Saturday, June 21, 2014

The Harley Wind-Up Toy

Regarding the Mattel Hasbro Milton Bradley Wham-O Brand electric bike that the Harley upper-management team of golfing aficionados is creating -  in soundbites, if not in actual fact ….. these executive juggernauts of industry are clearly convinced that something other than the deteriorating "Harley Mystique" is what is keeping their company in the black. Assuming that it actually is in the black. However, they are wrong in thinking that something other than the fading "Harley Mystique" is keeping them afloat. In fact it is only the deteriorating Harley Mystique, and not their actual products, that is keeping them from joining GM in Bailout Wonderland. Not that the Feds would grant Harley bailout- money, because Obama probably hates bikers as much as apparently Harley does, and for-sure as much the ATF and the cops do. Speaking of Harley executives: the internet announcement began with the important and deeply meaningful message, "Riders today. Define tomorrow." Apparently Pigeon English being used as the language-of-choice to announce this bike is a way of announcing to the Third World "Harley is for you, Joe. You like. You have good time on me!"  As the drooling knuckledraggers that created the internet announcement that cries out in boardroom brilliance "Riders Today. Define tomorrow." are going to find out in short order, it is only the Harley Mystique that is keeping the executive washroom staffers in offshore gambling invitations. Not the bikes themselves. In fact "short order" might be the two words they should think about adding to "Riders today. Define tomorrow." making it "Riders today. Define tomorrow. Short order." Because they might all be doing short orders at McDonald's pretty soon, based on the evidence presented via the electric bike announcement.   

For the information of the Harley Executive Squadroom Brainstormers  -  Harley Corp did not create the Harley Mystique. The Harley Mystique was not created by an ad campaign. The Harley Mystique was not created by a motorcycle. The Harley Mystique was not created by an overpaid buffoon executive in an untied tie walking around the office with coffee in a paper cup and a suit jacket across his arm looking as though he was just too anxious to get to work on time to worry about getting fully dressed. No: the Harley Mystique is something that exists only because of the existence of the 1950's-circa individuals in groups who had actual, genuine mystiques. And not Harley Mystiques either. Just mystiques. Just real actual mystiques. And who themselves CREATED the Harley Mystique. Groups like the Hells Angels, the Gypsy Jokers, the Galloping Gooses, the Satans Slaves, the Pissed Off Bastards, the Devils Disciples. the Boozefighters, the Mad Hatters; the uniquely American outcasts with the mind set that valued the individual and adventure and exploration over the government mandated lifestyle of school, neighborhood, two kids, a cocker spaniel, What's My Line, the Saturday Evening Post, the licensing of everything from your guns and your cars and your dynamite collection to the licensing of the jizz in your balls, of  time clocks, and working for someone else. No. If there were mystiques that accompanied these men that were genuine American individuals it was the mystiques of  beer, strip joints, dope, and riding alone through the western deserts. Those  were the actual mystiques. Harleys were the Hitchiking Aftermarket Mystiques that these individuals decided to adopt and bring along with them just because these bikes retained some semblance of devotion to the principles of liberty that allegedly this country was created on. Which i assume they assumed was more or less American. Which of course, regarding Harleys, has turned out to be another Hitchiking Hangaround Mystique. Not a real one. No, the men on the bikes are the original mystique. Not the brand of motorcycle they decided to adopt for one reason or another. And those men who are the real mystique are now looking at the skin of their once bulging biceps and watching them wrinkle and fall against the bones of their arms like curtains closing on a grand performance. And when they go so will be gone the mystique. And Harley-Davidson will return to the ash pit of buffoonery it was when it was being nestled like a helpless baby in the arms of a pin-spotting-machine maker. And that's where it would have stayed were it not for an upstart heralder of the dirty filthy riders of Harleys that focused on the men on the Harleys, not the Harleys themselves: rather the men who lived on their Harleys; Easyriders magazine. Say what you want to about it now, at the time it glorified the last of the Americans who bought up this magazine like starving exhausted warriors lapping up water. Men like Joe Teresi, Lou Kimzey, Mil Blair, Keith Ball, Madman Kelly, Billy Thornbury, Izzy Petty, Rip-aroo from San Berdoo, Wino Joe, Miraculous Muthuh, Spider, Hal Robinson, David Mann, and, by the grace and mercies of a gentle and loving jesus, even myself; all dedicated with enthusiasm toward proclaiming the feral, renegade riders of the Harleys, not the Harleys themselves, as the Last Americans. "This is not a nuts and bolts magazine," Lou said." This is an entertainment rag for adult bikers." The largess for Harley Corp from that relentless temporary burst of creative fire is all that Harley has left to hang on to and those men and those readers are fading fast, and when they are gone no one will be giving Harley Davidsons a second look except, especially in the case of the Livewire, to say "what in the name of Fucking Fuck is THAT."  All good things may or may not come to an end. But all stupid things certainly do. And Harley Davidson is one of those stupid things. And the end they have chosen for themselves - in typical fashion for the stupid - is by buffoonery.  And a fitting headstone, assuming they can even, or want to, find the body, would be a Livewire with a grinning Chinaman in a Mao jacket sitting on it shouting " Hi, Yankee swine! You tink me pditty???"