A frequently mentioned theme to an event like the super bowl is what the commercials will look like and the advertising suddenly becomes a piece of the event. This filler takes on a life of it’s own in defining what that very event could be. This is a great thing as we all to frequently treat that space between the act of doing one thing and the next act we wish to engage in as some sort of non-existent down time when in reality it is your life. I think commuting is another example of this sort of time where people are between their home and on their way to work and the time in the middle is simply filler between one and the other. Unlike something like commercial advertising though this space can be filled with activities which fulfill and enrich us as much, if not more, than the primary activity which drives this behavior does. I haven’t been cycle commuting as often as I should recently but I have noticed in the past that when cycle commuting regularly it does end up being quite like car commuting in that you generally see the same things, same people, and deal with the same routines as you would whether you commuted by bus, plane, bicycle, or car.  It all becomes routine because that is what is happening by the very nature of the activity, what is different though is that with cycling, once you haven’t done it in awhile, once you return, your eyes, soul, and body all awaken to the activity you have enjoyed so much before.

The commercials during the super bowl show how we live in a society frequently driven by the desire to consume or attempts to find happiness through consumption. Desire can be a good thing like a desire to exercise, a desire to help others, or similar, but the desire to seek consumption as a means to happiness is an addiction which plagues ones mind to the point where reasoned decisions are hard to work out. DEVO is a great band, and their name and concept really summarize my thoughts on this. Devolution of our commonly held ideas about what is necessary for a happy life. So when getting up today the thing that made me happiest was knowing that even though there was frost on everything and it was pretty cold, gearing up (even if it meant wearing pajamas under my pants today, couldn’t find my thermals, devolve), stuffing breakfast in the pannier, and turning those pedals was really what it was going to be all about, and it was. Happy Monday!


3 thoughts on “

  1. Finding happiness through consumption or a desire to consume, and devolution are both extremes. This is one area where our ideals differ greatly my friend. The end result of both paths is a negative one. A person who finds happiness in achieving goals and acquiring possessions they desire isn’t always a rabid consumer with a hollow life on the path to financial ruin. On the other side of the coin not all people who choose to live modestly and not seek happiness through achievement are bums devolving on the path to homelessness.

    1. What I was trying to say Redcloud was that it is the desire which is the villan here, not the actual consumption. Even when absolving yourself of as much unbridled desire for commercial goods one can still find themselves utilizing material possessions to achieve results, as I think you were stating here, for a positive purpose. Really I was speaking to marketing ploys designed to stimulate a visceral response in the public to drive consumption and trying to use the commercials shown during the super bowl as an example of how when you look past the messages in the marketing, sometimes it can be fun to just enjoy some really exciting entertainment which is a time normally used for the filler of a television show. Maybe the analogy was poor but I was trying to equate cycle commuting to a productive way to utilize the otherwise mundane task of commuting by car to work. I think why this fits is if you look at car commercials they rarely show people sitting in traffic, searching for a parking space, or on the side of the road with a mechanical failure. Conversely, often it is a empty desert road, high speed sedans wizzing through clear city streets, or sports cars performing driving maneuvers too unsafe for most consumers to attempt. When you boil it down to “what do I need to get me from A to B” frequently that is bike for me, but often it is a car as well and since I don’t drive on a racetrack, a station wagon (albeit a very fast one!) works well for me, so car commercials while informative in some regards, contain much to be desired (no pun intended!) when it comes to the utilitarian realities of commuting for me, but I still need one and spend my coin on things like car, gas, and mechanics. Below are some car commercial links as an example. I’m sure you’ve seen some, but now look at it (maybe in mute would be best) and think how much of this commercial actually reflects my daily driving needs? I know it’s not possible for you to cycle around for work but for many others who’s choices are driven by a false (IMHO) desire to consume car X or Y and the status that brings, if it was boiled down to their actual needs, I think in many instances we would find cycling would provide for them much more efficiently, effectively, and economically, and would leave you with tons more cash to do things you really enjoy and appreciate consuming. Thanks for the comment! GO RAVENS!

      And for something a little more realistic…turn down your speakers at work. FYI.

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