September 29, 2007

I accuse Dianna, in the dining room, with the roll of stickyback mylar.

I've decided to become a passivist. Not a pacifist, although the two are by no means mutually exclusive. A passivist is like an activist, but one who doesn't want to actually have any direct contact with anyone. If you canvass door-to-door, or hold consciousness-raising meetings, you are an activist. If you blog or flyer doors, you are a passivist.

The thing is that I have fucking had it with anti-helmet bicyclists. Portland is as plagued with them as Berkeley, if not more so, and they're infectious. My renting roommate has already been persuaded by one of her cycling hipster friends that she doesn't need to wear a helmet. This is, in my opinion, crap. Everyone with a vested interest in not having their life devastated by a head injury needs to wear a helmet, and anyone who doesn't have a vested interest in not having their life devastated by a head injury just isn't thinking hard enough.

As expressed by a different, more sensible, friend of my roommate's, the problem is this: who is going to wipe your ass when you wind up quadruplegic? It is a good question.

Here is where the roll of stickyback mylar comes in: I have decided to launch an obnoxious sticker campaign. Portland is liberally sprinkled with those big staple-shaped bike racks, and when I look at them I think I hear their tiny voices calling out to be adorned. They're wide enough to support a small but bold sticker, they're everywhere, and they're guaranteed to be seen by bicyclists. Perfect, right? All I have to do is carry around a stack of stickers and slap one on everyplace I lock up my bike.

Between last night and tonight I have used the combined powers of this month's paycheck, a downtown art supply store, and my beloved screenprinting skills to make a small fleet of shiny silver stickers. They are about four inches across and say in my best fussy, loopy 5th-grade handwriting, "wear your fucking helmet." And they are shiny as fuck and, I hope, resistant to the rain which is more or less here to stay until April.

I have discovered that there is a tiny and brand-new neighborhood bar on Alberta which is explicitly all-vegan all the time. Vegan pub food, beer and liquor with no bone char or other animal products, and, I strongly suspect, cutely scrawny vegan hipster kids. There's little for me to do but go and check it out, and if it turns out to be less enthralling than I anticipate, I'll have no choice but to go see who the band is at the other place down the street. And if a stack of stickers finds its way into my pocket and they fall out sticky-side down on the bike racks at either place, who's to say it was intentional? I'm just trying to enjoy a drink here.

Posted by dianna at September 29, 2007 07:56 PM

Passivist, that's awesome! As are the stickers. I've got several friends whose brains were saved by helmets, most very experienced cyclists who were "just riding along".

(PS: Hi, I'm new here. Can't quite remember how I got over here on your blog...)

Posted by: Maarten at November 8, 2007 11:35 AM