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Blog > April 2012 > Motorcycle Mind Control and Pretty Pictures

Motorcycle Mind Control and Pretty Pictures

Motorcycle Mind Control and Pretty Pictures


This week I would like to pass along special thanks to the boys (and girls) at the forum http://forums.sohc4.net/, I asked for some photos for this week's posting and they really came through. I owe 'em. I've spent a lot of hours there and gotten a lot of help keeping my old beast on the road. Thanks.

          I often wax on like a slathering, lobotomized fanboy about my '78 Honda CB550K. There are many explanations for this, but my favorite comes from “The Hubcap Man.” He owned The Hubcap Store of Heaven, appropriately, and claimed that such a sanctified station gave him insight into a great many things – not the least of which was the knowledge that if you had ever, ever, by anyone in your entire life (at any time) received an injection, you then carried a microchip in your bloodstream capable of a great many things, including tracking your movements, your thoughts and controlling your opinions. The only solution was to eat a very strict diet to alter the chemistry of your blood (turning it alkaline,) a months-long process that would liberate you from the oppression of government mind control.

          If the government has access to this kind of technology, then surely many established corporate enterprises also have developed their own (proprietary) microchips. So this is my theory. Mind control. Because most days it makes as much sense as any other theory, and it puts me at ease with my obsessions and indiscretions, I can blame Honda. I also like it because it's quite clever on the part of the company, because let's be honest, if it came down to a living life with a mind-control microchip or three months substituting quinoa for sausage, I'd keep the microchip.

          (For the record, I think they got me when I donated blood behind a Honda dealership in Virginia in the spring of '08. The white tent had a big red cross on it and a long line of people, but I've grown to mistrust anyone who fits the letter U into “Blood Drive.”)
          I know what you're thinking. Steffl, that sounds absurd. You're talking like a crazy person. I know! Why would a microchip make you like motorcycles from the 70s? Why not new motorcycles. I know! But I think I've got it sorted. I figure by the time I was up they ran out of 'good' chips and I got a holdover, a less-sophisticated (and probably much larger) mind control device from the 70s. I imagine it's wandering around in my cortex like a roving cat, blocking blood flow to various parts of my brain (ask my wife) and shooting motorcycle images directly into my synapses like a laser light show on the ceiling.

          Crazy? Overblown? Stupid? Of course! But, what else could compel a grown man to buy a machine that, at best, copies the style of the sexier British. (A word pairing that I expect will not be used again for some great length of time.) What else could compel a man to buy a machine that is more expensive than something more reliable? Why would anyone want to buy a motorcycle balanced like a tumor-studded turnip, a motorcycle with the power-to-weight ratio of a Hoveround, or a motorcycle that smokes like it's baffled with Lucky Strikes? And why all the question marks? (???)

          I don't know, therefore, mind control. Because I've passed up prettier machines, better examples of history, and more powerful machines (ones so powerful they would make me shit myself faster than a high-powered suppository and box of bran flakes.) The whole situation has nothing to do with logic. (Then again, after last week's gentle tirade on the Americanobsession with safety, I think motorcycles have a tenuous grasp on logic. At least, I'm seeing myself that way.)

          My love for these bikes makes no sense, but I'm not alone I have my Honda - the Boulder, (often seen written [Expletive] Boulder - ) but I also have a community of illogical, irrational (possibly braindamaged) men and women willing to put enjoyment above even our own safety who feel the exact same way. It goes well beyond that, too. (Ahem: Riepe has his Fireballs and his Mac Pac, Mr. Chang has his Yoshie and a whole group of tug cyclists, and Keith has his Billy and the whole world of scooterdom.) When we all die early from heart attacks, we'll be able to (from our death beds) point the finger at our favorite marques and their errant microchips clogging our arteries, and adequately deny that it had anything to do with all the sausage and, of course we wouldn't change it.

          We like the illogical joy that a chance encounter with another, similar craft inspires because there is a deep connection there, the motorcycle becomes more than a vehicle. It's part hobby, part art, part relic, part savior, part lifestyle – that and about a million other things. Each person can divide it up in his or her own way, but it's both personal and shared.

          For me, that old machine represents something else, too. A kind of people who want to take things into their own hands, renaissance men who want to understand and connect and build and know. It's also a connection to another time. To another zeitgeist, the spirit of another age. Motorcycles represent this in a way uncommon to most other material objects. Their styling has little to do with function, their power has little to do with practicality. They're overblown, fun, crazy and impractical, They're full of the spirit and the feel and the opinions of a particular time just as much as they're full of the  old cliches, freedom, spirit, open road. You can see all of that in a machine from the past or present, and mind control or not, if you understand the language the lines of a particular machine and it can speak to you like a photograph or a well-written story. You can feel things beyond the sum of the parts, beyond the sum of your senses – something in your heart and soul and mind. Something illogical that lives in you, unmasterable like a chronic disease. But let's face it, wherever we picked up the bug, from a brother, a magazine, or a shady blood drive, we don't want to get rid of it.
Posted: 4/8/2012 10:06:44 AM | with 0 comments

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