New, Improved, Less Filling

August 25, 2011

All Posts, Features

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.

 Take Two

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.

 Plan B

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

Your pal,



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60 Responses to “New, Improved, Less Filling”

  1. sherides Says:

    Hey Rebel,

    Glad you’re back.

    Hate Cheez Whiz.

    Hate 883’s.

    Like reading your articles though.

    If you put thread locking stuff on the screw that you’re putting the new seat on with – can you ever take that screw out again?

  2. Rebel Says:

    Dear Gringo,

    Thank you much. I appreciate the thought. I think it would be unethical to take money from readers. I would rather try to sell you shit you probably don’t need instead.


  3. not-a-hippie Says:

    What the fuck, old man? I thought you were making some change off of this site or else why do it?

    I’m agreeing with the Gringo. Get a Paypal or a p.o. box (best for the cash) and watch us support a old fucking rebel…

    By the way, I’m all for articles about maintenance and such. I never had the time to become a pro mechanic, so I’m the oldest d.y.i.’er alive.

    Just bought a 2012 XL1200x (the 48)—man, I’m in love……………..

  4. Gringo Says:

    glad to see you back man.. You got a donation page or a PayPal account I got a few extra bucks from time to time for the cause..

  5. BigV Says:

    Fayettenamhoe: Doing some teaching on Fort Bragg next month. When I interviewed it made me think of you. Nice to see you’re still alive.

  6. fayettenamhoe Says:

    write on!

  7. harleyquinharley Says:

    Welcome back indeed.

  8. YYZ Skinhead Says:


    “Wear your Sons of Anarchy colors without the pain or initiation. Perfect for that SAMCRO fanatic or anyone wanting to intimidate other motorists, the Sons of Anarchy Temporary Reaper Tattoo applies easily with water. Have your friends thinking you joined the Sons of Anarchy!” Yeeeeeaaaah. Instant outlaw–just add water.

    YYZ Skinhead

  9. willienelso3 Says:

    right-on, troyez.

  10. troyez Says:

    I just clicked the ad for the “Sons of Anarchy Temporary Reaper Tattoo!” Get your fake tattoo from the fake bike club, from the fake biker, Kurt Sutter!

    I stayed there for exactly 61 seconds, that was painful.

  11. troll7552 Says:

    welcome back rebel do
    does the cheese whiz come in a can or cheese spread i like both and like everybody else i will buy your book any time

  12. Chuck Says:

    Welcome back. I also enjoy your writing. I find it challenging, interesting, and a refreshing departure from the ususal bs in the news re bikers, mc’s and related subjects.

  13. Chesty Says:

    Good to see you back Rebel! This is my first post here but I’ve followed your stuff for quite a while and found it to be the only honest biker reporting around. Despite whatever changes you need to make to keep this up and going I’ll still wade through the BS to hear you speak the truth.

    Being from SE WI I hit Milwaukee and Chicago often. I don’t know the name Veltus but know of a few who fit the profile.

  14. Spikeman Says:

    Good to have you back! The web is interesting again.

  15. DUKE Says:

    Mr. Rebel,

    I just wanted to echo the sentiments of the other posters in regards to having you back. I have maintained this site on my list of favorites and dutifully checked in in hopes of finding a new headline or at least a post from you telling someone to fuck off for the last several months. Stumbling upon this updated title today has turned a mediocre Wednesday into an occasion to be celebrated.

    Most men can relate to making some form of compromise in their lives in order to facilitate the things we truly enjoy. So if writing articles like “how to iron your doo-rag,” or “confessions of the $30 black t-shirt collector” are what is necessary to facilitate continuing to do what you love and are genuinely gifted at; then by all means, bring on the cheese whiz. If all you ask in return from your readership is 61 seconds; then I, without hesitation, will comply.

    Thank you for your continued commitment to this section of society, your diligence towards justice, and most importantly to me; your entertaining voice while reporting on this culture. I especially enjoy the “Rebel Rides” section of the website and look forward to new entries as the come.

    For what it’s worth, you have earned my sincere admiration and respect and I truly hope for nothing but positive outcomes for both you and this site in the future.



  16. Anarchy Says:

    we can only hope the SS folds and Torres gets busted for sucking a bikers dick in his office.

  17. Not Surprised Says:


    Thanks for that link. Like many here, I “follow’ hard news about ATF. Operation Gun Runner may have actually done in ATF”s dominion over guns. There is talk-serious talk- that FBI will take that over. In fact, “informed sources” indicate that ATF may even be split and folded inot three other federal agencies altogether.

    Since Waco, no president has trusted ATF with more than an “acting director”. Melson was/is an attorney with zero field experience. He is truly hated by the troops.

    I know for a fact that ATF is forcing early retirement of many field agents by year’s end to comply with budget reatraints.

    By the way our mutual pal from the LA office, Torres, is being called onto the carpet for some serious stuff.

    Word is he was called to D.C.

    Thanks Anarchy

  18. Rebel Says:

    Dear Big V,

    I don’t know much about the Sons bust yet but let me leave you with two words. Lars Wilson.

    And yeah, as I think I pointed out sometime, there is really only just the one big investigation. It is all the same investigation by the same guys. Part of the strategy in this one investigation is ongoing official secrecy about all the parts of this investigation and the cynical manipulation of information.

    And finally, just as a matter of idle interest, if anybody in Indiana, Chicago, Illinois or Wisconsin has seen a moderately handsome, slightly balding, blonde white guy who wears a do rag and is full of big talk, let me know. I suspect he had something to do with this thing in Indiana. In the right light, he looks a little like Brett Michaels. His name is Steve Veltus. In the Mongols case his road name was Kaos. Very likeable guy I have been told. If anybody can connect him to this thing in Indiana, I would appreciate a word.


  19. 10Gauge Says:

    Really good to have you back Rebel…. This is a very unique and important place. You do damn good work and your writing style, coverage, and investigative work is superior to anything else I have read covering our “life” anywhere on the web or in print, and I read a lot. I can’t imagine why the douche bags suits don’t get that. I hope the shit storm in your personal life clears and you find a rainbow leading to a pot of Acapulco Gold.

  20. Doc Jones Says:

    OK, let’s see if I have this right……if a member of club causes harm to a member of a different club……it’s ok to file a police report and testify against that person because that’s how it’s done these days……..did anyone consider getting busy and taking matters into their own hands? What in the fuck is going on? I’ll tell you this…..if you want to be an outlaw then act like one…..OUTLAW……get it…….not LAWMAN.

    Doc Jones

  21. Badorphan Says:

    ‘Bout fuckin’ time. Not to overstate the obvious, but everything’s free on the internet… Maybe a change of venue? Just saying. Welcome back. Looking forward to you wearing the letters off your kb.

  22. BigV Says:

    Dear Rebel:

    There is a rumor(and I know it’s not wise to repeat rumors) that some of the same ATF UC’s that were involved in the Outlaws/Rosga RICO have been involved in infiltrating a club(clubs?) in Indiana/Midwest, and, that the Indiana case that was announced Monday is part of more to come.

    Is it possible that the ATF sent Carr/Kozlowski/Giaoni back under that quickly ?

    Do you think that Black Biscuit was the beginning of just one big, non-ending undercover assault on clubs ? Because it certainly seems as though Ciccone and his ilk haven’t taken a breather in close to a decade of this b.s.

    Thanks, sir.

  23. Happy Says:

    Glad you’re back. maybe set up a paypal and take a little jack as it comes in?

  24. Rebel Says:

    Dear ruffrider,

    I was just riding along, you know. All of a sudden all these guys surrounded me, started flying past me and whatever. Then this Crown Victoria pulled up behind the pack. I found the surveillance photo later. I am not even sure what year that was.


  25. Anarchy Says:

    San Joaquin County Superior court , check out some back ground on the trial. u will find out a jus brother did take the stand for the prosecutor.
    Respect, Steve

  26. ruffrider Says:

    Thats a good looking bunch your rideing with in the photo Rebel.

  27. Doc Jones Says:

    I read an article awhile back about a Misfit who received life for attacking a Jus Brothers president at his home. The article stated that the Misfit said the Jus Brothers ratted on him. Does anyone have a comment on this? I don’t know anything except what I read. I haven’t formed an opinion either way.

    Doc Jones

  28. Chainsaw Says:

    Welcome back. I’ve been checking the site every few weeks looking for your return.

  29. Gunny4Sawx Says:

    Good to have you back man. Been lurking for years now. 61 seconds, you got it

  30. Fat Ray Says:

    Glad to see you back my friend.

  31. YYZ Skinhead Says:


    What Shyster said. I would gladly purchase a square on the right hand of the page. I’ll have to save up for it but anything to help the page.

    YYZ Skinhead

  32. ruffrider Says:

    Glad your back! You bring the cheesewhiz and the crackers will follow fur sure. I am still looking foreward to reading your book!!!

  33. Alex Says:

    Great to have u back,rumor had u were gone for good.
    Take care and keep those righteous words comin´for all of us,in the know or blatantly ignorant..don´t matter,as long as we hear it.

  34. Woodstock Says:

    You’ve got more readers than you think. Welcome back.

  35. Doc Jones Says:

    Thanks for hanging in there Rebel. I hope you’ll let us know when your book is for sale and where to buy it. You are one of a kind to say the least.

    Doc Jones

  36. willienelso3 Says:

    Dear Rebel,

    I stopped right after reading these lines–

    “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.”

    –well, I’m not an attorney, nor am I a 1%er, but I do care.

    (now I’ll go back to reading– maybe I’ll try to tell you why I care some other day.

    respect and appreciation,

  37. Shyster Says:


    Please e-mail me when you can. I would like to purchase a link space on your site for my business.


  38. Anarchy Says:

    welcome back hope we can help a lil.
    Respect, Steve

  39. FATF Says:

    Welcome back Rebel!!!

  40. BigV Says:

    Mmmmmh. Cheesewhiz.

    I’ll take Cheesewhiz.

    Rebel’s Cheesewhiz is better than 99% of the bullshit my profession produces as “contributions to the literature”.

    Thanks for coming back.

  41. DocB Says:

    Welcome back man

  42. Chief Says:

    I don’t care if you have to write cheez whiz as long as you’re back, besides I like cheez whiz.

  43. rollinnorth Says:

    For those of us who do know, it’s great to see you back. Perhaps it’s the Serenity prayer for Plan C. Screw that “best selling author.” I’ll tolerate the stuff you will need to put up to pay for this site. I’ll play along and click. Might even get a chuckle from some of it. As long as you can keep up your work, it’s worth it.
    Now, go for a ride!

  44. Square Verbose Doc Says:

    Welcome back indeed.

    Speaking of commerce….
    Any one else get an Invitrogen ad for rtPCR-? Makes me think my browser knows too much about me and is sharing it–unless I’m missing a connection. Anyhow I clicked on it. Clicked on the leather saddlebags and the BMW electric car too.

    I’ve said before and I’ll say again, I’d gladly tolerate all kinds of ads and would also gladly pay for this site; others have said the same.

    Rebel, the price paid for the changes you describe will be that the this may be less of a biker oasis than it has been–less of a clubhouse and a little more like the public square. There will be more folks like “anonymous”, and probably also lots more naive folks like me who arrive in need of education. I’m sure that the views expressed here can stand up in the marketplace of ideas; I hope that changes won’t be too hard on those whose haven may be disrupted. I don’t minimize the loss.

    But I’d look at this as a positive too–unseen forces are prodding you to get your message out to a much wider audience then you may have tried to reach and pulling you (even if kicking and screaming) onto a bigger stage.

    If even one tenth of the people looking to find out about oil changes and socket wrenches become interested in indicia warrants and the perversity of RICO prosecutions, that’s a big step forward. It’s kind of like when you get little kids to eat their vegetables by sneaking them into pizza or enchiladas.

    With much respect from Squaresville,

  45. ncpagan Says:

    Glad you’re back.

  46. JAMES Says:

    Welcome back, a bit of fresh air is well overdue.

  47. troyez Says:

    Hey man,
    You’ll always have this reader. I was waiting to buy your book but that will come in time, keep the faith (and your manuscript). I’m a loyal reader and buy books from my favorite authors no matter what the “experts” say – ask Jeff Shaara – I even emailed him to ask when a book would be in print (and he wrote back, thanks Jeff).
    I’ll click some links, no biggie, and I’ll buy a copy (or 3) of your book when it prints.
    Oh yeah, glad you’re back.

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