Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Attack Attack: Second place to God

Here at Death Race we don't have a lot of time for the crabcore band Attack Attack nor, for that matter, do we much care for the first person plural.

In any case, I recently was forwarded this video where a dude that purports to be in the band claims he is leaving because touring was damaging his relationship with God.

This news filled me with mixed emotions. Ecstasy at the idea that Attack Attack might be no more, meaning I would no longer have to come to terms with the fact that, at twenty one, i already didn't understand the kid's music. Sadness, because it would mean the funniest band on earth was no more.

Please see here if you doubt this:

To the message at hand though. Johnny, saying you're leaving Attack Attack to build your relationship with God is like the author of Goosebumps saying he is quitting writing in order to spend more time with ghouls, or rabid werewolves. It's ridiculous. Your entire band, outrageous as it is, is devoted to God. How could you possibly get more God fearing than making a screamo-metalcore-dance band in honour of a fictitious being. From where I'm standing, that looks like a pretty good relationship.

One wonders if on tour he may have come into contact with some less than Christian ideals or actions. Just as a quick reminder to Johnny, these things that happen on tour are the reason 95% of bands are formed. In 1983, I'm fairly certain Slayer weren't that passionate about getting their music to all four corners of the globe, they were probably more intent on getting blind drunk, and passing out in the most convenient gutter.

While the hipster ridiculing of Attack Attack seems to have died down, i remain fascinated with them. Not for the band itself, but for what they represent. I have no doubt that Judas Priest would have been as offensive to Beatles fans, as Attack Attack is to me. This is the uninspired Middle America embodied. One wonders, if it could get any worse?

The answer is almost certainly: yes.

In any case, I wish Johnny the best in his God fuelled solo music career. One wonders if we might see the newly dread locked man go entirely off the rails, only to front a beer swilling, shaved head fronting, terrible metalcore band.

Johnny, this is how its really done:

Sodom at their absolute best!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

On sharing other sub-standard blogs

My friend Sam does engineering. I've known him for about seven years and, in those years, have sustained various cutless wounds.

Despite being an engineer and thus worthy of severe beatings (except when i need someone to design the bridge I'm planning, that will span the entire world, and only have two supporting trusses) he is rather good with the written word. I very much doubt he will post much, but I can ensure my vast readership of 2.3 (the decimal number indicating someone that began to read but promptly died mid post) that it will be a funny read when he does.

This concludes the strange triangle of my two friends who also have blogs, being Michael and Sam. As Sam himself points out in his blog, Michael writes softcore science fiction, which involves lots of futuristic things that will never actually happen, and Sam writes about how shit what he is writing is. I, as you have discovered over the past year and a bit, write about metal and cycling, with the odd boring sincere post here and there, vis. previous post.

So what the fuck are you still doing here? Go read BikeSnob or something!

The Cycling Community: An Inconsistent Ideal

Having been a member of the so called 'cycling community' for about six to seven years now, and having made good friends within it in the past two, I have recently been struck by the inconsistency with which the term is used. So strongly do i feel about the issue I have come to the conclusion that the term means nothing at all.

Bicycle Victoria, the local lobby group, who in the past few years has developed quite an influential voice in local and state politics, has the motto of: "More People Cycling, More Often". The emphasis is on using bikes for transport, fitness and and fun. As a maxim, I generally agree with what it espouses. However, all too often Bike Vic inundates itself in smugness and forgets the meaning, or more specifically, the vague nature of the motto by which it exists. The Bike Vic types strongly feel that bikes riders should be considered legitimate road users, and ostracise and attack those cyclists that break road rules. The rationale behind this behaviour is that these law breaking cyclists are "giving all cyclists a bad name", or, "undermining the cycling community".

Herein lies the fundamental flaw of the "Cycling Community" as well as Bike Vic's "More People Cycling, More Often" motto. The more a group that is bound by a certain activity expands, the more likely that it will not be united by a single philosophy. So, just as Bike Vic pushes for more cyclists, more often, the more likely that people will begin to ride that don't adhere to Bike Vic's ideal of what a cyclist should be.

By the same token, some people that ride bikes don't think of themselves as cyclists, but simply as 'people that ride a bike.' By definition then, the casual helmetless rider, who has no interest in bikes or the 'culture' that they entail, does not 'give cyclists a bad name', but is rather, totally removed from the argument. The conclusions drawn by the cyclist who resents him is a case of flawed premises. To resent certain cyclists doing what they themselves feel is right, but also wanting more cyclists on the road, is to demand something incoherent.

To demand that all cyclists should adhere to what a particular organisation feels a cyclist should be is not a healthy community but is, rather, a cult. Cyclists are not united by the vehicle they choose, just as drivers have no collective identity. There are people that like old cars, and fast cars, and tinkering with cars, just as there are racing cyclists, commuters and collectors of bikes, but there is no over arching element that unites us all.

Some might consider this a bad thing. Harry Barber, the President of Bike Victoria, would probably resent my idea that not all cyclists need be high vis wearing commuters.

Essentially, i agree with the idea that more cyclists cycling, more often, is a good idea. However, i reject the pick and choose attitude of those who espouse it. If you want every man and his dog riding a bike, you must accept the dude who has no interest in bike advocacy running the odd red on his shit Huffy. That is how things evolve. Eventually, Huffy man might buy a Trek, and become more interested and start liking the idea of the 'bike community'. Maybe he won't. He has a right to go either way without being told he is undermining a group he didn't know he was part of.

I continue to think of myself as part of a 'cycling community', but only out of convenience of phrase than any real significance. These people ride bikes. But i see them because i like them as people, rather than the their choice to ride bikes. In reality, a healthy community is a group that might be connected, or networked through a common factor, but is in fact extremely diverse. In this way ideas are challenged, argued over, re-thought, and revised, the end result hopefully being a more diverse, yet coherent, set of beliefs.

I'm all for people cycling more often. I think everyone should. I don't expect them to behave like i do, however. I also certainly don't expect to have things in common, or a binding philosophy, or world outlook as all of them.

To really evolve, and to become a cycling city, or nation, one has to allow the muppets ride, and learn. You also have to accept behaviour different to your own. Do this and you might just find a 'cycling community'.