The internet is a terrible and beautiful thing. I think about the incredible work, and the celebrity status that Fatty has achieved using little more than a blog. I think about the people I have met through my own blog (and through theirs) and the unlikely wall of geography that has been torn down through the use of the internet. What were once anonymous handles have turned the people behind them, with nothing more than a shared and common interest, into genuine friends. But then, I also realize that that same internet was used to tip off the Gubmint Superheros that tried to shut down the KTR in 2007. It’s the same tool people use to spout ridiculous garbage about political candidates, celebrities, and yes, even cyclists. Terrible and beautiful, indeed.
The internet is, I think the ultimate end (and test) to our First Amendment right to speak freely. Even if what we say is utterly and fantastically stupid.*
There is a nonsensical group on Facebook (are we really talking about this, really?) dedicated to mocking, ridiculing, and otherwise disparaging cyclists. A counter-group made up of cyclists has arisen whose sole object is to have the “hateful” group removed.
Isn’t that precisely what the agitators are hoping to do? That is, to garner a reaction from us? Why indulge their warped sense of importance and ignorance? Why waste the effort and the bandwith fighting something that holds no power, no influence, and is largely populated by, judging from the quality of discourse, nothing more than blowhards who find themselves with nothing better to do when they are not masturbating in front of their female World of Warcraft avatars, than to denigrate and marginalize people they know nothing about?
(Wait, did I just denigrate and marginalize them? And did really just type “masturbate”?)
The group, at least as far as I can tell is hardly hateful. It’s just stupid.
But even if it were viably hateful, so what?
Being a bigot, a racist, a jackass and a prick are all protected under the Constitution of the United States. Now, I don’t think those are recommended forms of behavior. Being rude or vitriolic, or both, is generally a poor way to live out your life. But if that is the “pursuit of happiness” someone chooses for themselves, then so be it. Usually when one spends their time engaging in such activities the marketplace of ideas shuns them into either submission, silence, or irrelevance. To formerly oppose this group is a waste of time, and only validates its existence. Ignore them, and I’m certain the neanderthal nature of laughing at ones own jokes will soon overcome the attention span of the people fueling such insightful and far seeing blither as “MY TRUCK IS HARD AND IM NOT SLOWING DOWN” (capitals in the original, of course). And anyway, how many cyclists spout the same sort of rhetorical nonsense about SUVs, trucks, or anything else that poses a danger to either our bodies or our ideological world view?
So, let these overtly intelligent sophists play patty cake with each other. All the inane, senseless, and entirely foolhardy nonsense they can come up with is meaningless and unoriginal drivel.
But no, it’s not hate. It’s just stupid.
*This post, perhaps, is a fine example.