I couldn’t start this piece in Salisbury Review without a chuckle…
The belief that everyone can be persuaded by argument to behave well is, I suppose, a corollary of the notion that no man does wrong knowingly. The task of the moralist, then, is to get people to understand the true nature of their conduct, to educate them; and once this is done, the reprehensible conduct will cease by itself.
This is an optimistic theory, and like all optimism is unfounded. Men not only do wrong knowingly, but often do wrong because they know it is wrong. Of course, every false theory is an employment opportunity for someone. The truth might set you free, but it will also sometimes make you unemployed. And unemployment is more to be feared than is freedom to be welcomed.
And there are certain motocyclists in the U.S. who equate loudness with safety. Were this reasoning true, the F-4 Phantom or the Saturn IV rocket would be among the safest vehicles ever made. Add to this, these so called safety advocates ride motorcycles that are essentially replicas of 1940’s technology, wear the smallest helmets legally donnable, sport the smallest lights and mirrors of any bikes on the market, and dress in the least visible clothing, yet claim they are concerned about safety.
What it is really about is being obnoxious and trying to get everyoone to take notice of you while frightening the elderly, small children and animals. Why anyone would want to look like a motorcycle gang member is beyond comprehension. Real motorcycle gangs do very bad things; trafic in the sex and drug trades, engage in theft and mayhem, and despise the wantabees that try to emulate them so much so that they often do grevious harm to their imitators.