Monday, July 02, 2007

time to do something, take 2

honest abe, after building his tunnel and monument,
ran for the illinois state legislature.
good thing he had the nickname before he got elected, eh?
. . .
the bicycle was invented somewhere between 1790 and 1816.
iowa became a state in 1846.
it appears that the iowa legislature has not done much
to improve the safety of its bicyclists
since the time old abe was making laws across the river.
. . .
after reading about a young illinois woman's death
in a race sunday following a collision with a truck,
and just now about three cyclists in wisconsin
who were struck [one has died] by a drunk driver,
the impetus is even greater for me to meet with
my state legislator to discuss
real, meaningful improvements to the iowa code,
as it relates to laws providing for the safety of non-motorized users
of our state's streets, roads, and highways.
i really am sick of this shit.
. . .
and here's something that is REALLY pissing me off
about this whole highway carnage:
remember when the state of iowa was served by a family-owned,
proudly independent, pulitzer prize-winning newspaper?
we used to have one in this state.
it was called the des moines register,
and it really was the paper iowa depended upon.
they won respect and admiration, along with awards,
by reporting on issues,
by digging,
by asking the questions that made the questioned uncomfortable.
remember clark mollenhoff?
i do.
his booming voice was unmistakable as he grilled
officials of the nixon white house.
where is the voice of the register now?
who is there to speak for the citizens of iowa?
gannett?
are you fucking crazy?
. . .
ragbrai is coming in a couple weeks.
the publicity machine is working round the clock.
the state of iowa is preparing to have the king of all trails
lance armstrong
proclaim it the trail capital of the country.
the state is going to issue share the road license plates.
. . .
whatever. who the fuck cares?
doesn't much matter if you're dead, does it?
. . .
last fall i said that if you haven't been nearly killed while riding,
that you don't ride your bike enough.
well, the "bike trail capital of america" is fighting hard to lower the bar.
. . .
what has the register said about this?
nothing.
how many follow-up investigative articles have been published
since that blind old man nearly killed collier and sergey?
none.
how many hard-hitting questions have been asked
of the dallas county attorney about why no charges have been filed?
none.
and what about the death of david "judd" harris in atlantic;
has the register taken the time to connect the dots?
nope.
why?
because angry bicyclists don't fund the register,
but angry, pissed-off drivers do.
. . .
the register loves you if you ride a bike--
the last full week of july.
but get the hell out of here the other fifty-one weeks of the year.
ride your little trails,
but if you die on the streets,
county roads,
or wherever,
don't expect any help from the register.

the whole point of this post was to solicit ideas, suggestions and examples
from other states [no license plates, please] that i might take with me
when i meet with janet peterson later this summer.
post them here in the comments section.
. . .
when i said i was madder than hell,
i meant it,
goddammit.

5 comments:

the mostly reverend said...

and as if to prove my thesis, why not check the FRONT PAGE of today's [monday's] register.
the lead story?
without reading it, i'm guessing the story has to do with the DOCTOR who was killed in a boating accident a couple years ago.
the outcome?
fucking changed the laws regarding drunken boating.
good job, register.
hmm...doctor, boat, okiboji...
sounds like big bucks.
cyclist?
po' folk, mos' likely.
screw 'em.

the mostly reverend said...

i was right.
here's the link: boating accident, tragic follow-up.

maybe there are just too fucking MANY dead bikemen to choose from?

http://www.desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070702/NEWS/707020341/1001/NEWS

fine print: i am NOT demeaning nor am i attempting to minimize the loss of the families in this boating story.
but give me a fucking BREAK! okay?

[i SAID i was pissed.]

Jimmy Carrico said...

Reverend, have you written a letter to the editor at the register, and if so was it put in? If so I think we would all like to read it.

the mostly reverend said...

no, actually, i have not yet written a letter.
as i wrote june 20th, i was hoping that OTHERS would take it upon themselves to write.
i can do this, and i will, but i'd like to think that there are OTHER folks out in readerville who also care as much as i do, or more, about all that is being done to us without consequence by motorists and law enforcement folks.
i would like to have a number of submissions in the paper from other cyclists, so that it doesn't seem that i'm the only crazy, pissed off s.o.b. on two wheels.
i hope i'm not.
but when i DO submit a piece,
i WILL share it.

scott said...

I sent an email to the reporter who wrote the Collier and Sergey article. In the email I suggested that his point-of-view in the story may have been slightly from behind the steering wheel instead of in front of the charging bumper.

He politely told me that I was wrong.

We exchanged a few more missives and regretfully no minds were changed.