Three days after the attacks in Paris most Americans have done all they will ever do: Shown their solidarity on social media with a cute French flag makeover.
A few people will take things a step farther and forcefully argue their thoughtful opinions. “Bomb those fucking terrorist Arab motherfuckers back into the Stone Age,” is a common refrain. These folks seem not to realize that we’ve done exactly that, and that Stone Age people are remarkably resilient and persistent and inventive. The Stone Agers now have a new country, a fully functioning oil economy, access to international finance, and a modern global media empire with a message that is somewhat more successful in enlisting support than, say, “An Army of 1,” or “Free College Tuition and a $10,000 Signing Bonus and a $100,000 Death Payout for Your Parents.”
Me? I think it is pretty simple. When you start a war you have to finish it. And if you don’t finish it then you’re still at war. And if you’re still at war the other guy will keep killing your guys. And you’ll keep killing his. Etc.
So how do you finish a war? That too is pretty simple. Someone has to say, “Let’s stop fighting now,” and the other side has to agree. In the old days the guy who said “Let’s stop fighting now,” was the guy getting his ass kicked. He waved a white flag or his army dropped their shit and ran away and the generals signed papers that said “You kicked our butt good my bad how much do I owe you?”
Then people continued on until they got mad again, usually about having lost the previous war, and the whole thing recycled.
It is pretty clear that our new war has way too many parties to ever stop. Like whack-a-mole, Whack-a-Stone-Ager results in a new pissed off group popping up and picking up where the smeared remains of the last Stone Ager left off, usually because one of our planes mistakenly bombed their wedding or bombed their hospital or bombed their kindergarten or bombed their peaceful village.
Nowadays there’s not even anyone on the other side to sign anything, even if they wanted to stop fighting. In fact, there is no “other side.”
It’s just a bunch of mad people with guns, kind of like Texas, except that lots more people died at the hands of mad Americans with guns in 2013 than, say, died from anything ISIS ever did. Even though the 34,000 Americans shot to death by each other aren’t nearly as important as the 129 people shot in France over the weekend, the landscape is the same: The war is unending, there’s no one to make peace with, and random killing is something that is a sad fact of life, kind of like herpes.
The good news is that while people debate whether the best solution to war is to post something clever on Twitter or to bomb the people we’ve already bombed into the Neolithic back even farther, say to the Mesolithic or even the Upper Paleolithic, there is something fun and simple you can do for world peace:
Ride your fuggin’ bike and encourage everyone else to ride theirs, too.
Here are some Bicycle Peace Facts:
- No one ever invaded another country on a bike. Successfully, I mean.
- When you are riding a bike you feel happy instead of wanting to kill strangers. Unless you are racing.
- When given the choice, children will choose riding bikes over killing people.
- Children always prefer riding bikes with their parents rather than burying them.
- Regular bicycle exercise makes you fit, whereas being blown to bits by a cluster bomb does not.
- Fat generals and politicians on bikes are too out of breath to give commands like “Invade!” or “Kill!” or “Bomb them into the Stone Age!”
- When you put a terrorist on a bike, he will pedal madly for a while before he gets tired and thirsty, then bonks, then stops at a convenience store for some Gatorade and a piss, after which he sits down on the curb, hangs his head, gives up on the destination, and prepares for the trip home.
- You can’t be full aero with a suicide belt. Plus, they are too heavy and slow you down on the climbs.
- An entire nation can be terrified of getting shot at, but not at being ridden past.
- If you invite someone for a coffee ride, they will like you.
For $2.99 per month you can subscribe to this blog, and if you just ride your bike you’ll make the world a better place. Click here and select the “subscribe” link in the upper right-hand corner. Thank you!