30 July 2010

Let Us Now Play Dress-Up

I know that you have had this same eerie experience many times. Some subject crops up in your mind for absolutely no discernible reason. Then a short time later an event occurs directly related to that subject that cropped up in your mind previously, again for no discernible reason. You get the feeling that somehow by thinking about the subject, you somehow conjured the event.

On 17 July I was considering the latest travel alerts issued by the State Department. That train of thought led me onto the subject of the Hells Angels and big motorcycles somehow.

Wouldn't you know it? Last week 1,500 Mexican Harley-Davidson riders converged on San Miguel out of the blue. They were on some sort of group ride along the Independence Route in connection with the bicentennial.

For me this is just an interesting example of the penetration of the popular culture of the United States into other cultures and the resulting homogenization of the world. A lot of middle class people, and some upper class people, in the United States love to purchase Harley-Davidson motorcycles along with a bunch of gear. They then play dress-up and loudly ride all over hell together to no purpose. (Of course the purpose is the ride. I know that.) Dare we admit that there are lower class people in the United States? In any event and when credit is easy, a lot of lower class people participate, too.

It turns out, sure enough, that a lot of middle class Mexicans enjoy the very same thing.

Guarding all those motorcycles. Kinda.

Having said all that and in my own defense, I am considerably more mellowed out on this subject than I was during that walking tour of Luckenbach, Texas, last year when I launched into obscenities on the subject. “Live and let live,” I say now. “To each is own.” Give me a moment, and I will think of some other clichés.

I must admit, however, that it was impressive to hear 1,500, big bore Harley-Davidson motorcycles cranked up simultaneously and ridden out of town as occurred at 9:00 a.m. on the morning after these photos were taken.

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While I consider some additional clichés, let's take a break and listen to Martha Reeves and the Vandellas. The last video, filmed in the Ford plant in Detroit, delights me for some reason.

We all have our own cherished things, often only images, that we consider iconic cultural phenomena, depending on our personalities, ages, and so forth. For me that gap in Martha Reeves' front teeth has always, always been an iconic cultural phenomenon. I have trouble finding it in my heart to forgive her for getting that fixed later. Obviously, it was not an iconic cultural phenomenon for her.

Years before my own case of male hormone poisoning abated and I left off playing dress-up, there were three beautiful lies that I loved to hear women tell me. One of those beautiful lies is nicely incorporated into the song Heat Wave: "I ain't never felt like this before."

Join me at the bottom of this page.


Anonymous said...

I've never once been on a motorcycle and strangely enough, I've never had that urge. When I've considered it, I have quickly recalled the feeling of being in a small car when passed by a huge tractor trailer and the whole car shakes and I imagine that being on a motorcycle it must feel as if you're about to be sucked under the wheel. People tell me it's fun though.

Señor Steve said...

I owned a couple, Mr. Anchovy, far, far back in my youth, and it gives me the shakes now to think about that.