my first ride was m20. i'd had enough. enough with misrepresentation. enough with the RepubloCrat capitalism. enough with the "high" standard of living (rampant consumption and cultural greed) at the expense of a "third" world full of slaves and worse. i'd driven my car, sadly from NE MLK, to previous protests. driving in for one i found myself stcuk behind a mass of bikes. stopped dead. the drivers around us, especially those in the SUV's and pro-grade pickups, were irate. i just felt stupid. its tough when you realize you're keeping the wrong company.
i haven't trashed my car yet. but i'm trading it in for something that will burn biodiesel. am i a hypocrite because i ride CM? the "oldskoolers" and purists would have me feel ashamed, conflicted and unrighteous. fuck em. if i can weasel out of my corpie life-sucking gig for the day when Son of Bush is in town, i'll ride my bike and join a group of cyclists in their critique of the culture. considering that my political beliefs will not jibe 100% with a SINGLE person there (my partner included), i'll get over it if mr/ms oldskool purist doesn't like the way it gets labeled.
telling people who still use their cars that they are frauds for promoting progressive culture is assenine. any person willing to spend one afternoon out of their cars representing cultural change, whether or not its on the last friday of the month starting under the burnside bridge, has the same value and significance as the next. that's what makes it a MASS. that your criticism and theirs (or mine) WILL differ, is immaterial.
that a ride promoting cycle culture would naturally mutate into a ride against the "New American Century", its wars, its architects and its puppets, shouldn't be a suprise to anyone. i'm always disappointed in our progress when we act like such morons. totalitarianism, apparently, isn't exclusive to the right.
whatever one contribuutes to activism and initiation of change adds to the idea of critical mass. those two words are not the provennance of the every-last-friday-under-the-bridge bike bloc. its a concept with its roots, i think, in physics and has come to be discussed in every way we look at the world. from the original physics to metaphysics. there is mass of metaphysical energy created by our opposition, in all its forms, to the ongoing quickening towards cataclysm. as that body of energy builds toward its own critical mass we can't be made ashamed for any effort no matter how small.