Among US politicians, Ed Rendell is one of my favorites. The grizzled and and grumpy governor of Pennsylvania likes to talk shit, and isn’t afraid to back down from it. Here he is, complaining about the the NFL postponing a game due to snow:
Rendell viewed the NFL’s decision as a referendum on the toughness, or lack thereof, of the United States.
“My biggest beef is that this is part of what’s happened in this country,” Rendell said. “I think we’ve become wussies.”
“We’ve become a nation of wusses. The Chinese are kicking our butt in everything,” Rendell added. “If this was in China do you think the Chinese would have called off the game? People would have been marching down to the stadium, they would have walked and they would have been doing calculus on the way down.”
For anyone living in Michigan, the four saddest words are not “I lost my job,” but “I’m a Lions fan.” The Detroit Lions are the worst team in the history of professional sports. The whole world knows it, and their fans show it by wearing jerseys of players who haven’t touched a football in 20 years. But they still proudly claim to be Lions fans. Why? Are they stupid? No. Are they pathetic losers? No. It’s because they’re fucking crazy. You can see it on their faces and on their children’s faces. Because really, what kind of person would force their children to endure a lifetime of pain and torment just like they did? A fucking crazy person. And on a Sunday afternoon, when they head into Ford Field, they’re checked for guns. Because if they had one on them, these crazy fuckers would blow their brains out by halftime. Lions fans. Crazy fuckers.
Just read this article in the New York Times, and think it’s one of those fabulous ideas that can be totally transplanted to Shanghai, and I’m looking forward to someone other than me to kick it off!
Joyride is a group bike ride with a shared route and a common soundtrack. Riders equipped with MP3 players and headphones set off from the same point, pushing “play” simultaneously. They travel individually or in a pack, but each knows what the others are hearing. Gliding through the city on two wheels can already feel like being in a long tracking shot in a very personal movie, especially if you do it while listening to music. Joyride gives that experience an added dimension — an audience of participants.
There’s more to Joyride than just a leisurely bike ride, though. There’s a picnic in Central Park, complete with checkerboard tablecloths spread on the grass, bouquets of flowers and a menu of lobster rolls and fresh corn salad, courtesy of Jane Park, a friend of Ms. Sherman who is also a chef. Ms. Sherman said it was integral to her vision to have all the participants meet. “Jane and I talk about it as the second act,” she said. “If everyone just rode and listened and then drifted away, it wouldn’t be right.”
I know there are already a few biking groups in Shanghai, both expat and local-oriented. While having everyone listen to a soundtrack on their headphones while biking might be a bit harrowing in this town, at least participants will know that if they do get hit by a wayward taxi cab or heavy-duty truck, they’ll have a support group ready to call for help and stabilize their spines instead of being gawked at by a useless ring of pajama-clad bystanders.
Someone do this quickly! I want to join! (at least, for the part where everyone picnics)