(11 am. – promoted by ek hornbeck)
1%er Biker Clubhouses are nothing like the TV portrays; at least in my experience. The people are warm, friendly and humorous.
Biker clubs are like dandelions in Michigan, whether or not you notice them, their members are everywhere. Still, though there are a few we are close to, the whole premise is incomprehensible to me. Not that they give one flying fuck what I think of their life choice, its their life not mine. But its natural when you really like someone to try and figure out just what makes them tick. They get that too.
You see, they see themselves as outlaws. They see their own as brother, and feel the bonding of being outside the mainstream America by common experience and interest.
The first thing that strikes me is the Rules. There are so many rules and commitments it makes State Legislation look like suggestions.
Let me see: You want to be “free” so pledge lifelong commitment to a group that enforces mandatory meetings, mandatory bar service, mandatory rides, mandatory settling of differences (ahem) with other groups. Your freedom includes taking off work whenever they say you must, being away from home and family a couple weekends a month, and showing up at least three nights a week to the Clubhouse???
To me, that’s not freedom, its just handing your will over to a smaller, stricter government that enforces its will, with, ummm, deadly force.
You may as well shave your head and join the Krishnas… its the same thing with better toys.
Our friend “Dog” has had this discussion with us many times. Many others through the years have tried to get Mike to join. His reply is that he is more Biker than they are, even though we don’t own one. “I answer to NONE. You want to answer to someone, that’s your business.” Dog has to concede that. In fact, he is incredibly open about talking about this with us.
At this party, it was mostly Truck Drivers, which is a related, but different mindset that a true Biker event, but at either I have found that wild behavior is not the rule. Quite the opposite. No on is allowed to have disputes in the Clubhouse, and all disputes are settled by moderation of the Club. I have always been treated entirely with respect. The probates (new initiates) who tend bar, are all please and thank you, and keep the place spotless. I am sure though, that things can be quite different when only among their tribe.
Still, the women wearing colors with “Property Of” with their Biker’s name embroidered just sickens me. They laugh, and say, “It just means ‘Don’t hit on me’ so don’t take it so seriously.” The misogyny and racism is always underlying, though.
How can I really like the People and despise that part of them? Well, for one, they keep the racist crap away from me, and if they bring it up, hear my arguments out. They are far more willing to hear debate than some of my other few Winger friends. But I can still love a Winger, while thinking them just wrong.
Take my adopted brother Schultzy for example. This man has been BOND with me for the better part of 25 years. Yeah, he’s a fairly rich fuck, but you’d never really know it to meet him. No airs, no judgment and he would rather sit on my deck playing guitar in the rain than attend his family’s black tie affairs. For a long time, he refused to be involved in the family business, and eked a living out painting houses.
He was raised to be a Republican. Period. Taxes hurt his Daddy’s business, a small but very lucrative business. So taxes are bad, and Democrats = taxes to him. He doesn’t give a fuck about the rest of it. You just don’t talk politics with Schultzy. You can however, talk about current events, and when he agrees, say, “Hmmm, that’s a Liberal position, Schultzy.” He’ll just grin and admit he’s all fucked up, all over the board, but you’ll never change the way he votes. No animosity. Then he’ll change the subject to one of his wonderful yarns about people he’s met. You see, he is a Liberal at heart, the very poster child of Hippy; but would hate to see his Dad and his Mom lose all they worked for all their life. His Dad was never a boss-boss, until he got too old, he would get out on the floor and get greasy with his workers, never shirking off the harder work. His other kids, Schultzy’s brothers, by comparisons are second-generation sharks, who drive their workers, do nothing and love to always portray the image of excess. Schultzy has more class in his little finger than his siblings who try and show “class” by gauche extravagence and bragging.
So, he’s a Winger, but I love him anyway. He listens occasionally to the on-air me, and thinks I’m great and smart, but still disagrees with a lot of it. I’m moving the mountain a spoonful at a time. He likes to discuss things indirectly and despises head on disagreement. He’ll sit at our table and listen without comment while we discuss politics, but doesn’t want to debate his position. He will say things like, “Really? Granholm didn’t do that, Engler did? Holy shit, I didn’t know that!” You get to him obliquely.
So, back to the Bikers.
I have never remembered a Christmas gathering with these guys where not a soul said they were ready for Christmas, and every single person was not in the spirit.
The common thread was financial dread. Yes, dread, it was beyond fear.
So naturally, I started with the class war meme. Now truckers and bikers are not short on voicing their opinions, but I adore how they don’t talk over me, they listen, give eye contact, then state their case in turn. Maybe its a bi-product of the Club Meeting rulesiness?
Two years ago, I would have had my hands full. In fact, two years ago I had spirited debate with many of them. This time? They unanimously agreed about the problems. This season, they are no longer thinking Bush was a God, and now believe there is only one part against us: Uber-rich vs all of us. Sure, some still hate Obama for being Black, fed racism with their very breast milk, and that is sickening to me. But when I stated the case that we are no different and just as disposable as the blacks to the PTB, and we better fucking soon get over fighting among ourselves at the street level, they grudgingly began to agree.
“If we’re ever gonna take this country back, we’re going to need every goddamned soul, and you better be ready to fight for your trucker job right next to the loader operator next to you of color. We’re all just trying to feed our families while Wall Street is taking BILLIONS of OUR dollars.”
That sold them.
I was amazed at how they are all seeing things more and more like I always have. Fuck yeah, I’m a commie, and last night I was a commie in a Right-Wing biker bar. I made common bonds with aliens.
It was a thousand times better than the Tea Party I attended.
Bikers don’t scare me. They have a code. An honorable code. An incomprehensible code to me, to be sure, what with the “Bitches” and “Niggers” and Violence that must remain unspoken. But they will talk about it. Bikers don’t scare me.
Jesus freaks & Teabaggers do.