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GOING THE DISTANCE
"IT'S JUST AN OPINION"
PHOTO BY GENGHIS
OPINIONS ARE LIKE SPHINCTERS: Everybody's got one.
SONNY BARGER ON RIGIDS:
".....we used to ride...on those early rigid-framed bikes, and they bounced around so much that if you drove sixty miles in an hour you were making great time...The vibration left you tingling and numb for about an hour after you got off your bike...."
ANDREW ROSA 1996:
".....Why would anyone want to ride a rigid if he had a choice?...."
SIMON COWELL ON "AMERICAN IDOL" AFTER BEING BOOED BY THE AUDIENCE AFTER HE CALLED A CONTESTANT'S SINGING "HIDEOUS":
".....It's just an opinion...."
SHOVELIN IT AT THE SEEDY X-BAR & GRILL:
".....Don't forget the PISS PEAS! Damn I remember how your editorials pissed people off and how Snow dealt with them in back talk. People would be getting twisted panties and I'd be laughin my ass off. Good shit...I could understand why but was it your opinionated editorials that bugged him or having to deal with the readers that disagreed? I mean to say that no matter what anyone writes there will be a person that disagrees with said point of view. Your point of view about the fourspeed swingarm frame sure had many upset and many more, like me, reveling in the fact that I too was a fourspeed owner...."
We're all champions of our own points of view. This is particularly intensified in a sociological group like bikers, whose opinions regarding our motorcycles reach a fever-hot pitch in a nanosecond. People in the biker subculture are a passionate lot, and what else are they going to get het up about the most, if not their bikes, man? Our Harleys are the very epicenter of our existences, and in many ways, they define who we are. Bikes are no small component of our lives.
With regard to opposing opinions, I've gotten more mellow as time has gone on, and am willing to give at least an inch for those bikers who may disagree with my extremely opinionated views about the Harley World. Remember BoSam McCardle. Hey BoSam! You out there?
Shovelin It does have a valid point, though. What I was doing when championing the superiority of the righteous four-speed swingarm frame, was voicing my belief that it's the best, screw the rest. Of course, the implication when citing a "best" is that there of needs, must be a comparative scale of "less than the best" that fall beneath the zenith. Logic would dictate that if one accepts the premise that the classic four-speed swingarm frame is the gold standard, then rigids would have to be relegated into the "not as good" category, right? But hey, it's only an opinion, correct?
People take an opinion as a direct and personal assault on them, if said opinion upsets the applecart of their worldview, so they get all out of sorts if a dissenting opinion seeks the light of day. I have some advice for these intolerant few: be proud of your own point of view, but don't get PMS'd over mine, baby! Just do what I do when I hear an opinion that's opposed to mine. I ignore it and mentally toss it into the "not worth crap" bin. See? Simple as that.
Snow did have a job and a half, dealing with some of those irate letters directed at me. Mostly we had fun with it. I honestly feel though, that toward the end just before he split from IH, it annoyed him. He never expressed this to me personally, but Fritz did imply this to me. Of course, we've all seen what an insidious and scheming snake 'ole Chopperman can be, so what he had to say to me had to be taken with a ton of salt. We've all seen how he turned on Snow recently. Like Lane has said, "Fritz Sucks!" There were certain ways that Snow would deal with irate letters aimed at me.
Sometimes David gave 'em to me so I could respond, further enraging the injured party, makin' em fume at home like seeing-red bulls without an outlet for their anger. I received threats all the time. I even received some bullets in the mail meant as threats. But hey, I was used to that. I used to get threats in the martial arts magazines I wrote for on a routine basis. In those days, I clearly printed the address of my dojo in those rags, but nobody ever showed up in person to protest what I had to say about their schools or styles of combat (which usually sucked). Like I said, it's only an opinion.
Hey, listen up. I've got a boatload of opinions about everything in the biker subculture, from celebrity bike builders who build unrideable $100,00 abortions, to rigids, to the stupidity of bike rallies. I've got my opinions, and you've got yours. The difference is I respect your opinions, even if I don't agree. I'm able to do that because I realize that I'm always right. Let me amend that: I feel that I'm right all the time, which amounts in my mind, to the same thing.
That gives me the balanced perpective on other points of view. It's always easy to be tolerant, when you've got a monopoly on having all the answers. Just remember, it's only an opinion. If someone reacts negatively about an opinion which I offer, it more often than not says more about the offended, than it does about me or the validity of my opinion. What it reflects, is the relative strength of the offended's ego. The stronger the person, the less noise is made.
If you hear an opinion of mine, and am able to take it with a grain (or two) of salt, then I can respect that a great deal. Otherwise, if ya don't like what I'm saying, then chalk it up to "too bad."
Think about that.