Ridin’ For Harambe, Apology Edition


Scott was one of the first readers to send in his photo, but I lost it in my 19GB of GMail. He didn’t say anything other than to identify it as a 2013 Triumph Street Triple, so what I’m going to do is to make something up.

“Dear Jack,” he did not write, “it’s your boy, Scott. This is the Street Triple on which I joined a black biker gang led by Tyrese Gibson. We controlled the trade in ‘My Little Pony’ figurines from Chino to Goleta, or maybe it was the other way around. When Tyrese stepped down due to filming obligations for Fast and Furious 9, I was chained wrist-to-wrist with a 300-pound Kimbo Slice lookalike. I killed him with a knife-edge palm shot to the carotid. I’m currently on the run from the ATF, the FBI, the DEA, and most of the SJW. Love everything you write, especially the thinly-disguised fiction about your ex-girlfriends. Yours in Christ, Scott.”

If the real Scott has more to tell us, I expect he will in the comments…

Housekeeping: The Look Of Love

Last night, this site was broken by some folks who wanted to insert some spam links on top of my images.

No user data was compromised and no comments or stories were lost.

However, in cleaning out the damage I inadvertently destroyed our current “theme” settings. I’ll fix them as I have time. In the meantime, please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.

Ridin’ For Harambe, Part 20


Carter sends a shot of a very sharp-looking Triumph Street Triple, noting that “I bought it new in 2010 and have been loving it ever since. In hindsight I should’ve bought the R version; All that’s left of the stock front end is the triple tree.”

After Friday, we’re going to take a break for October and focus on some non-motorcycling topics. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be sending in your motorcycle… we’ll return to this feature once it’s cold enough for all of us to need some inspiration!

Rapin’ For Harambe (No Motorcycle Content)

Did Clemson University ban the posting of Harambe photos in their dormitories? The answer is “yes”, although Clemson personnel have been quick to walk that back and the media has been only too happy to assist. Supposedly, Harambe photos are “racist” and “promote rape culture”. And while USA Today might give Clemson a pass because the edict came through in an email, I can tell you from personal experience that defying a “head res” at a university can get you expelled in a hurry. An email from Residence Life has the force of law to a freshman, excuse me, first-year student.

The alert reader will note that there is nothing particularly rape-oriented or racist about discussing a gorilla, so long as you are not directly comparing a biracial sitting president, or his black wife, to a gorilla. (Tt’s not racist at all if the president in question is white, dontcha know.) So why ban Harambe memes or photos?

The answer is simple: Harambe, along with Pepe, is an icon of the alt-right. Posting a Harambe meme can be seen as a silent nod towards the alt-right, the same way that shouting “PEPE!” at the President-Elect is a nonsilent shout-out to the alt-right. The Residence Life staff at Clemson banned Haramabe because they don’t want the alt-right, or even the non-alt-right, to have any voice on the Clemson campus. Plain and simple. Thought police in full effect.

The problem that the Orwellians of the campus left face is this: memes shape-shift too fast to be trapped. If we can’t have Harambe, maybe we can have “Gorilla Munch”. Don’t get your jimmies rustled, you hear?

Advertising To Your Worst Instincts


I got this email yesterday morning. For a brief moment, I was confused, in part because I’ve written and deployed a lot of online commerce stuff for people over the past fifteen years and this is exactly the sort of communication I used to get when things went Very, Very Wrong. Once I realized it was from Threadless, the people who make many of the odd T-shirts I’ve worn on this and other websites, and I’ve had a couple of customer-service discussions with their reps in the past, I wondered if perhaps somebody had mis-typed my contact into Outlook.

Once I got my head out of my ass, of course, I realized what you probably realized immediately: this is an advertisement. But what’s being communicated here, both about Threadless and about us?

Continue Reading →

Ridin’ For Harmabe, Part 18


Well, look at this! I’ve been trying to buy the 919 that parks at my office for almost a year now — they’re kickass bikes that combine a returned CBR900RR engine with the European “Hornet” frame. Jeremy’s 2002 model might not be my favorite color (the 919 was also available in a metallic green) but it’s certainly one of my favorite bikes.

It’s still not too late to get a picture of your bike published in this august company. Send your email to jack at baruth dot net, yo.

Race Report: Wilmington Youth Karts

It didn’t start out well. For John’s second race, and his first time at the Wilmington track, we showed up about an hour late. Our neighborhood had held a block party the night before, outdoor torches blazing and kids running around in that kind of frenzied aimless excitement that I remember from when my dad’s baseball or softball team would have a season-ending party in my youth. I’d let him stay up until nearly midnight, so I felt that I had to let him sleep until eight-thirty the next morning.

When we arrived, John’s competition was already out there practicing. His name was Colin and he was a very soft-spoken, friendly young boy who looked to be maybe ten pounds lighter than my son. His kart was powered by the new Comer C51 with a free-breathing cone filter, which didn’t bode well for any straight-line drag race in which John might find himself. His father had brought a stand, somebody to rebuild the carburetor between races, and a very complete set of tools. Every lap Colin took, the dad would run out to the start/finish line and make a pumping motion with his fist until the kid was well past him. These were people who took karting very seriously.

In the first practice, Colin dropped John by maybe five karts per straight and was on track to lap him when I called a halt to the proceedings. I was genuinely upset. John wasn’t worried at all. “The race,” he said, “will go great.” Doesn’t he know he almost got lapped? I thought. Should I have coached him more? Pushed him more? How is he going to deal with being humiliated out there?

Turns out my son had a much better handle on things than I gave him credit for.

Continue Reading →

Ridin’ For Harambe, Part 16


Two days in a row of you smart-alecks who are using my purchase decisions as justification for your own motorcycle choices. John writes, “…thank you for the push I needed to close the deal on this awesome machine.” He didn’t need any push. Just look at it. I really like what they did with these facelift Interceptors. My 2007 VFR800 has a bit of an “Acura” look to it — chunky and non-sporty — but the 2014-and-up bikes look like they could mix it up on the cover of an Electronic Arts video game. Again.