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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Bay Guardian Confirms That Bicyclists (and Steven T. Jones) Are Morally Superior Beings

Posted By on Wed, May 13, 2009 at 4:24 PM

Maybe you've seen him blow through stop signs and red lights, too
  • Maybe you've seen him blow through stop signs and red lights, too
Every day in San Francisco, hundreds of thousands of people do something good for the environment by taking Muni instead of driving their cars. These brave souls definitely don't ride Muni trains and buses without complaint; in fact, complaining about Muni is one of the city's great pastimes. What Muni riders definitely don't do, however, is preach. Muni vets understand that taking public transit, even in San Francisco, does not qualify you as morally enlightened and karmically cleaner than everyone else.

The same can't be said for San Francisco's holier-than-thou bike fanatics, who never miss an opportunity to proselytize about how their way of life is saving the planet. To that end, ever-humble Bay Guardian scribe Steven T. Jones uses Bike to Work Day to "inform" the populace about the virtues of biking and his general awesomeness in this week's paper. (His picture appears on the cover AND he gets the biggest photo on the inside spread.) My favorite line of the piece: "I love my bike, and so do most people who see it." What modesty. We wouldn't expect anything less from a guy who wrote an award-winning profile of Warren Hellman (we know it won an award because he told us it did!). And ladies, if you weren't wowed by his inflated sense of self-importance or Facebook-ready photos, perhaps you'll bust a moisty when you read passages like "Maybe you've seen me around town -- and if so, maybe you've seen me blow through stop signs or red lights."

I'll give Jones this: At least he comes out and says what we all know every Critical Masshole is thinking: "We are better than motorists," he writes, "by every important measure."

Even though the article drove me crazy, I am sympathetic to the idea that we need to reduce our reliance on the automobile. With the threat of global warming, getting rid of your car is the most radical environmental act a person can do in this consumer culture. But I just can't stand the sanctimoniousness of San Francisco Massholes like Steven Jones, and I suspect lots of other people feel the same way. Smugness doesn't win converts -- but it does make you qualified to write for the Bay Guardian and preach to the converted.

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