Do you know any crazy people? Maybe they've been tested by aliens, or perhaps touched by the hand of God...? Have you ever noticed that crazy people believe that they are sane while the rest of us are crazy? Neurotics build castles in the sky, and psychotics live there. It's true. The best, sure-fire sign you've lost the plot is when everyone around you tells you you're mad, yet you figure they're the ones who are all insane.
Back in the eighties when I first quit cars, people were always telling me I was stark raving mad 'cause I rode my Cannondale every day through winter in Alberta. Have you ever known the wonder of Edmonton during an old-fashioned cold snap two weeks or more ? You could expect to face temperatures at well below at -30 c (-22 f) plus wind chill for a week or so, and you could expect a snap like that a couple of times every year. Mean temperatures that are truly mean. You know that term "When Hell freezes over?" That would be Edmonton then.
Back then, I didn't know another soul who rode year round. Most people really thought I was starkers, and perhaps that is still true today. Some of them would get all chivalrous fearing for my safety, some incredulous, and some would even get upset and insist on putting my bike in the back of their truck to give me a lift home. "It's dangerous. You're crazy. You can't do that." Over and over again "you can't do that."
I bought in. I was clearly different from everyone else, and top of it all, my family tree is chocka blocka nuts, so I figured the shoe fit... and sought therapy.
Growing up, we skied the Rockies in the winter, so riding through the year was a no-brainer, even at thirty below. Just dress for the weather, and presto...it's an adventure! It always feels good to get where you're going when you're going by bike. Literally. And compared with skiing, cycling is more comfortable, because there are no long cold lifts to sit through waaaaay upon high on a windy mountain peak. When you're on a bike, movement keeps you warm, so that by the time you get to the top of the hill, you're plenty warm enough to enjoy the breeze as you cruise the curves all the way down. Besides, there is something infinitely romantic about the sound of a tyre on hard packed snow in the dead of winter under those breathtaking Alberta skies. 'Specially early in the morning and late at night. The nights are long, but the snow reflects the moon, the stars, and the city lights, so it never really gets dark.
It can be very illuminating!
Riding year round makes perfect sense to me, but people have been pointing out my insanity for a generation now. There are way more cyclists on the roads today than ever before, at least here in Canada, but we're still very much the exception to the rule. I can accept that I may be off my rocker, at least if I am to be judged by how well I conform to norm, but I wouldn't change my lifestyle for a parkade full of cars. Even now, every time I join the car culture and get behind the wheel I am reminded of all the reasons I love bikes. It's better to be a freak living on the lunatic fringe than to spend hours in traffic every day. Commuting, running to lessons or practice, shopping, a night on the town, you name it... people drive everywhere. Every day there are more and more cars clogging up the roads and later stocking our landfills, too, and I can't help but think "THAT's absolutely crazy." Pure madness.
I look around at a world where sex is taboo, but violence is acceptable, and I have to shake my head. That's seriously back-assward. That's where real madmen like Todd Akin are hatched, with their delusions about sexuality and reality, and that's the reason violence is so prevalent in the world today, too. How is it that teenagers graduate from high school having seen tens of thousands of murder on television, in movies, and in games, yet having had no exposure to nor understanding of the beautiful, wondrous, healthy joys of making love? They certainly have the hormones and the inclination, but we riddle them with guilt and conflict over their natural, healthy sexual urges. Um... people? That's crazy.
How did humanity get to the place where a woman's nipple can cause shock and outrage? Janet Jackson sure made the most of it, but why is this so?
Fer fuck sake, people, it's a nipple. It feeds, it comforts, it pleases. It's a good thing.
You want to shield youth from obscenity? Bare the breast. Ban the bullet instead.
Why do paleo-people still object to public breastfeeding? Watch what happens when a woman walks down the street topless down-town in Vancouver. Watch what happens if she tries it in Indonesia, or Pakistan, or, heaven forbid...Toronto! At least if you believe Krista Ford, (neice to warlords Robba the Fords). Krista says you'd best not dress like a whore if you don't want to be legitimately raped. She says so dressed for work...
Imagine poisoning your children's minds against their very own nature... yet we do it. Worse yet, we are poisoning their bodies, too! I look around at our world, especially here in the United State of Canada, and I notice that seventy percent of the crops grown here are genetically modified. Seventy. Frankenfoods are in pretty much everything with a label, and the labels don't even have to say that they're GMO! These days, unless it's organic, it's most likely GMO, too, which means it IS its own pesticide. Isn't that convenient? Apparently, we're all ok with eating poison here. Hey, now that's seriously crazy. You definitely can't do that for long.
And if you happen to get sick, and you go to the doctor, he will prescribe some more toxic compoundsd, and he will likely irradiate you, too, before he either cuts you open and then gives you more poison, or just gives you more poison. The healer who offer sound nutritional counselling, the acupuncturist, the masseur and chiropractor who heal without toxic chemicals and radiation are not covered, but drugs and radiation are. Ridiculous. Crazy.
Heard of the Codex Alimentarius? Chills my blood what's going on out there, but most people still believe they elect a government of the people by the people. It's bizarre. C.R.A.Z.Y.
So let me see. We're fed by an agriculture industry which cares nothing for our health, and healed by a medical system which pays no attention to our food. We espouse a belief system which glorifies violence and vilifies sex. We're quickly killing off ourselves and the planet, too, aware of all the facts and where we're heading, yet we've been living in denial for at least 30 years. Worst of all, we remain wilfully blind to the simple yet elegant solutions available at hand. Kuh Ray Zee.
Everywhere... there's madness everywhere. So many things make no sense at all... no sense. It's all nonsense. Crazy. Oh shit. You see? Madness. I see madness everywhere! Everyone has all gone mad!
It's the one, sure-fire sign from the universe that I've lost it completely. I have a lovely little castle in the sky vision of the community, the city, the world I want to live in, and on a good day I can see a glimmer of hope, I can sense a seedling emerging, rising up from the manure of this mad modern civilization, but today? Today it's all just madness...
Time to clear my mind.