biologically speaking, the one place you cannot go is back!” Those in the tea party also advocate a loyalty oath and other Neanderthal measures. So much for “This land is Your land…This land is my land”.