Wednesday, July 16, 2008

I Don't Want a Pickle.....

There's been some murmuring in recent days in letters to the editor of a local newspaper and news stories from Hartford that are buried on the inside pages of the regional sections of the newspapers that CT Governor M. Jodi Rell (I didn't realize my Governor had a Scarlet Letter in her name until coming back from visiting my brother, Adam, in New Jersey and crossing back into Connecticut and seeing it on the 'Welcome to' road sign; it's even on the website, Gadzooks!) is considering an effort to reinstate mandatory helmet laws for motorcycle riders (and passengers, I assume, as well).

Well, hold on a minit, Baba Looey! Connecticut may have one of the more imbalanced bonds to revenue ratios of these fifty sporadically United States (and the highest in all of New England); we may have more families below the poverty level in our state capital, Hartford, than some other states have for the entire state and we most certainly do have a public education system that has 'performance gaps' when comparing the achievement of white and non-white school-age children--but that's no reason to get excited. If you want hear howls of outrage, just whisper about helmets for motorcyclists. Folks start acting under the influence of Haggard.

Please-don't get me wrong; I'm more a Jerry Jeff guy myself and besides, I lack any skill to be able to drive a motorcycle. They scare the bejabbers out of me (both the small, sedate ones and the big, burly 'hogs', are they still called that?) whether they're in a parking lot or zipping down the street. I know people who ride motorcycles and of one motorcyclist, Evert, who's on the ride of his life and I check his blog every day because it's really cool--and I'd note, in every shot Evert posts, the folks on motorcycles are all wearing helmets. I don't think Arlo made the trip-but he did make the arrangements for the snacks.

The purple prose and hyperventilation has started on this 'civil liberties issue' and the battle lines are or have been drawn. 'Half a league, half a league-half a league onward!' (I've never understood if Al T meant the American or the National, or which division). It's good, I suppose, to be passionate (I've never been misidentified as a casual kind of person on anything) but I hope we can employ more reason than rhetoric as this conversation continues, and I suspect it will for some length of time.

Our genius, as a species, for self-destruction (and the destruction of everything around us) is, imho, just as significant as these opposable thumbs, in staking our claim at the top of the food chain. Let's make sure between and among all the shouting we can hear one another because "Ain't nobody talkin' because everybody knows. We pulled your cycle up back the garage and polished up the chrome. Our gypsy biker coming home."
-bill kenny

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