I will ride my bike as much as I want.

As a general position of temperance I understand the notion of “moderation” completely.

I understand it to be a general avoidance of gluttony for, according to the saying-“everything”.

Another way I have heard this expressed is, “Enough is as good as a feast”.

Well, isn’t that just a sweet little homespun homily.

Living within a culture that celebrates ravenous gluttony while muttering, “Everything in moderation” out of the corner of a ham-stuffed mouth is just a bit much for me to take. Moderation is, and always has been, an object for derision in this country.

Think Jimmy Carter, ” We can all wear sweaters in the house to save electricity during the energy crisis.” Fuck you country boy, it’s a new morning in America, time for you to go.

Ralph Nader? Pantywaist.

Carpooling? For total losers.

Bicycle commuting? Get away you poor, sweaty, freak.

There is no phenomenon of, “Girls gone moderately wild”.

Manifest Destiny did not mean “Stop at the Mississippi River” or “Whoa, there’s some people already living there.”

Maybe it is just in my nature to dwell on the inconsistencies, but you can’t just explain them away. Who among us is free of gluttony in this culture? If you are, then congratulations, although it seems you may be over-indulging in moderation.

Consider some of the things we celebrate, and appreciate–

Lance Armstrong- Nobody said, “Come on Lance, 6 is the record, you proved your point, show some class.”
Really big vehicles.
Silicone implants
“This house is just an investment to make some money before we buy our real home.”
The Big Bertha Driver
6+ inches of full suspension travel
New, long-lasting flavor
Anti-aging cream
2 for the price of 1
My partner doesn’t accept me for who I am, “Why should I be the one to change”.
“Self-help” books rather than “help others” books.
Hot dog eating contests rather than fasting contests.
John Goodman’s comedic brilliance

I am not pointing any fingers here. I can say with some surety that I am down with half of the things on that list. All I ask is if you are a preacher of the “everything in moderation” tenet, please consider what the statement is actually advising…

What if the civil rights protests of the 1960’s were exercised in moderation, like maybe every other Thursday in the Summer, you know, when school was out?

What about your desire to love someone? If you have a partner, do you love them moderately or fanatically? How do you want to be loved?

What if Louis L’amour wrote western tales in moderation? I would have finished them all years ago, and that would suck.

What if Cassius Clay aspired to be “The Moderatest”?

What if NASA had thought, “Oh I don’t know, 1/2 way to the Moon is pretty darn far enough, we don’t want to show off”.

I realize there may be some of you out there who disagree, and perhaps you can offer a poignant defense of moderation, but luckily you never write anything, so I think my argument is safe. In an ongoing project to explore this issue I will be developing an “Enemies of Moderation” feature that will post at least as Haphazardly as the “Clydesdale Hall of Fame”. Please feel free to submit your favorite over-achieving, excessive, people, places, or things for consideration through the comments section (It is quite easy, anonymous, and non-intrusive to your personal life) or by contacting the host at john.phantom309@gmail.com

Juancho-turn me up and rip the knob off.

4 Responses to I will ride my bike as much as I want.

  1. MLK was certainly a moderate compared to Malcom X, and arguably more effective as a result.

    I’d rather be the object of moderate love than fanatical love any day of the week. I like my pet rabbit.

    Cassius Clay can’t cut his own meat.

    Jimmy Carter rocked.

  2. I’m with the extremist here.

    Don’t knock fanatical love. It doesn’t necessarily end with a rabbit in every pot. Or a bevy of pretties ready to kill movie stars and prominent couples because you misinterpreted a song about a giant slide. Sometimes you get a Paul of Tarsus or a Tom Paine going all out for the Gipper. (And I just watched a bio of Ayn Rand. Don’t get me started).

    Wasn’t Malcolm X turning moderate when he was plugged? I seem to recall that from Spike Lee’s flick. Both he and MLK were too radical for this planet and their times, earning the prophet’s customary reward.

    Other examples: Lennon the extremist, McCartney the moderate. But wait, Lennon got plugged, too. Maybe I should rethink this. Still, I’d rather hear “Cold Turkey” than “Silly Love Songs” any day. Let’s try again. Lenin the extremist, Kerensky the moderate? The Reds certainly had a run there, for better or worse (history says worse).

    Maybe Cassius can’t cut his meat, but he reached glory you and I will never know. Interesting question: Would he be a little more, uh, animated today if he’d quit after the Foreman fight? And what’s the alternative — pushing lean mean grilling machines?

    Maybe I side with excess here because the life I actually live is in the slow lane (Juancho and Sas, you’ve seen me ride). But that’s my profile: extreme in attitude, moderate in behavior. Paper Tiger. Daytripper, Sunday driver yeah.

    If this is a biking blog, I think we’re off topic. Glad to see it.