Where Do My Readers Come From?

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Neil Peart Is Mistaken...

As I sit here listening to Rush, allow me to say again THE ALMIGHTY RUSH. Sure they have their problems and it is easy to poke fun at them. But I grew up liking them, I believe since the 4th grade when a boy in my grade school named Tom, cruised past me in the hallway singing Rush's "Tom Sawyer" and that was it. I was hooked.

I did not see them in concert until I was out of high school. I was working at the Lancaster mall theater with my good friend, one of my best friends actually Travis or as I sometimes call him Maestro and we heard that Rush was coming to Portland for their Presto tour and we decided to go. There was a girl working with us at the theater at the same time and she asked if she could go with us. That seemed fine because she was relatively attractive in a 1990's kind of way, with the big feathered hair and the kind of slutty vibe. Well Maestro and I picked her up at her apartment and we both were shocked as this woman who appeared to have stepped off of the set of the latest Whitesnake video came walking down the stairs in the tightest and shortest black dress I had ever seen and never in real life that is for sure. As she came closer to us we both realized that she was not wearing anything under her dress and we were not dealing with a proper lady at all. I leaned over to him and said "When we get to your brothers house you better tell him that neither of us are dating her." I am not sure why that was important to me but I wanted to be sure that his brother knew that neither of us would be dating such a obviously slutty girl. As you can tell I was raised pretty sheltered and still had not broken away from it. But that was the first time that we saw Rush and it was amazing.

I tell you that story to let you know that I love Rush. I do not dislike the band at all and I still to this day really do enjoy their music. So what I am going to say to you next is not coming from a place of hatred for the band or anything like that. True, I am a bit of a music snob to be sure but that has never stopped me from enjoying them. Not one bit. So that being said, I have been reading a book written by Neil Peart (Rush's drummer) titled "Ghost Rider : Travels On The Healing Road".

Now there are some songs that he wrote early in beginnings of Rush that are very obviously inspired by the writings of Ayn Rand and I will allow for the exuberance and idiocy of youth as far as that goes because Ayn Rand is just silly. We can have that conversation later if you want. But, fair warning, you are going to have to work very hard to change my mind and prove to me that she had anything of value to say. But, back to the matter at hand. He wrote this book about a year or so after going through what is probably one of the most horrible things that a person could go through. In the space of basically less then a year he lost his 19 yr old daughter in a car accident and then his wife from cancer.

So after all of that in his quest to find some healing and some peace he decided to go on a long solo motorcycle ride. The book is the story of that trip and so far I have found it very interesting and a little bit healing for some issues in my own life. But as I read it I also notice some of his political views coming out and at one point he says some things about the great state of Oregon  that I found rather upsetting. I will allow that he is entitled to his own opinion on many things but when he starts to talk about Oregon well I can't stand idly by and not respond especially when he is so far off base.

What begins with him complaining about the 65 MPH speed limit in Oregon soon moves to not being able to pump your own gas and that is when I begun to get annoyed, this is what he said.

"Although modern day Oregon's progressiveness was often admirable, that same liberal-conservative...mindset could also tend toward the presumption that its citizens (and visitors) weren't ready for too much freedom. The unreasonably low speed limits were one example; another was the state wide ban on self service gas stations, presumably because people were not responsible enough to fuel their own vehicles without the risk of spilling fossil fuel and causing fires and environmental degradation. Or maybe it was designed to increase employment at minimum wage level."  (pg 125)

He then goes on to talk about how, being a motorcyclist, he likes to pump his own gas and so he made a point of doing it himself in Oregon in the spirit of civil disobedience followed by the comment "You've got to resist oppression!"  I almost do not know where to begin with addressing this. The first thing that pops to mind is that as far as being a motorcyclist goes they always let those guys pump their own gas regardless of the law or not. You are not some outlaw scoffing at "Big Government" if you fill your own tank. You are being a prudent cyclist who wants to protect the paint job of your gas tank.

My other is that if he or anyone can prove to me that it would be cheaper to pump my own gas then by all means lets do this. But I live in Oregon and have purchased gas in both Washington and California where I pump my own and it is not cheaper. So what is the benefit? I ask you Mr Peart, what is the benefit of pumping my own gas? Since there isn't one. I will gladly stay in the relative comfort of my own vehicle and let the paid employee pump it for me.

I am sorry that things are so rough for you here, Neil. But really nobody asked your thoughts on the subject so just

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