And so I, in the middle of the photo above, am back after a terrible year. And, since most of what you will ever read here is the product of just one smartass guy of limited intelligence I have to start with at least a bare explanation, without getting too personal, of where I have been and where we are going.
There are basically two kinds of men – grasshoppers and ants. I am, unfortunately, a grasshopper. Always have been. James Joyce called us “gracehopers.”
Ants are industrious and hardworking citizens. Grasshoppers waste their summers singing while ants store up supplies for winter. When winter comes the grasshopper starves. When he begs the ant for food the ant tells him he should have done a better job of planning ahead. Then the ant shuts his door in the grasshopper’s face.
It is winter in America and the things you read here are the songs I sing.
Okay. Maybe that is too subtle. I am trying not to get personal here. Let me try this again.
This little idea, of taking the motorcycle outlaw world seriously and treating it with journalistic respect was a loser from the start. For one thing, there is no longer any journalism in America. It is all just selling Cheese Whiz. For another, most people who stumble into this site have absolutely no idea what the fuck I am talking about. To cover this journalistic beat accurately I have had to write about subjects as arcane as “indicia warrants” and “collective membership marks.” The only people who care are one percenters and defense attorneys. Oh, and ATF Agents come here looking for “intelligence” and for something to hate.
The site is not terribly expensive to maintain but it does cost me money and frankly in the last year I have had little time and no money to put into it. For some reason the MacArthur Fellows Program, for those of you who know what that is, has never considered me. Last year they chose the Chinese writer Yiyun Li. It is a secret process so I don’t know but I am pretty sure the MacArthur Foundation has never actually heard of me.
I haven’t won the lottery yet either. I really thought I was going to for awhile. I had a hunch. I said the Saint Jude prayer eight or nine hundred times a day. It turns out, on the subject of winning the lottery, I actually was crazy
So, I still don’t have any money. Most publishers consider me to be a crack pot and the things I say invented. (“Why should we believe what you say? Are you an authority? Do you have a graduate degree in motorcycle studies?”) As a result, just about anything I have to say here or in book form is going to have to at least pay for itself. And, God help me, I still have more to say.
Brief Literary Digression
I once asked an Argentine writer named Jorge Luis Borges why he even bothered to write down his stories. I know it was a rude question. I have always been a rude guy and not just to cops, prosecutors and yuppies. Borges told me, “Because I must. Because it is my destiny or my curse.” Personally, I thought the guy was a little on the self-dramatizing side for a man who never won a Nobel Prize.
Somebody once asked Ernest Hemmingway a similar question about why he wrote. Hemmingway said, “Because it is easier than not writing.” I think Hemmingway’s answer nailed the question.
This site is going to continue because, to make a long story short, it is easier to write this ephemera than not write it. And life is short. I write this for me. I don’t write this for money.
I am also quite aware, as the real American hero Jay Dobyns once told me, that I have “about 50 readers” while he is a “best selling author.”
The Wise Wife
“Oh fucking well.” To quote one of my ex-wives.
Starting next month this site will be active once again. Which leaves me with the problem of paying for this hobby. Unfortunately, the only feasible way to generate a little income off this site is, I am sure, going to piss some of you off. “Oh fucking….” Never mind.
Brace yourself for articles like “How to change the oil in your Sportster 883!” “Why your motorcycle won’t start.” (Open the petcock moron!) “What is an oil cooler?” And “Why Brillo Pad baffles don’t work.”
Playing the Game
I can’t help it. This is what people want to read about motorcycles. The actual journalism will still appear. The crap will just be there to pay the freight. Please feel free to open these crap articles and leave that page open while you go get a beer. (Google doesn’t count it as a hit unless you visit the page for at least 61 seconds.) Oh, and look, if there is a link to, say J&P Cycles in one of these Cheese Whiz articles and you see it, please click the damn link.
Don’t hate the player. Hate the game. The new and improved Aging Rebel. Coming September 6. Tell everybody you know who rides a Sportster 883.
Please stay tuned for the commercial