Combustion: Internal and Spontaneous Human

Pat Ryan

offroadSo I'm reading the Snoregonian a couple of days ago and in the Letters section ran across a recent Oregon immigrant who had definitely had his Mellow harshed.

This gentleman was up in the high country communing with nature, birdies sang in the trees at the edge of the golden meadow, with Mt. Hood providing a glorious backdrop. When our writer was just at the point of orgasm, oneness with the universe, or whatever, the whole rickety scene was dashed by the arrival of crass and barbaric Quad riders.

While the leering Visigoths destroyed the idyllic meadow and tiny bunnies ran for cover, our narrator's ears began to emit smoke and the meadow was soon sprayed with the cerebral effluent of this gentle nature lover.

A true modern Oregon horror story, the circumstances of which can only be remedied by locking up every square foot of publicly owned forest (and meadow and stream).

I am a native Oregonian who was working under the hood of a car at age 7 and setting chokers behind a cat for my father's gyppo logging operation in Coos Bay at the age of 12. We used to think that we were stewards of nature back in the day. We hunted for meat. We picked up our "brass" when we went out for target practice. We replanted the Tillamook Burn (which has apparently now become the Tillamook Old Growth Forest although the only trees replanted were Douglas Fir and according to current Dogma should now be the dreaded Tillamook Monoculture).

But I digress.

The fact is, that the folks who constantly harp on tolerance and cultural diversity either don't mean it or have some very peculiar definitions for the terms, or perhaps I've been consulting the wrong dictionaries. Don't blue collar recreators have some right to do what they have always done for fun as long as they do it responsibly? We love the power and the adrenaline rush that comes from twisting the throttle on a powerful machine. We glory in a jump well executed. We revel in the poetry of carving the perfect turn on a sportbike running "the twisties" between Estacada and Detroit. We feel a sense of accomplishment when the engines that we've spent the winter on, perform flawlessly in the brief summer months.


I gotta go. My wife is a delegate to the Big Soiree in Boston and I'll be accompanying her. Since I'm not a delegate, I'll probably head down to the "Free Speech Zone" and dare some hippies to step across the line ala Rob Cordry. Wish us luck. If we don't get blown up by the terrorists or arrested by the corporatists, I'll fly from Boston to Savannah Georgia to pick up my new motorcycle and ride it back to Oregon. The Honda Valkyrie gets about 32 mpg and my Hybrid Honda Civic gets about 48 mpg with four adult passengers. The bike does, however, reach speeds in excess of 150 mph. Film at 11.


Remember: There are many paths to enlightenment grasshopper, and if Oregon Progressives are serious about positive change in this state they need to choose their enemies wisely. Alienating the very people which you wish to help because they harsh your mellow while on your annual pilgrimage to commune with nature will ensure continued dominance of the state legislature by the worst of the Right Wing Wackos.

Buy some earplugs.

  • toonprivate (unverified)

    quien es mas macho, pat ryan or his Honda Valkyrie? this is posturing, pure and simple. it is without meaning. so why is it here? is this the sort of thing we're going to find on this site? if so, why is the site here?

  • JS (unverified)

    "Nature, scientifically comprehended and mastered, reappears in the technical apparatus of production and destruction which sustains and improves the life of the individuals while subordinating them to the masters of the apparatus." Some freaky man vs. machine vs. nature philosophy from Herbert Marcuse.

  • (Show?)

    Yes, this is exactly the kind of thing you're going to find on this site. A few posts down, someone howled at how far left Chuck Sheketoff's views were. He wanted to know--is this the sort of thing he'd find on this site?


    If this site is successful, it will feature--gasp!--real dialogue between real people. But hey, you don't have real dialogue without harshing a few mellows.

    (Incidentally, you didn't mention the chortles with which you no doubt greeted this post--never mind the politics. Great stuff.)

  • toonprivate (unverified)

    that's not (gasp) real dialogue. it's chortle-free and it's actually the end of dialogue -- empty assertion, the posture. you ass-ume that it's not left enough for me. it's not a left or right matter. (in fact i hate the left-right scale you reflexively attempt to measure everything by). it's just empty. either it's smart or it's not. if we can't depend on you to tell the difference, mr. defensive, then we'll move right along. if you'd like mr. ryan to run his motorcycle where the sun don't shine, vaya con dios.

  • brett (unverified)

    Jeff, it's not far-left views that are bothersome. God knows, if that were a problem Portland would be like Krypton for conservatives. (Which it might be, but that's for another day.) It's the hypocrisy of saying, "Dialogue is good, but all Republicans are evil."

    This post is much better, although I bet lefties will not agree.

    We used to think that we were stewards of nature back in the day.

    You were. I look forward to more posts.

  • brett (unverified)

    Your nihilism is duly noted, toonprivate. The post was hardly empty, though. Shorter Pat Ryan: People who ride ATVs can be environmentalists.

  • Jerry (unverified)

    Just as hunters can be environmentalists and gun owners can be in favor of some kind of gun control.

    Some of us who live in the country own guns and occasionally hunt and still believe that a progressive country/state is better than the alternative.

  • (Show?)

    Toon--I don't know, looks like he's got a pretty good discussion going on.

  • Justin (unverified)

    So far this blog is pretty boring. Bring back Jack!

  • Quin Sweetman (unverified)

    Wow! Must agree my "mellow" would be quite "harshed" by the scenario Pat describes, even though his account is funny. While I realize he was raised in a completely different manner than I, it is important to recognize that he is ultimately on the same side, and we must choose our battles (not to mention, maintain a sense of humor). Looking forward to what's to come on this site!

  • El Zonda (unverified)
    <h2>¿Cuál es mas pesado, el moto de Pat Ryan o toonprivate? It's bad enough to be a sanctimonious snob; to be a sanctimonious snob and miss the point is intolerable. I enjoyed the post, which attempts gently to point out that there are always trade-offs in life, and hence in politics also. Not an easy thing to do palatably, especially where sniffy purists lurk. I think Ryan succeeded, at least in making a good start. Is that toonprivate's cerebral effluent I see?</h2>

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