Gigantic Beer post - your thoughts?

This post on Beervana - Coronavirus Diaries (4/18): So Angry All the Time — Beervana - includes some very intense anti-bike sentiment. Its publisher says it’s just a personal diary and the raw emotions of a scared and stressed out business owner. I’m concerned that it further normalizes hate and aggression toward vulnerable road users. I’m torn about how/if to cover this on the front page.

Would love to hear what you think about it.

Meh. He’s venting, blowing off steam, and I can sympathize with that even if I rationally disagree with several of his statements. He rants about the “lock-down,” China, politics (both sidesism, even), European history, federal government, state governments, politicians, business owners, and the PPP, and how unfair it is that he has to drive a delivery truck (:roll_eyes:). One paragraph is about a bicyclist, and he follows that paragraph with an apology for his emotions, for feeling that way. He says he’s done some bike riding; I believe him. I know I’ve ridden around plenty of (mis)parked vehicles (even in NL!). Yeah, he shouldn’t have parked there (even if deliveries are legal, and whether or not there should be such exceptions), and he’s already been called out on it - fairly nicely - by two comments. Me? I’d leave him be.

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Agreed with Alan. The dude has it tough, is stressed, and is blowing off steam.

Only a tiny part of the post concerns the cyclist and it’s not anticycling at all. Rather, it’s about people who have a relatively easy time in the pandemic hassling those struggling to keep their own heads as well as those who depend on them above water.

The post is overwhelmingly about the hurt a lot of people are going through and it asks those in more fortunate positions to recognize that hurt and their own privilege. Any attempt to redirect that reinforces his fundamental points.

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thanks @banerjek and @Alan_1.0. I appreciate your perspective.

Personally I don’t think this is cool at all and I don’t think pandemic stress is an excuse to blast off like this on innocent people. I know how pervasive anti-cycling bias is in our culture and how dangerous it can be when mixed with anger, frustration, and a multi-ton steel vehicle. I don’t like anything that normalizes or excuses this type of language.

FWIW I privately asked the Beervana publisher to include a note or disclaimer on the post but he declined.

And FYI from a BikePortland publisher stand point, I will probably not give this any more attention other than to file it away in my brain.

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Dealing with those who take out their frustrations on others might be a good topic to explore.

Riding among people facing stress, anger management challenges, and mental health issues is an inherent part of cycling. If you’re out there for long enough, stuff will happen – you won’t be able to ride long term unless you have a way to navigate those situations.

Some of the worst situations have no anti cycling dynamic – messed up people are often a menace to themselves as well as anyone in the vicinity.

I can relate to being frustrated, even disappointed in our government’s handling of this crisis, but his writing style was a huge turnoff to me. So ranty and unfocused. Poorly written. He sounds like maybe he should try meditation or yoga or anger management classes.

You called out Dirty Fingers so what is the hesitation with Gigantic? Just curious.

Dirty Fingers and Gigantic have the right to a voice, just as we all do. Seems like BP and others would like to use that to call out specifically to hold them accountable to the PC standard. I don’t agree with it but BP is your sounding board so feel free to have a scared rant about people not sharing your perspective or parking illegally. Used your language there but please know your posts don’t seem like scared rants and when you do venture into polarized topics you take care to be fairly close to middle of the road. So good work.

Either way, I’m glad to know Gigantic would like to flip off the customer base that fills their bike racks and wouldn’t want to prove a point and park in the driving lane knowing autos can go around or turn around the same as a bicycle.

Hi @singlefin. Thanks for joining the Forums!

I think there’s a big difference between Dirty Fingers and this situation with Gigantic. Apples and oranges IMO. For one thing, no one has contacted me about Gigantic and asked me to cover it. With Dirty Fingers I was being texted and emailed on an Easter Sunday because it was considered so offensive to so many people.

My approach is to think carefully about the context of stuff like this. Who’s saying it. Where they said it. What their frame of mind might be. Who’s impacted most by the words, and so on.

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That makes sense. Definitely not apples to apples situation. Just got a sense that calling out businesses was the new theme for BP.

Regardless, you’d think people would understand the reality of social media and their opinions. Also seems strange to rant on the internet…can’t think of time where typing solved my inner rage.

Very much in “gonzo” style, I’d agree. Writing isn’t his profession, though, and to me he did a very credible job of expressing a coherent message. He did it by setting up a false premise, but one which is quite believable and even “real” to many folks these days. I described that premise in my earlier post: politics, government, laws, PPP, and yeah, bikes. As I also said, I disagree with many of his assertions, and while he and I might or might not reconcile those points over a beer, my point here is that he set those things up as a false premise. And then he proceeded to knock down that premise in his last two paragraphs. Those paragraphs sound, to me, to be his version of therapy (or yoga, or…), and I’m generally sympathetic to those sentiments.

And to singlefin’s question, those sentiments seem to me like a big distinction from Dirty Fingers sign and subsequent explanations.

Well, ok.
You… are a better writer, clearer thinker than most of us so I’ll agree with everything you said except the /coherent/ part.

He makes so many sweeping, hateful generalizations about other groups of people, who aren’t even (in his view) angry, just annoyed. Where does he find the authority to trash the lot of ‘em - when by his own admission he doesn’t even understand his own issues?

He has a deep angry mantle but his core is happy as is his outside layer? I don’t even know what to do with that many layers. Really?

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Yeah, I don’t deny what you say; I disagree with the bulk of his trash talk. Your take on it reminds me of how many other people - often 30- and 40-something US males, but others too - also come across as angry, bitter, hateful, cynical, intolerant, as he does. I just read George Packer’s “We Are Living in a Failed State The coronavirus didn’t break America. It revealed what was already broken” in The Atlantic. I can’t help but see connections between his critique of the dismal state of things here and Van Havig’s emotions in Beervana, and it does not fill me with hope.

To raise my spirits slightly, I will close by noting how many thoughtful commenters there on on BikePortland, and how often Jonathan gets wonderful guest writers like Riley Gabriel’s piece today.

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Please don’t cover this. It’s an uncontrolled rant. He drops the F bomb 18 times in the article and self diagnoses the problem pretty well, “What the hell has happened to me? I clearly don’t hate people with good jobs, families, cyclists of all kinds and people stuck at home.”

There’s nothing here other than someone venting at the absurdity we are being fed daily while having to make sacrifices and being uncertain about our future. All of us are hanging on. Some need an outlet like this guy and his lashing out was random at recent events. He may event regret the post later.

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Thanks @amadeusb4 and everyone else for your thoughts on this. It was a new thing for me to use the Forums to ask for helping in thinking about whether or not I should cover something… and it was very helpful! I think some people forget that I work alone and I don’t have someone to quickly bounce ideas off of. This can lead to bad decisions becoming public if I’m not careful! So I really appreciate having this space. Thanks again!

And p.s. I am not going to cover this guy’s rant any further.

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