Onan the Contrarian
February 19, 2017 § 12 Comments
As Thrasymachus was fond of pointing out to Socrates, there are only friends and enemies. Or in my case, just enemies.
I had a rough day at the office today that involved … never mind what it involved, but the key hashtags are #newunderwear #spousaldiscord and #bikerace. But when I got home one of the best friends (enemies) I’ve ever had sent me an interview that he had done of me. It is fake of course, and therefore a perfect fit simply because after reading it I concluded that with the exception of the parts he had made up, it was all true.
Onan the Contrarian
Today we’re going to turn the tables on Cycling in the South Bay’s Seth Davidson for a quick one on one to find out what makes him tick.
Destroyer: Good Morning Seth, let’s start out with the fact that you wear a lot of hats.
Destroyer: You’re nom de plume is “Wankmeister,” a name you claim no one that knows you calls you.
WM: Right. It’s a fake name.
Destroyer: I’ve actually heard people refer to you as “Wanky.”
WM: I don’t like those people.
Destroyer: Gotcha. You write at Cycling in the South Bay, what exactly is your title there?
WM: Head writer, editor, creative director, publisher, producer, head of ad sales, proofreader, researcher, spam filter monitor.
Destroyer: And where are the CitSB offices located?
WM: It’s actually a foffice in Palos Verdes.
Destroyer: So it’s close to your home?
WM: You could say that.
Destroyer: And you’re a former pro birdwatcher with a published book about finding birds in Texas?
Destroyer: This isn’t really important, but how difficult is it really to find birds in Texas? Isn’t it filled with birds?
Destroyer: That’s kind of what I figured. And you self-published a semi-autobiographical novel about your time in Japan, which I read, and have to say it was a tour de force.
WM: There is nothing lonelier than a self-published book. Except perhaps its author.
Destroyer: Your day job is lead counsel at Law Office of Seth Davidson, in Torrance?
Destroyer: And in your spare time you’re a bike racer. How do you have spare time?
WM: I don’t shave my legs.
Destroyer: For someone so into the racing scene I find it interesting you don’t shave your legs, do you consider yourself a contrarian?
WM: Absolutely not.
Destroyer: I’ve noticed you don’t raise your arms for podium pictures.
WM: I’m not on them often, so I’m particular when I have to climb up on one. But the tradition of raising your arms for podium pictures in some vacant parking lot stems from the days when winners of real races in wool jerseys in places you can’t pronounce with tens of thousands of adoring fans thronging the streets were presented with bouquets. They would hold the bouquets over their heads. They weren’t standing with one foot in an oil slick and the other in someone’s discarded dirty diaper. For me, no bouquet, no arm raising.
Destroyer: So why not just skip the podium?
WM: I like Facebook narcissism just as much as the next guy. Probably more.
Destroyer: Speaking of Facebook and life off the bike, you get pretty political on social media. Which TV networks do you think do the best job covering politics?
WM: I wouldn’t know, I don’t own a TV.
Destroyer: Well, I suppose that’s not too contrarian, a lot of people are cutting the cable these days. Do you have Amazon, Netflix, etc.?
WM: No to Amazaon and Netflix. I may have an etc. down at the bottom of my sock drawer.
Destroyer: Ah, an old school newspaper reader. Washington Post, New York Times? What do you read?
WM: Der Spiegel.
Destroyer: Uh, okay. Totally mainstream, check. But back to cycling. You coined the term, “CotKU,” or “Center of the Known Universe,” describing Starbucks at the Pier in Manhattan Beach as the place where all local cyclists hang out, pose, complain about having their wheel chopped by Major Bob, and drink coffee. So Starbucks, right? You’re not a total contrarian I guess. What’s your Starbucks drink of choice?
WM: Anything from Peete’s.
Destroyer: Of course. Speaking of local rides, you do the Flog Ride as a kind of anti-Thursday NPR, right?
WM: Yes, the Flog was Joe Yule’s creation, but like almost everyone who has done the Flog he suffered a heart arrythmia and antiperistalis and never came back so I’ve tried to keep it going. It is to the NPR what UCLA Road Race is to a CBR crit.
Destroyer: And now on Tuesdays you’ve started a second anti-NPR ride consisting of you and some acolytes riding a paceline?
WM: It’s not an “anti-NPR” ride.
Destroyer: Where do you do this Tuesday ride then?
WM: We ride the same route as the NPR, but 5 minutes later so that we’re going exactly opposite the NPR as it loops Westchester Parkway.
Destroyer: Nothing contrary there. I assume you’re also a big “Anti-Donut” Ride guy on Saturdays?
WM: No, I always do the Donut Ride.
Destroyer: I think I get it. To be anti-everything would be conformist to the internal logic of contrarianism, so you kind of have to conform here and there to make sure that you’re truly a contrarian. Is that it?
WM: You can start calling me “Wankmeister.”
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