Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Never beat a pulling mule

                            Beware the Man

         Beware the man who tries to fit you out
         In his idea of a hat
         Dictating the colour & shape of it.

         He takes your head & carefully measures it
         Says "of course black's out" —
         He sees himself in the big black hat.

         So you may be a member of the act
         He makes for you your special coloured hat.
         Beware! He's fitting you for more than that.

         Sam Hunt (1946-)

Another year, another month, another wannabe do-gooder, Goody Two Shoes tries to rope me in for some organized public campaign ride; and so, I dug up a particularly trenchant reply, used a few months ago, replete in the local vernacular:

Organized group cycling for a cause? Nah, no longer interested in S'porean group efforts. Cycle for cancer; cycle for homeless; cycle for diarrhoea; cycle for tummy too big; cycle for minister pay too low . . .. All kinds of nonsense. I rather cycle for myself. Been there, done that: 1990 to 1995. Yen tao too old already.

Now, while I appreciate — and heartily applaud — the efforts of those who volunteer their time and effort to promote cycling, I ride for myself, and myself only. It cuts down the amount of bullshit and drama in my life. (No, I'm not in the least involved in the example cited. Thank Gawd.) I help whom I choose; when I choose; how I choose. There are no rules to follow: I don't report to anyone; I don't have to be nice to anyone; and, I leave at any time. So, for your own sake, you really don't want me in your group-hugging organization / team / clusterfuck; be it Team Mas Selamat, Team Pulau Blakang Mati, Tekka Nasi Brani, or whatever Turd-World-masquerading-as-First-World tribal permutations your fellow free-sample-queuing / Hello-Kitty-kid's-meal-snatching / Pinkerton-Syndrome-afflicted natives can drum up in your MOE-sanctioned / MOM-subsidized Creativity Workshops.

Now, some may pan this stance as selfish and unfair, but I am not running for a popularity contest here, so I don't give half a fig what anyone thinks. I was riding before anyone judged me on this, and I will still be riding long after the whiners have passed out from whinging. As for being unfair, pay particular attention to points 2, 4, and perhaps even 5, of P. J. O'Rourke's politically incorrect piece, "Fairness, idealism and other atrocities."

Keep moving. You will not find a pawn here.

Just because I have skills that are useful to you or your organization doesn't mean that I agree to be used.

To quote the greatest mountaineer's motto:

I am my own home and my handkerchief is my flag.
         (Reinhold Messner)

For the record, I do contribute, but at my call; in my way; and, at my own time only. Exempli gratia:

         Service Your Crankbrothers eggbeaters


Put it in another way: I have no problem cooking for others, but I'll be damned if I'm your short order cook. So, stay the hell out of my kitchen. Force me, and you might find yourself dining on fillet mignon with toadstools and strychnine.

La caronade, lancée par le tangage, fit un trouée dans ce tas d'hommes et en écrasa quatre du premier coup, puis, reprise et décochée par le roulis, elle coupa en deux un cinquième misérable, et alla heurter à la muraille de bâbord une pièce de la batterie qu'elle démonta. De là le cri de détresse qu'on venait d'entendre. Tous les hommes se pressèrent à l'escalier-échelle. La batterie se vida en un clin d'oeil.

L'énorme pièce avait été laissée seule. Elle était livrée à elle-même. Elle était sa maîtresse, et la maîtresse du navire. Elle pouvait en faire ce qu'elle voulait.
         (Quatrevingt-treize (1872), Victor Marie Hugo)

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