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Sunday, March 16, 2008

As in Zen

posted by on March 16 at 15:16 PM

On this slow Slog day, a moment of Zen.

When being questioned about the passage of a law which will penalize drivers who endanger cyclists, Mayor Richard M. Daley of Chicago was questioned about the perhaps-not-so-considerate behavior of various and sundry bike messengers, who are (mostly falsely) used as an argument against any laws making motorists acknowledge that the road is everyone’s. Daley came up with a line that is almost the equal of some of his father’s famous dicta, which include:

“Together, we will reach new platitudes of success.”

“I deny the allegations and the allegators.”

“The police are not there to create disorder, the police are there to preserve disorder.”

Mayor Richard M. Daley, about cyclists who take chances:

“You have to be careful if you are reckless.”

A pure Zen koan, the sound of one politician clapping.

RSS icon Comments


Heh. The allegator one is my favorite.

Posted by Mike of Renton | March 16, 2008 3:40 PM
When a motorist flings a door open in front of a cyclist passing in the bike lane, Chicago bikers call it a "dooring"...
Just think, some day Seattle will be a big city like Chicago and we will have our own special slang too. "Dooring." Good one, Chicago! Good one.
Posted by elenchos | March 16, 2008 3:59 PM

He must've studied under the Yogi Berra.

Posted by flamingbanjo | March 16, 2008 5:45 PM

Let's go get some pickinic baskets, Boo Boo.

Posted by Gecko45 | March 16, 2008 5:59 PM

Seattle will never be a big city like Chicago...

Posted by come again? | March 16, 2008 6:23 PM

...unlike Seattle bikers who call it "karma."

Posted by Ziggity | March 16, 2008 6:25 PM

As a driver, I call it "death wish."

Posted by Elvis | March 16, 2008 6:33 PM

ok, i realize this is a tad off topic,
but will Ted Kennedy be the "House Cracker" in an Obama Administration?

Posted by Akbar Goldstein | March 16, 2008 7:05 PM

The first two are more like quasi-Zen malapropisms.

Posted by shub-negrorath | March 16, 2008 7:08 PM

BAGHDAD -- Sometime soon, the U.S. military will suffer the 4,000th death of the war in Iraq.

When the 1,000th American died in September 2004, the insurgency was just gaining steam. The 2,000th death came as Iraq held its first elections in decades, in October 2005. The U.S. announced its 3,000th loss on the last day of 2006, at the end of a year rocked by sectarian violence.

Posted by Dan Savage war monger | March 16, 2008 7:43 PM

Everything is Dan Savage's fault. Meanwhile, I have never been wrong and it is great fun to pick someone relentlessly and display my moral superiority.

Of course, I don't write columns all the time, so, on that never being wrong thing? You'll have to trust me. And, unlike Dan Savage, I don't put my real name, so you'llhave to trust me on that, too.

Trust me -- I'm never wrong, I'm morally superior, you can't check me out, nah, nah nah, and it's sooo much fun to say so, all the time!!!

Posted by Cowardly Carper | March 16, 2008 7:51 PM

Moral Outrage is fun! And knowing the body count make me look smart!

la la la, look at me!!! I'm so smart!!!

Posted by I'm an Activist!!!! | March 16, 2008 8:20 PM

As a Chicago resident, I can tell you that many of the bikers here do not follow the laws. I can't tell you how many I've seen go through stop signs. I've almost hit a couple. They cross the road on a red lights, etc. "Death wish" indeed.

Posted by Chi-town luva | March 16, 2008 8:46 PM

I just got back from Chicago and the headlines there this past week included the 19th shooting of a youngster for this academic school year (not all the shootings were at schools) and they are creating public boarding schools for the countless kids without a home or functional family. I hope Seattle Public schools get better...

Posted by Moonflower | March 16, 2008 9:13 PM

I don't give a fuck about Mayor Daily or bike couriers or Yogi Berra. I just want to point out that the snorg tees models are *smokin* and not at all creepily pedophilic like the American Apparel models.

Posted by Big Sven | March 16, 2008 9:41 PM

As a Seattle resident, I can tell you that many of the drivers here do not follow the laws. I can't tell you how many I've seen go through stop signs. I've almost been hit by a couple. They cross the road on a red lights, etc. "Death wish" indeed.

On another bicycle note, I road in Chicago's Critical Mass last month and experienced another zen moment while observing bike cops corking the streets.

Posted by Dave | March 16, 2008 9:44 PM

If a mt biker falls in the woods does ...

I really don't have anything for this post, except I quit riding motorcycles on roads because idiots in cars scared the shit out of me and even the most polluted days didn't cushion the air around me enough to take a hard one. Bikes? Streets? In cities? No fucking way. I'm even jumpy in my pickup.

I'm very impressed that nobody's been called a "sheeple" yet in this thread.

Posted by Bob | March 16, 2008 10:45 PM

yeah, what @16 said!

and may I add, "takes one to know one, buddy!" and "I know you are, but what am I?!!"

Posted by Critical Ass | March 17, 2008 7:15 AM

Well, Eastlake is still a fucking death trap. I was nearly hit by two cars that ran red lights and since there is no bike lane and half the fucking street is over run with construction....I would think that more bikers will be dead before Mayor Nickels does anything about it.

Posted by Andrew | March 17, 2008 7:18 AM

(Just for Bob)

Posted by Bob's friend | March 17, 2008 8:33 AM

" messengers, who are (mostly falsely) used as an argument against any laws..."

Yeah, those bike messengers have never been known to flaunt traffic laws. (No, I'm not letting drivers off the hook, either...)

Posted by bigyaz | March 17, 2008 8:33 AM


You should not flaunt your ignorance of the flout/flaunt distinction. Bike messengers surely break the law, but they are hardly the Urban Menaces anti-bike folks make them out to be.

Posted by Chicago Fan | March 17, 2008 9:01 AM

@21 falsely because:

- Most Bicyclists are not messengers
- There is no data that says messengers break the law more then other cyclists or more than drivers
- Even if they did, why would that justify not making laws to protect all cyclists?

Posted by infrequent | March 17, 2008 9:08 AM


- urban cyclists are not just messengers, but also commuters
- one shouldn't kill the messenger
- if you can't say something nice, you keep your mouth shut
- i can't keep my mouth shut about cyclists being killed

therefore, i have something nice to say about the death of commuter cyclists

Posted by nbc | March 17, 2008 11:00 AM

@24. ???

Posted by infrequent | March 17, 2008 11:49 AM

Let me commend you on your prowess at circular arguments.

Posted by bigyaz | March 17, 2008 12:18 PM

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