The Madness of FattyFat

April 30, 2004

FattyFat Traffic Report: 4/30/04

OK, I'm not kidding this time - I really DID have to slam on brakes to save the life of not one but TWO bikers making a run for it across an intersection today. And not just across - they were turning left as well. I guess the real question is, why wasn't I watching more carefully? I was the one in the gas-guzzling Tercel, after all.

Posted by Chris on 04/30/04

An yeah, I mean, I really DID see a wolf today, I DID! Making with the big fangs and the slobber and the howling and... Wait! Wait! Come back, come back, don't run away! :(

Posted by: The Little Boy Who Cried... at May 4, 2004 9:32 AM

Ha ha ha! That's funny! Now tell us all about Critical Mass! You went, right?

Posted by: Chris at May 4, 2004 11:22 AM

April 23, 2004

FattyFat Traffic Report: 4/22/04

Two bikes at red lights, no stopping.

Since bikes are traffic and I am traffic, I decided to sort of just roll out into the intersection at the next light too, and make my way across the street in the gaps between cars.

Oddly, there was much honking and cursing, and also I got a ticket. What's up with THAT?!?

I read somewhere that it was axiomatic that any topic on any message board will inevitably degenerate into someone being compared to Hitler.

Similarly, any conflict with FattyFat will inevitably result in him playing his trump card for debates, the Levying of the Rush Limbaugh Insult.

STOP PRESS: Just went to lunch and was nearly hit in the intersection by a bike running the red light. I'm not making this stuff up, folks. But it was OK, because he was... TRAFFIC.

Posted by Chris on 04/23/04

Hey, if you're gonna get all high and mighty, get the date right.

Posted by: father time at April 23, 2004 2:41 PM

April 22, 2004

FattyFat Traffic Report: 4/22

Five bikes spotted; of those I only saw three at traffic lights / stop signs, and two of those breezed right through. The other stopped and got off her bike to walk it across. It was actually a poignant moment to see. Didn't she realize that she was a part of Fattyfat's transcendant grouping of "Traffic," which is to say that she is above all laws of traffic?

And shame on FattyFat for revealing a story I gave to him on deep background about how Wife Ami went against my claims that every drive is a biker's life saved. Shame! Shame!

Posted by Chris on 04/22/04

This morning at the UBS Headquarters (Underground Bicycle Syndicate-what you thought it was a finacial services business?) we decided through our anarchist collective, that we would all smash into handeye's car collectively like drunk mosquitoes, in order to sully his reputation as a automotive protector of the weak, stupid and restless. Long live the glorious Martyrs, baptised in blood and chain lube! On our way towards his west side estate however, we were distracted by a large brick of heroin on the side of Chicago avenue so we stopped to eat. We'll try again on Monday.

Posted by: Okay I give... at April 23, 2004 9:46 AM

Do cyclists suffer from road rage the way some crazy drivers do?

The cyclist that struck me seemed in a rage but I attributed it to Republican-style hostility folk express to negate the guilt and shame they feel when they encounter others who do actually follow rules and tread the moral highground of crosswalks and traffic signals.

I think I've just surpassed my posting limit for this week.

Posted by: Isaac at April 23, 2004 12:53 PM

I don't know if it's similar to road rage, but there is definately a combatative mental state you can drop in when you're trying to hold your own with cars. Bicycle Messengers and Cab Drivers are natural enemies in the wild. I've often wished that I rode with my Krypto lock in my hand so I could give someone's hood a good thumping. Fortunately, I've never done that.

Posted by: FattyFat at April 23, 2004 1:05 PM

By the way Issac, could you relate the story of your pedestrian/bike collision....
By the way, there is a "Pedestrian Critical Mass" this weekend where people will take to the street in the Loop and "become traffic." It's listed in this week's reader, but isn't online anywhere that I can see.

Posted by: fattfat at April 23, 2004 1:08 PM

Sounds to me like it's going to be one big Ass Critical Mass for the next few weekends.

Posted by: Chris at April 23, 2004 2:22 PM

April 21, 2004

Fattyfat Traffic Report: 4/21/04

Passed just a few bicycles on the way to work, all in the bike lane. Only saw one bicycle at an intersection, though, and he didn't stop for the red light- just sort of breezed on through. He made it through OK, though! The people in cars were watching out for him!

Posted by Chris on 04/21/04

Cmon', full disclosure...What did your wife say about how you "contend that the majority of times I drive my car I end up saving a biker's life." What did the woman who rides in your car of anger the most say about that?

Posted by: fattyfat at April 22, 2004 10:21 AM

April 20, 2004

Critical Ass

FattyFat once more contends that bicyclists have the moral right-of-way on our city's streets, and if you aren't tolerant of basically anything they want to do, you are an SUV-driving Cheetos-eating yuppie.

I contend that the majority of times I drive my car I end up saving a biker's life.

In the spirit of honest inquiry, I ask both car and bike drivers everywhere: on your next commute, note how many bicyclists you see stopping at the signs and lights.

Note how many you see driving in a lane and not down the shoulder or the center line of the road.

And while you're at it, note how many are actually following the rules the same way you have to up in that big gas-guzzling SUV that you must be driving, you big terrorist crum-bum soccer mom yuppie jerk.

Posted by Chris on 04/20/04

Bully Bully Meany

Posted by: Bike Rider at April 20, 2004 2:32 PM

There you go again, with your witty retorts and sound logical arguments. I might have opted for "Liar, Liar, Pants on fire" or "Baby Baby, Stick your head in gravy, wipe it up with bubblegum and send it to the Navy!" if I was REALLY in a mode to drive home my point, but that's just me. I clearly can't argue with such a solid, well articulated point. Perhaps I should simply go out and drive my big, shiny SUV and try not to get hit by that bike rider who just decided to make a left turn across 4 lanes from the right hand lane sans hand (or other) signal.

Posted by: James Lileks Jr. at April 20, 2004 2:40 PM

Sob. What's happened to you? Have you started with the bourbon again? He used to be so nice. Weep!

Posted by: Weepy BikeRider at April 20, 2004 2:53 PM

We shouldn't let the evil stupid rule-breaking cyclists give the honest, decent, non-traffic-weaving cyclists a bad name.

Even worse than ignoring traffic signals and common sense is when the evil stupid rule-breaking cyclists, red-faced and stinking sweaty, regale you with vapid stories
of how they shaved thirty-six seconds off their morning ride in, got a good headwind or only spent four hundred dollars on a high-tech jellied bike seat.

And those bike shorts? Gay. Gayer than shaven testicles.

On the other hand, SUV drivers are all bad. They can choke on their tongues. If they drive over the evil stupid rule-breaking cyclists that's alright.

Posted by: Isaac at April 21, 2004 4:21 PM

Ok, enough already. I've had a bad couple of allergy days and didn't have the energy for the yearly handeye "Bikes Suck" festival at this weblog. I'm feeling better today.

1. A little perspective please...I can dredge up piles of data on why SUV's are a bad idea and how they negatively impact so many areas of society.
But bikes? Cmon Isaac, are you saying we have a global spandex problem?

2. I contend that the majority of times I drive my car I end up saving a biker's life. Handeye. I mentioned this to a mutual friend at lunch yesterday who is also a biker :Has Handeye started listening to Rush Limbaugh?

3. As far as Critical Mass is concerned, Ill borrow from my friend Tom: Bikes are traffic and have a right to the roads, whether as singles, pairs, teams of ten or five hundred leaving Daley Plaza. Lots of things cause traffic in Chicago including Cubs games, fireworks displays and concerts in Grant Park. And those things are wildly out of control lasting for hours at some points, whereas a Critical Mass ride moves through streets in a timely manner, filling up any given intersection for 3-5 minutes at the most.

4. Finally, Car Drivers talk on the cell phones, guzzle coffee, mess with their children, surf the web, read and watch DVDs. Ive seen all these things. Bikes roll through lights. Yikes! Its called defensive driving. Id rather get a jump ahead of traffic my checking an intersection and rolling through, then waiting for a light next to soccer mom who crushes me because shes on the phone with her babysitter.

5. Handeye has never been on a Critical Mass bike ride and I think he MIGHT have seen one move through an intersection once. Somebody is entering middle age a wee bit early. I wonder if he writes his blog from his Archie Bunker armchair now.

Posted by: FattyFattyfatfat at April 22, 2004 10:15 AM

George W Bush is a case for alcoholics not recovering.

But back to the point, I'll dip back in here because I'm bored at work. I actually agree with Fattyfattyfatfat on bicycles and SUVs and drivers. Bicycles are generally safer, more economically sound, better for health and better for the environment.

Drivers do many bad things, as Fattyfat mentioned. Talking on mobile phones while driving is illegal in more progressive countries but here we have the ignorant tradition of "the American lifestyle is not up for negotiation," (~Bush Sr) and industry lobbies which don't want things like public safety and saving lives getting in the way of making a buck. But we are a "Christian nation", go figure.

Some of these more progressive nations also allow a cyclist at a red light to dismount, become a pedestrian and push his bike across the intersection before resuming his cycling lifestyle. Yes, it takes thirty two seconds off your precious time.

I agree with point that bikes are traffic. As such they should obey traffic rules. You stop at a red light. You stop at a stop sign. You don't weave in and out of traffic and you don't ride on the sidewalk. The cyclist that hit me (git) blew through a red light and was so busy dodging a car that had the right of way he hit me. Come on, is a two minute wait so bad? Imagine if the rest of the traffic also felt that the red light was just for other folk.

Finally, I stand beside my bike shorts comment. No, there's no spandex crisis but criminal dress sense is unpardonable. Keep America beautiful and all that. Is spandex environmentally friendly? Does it breathe like cotton? Alright, some women might look downright hot in them, but men in spandex? Richard Simmons. Show some dignity.

Posted by: Isaac at April 22, 2004 12:58 PM

March 5, 2004

Once Again I Save America from Fascism

FattyFat responds, and I also got a comment.

Let me make it clear that I would like to increase the number of people that are engaged in the issues. That would certainly lead to greater voter turnout. But I think the way to do it is through positive reinforcement (You get $50 off your taxes) instead of negative (You owe the government $50 if you don't vote.)

My problem with FattyFat's "Fine the Voter" initiative is not that "anything less than 100% compliance makes it not worthwhile," as he suggests. My problem is that if you could accomplish the same thing without curtailing freedoms, why wouldn't you?

Curtailing freedoms? Yes. Our freedom to vote here also carries with it the freedom NOT to vote. You are free to be a lazy, unpatriotic bum if you want. As amazingly absurd as it sounds, men have died so that some dumb shit can be gleefully unengaged about society but have all kinds of detailed opinions about which girl the Bachelor should have picked. And levying a fine on someone for not coming out to the polls is just a way of curtailing that freedom.

And it's vital that voting remain a right and not an obligation. Surely the right to express your opinion is only meaningful if it's totally voluntary?

I'll say it again: if someone asks for your opinion and you choose not to give one, then you have given one.

I also suspect of these kids that are wearing the VOTING IS FOR OLD PEOPLE shirts, that yet one more negative reinforcement at this point in their lives would tip the scales the wrong way. Instead of educating them that their opinion matters and they can make a difference, we're telling them this is just one more thing they HAVE to do, like pay taxes and spend $75 on a sticker for their license plate.

As easy it would be to force people to the polls, the game remains the same: if you think someone is wrong or just unengaged, then it's up to YOU to change their minds with great ideas and brilliant presentation. It's not up to the government to make it a chore for them. (P.S. Our government, by the way, is PERFECTLY happy with voter turnout just the way it is.)

And speaking of the difference between rights and obligations - I DON'T equate the right to vote with a (potential) obligation to do some form of national service. It's dubious for me to drone on about it, because I am far past the age of military service, plus if anyone was ever 4F it would be me, but I DO think service would be a good idea for young people, IF it took the place of paying certain taxes and also made it very easy for them to go to school, if not free. I would consider it appropriate in the same way paying taxes is appropriate!

NOTE: I happen to know that FattyFat is a tireless worker for democracy, so I have chosen not to release the full brunt of this blog's wrath on him. While I may talk a big game, he is actually literally out there pounding the pavement, having close encounters with Joe Q. Lunchpail. Since his goal is laudable, we will chalk this little flirtation of his with fascism up as a youthful indiscretion.
Posted by Chris on 03/ 5/04

Stop talking.

Posted by: Your other girlfriend at March 5, 2004 3:13 PM

I hate chicks that don't vote. Get a new secret girlfriend, Handeye.

Posted by: FancyPants at March 5, 2004 3:42 PM

I'm pro cheese and I vote!

Posted by: friend jessica at March 5, 2004 4:28 PM

The Li'lest Fascist

You won't hear about this on FattyFat's site, because he is probably not yet ready to reveal his true, fascist nature to America, but I understand he is going to be coming out in favor of COMPULSORY VOTING.

That is, on election day you would be required to go and vote or be fined $50 or so. He cites Australia, where this system is in place and voter turnout is 97%.

Like him, I am appalled that only a fraction of our population manages to get themselves to the polls on election day. It requires such a minor effort. Me, I get a charge out of going down the block to the polling place and voting. There's a real sense that what I'm doing will have some consequence, and not just because there's a very real possibility that I punched the wrong holes on the butterfly ballot and accidentally kept the Empire in power.

It's because it's the only time besides April 15th that I get to barely indirectly interface with the government I complain about so much for the rest of the year. The poll-workers smile and thank me, and we all beam with pride that we've done our part. And not to be a government geek, but at that point I remember that there are people in the world just dying for the right to do what I just did.

Considering what some people have gone through for it, it seems lazy not to.

But I don't think we want to start forcing people to do it. It seems to me that if someone can't get their shit together to make it to the polls that day, or if they haven't attended to the barest scrap of information throughout the year to have an opinion, then I don't want them there anyway.

FattyFat wants to know the true, complete "voice of the people." But we're already hearing the voice of the majority of the people. What they're saying is, "I'm too lazy to keep up with the issues or even take a half hour just to vote along party lines. So I'll go along with whatever you guys decide this term."

And I say, fine! I'll be glad to order for you! But no complaining when you don't like what the waitress brings.

I don't want some surly 19-year old punching in ballot holes in the shape of a penis because he's pissed that he had to tear himself away from huffing aerosol fumes for 30 minutes. Because what if that year's "David Duke" candidate happens to get elected because his mark got punched randomly?

Sure, the kid made it out to the polls, and we can proudly point to our rising voter turnout percentages, but I don't think people are going to become magically engaged just because they have to go. Some might - but not all.

If you want incentives, why not positive reinforcement instead of negative? Why not $50 off your state taxes if you send in your voting voucher?

If the goal is a populace more engaged in the political process, then that solution is already out there: get out there and put your case to the people. Engage them with your ideas and tell them how important voting is. The guys you don't agree with are saying dumb things and scaring the voters into passing hateful laws? Then you have to be smarter and better than them.

Just as I think it's wrong to keep a basic democratic right away from people, I think it's wrong to force them to enjoy that basic democractic right. Choice is good - and if it's a choice to remain unengaged, then at least that person won't be getting in the way of the rest of us that care.

Bill Maher once said - jokingly, I'm sure - that people should have to take a political literacy test to be able to qualify to vote. That is, you'd have to be able to at least know SOMETHING about the candidates - like their names - before you go in there and place your ballot. That is of course a bad bad bad idea, and it's unnecessary. Because with voluntary voting, those that are too dumb or lazy to vote to muddy up the true "voice of the people" weed themselves out.

UPDATE: From the looks of his site, it looks like FattyFat has "outed" himself as the world's Jolliest Dictator, probably because he sensed that I was about to.

Posted by Chris on 03/ 5/04

I think in Australia voting day is also a holiday making it easier for their citizens to be involved in the democratic process.

I agree it should be an incentivized rather than compulsory process, but isn't avoiding a fifty dollar fine a pretty good incentive? You aren't forced to vote if you choose the fine instead. After a generation or two of teaching people to make voting a part of their lives, the fine can be quietly suspended until the turnout slips again to such dismal levels.

I'd be curious to find out how many of these non-voters make time to vote for American Idol, the Best Superbowl Commercial of All Time or cast other non-compulsory votes.

Posted by: Isaac at March 5, 2004 1:17 PM

October 24, 2003

FattyFat: 1 Me: 2

A couple of things for FattyFat:

1. ONCE AGAIN HE HAS MISSED THE POINT. He is hammering on one non-issue to hide the fact that he has the most incurious, unread, uninformed blog this side of the Rio Grande. HE IS THE GEORGE W. OF THE BLOGOVERSE. To me the most interesting question about the whole Matrix thing is not whether the Wachowskis have a solid grasp of all the sources their fans claim they've referenced - it seems doubtful, but OK, whatever - but why it's O.K. to deconstruct the Matrix while Star Wars is for sad fanboys.

Point to me.

2. He says: "I say the technical expertise of the majority of owners of Spam boxes fits into a walnut with room left over." And so he is opposed to those opposed to the Do-Not-Email registry.

I'm not opposed to it, but I'm not running over to add my already-swamped email address to it. I say anybody who stands up and proudly announces that they have a hacker-proof encryption should also paint a big target on the front of their building. I'll bet the day after someone makes this claim the sidewalk outside their place is thick with the warchalk symbol for "JUST ASKING FOR IT."

Point to me.

3. He is perfectly correct that I am WRONG! in my earlier comments concerning the civility of heckling. I'm sure it was all he could do not to surround that headline with asterisks.

Point to him.

Aside to Blogger - thanks for breaking all my links to my own blog after I changed the archive. You're FIRED.

Posted by Chris on 10/24/03

October 10, 2003

Lying Liars and their Lies

I wondered why I was not being beaten in the pages of FattyFat and INYF for my blasphemy about Apple's "new" windows system.

And now they claim to me that they never knew that Windows had the ability to tile open windows. EVEN THOUGH IT WAS A STANDARD REFRAIN OF MINE FOR MANY YEARS.

Do you see what I have to contend with?

Posted by Chris on 10/10/03

July 9, 2003

FattyFat Doesn't Support the Troops

Not only does he mischaracterize my post, he attacks my heritage. Sigh.

It seems to me that we're complaining about the exact same thing, only he's aiming at the majority, so it's OK.

Posted by Chris on 07/ 9/03

June 23, 2003

More from the hippy

FattyFat says he does not pollute, but I remind him that there is such a thing as traffic pollution as well. He pollutes the very roadways by making them unsafe. And still he does not take responsibility for his own driving!

Get out of here, hippy, you're making the whole place stink of patchoulie.

Posted by Chris on 06/23/03

Monsieur GrossyGrosGrosGros

I see that Monsieur GrossyGrosGrosGros totally buys into my logic - he AGREES with me that I am responsible not only for myself but him on the road when he is biking.

Meanwhile HIS only responsibility is to get himself there.

It is almost enough to make me turn... green... WITH... RAGE!

Posted by Chris on 06/23/03

June 19, 2003

ON YOUR LEFT, ASSHOLE

Fattyfattyfatfat's comments about how dumb ol' people always ruin the lakefront for him pretty much sum up why the lakefront is ruined for me - whether I'm on foot, skates, or a bike.

If you're not barrelling down the path at top speed on your bike, GET OFF THE LAKEFRONT! DANIEL BURNHAM NEVER INTENDED FOR PEOPLE TO HOLD HANDS AND WALK HERE, UNLESS THEY WERE ON BIKES GOING AT TOP SPEED! SCREW YOU, PAL, I'M ON A BIKE!

I HAVE A HELMET, I'M SAVING THE ENVIRONMENT!

GO ENJOY THE LAKEFRONT SOMEWHERE ELSE, AWAY FROM THE LAKEFRONT! YOU CAN'T BE HERE LISTENING TO ABBA, DANIEL BURNHAM NEVER WOULD HAVE LIKED ABBA, HE WAS MORE OF A PUNK GUY!

Posted by Chris on 06/19/03

May 13, 2003

Initial Aspersions

Don't believe anything you read over at the FattyFattyFatFat Blog. It is filled with Damnable Lies. Those people are the ones that broke the New Economy. That's right! If it weren't for them, we'd all be taking our weekends in Disneyland and connecting back to our cappucino makers over the internet while we were away.

Thanks for ruining everything, FattyFat.

Posted by Chris on 05/13/03