The American Lifestyle

Once upon a time, we believed in something that we called “The American Dream.” Over the years, coupled with the internet and mainstream society, we now have the American “Do-Whatever-You Want.” We are cultivating a sense of entitlement and selfish behavior that negatively impacts those around us.

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We see it all around us in our daily lives. More so now than what we did ten or fifteen years ago, thanks in part to the internet and social media. We are growing more interconnected as a society enabling and tolerating behavior that would have been frowned upon, tactfully corrected, or ostracized before now.

You see it whenever you are waiting at a stoplight and the car next to you is making your windows rattle because their bass is turned up as far as it can go.

It happens when someone almost runs into you in the store because their nose was buried in their phone.

You don’t notice it when you are rocketing around in your metal box on rubber wheels, too selfish to yield the right-of-way to the crosswalk pedestrian to get to your destination while never fully arriving.

We post all of our pictures and selfies to social media, but are too afraid to make eye contact with those around us, as if we have something to be embarrassed about.

For far too long each of us has been moving at a steady max speed through our lives, trying to get to where we want to be as if what we have here and now is just something to get through. “I have to make it to retirement,” or “I need to save up to buy a house,” or “I need to earn that college degree…” We dare to dream but we never dream to live.

We say that we are modern and progressing as a nation but as long as everyone remains trapped in this overrated, arrogant, fuck-you, egotistical lifestyle that owns nothing but is entitled to everything, we will stagnate and vegetate were we currently are.

 

Telling a Rider to “Be Safe”

As I am putting on my motorcycle helmet someone usually shouts out, “Be safe!” in a jovial but concerned manner. Well of course, I think to myself. If I wasn’t going to be then I would end up crashing before I even went a mile. Later on, I end up blaring my horn at a careless driver that starts to drift over into my lane. They were texting while driving. Coming up alongside them, I see that it is the same person that told ME to be safe…

Natural selection still exists in motorcycling. The idiots that fly by doing 100+mph wearing little to no gear never survive for long. They either get killed at the expense of their own inexperience and recklessness or suffer injuries significant enough to scare them away leaving room for more riders just like him.

Less often, you see the motorcyclist that looks like he should be in some science fiction movie. These riders are the type that have either put a significant amount of miles down or have had road-rash before. They usually have experience riding in different weather, terrain, and across different types of motorcycles. So how do you tell this type of rider to be even safer?

There is a point with motorcycling where you can only be so safe. Even if you are doing everything right by the safety-nazis, you can still end up pulling the short straw when it comes to a crash. Motorcyclists simply do not have the luxury of being protected by a giant metal cage. Even if the motorcyclist was doing everything right, all it would take is one car to change lanes without checking their blind spot and its over. Car-1, Motorcycle-0.

I see part of the issue being that everyone only blames the motorcycles for being unsafe. Wrong. Unsafe riders make motorcycles unsafe. The same applies to cars, but no one is telling the car drivers to be safe. If you are one of those people, put down the phone, don’t go through the drive-thru, and learn what Bluetooth is…