No matter what incontrovertible proof you may have that someone is an idiot, people will look at said proof and how you reacted and find you to be the idiot.
This is just a fact of the world in which we live.
Earlier today we encountered a guy jogging in the bike lane on Sunset Boulevard (which is illegal) as Susan and I were cycling to Echo Park Lake. I got a decent picture of him obstructing us shortly before finally having enough of his inconsideration and yelling at him to get out of the way. Startled, he did.
When we got home I wrote about it on Blogging.la, fully knowing that no matter how pure the evidence of someone’s wrongdoing, others are not only going to disagree but they’re going to find the presenter of that evidence to be the one truly at fault. I wasn’t disappointed.
A commenter who signs his stuff with “DB” started off by agreeing the jogger was in the wrong place, but then shows some ignorance by finding the same fault with bikes who are in traffic and closes with the suggestion that I “Don’t be a dick.”
Another by the name of Gregg Fuller penned this little gem: “Oh, how inconvenient for you. Yield to pedestrians. Just because you’re on a bike doesn’t mean that you have a reason to be so possessive of the bike lane. Seriously, just get a little horn and stop venting here.”
That pissy ridiculousness made me laugh.
Then El Chavo, a blogger and fellow B.la contributor who I much admire piped up with: “Maybe the jogger is a jackass, but it can’t be that hard to swerve a little and pass him up, can it? I still say, Share the Road.”
Nothing wrong with that, really, other than it simplifies the situation and basically justifies the infractious behavior of the jogger.
Then came the following comment by a Jordan: “I don’t know… normally I’d agree that this guy is a jackass for hogging the bike lane. But bikers can be such assholes. Bikers are the new communists — out to reform the country into a land full of bike lanes and multi-million-dollar projects spear-headed and beat-to-death by bike fanatics. You’re already a pain-in-the-ass to motorists — isn’t that good enough for you.”
That’s almost precious in its prejudice.
But the kicker is the comment by Joseph who doesn’t call me a dick or a whiner — in fact and ironically it’s the most diplomatic of the disagreeing comments. But he does go so far as to state incorrectly that the jogger was doing nothing wrong and has every right to the bike lane and closed with a little dig to “keep the assholishness at a minimum.”
After calling a whoopsie on Joseph by referencing the California Vehicle Code section (21966) that in fact strictly prohibts pedestrians from using bike lanes I then attempted to fill in some of the blanks in a response comment to El Chavo as to why my wife and I couldn’t “just go around.” Later he comes back seemingly having only read selective portions of my reply accusing me of “piling on the hate” against the poor pedestrian rather than adopting a “can’t we all get along” attitude. Then he references my May op-ed column in the L.A. Times and calls me out as something of a hyprocrite for being an apparent bike lane whore who’s masquerading in print as a bike lane hater.
Dang. Can’t wait to see what things people manufacture to make me out to be the bad guy tomorrow!