Archive for April 7th, 2009

Mt Bachelor, Or

Mt Bachelor, Or

I enjoy outdoor recreation.  I hike.  I camp. I mountain bike.  I ride cross-country motorcycles in recreational areas and act responsibly to protect public lands.

Last month the U.S. House approved and Obama signed into law yesterday a bill that unreasonably bans recreation on more than 2 million acres of public land by designating it Wilderness — meaning — no cars, no mountain bikes, no logging, no motorcycles, no permanent structures, no ATVs, no roads, no snowmobiles, no horses, no paragliding, nothing mechanized and no non-human-powered recreation PERIOD

Smith Rock

Smith Rock

The 1964 Wilderness Act cuts right to the point; “an area where earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain.”  A Wilderness designation means it will continue that way in perpetuity.  Think of it as a sanctuary to be preserved from humans by humans forever.  As example the five trails – Shining Lake, Shellrock Lake, Serene Lake, Grouse Point and Dry Ridge – that were open to mountain bikes is no longer allowed.  In the northwest, areas effected under this bill are: Mount Hood, Badlands, Spring Basin and Copper Salmon.

Before I get a bunch of doomsday comments re; catastrophic consequences… I do care about quality drinking water and am just as concerned about the Arctic ice shrinking as the next person, but this lack of democratic process and lack of public input or opportunity of review prior to becoming law is just another form of filling the federal treasury, adding layers of bureaucracy, and a literal “land grab” by the federal government.  I hold no delusion that the government is making any difference and today I’m temporarily “out-of-outrage”, but at some point people are going to wake up and be tired of this government over-reach!

As background, the bill followed congressional maneuvering which put new life into the measure AFTER it was originally defeated.  Unrelated, lawmakers approved HR146, known as the Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Acquisition Grant Program, but at the last minute slipped in a collection of more than 160 pieces of legislation and more than 1,300 pages of text on the recreational ban.  The bill was formerly known as S.22, the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009.  Again Congress’ first attempt to pass measure, S.22 on its own merits, was defeated.  House members never debated more than 70 of the bills included in the package before the vote.  Do you think they read it?!

Have fun out there, but whatever you do don’t touch your favorite huckleberry patch or soak your toes in the Roaring River as that background hum you hear might be a National Forest Service drone patrolling the air space looking for parking pass and Wilderness violators!

Photo of Mt Bachelor from NFD 370 Trail and Smith Rock.

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rusty_bike2Neil Young said it best HERE with his anti-establishment message.  Conventional wisdom is you can’t change the world with a song, but I remember the musical impact of No Nukes in the late ’70s.

So, along comes Harley-Davidson marketing looking to tap that “change the world” sentiment not through a song, but through Super Ride 2009 — test rides on any new bike now until June 30th.  No obligation. The claim is that you’ll feel something that’s been hard to feel lately: excitement about the direction you’re headed. It’s more of the same ‘ol lust for life, anti-establishment marketing campaign — screw it, just ride!  For some time now a sizable majority of motorcycle riders have a like mind about such marketing buffoonery!  What’s next TV ads with a denim-clad American riding to the tune of “Fortunate Son,” the blistering Vietnam-era protest song by Creedence Clearwater?

super_rideYet, I saw good example of marketing meets anti-establishment while watching part of the ACM Awards the other night.  I still haven’t figured out why there are two country music award shows and I’d like to tell you how great the show was.  But it wasn’t.  Not because I dislike country music, rather because so much of the material was just plain boring.  Does country really believe that in this new economic music model it’s immune from listeners running away?  Then I heard the acoustic set of John Rich’s Shuttin’ Detroit Down.” 

Let me just say that I think John Rich has tapped into the national psyche with “Shuttin’ Detroit Down”.  Because I’m down with the truth.  I don’t mind people getting rich adding to society, earning it the hard way, but when you create a fallacious game and ruin our entire country’s economics, I get UPSET!  When you’re a CEO and get multi-million dollar bonuses for running a company into the dirt then like many of you I get UPSET!!

I had heard the song before and gave it no mind as the music sounded like AM radio and a ride in the country with the windows down in my pickup. But lyrics matter, and to hear John Rich sing it acoustically was to hear a completely different song.  I’m not going to recite every lyric, or bore you with politics, but this song resonated with me…

“My daddy taught me in this country everyone’s the same; You work hard for your dollar and you never pass the blame

When it don’t go your way”; “Well pardon me if I don’t shed a tear; They’re selling make believe and we don’t buy that here”

“Because in the real world they’re shuttin’ Detroit down; While the boss man takes his bonus paid jets on out of town”

Give it a listen and tell me what you think.

UPDATE: April 7 —  Displacedbrett provided the identity of the group (Murder By Death) and song (’52 Ford) which was used in the Harley commercial.   

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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