Dave Moulton

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Life is Absurd

Sometimes I am serious here, occasionally I am not. I find life is absurd, people including myself are often absurd and the only way to deal with it is to laugh at it. Every now and then I will write something that is satire, humor, not meant to be taken seriously.

At times the humor is subtle and not immediately apparent. To me that is the hallmark of good satire, it sucks you in and you are not immediately aware the piece is not serious. As you read on and things begin to sound a little strange, you start to get the joke.

A joke is not funny if you give away the punch line before the end, and it is not funny if you have to explain it afterwards. For those who just don’t get it, there are tags at the end of the piece that say “satire,” “humor.”

I wrote such a piece back in 2006 about the “Mixte” bike. Some argue that the mixte is a unisex bike, designed to be used by a man or woman. Probably true, but in my eyes any bike that has a dropped top tube is a “Girls” bike. They have been made that way since the late 1800s so that women can ride them while wearing a skirt.

This was 2006 almost three years ago, before the hipster fixed wheel craze had really taken off. Hipsters at the time were buying up and riding mixte bikes. This to me was one of the absurdities of life that anyone would seek out and ride a certain type of bike for no other reason than it is trendy to do so

No reason why they should not either, it is a free country. However, when people do absurd things you can either let it annoy you, or you can laugh at it. I chose to write a satirical article about it.

Fast forward to today, 2009 and someone is selling a Peugeot Mixte on Cleveland Craig’s List. The seller links the above mentioned article to the advert. He obviously didn’t read the piece.

Why would anyone reference an article to help sell a bike, when that piece made fun of the people who rode this type of machine?

The result was the piece got a lot of hits, and the insulting comments start to appear, including one from a female who somehow thought the piece was demeaning to women.

Somehow the biggest insult you can make about a man is to suggest he is acting like a woman. (Riding a girls bike,) And that in turn made it an insult to women.

I have taken a lot of flack in the past over this particular piece, and I was not about to start up the whole controversy again. I deleted the article along with all the comments, both from this site, and on my old blogsite.

The piece was trivial, nothing of importance has been lost. Please don’t link articles that are meant to be humorous where people might take it out of context and mistake it for serious comment.

As absurd as this whole episode is, and knowing that I really should try to laugh at it. I am having a hard time at this moment finding any humor in being unfairly accused of being sexist. But at least if I am unable laugh about it yet, I can write about it and get it out that way. 

To the Hipsters with their stupid trendy bikes....go away and leave me alone, and to the feminist chick who left the comment....Screw you. (I mean that in the nicest, non sexist way of course.) Excuse the rant.


Reader Comments (10)

What's wrong with being sexy? -Nigel Tufnel

May 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterLe Gimpe

FWIW, your grumpier blogs, like this one, always put a smile on my face.

Thanks for the smile to start my day, Dave.


May 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterErik Ewald

You forgot to add, "You kids get off of my lawn!"

Wonderful as always Dave.

May 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRobert

When will they learn it's a man's world? :^) Ok....have to run now before the girlfriend comes in and sees what I've posted.

By the way...those weren't Scottish hipsters, were they?

May 15, 2009 | Unregistered Commentermaltese falcon

I sold a mixte to an elderly guy back in the 70s, Dave. He had arthritis and couldn't throw his leg up and over a conventional men's frame. So a mixte met his needs, and that's what we're supposed to do in retail, isn't it?

When I mounted a big plastic box on the rear of my commuter bike, I developed an appreciation for the possibilities of a mixte. Not that I'm getting stiff and sore these days. But I've noticed that most of my friends are getting old.

One last thing - I was always under the impression that a mixte frame was as stiff as any men's frame due to the additional triangulation. But I had no way to actually measure it. Is that true?

May 15, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterEd W

What's absurd? Hipster fixie riders with garish deep v aero rims, no brakes, bars chopped so short they barely have room for their hands, and slogans or decals like "ALL YOU HATERS SUCK MY BALLS" or "FUCK GEARS". So exactly what are those circular toothed wheels your chain is wrapped around, anyway?

Back in the day, real men rode 50-plus pound steel bikes with huge balloon tires, wide shiny chrome handlebars, springer front forks, racks, fenders, headlights, chainguards, and kickstands. And they rode 'em every day, no matter what the weather, rain, snow or shine. Uphill, always uphill. And they wore wool, too, or maybe flannel, but none of that sissy spandex or lycra stuff. And bike helmets?? ....hah! :>)))

May 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterD Dau

Greg Palmer is an excellent writer from Seattle that wrote a satirical article on cycling a couple years back but it was difficult to detect the satire until the very end. It just got more and more absurd. It received enough flack from the cycling community that he finally had to explain that it was satire. One of the funny parts of this episode was that several "anti-cycling" folks thought it was real and agreed heartily with it. So, you're in good company, Dave. Thanks for the laugh. Nice to have you posting again.

Cheers, Gene in Tacoma

May 16, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterGene in Tacoma

On that thought, one of the reasons I gave up my 'compact' bike frame was that in my eyes, it looked like it had broken his back to accommodate me. It looked too feminine for my tastes. I'm now in the right territory. Just got myself a bike with a classic geometry. No more lself esteem issues!

May 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRon

Dave, you should've stuck by your guns and kept the old article.

Stupid criticism reflects on the critic, not the subject. Just smile and enjoy the fact that people will recognize the complaining idiot for just what he or she is.

June 14, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRonsonic

hello there thanks for your grat post, as usual ((o:

November 17, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterlink exchange
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