Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Nice Guy Eddies and Kantian Idiots Part I

In one or another of Tarantino's films, he named a character Nice Guy Eddie, Eddie wasn't particularly nice but I think he was supposed to be. People who do the right thing are Nice Guy Eddies. After all, Eddie was concerned not so much with who did what to whom but who it was that was pointing a gun at his dad, which -- if you think family matters-- is pretty nice. Kant argued somewhere or another that it is wrong and immoral to treat others as means to an end instead of ends in and of themselves. He meant, more or less, that you ought not ever do/will something happening someone else that you wouldn't do/will as happening to yourself in the same circumstances; this means, I think, that you ought respect other bodies as being as important to themselves as you are to yourself and, consequently, recognizing that no desire or end you might have is any more important that a desire or end that the other bodies might have. This position is, ultimately, the basis of western liberalism's constant insistence that, as Jesus put it, we respect the least amongst us.

Well every day, as cyclists and as bodies moving through the world, we find others fucking with us in ways the fuckers wouldn't want to be fucked with and, if we're honest, we fuck with those other fuckers in ways we wouldn't want to be fucked with, which -- taken all in all -- makes the whole bunch of us a bunch of fucked fuckers. I propose that as we move forward we seek to be idealized Nice Guy Eddies, which means avoiding his penchant for robbing and murdering, and avoid being Kantian Idiots, where the meaning of the last noun is Grecian.

Today I run through the various and sundry interactions with others and divide the world between Nice Guy Eddies and Kantian Idiots.

Adult dad guy on the bike path thanks for telling your kid to get back inside the yellow line, seriously. 

Jogging woman with dog, thanks for pulling him/her and keeping him/her inside the line with a complicated behind the back leash system.

Putz training your dog on the path, wtf. The damn thing was all over the place.

Three guy pace line belling guys, thanks for bellling; you belled I belled back, we laughed, we cried, it became part of us.  Bells are much better than on your left, which often sounds suspiciously like on guard.

Three guy pace line belling guys, for shame on the passing the comfort bike woman on a blind curve and almost crashing into fully team-kitted hard racing bike woman and for riding in both lanes and belling the pedestrians who didn't need belling because you guys were useing 100% of the path when you should have been using 50%.

Jogging woman who started on the far right and then listed to the far left, returned to the far right and began the whole process all over again while ignoring my belling and, when that failed to elicit a response, my on your lefting .

Jogging guy with headphones kudos for running the right way, i.e., toward on coming traffic; for shame for not paying any attention to what was in front of you; although, when your eyes bulged out in panic when you moved from the grass onto the path directly in front of me was worthy of Cantiflas when he was forced to work in English.
Doctor/Nurse/Person who likes to wear scrubs, for shame for stopping in the middle of the path and staring and turning round and about consequently making it nearly impossible to pass you on either side and for the professional level of frowning my belling received..

Adult dad SUV guy with the two kids in the back, wtf with the stopping on the crosswalk when you were at a right turn light on the busiest part of the multiuse multiuser path. Did you think that by making it impossible for peds, runners, bikers, etc. to get safely across would cause the light would change quicker?

SUV guy who stopped to let me cross when I was stopped when the SUV behind you shifted lanes and sped up.  If I am stopped you get to go.  When you control all the other cars on the road, either through some kind of ESP or whathave you and when you and yours stop every single time, stop.  Until then let me decide when to cross the street, I've been doing it for decades. This kind of behavior is known as false Nice Guy Eddieism.

Finally, me for not stopping when my getting across was bit on the dicey side.

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