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Some good news for a change

By Michael J. Smith on Friday April 9, 2010 03:03 PM

Not a publication I usually read, but this link crossed my e-desk this morning:

By night Berlin has become a battlefield. Each morning reveals new casualties: burned out cars. There have been over 500 in the past three years. These nocturnal arson attacks are part of a protracted campaign of resistance to the city’s increasing gentrification....
A people definitely full of beans, the Germans. And we think of them as such law-abiders!

Meanwhile, in my town, from another publication I seldom read:

Psycho cycler's revenge
Attacks limo & driver who clipped him

A raging cyclist fed up with aggressive Manhattan drivers took matters into his own hands yesterday, jumping on the hood of a limo that clipped him and smashing in the windshield with his fists.

Bike messenger-gone-wild Perzeus Forte, 20, also ripped out the front passenger window, tore the shirt of driver Darr Mohammed, 49, and clocked him in the face during the savage road rage attack around 1 p.m., sources said.

"He hit me and kept going," Forte later fumed to The Post. "I'm sick of this."

Forte's rampage began while riding his bike up Sixth Avenue in Chelsea, where Mohammed grazed him around West 19th Street. The limo kept going until he got stopped by a red light at West 20th Street.

That's when Forte flipped out, ditching his wheels and sprinting 100 yards to the car. He leaped onto the hood while screaming, "I'm going to kill you! I'm going to kill you, motherf- - -er!" according to one witness.

Perzeus Forte! Now there, if you like, is a name that would have appealed to Mr Shandy senior. Here he is, in custody and an inspiration to us all:

Somebody give this guy a movie contract, instantly!

Comments (13)


Comment problem fixed -- I hope.

Al Schumann:

The cop looks embarrassed. In a kinder, more enlightened age, he too would be administering rough justice to reckless, aggressive motorists. He might be better looking too. You can get a lot of healthy exercise from cycling and demolishing cars.

I like to think well of my fellow humans, however regrettable their career choices may be.

Frankly, bikers in the City are as reckless and irresponsible as drivers, if the former do less harm when they crash.* I see this as another case where the victims in the whole thing take it out on each other instead of the real culprits. People drive and bike like Kamikazes and subway passengers push and shove at rush hour because they believe, with justification, they have to to stay employed and pay rent--it's a mania induced by the cutthroat "market" economy of which Manhattan is the epicenter.

*In fact, significantly more pedestrians are killed by bikers each year in New York than bikers by cars--unfortunately I can't remember the exact figure.


I'm a little bit uncomfortable with the implication of Michael's first item that burning cars is a good thing. I dunno -- resistance without a programme -- sounds like reaction, or anarchy. On the other hand, whose cars were they?


Peter -- This is actually one of the few matters of fact about which I know something. In New York City, a dozen or so cyclists are killed by motor vehicles each year -- some years more, some years less. The last time a pedestrian was killed by a cyclist in New York was years ago -- five? six? You can look it up.

And yeah, I'm afraid I do approve strongly of active car-hatred. The odious things are such fetish objects. Only the mortgaged suburban house is a more thorough soul-destroyer.


I like to think well of my fellow humans, however regrettable their career choices may be.

Yeah, that's really obvious, Al. A real lover of human beings, like OP and MJS.

And MJS -- I reckon that limo driver regards his auto less as an object of fetish than as a means to a more meagre living than you've ever had. I am a cyclist in New York but, like you, I have absolutely no idea what happened here. All i know is whatever Mohammed did seems to have left handsome Perzeus fit enough to outrun his limo, break his windshield and assault him.

Gosh, if only more people would burn cars, assault limo drivers and shoot tenure committees -- what a wonderful world it would be!


A few years back I was riding my bike in Manhattan when someone hit me square in the back with a heavy hardcover book. I jumped off my bike ready to be attacked, but the woman who threw the book just looked at me with a big, closed-eyed grin and said "I always wanted to do that!" I later met a woman who looked just like the lady who threw the book and it turned out she worked as a librarian as well, which might explain the use of a book as the projectile of choice. I figured that would be too much of a coincidence and never worked up the nerve to ask her if she was the culprit, so it remains an ironic mystery.

Mr Strong should be careful lest he find out one man's menacing limo is another woman's two-wheeled fetish object.

For thousands of years in every country peasants have struggled for ownership of the land, rather than being the indentured servants or property of landlords. I have no problem with property ownership except where it is monopolized and used to extract rent from others. I believe it was Ambrose Bierce who said a landlord is a creature as necessary to society as a tick is to a dog. So it's a revolutionary act now to be a renter? I'll take my soul-destruction in my own home, thank you.

And MJS -- I reckon that limo driver regards his auto less as an object of fetish than as a means to a more meagre living than you've ever had.
Yes, in this case. Probably he doesn't even own it. But you know the old joke -- Why does a dog lick his own balls? Because a dog can lick his own balls. Same answer to the question, why do motorized street users routinely bully non-motorized ones?

My man Forte -- more power to him -- turned the tables, for once. I've done it myself, when I was younger and piu forte -- with the same result, I might add; to wit, incarceration.

There's an essay to be written about the relationship between fascism and automobiles. The crux is that a car makes a small man feel that he's at least a little bigger than somebody else -- a bit like being a white guy in the old South. No matter how small you were, at least you weren't black.

Same goes for the house, actually: at least I'm not -- shudder -- a renter.

El socialismo puede llegar solo en la bicicleta!

Bad as the housing-mortgage fetish is, I say automobiles are even worse. The fucking things are probably going to cause WWIII and/or send us into Mad Max end-times. The capitalists are simply not willing to allow their homocidal, ecocidal nature to be perceived and discussed by us plebs.

At least with houses, the physical product is somewhat durable and usually with an order of magnitude or two of reasonable fulfillment of the need for shelter. Using cars to shuttle around towns is like slicing cake with a chainsaw.

Bust and burn em!

To the person who asked about the burned cars' ownership: They tend to be higher end, luxury models, and more than occasionally company-owned cars with ties to defence spending.

As with so many of these trends, however, there are a lot of copy cats who have no connection to the autonomous left. Regardless, the backlash is coming not just against the squatters, but house projects, whose occupants are former squatters who gathered the money to buy their buildings.

In an appeasement to those who just want to gentrify in peace, the current coalition is funnelling the funding from rightwing extremist prevention and detection programs to law enforcement measures to combat leftists. This in spite of the fact that neonazis have been responsible for murder and attempted murder, whereas the anti-fa vandalize and destroy property. Vastly different crimes.

Part of the plan to ratchet up the anti-left is by combining the triage of Islamism, Neo-Nazism, and Left Autonomy into one law enforcement taskforce.

Last May 1st, a cop was busted throwing bottles and rocks at the cops that were there to keep the peace for the Mayday celebration. It has long been claimed that police often serve as agent provocateurs, but so far this case has only served as the exception to prove that theory wrong.

Peter Ward, trolling on behalf of anti-cyclist haters?

YAWN. Just more of that nonsense of blaming the bicycle for the acts of its rider. Not exactly indicative of a first-rate intellect there, Peter me lad.

So the fact that a few cyclists annoy you, that means all cyclists are bad? BRILLIANT! Gemstone quality!

...break his windshield...

Uh, nope. Didn't happen, can't happen. You know how windshields are made? They're a sandwich. Glass-poly-glass. They crack. A human fist can't "break" a windshield.

Right up there with Peter Ward, you are. Shining like a star.

Alejandro H.F.:

Anyone who sees others as traffic cones in their personal chicane... anyone like that... anyone...


I certainly wouldn't rent to them.

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