Monday, January 25, 2010

David Thomas hates skinny legs


Here's a summary of what David Thomas disapproves of: eating brown rice, wearing tight clothing, wearing loose clothing, helmets, beards, thin legs, white legs, hairy legs, correct hyphenation, ale, folk songs, and sandals, gender equality, and cyclists.

Needless to say, his writing isn't terribly rational, and thus its hard to take seriously his animosity toward users of the world's most efficient transportation. He's really just one of the legions of writers who insult cyclists by generalizing about them.

But he doesn't stop there. Generalizing is one matter: most anti-cyclist writers claim that every human who has ever and will ever ride a bicycle has broken or will break the law in doing so. Indeed, many writers seem to insinuate that cycling within the law is innately impossible, that the very act of cycling is to break the law, and thus cycling should be totally illegal.

But Mr. Thomas goes farther than that. He seems to want to convince you about cyclists' badness by telling you about totally irrelevant qualities of all cyclists. In the country, apparently, all cyclists "sport beards, baggy shorts and thin, white, hairy legs". They also all wear sandals. Of course, ironically, he also believe that all cyclists wear "lurid Lycra body-sausages". This, Mr. Thomas, is why you feel I should disapprove of cyclists? They way they look?

The best Mr. Thomas can do now is to claim that he was just describing the people he's attacking. The attack was just about their behavior, not their appearance. But then why mention their looks at all? Mr. Thomas, your writing exposes you as a bigot. I suppose that there are laws against publishing attacks against women, gays, and Muslims, so you can't attack them. But bearded cyclists are not protected by anti-hate laws, so you've found a way to let your hatred shine.

Mr. Thomas also claims that European bureaucrats believe that "the only acceptable form of private transport is the nonpolluting, eco-friendly, man - sorry! - person-powered bicycle." Really, Mr. Thomas? You even have to work a sexist dig into your text? Do you believe that that will help your cause?

Mr. Thomas, if you disapprove of slow, wobbling, verbally abusive, or unsafe cyclists, then write about that. Your decision to include irrelevant details has discredited you and your words.

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