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September 28, 2005

Even Instapundit mentions Bicycling from time to time

For some time I've been considering a project:

How many bloggers in the Blogrolls of my OTHER blog, Sneakeasy's Joint, and the non-cycling Blog Bloggerverse in general, have written about the Bike, bicycle, bicycles, bicycling, bicyclists, Bikes, cycling, and/or cyclists on their sites, and in what context?

Why not report on any stories I find?

Who better to test this question on than the most popular, and famous, Blogger in the world:

Glenn Reynolds, the Instapundit.

I was pleasently surprised, and intrigued, by the variety of pieces, and the context in which cycling came up.

1st off, though, thanks to Glenn, I found a great piece from 2004, by Doug Kern, that begins:

Something about the phrase "Two Americas" warms the heart of the left. In 1984, Mario Cuomo electrified the Democratic National Convention with his evocation of Two Americas -- the Haves and Have-Nots. In 2004, Democrat vice-presidential nominee John Edwards invoked that same vision of the Two Americas to illuminate his vision of the unified America that John Kerry's healing benedictions would inaugurate. In each speech, the ideology is as identical as the rhetoric: the terrible plight of the poor can be rectified only through a massive transferal of wealth, made possible through the expansion of a benevolent welfare state.

I have a story to tell about wealth and poverty, too. And I will call for additional government spending as well -- spending which, unlike the statism of the left, will help the poor, rather than reward their poverty.

Forget Two Americas. Consider this tale of two bicycles.

Read the whole thing.

Now, on to a few examples from the Instapundit.

1. On Journalistic Integrity ( May 19, 2003 ):

Reader Jonathan Guest emails:

One of the things I've noticed over the years: Whenever I hear "journalists" discussing a subject that I know something about, airplanes, manufacturing, guns, even bicycling, running, essentially anything that I have SOME familiarity with, I notice that the journalist is utterly ignorant about the subject. I wonder, don't you have the same reaction about legal matters, nano-science, etc? I wonder if specialists of most every field have the same reaction, and because we don't discuss it directly, no one realizes that the average journalists knows just about nothing about nearly everything.

Yeah. I mean, I realize that generalists can't know as much as specialists know about their own field. But the number of butt-obvious boners (like "300 mm pistol") coupled with -- as above -- a perverse pride in ignorance ("we don't understand firearms or the metric system, tee hee") does kind of support this theory. I blame J-school for this. If I ran a newspaper, I'd make my new hires take a 1000-question general-knowledge exam.

Somebody is figuing it out.

2. Black guys on bicycles ( Sept. 2002 ):

From a female ( Southern States Variety ) reader:

I stayed on in Philadelphia after graduation to work with Turner Construction in Center City, where I had lots of opportunities to get to know Northern blacks. It feels audacious to say this, but I found that I had a much better connection with them that your basic white Yankee. Not only did I not find them frightening, but a great many of the Northern blacks I worked with had South Carolina connections. We had a lot of fun talking about the hot weather and snakes “back home.” I even had a black guy on a bicycle pursue me through Philadelphia, which I will admit made me a little anxious. Turns out he saw the S.C. plates on my car and was homesick.

Not-so-guilty Southern White Gals.

3. To bike or drive an SUV, that is the question! ( Sept. 2002 ):

Glenn responds to a comment by another blogger:

Who would you rather be? Me, plodding through errands on my bicycle, sporting my pathetic ''One Less Car'' T-shirt, or one of the many SUV drivers who blast exhaust in my face as they roar off to fill up on cheap gas? Who would you rather be?

Vrooom, vroom.

Right-wing pundits have more fun.

4. On protestors on bikes ( March 2003 )

From a report in San Francisco:

In the Financial District, the demonstrators were of the traditional kind -- fatigue jackets and granny dresses. Indeed, around Montgomery and Market, the happenings had the air -- the sexy air -- of old Berkeley. But at the Civic Center, at traffic intersections around Mish, 7th, 8th, and along Van Ness and up through the Tenderloin, things were absurd and self-indulgent. The demonstrators were of the freakish sort: clown clothes, bicycles, and cans of plastic string. But it wasn't fun.

At 7th & Mish, by the U.S. Court House, I sat in a van driven by Nathaniel Shelton, who transports patients to and from Saint Francis Memorial Hospital. We were stuck, along with a fleet of Fed Ex drivers, just after 9 a.m., as demonstrators rode bikes in a circle in the intersection, closed it off with colored string, and berated the truck drivers.

Useful Idiots.

5. Glenn Defends The US Military, and bicycling, in Iraq ( Oct. 2003 ):

There’s even a blog from inside the Green Zone, put out by someone who says he’s a military intelligence soldier using the psuedonym Chief Wiggles. Lately the boosterish Chief Wiggles has been using his blog to find donors to give him bicycles so soldiers can pedal around the zone giving out toys to children.

Calling Chief Wiggles "boosterish" indicates, to me at least, that Nordland can't possibly have been reading his blog, which makes clear that the Chief is working hard to make a difference, and often suffering in the process. No doubt he would be more appealing to journalists if he were exuding existential despair, and smoking a Gaulois, but I'm kind of glad that he's the way he is, and kind of unhappy that Newsweek has sent a reporter who can't tell the difference between boosterism and a sense of responsibility.

The War in Iraq.

and, finally...

6. The Big-shot Blogger and the bicycle pump ( December 2004 ). ;-D

September 28, 2005 in Blogosphere covers Bicycling | Permalink


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Good finds there, Dude!

Posted by: Richard | Sep 28, 2005 12:10:02 PM

Here, here. Great article. I'm a leftist, pinko, liberal, and I absolutely agree with the "Two Americas" article. You can often lift yourself out of proverty by your own efforts, but reducing crime requires a common effort.

Posted by: Pete | Sep 29, 2005 8:23:29 AM

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