Our Job Is Your Job: All You Viewers Save Our Show

As I've mentioned before, I am a devout worshipper of an all-powerful lobster deity, and I adhere to my religion for two reasons:

1) The Almighty Lob provides me with what we Crustaceanists call the "Menu of Life." Provided I follow this moral code, I am guaranteed eternal happiness in the Lobster Tank in the Sky after I die;

and

2) I don't have to pay tax when I dine at Red Lobster because it's my religion and technically I'm "taking communion."

Another selling point for my religion is that there's not much emphasis on saving stuff. Certain types of Christians, for example, make a big deal about "being saved," but according the Menu of Life we Crustaceanists are only required to save three things:

--Money, unless we really want something;

--Drowning puppies and kittens, if it's convenient and the water is over 60 degrees American;

--Our Red Lobster leftovers, which me must burn as an offering.

One thing we definitely don't have to save is TV shows. That's why I'm not lifting a single pereipod to save "Triple Rush," the now-cancelled Travel Channel show about bicycle messengers:

Why is it our problem to save "Triple Rush?" If you ask me (which you're not), this campaign represents everything wrong with America, or Canada's pierced uvula. (Actually, come to think of it, pierced uvulas might actually represent everything wrong with America.) Consider the chain of events:

--The producers made a TV show with minimal cultural value or import beyond simply being entertaining;

--This TV show was then aired on pay TV, despite the fact that its primary audience tends not to pay for TV since they prefer to spend their disposable income on alcohol and Wednesday weed. (This is not a judgment, by the way. According to the Menu of Life there's absolutely no difference between spending money on cable and spending it on intoxicants--and if you can afford it you should do both.)

--Unsurprisingly, the show did not resonate with the monied foodies the Travel Channel likes to tell its sponsors comprise its viewership;

--The show got cancelled, presumably to clear the schedule for a new show called "Rich Douchebags Stuffing Their Faces."

Now the producers have the nerve to ask us to save it? Sure, I found the show mildly entertaining. In fact, I might even have kept watching if they hadn't cancelled it. But they did, and as an American TV viewer my job consists of the following:

--Sit glassy-eyed on the couch and occasionally jab at the remote resting on my snack food-engorged gut when I get bored of what I'm seeing.

That's it. Done, and done. Save "Triple Rush?" Save anything? I don't think so. This "Help us help you watch dumb TV" approach is offensive to me. It's almost like a couple of hipsters asking you for money so they can throw a pool party.

Sure, PBS has a sufficiently high "smugness quotient" that they're entitled to ask us for help every now and again, but that's about it. Anyway, arguably "Triple Rush" was saved when it got booted off the Travel Channel in the first place. With "The Man" off their backs, they can do whatever they want. If the producers really want to produce, and the creators really want to create, and they've actually got something vital to say, they'd find a way to get "Triple Rush" in front of people. They'd project it onto the walls at dive bars; they'd put it on public access; they'd do a live action version in Washington Square Park with mimes. Sure, to their credit they are putting clips on the Internet, but those clips are only making me happy it was cancelled:

Bike Messengers vs Pedestrians from Triple Rush on Vimeo.

"I have three classifications of problem pedestrians," declares this rider:


"You've got your deer in the headlights," he then explains over footage of a rider who runs a red light:


Skids stupidly as he approaches the crosswalk:


And then almost nails somebody:

"You could be a mile away and they see you and freeze," says the rider of these so-called "problem pedestrians," despite the fact that by standing stock-still the pedestrian is actually doing him a favor. What would he prefer when he's blowing through an intersection, a defensive tackle? Has urban cycling really devolved to the point where people can no longer avoid stationary objects?

The next type of pedestrian he complains about is the "moonwalker, you know, who for some reason runs backwards:"

Yes, once again, here's a pedestrian doing something incredibly stupid: attempting to board a bus at a bus stop in a bus lane, and then not even taking the time to turn around so he can get out of the way of the idiot messenger who should know better than to ride on the inside of a bus in a bus lane in front of a bus stop.

Lastly he complains about the "Whack-a-mole:"

Which the producers illustrate by using a clip from a video they pulled off the Internet.

Basically then, messengers resent people who go to extreme lengths to give them the right of way, even though they don't have it. They also don't like being stereotyped:

"Whatever the image people have of messengers that's not how we see ourselves, we take it very seriously:"

Maybe if he doesn't want to be stereotyped he shouldn't talk to the producers of "Triple Rush," because my image of messengers is now that they're a bunch of people who spend a lot of time in slings and have no idea how to ride their bikes. Also, while he has "three classifications of problem pedestrians," I have three classifications of self-entitled hipsters:

1) Hipsters who don't work at all;

2) Hipsters who pretend to work by taking on fake "lifestyle jobs" in major cities;

3) Hipsters who once pretended to work by taking on fake "lifestyle jobs" in major cities but who have since burned out and moved to pretend cities like Portland.

I'd peg the pedestrian hater as a #2 who's well on his way to becoming a #3.

Speaking of Portland, a reader has recently forwarded me this monumentally smug Kickstarter pitch:


As a bit of an amateur smugness enthusiast myself I enjoyed this, though honestly I'm not sure how it qualifies as a sales pitch, since I thought pretty much everyone in Portland had some sort of hand-fabricated bike trailer and either plays or has a child who plays an inconveniently large musical instrument. I also found this image quite thought-provoking:

Obviously using a folding bike for heavy-duty load "portaging" is extra smug and imparts on the portager all sorts of "smugness cred." However, he's also carrying a bike box, and I also believe that "portaging" doesn't count towards your smugness cred if what is portaged is simply more bicycle stuff--and this is true no matter how large the load. Portaging organic groceries or human children is smug, but portaging those new wheels or another bicycle is merely the smugness equivalent of "junk miles." Of course, I have no way of knowing if there's actually a bike in that bike box, but if there is then the load does not count in any way towards his smugness calculation.

The same is also true of recreational riding, which cannot be smug, though it can be "epic." That's why randonneuring is a completely smug-free enterprise, no matter how "epic" it may be, and even though it's finally getting some attention from the New York Times:


Indeed, the reporter even took part in a so-called "brevet," though he fell to pieces after a mere 37 miles:

The Princeton 120 gave just a taste of the experience: By the time I pulled into the first checkpoint, or contrĂ´le, at about 37 miles, where riders got their time cards stamped and a hot bite to eat, my fingers were so stiff I had trouble holding a spoon.

Apparently it was raining, and clearly the reporter subscribes to the non-epic "if it rains take the bus" philosophy. As they say in the randonneuring world, "Brevety is the soul of wet." (Or maybe it's "Wetness is the soul of brevety." Or "Moisture is the essence of wetness." Or something.)

Presumably after filing this report the writer went to cover a wine tasting and proceeded to pass out after having half a glass of merlot.
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