Friday, August 07, 2009


The way I learned it, Aristotle identified two different virtues related to the disposition to share with others.

For regular folks, it’s generosity; among the hoi polloi, the virtuous person willingly gives to others in need, helps out friends, buys the occasional Real Change newspaper from the vendor on the street.

For the leading citizens of Athens, though, it’s called magnanimity; among the oligarchy, the virtuous person makes grand gestures in support of the people: finances the building of temples, supports the Olympic games, hosts the season’s bacchanal for all who attend.

That’s the virtue I kept thinking Joby the neon-demon embodied last night as he pretty much single-handedly threw for us the most fucked-up and wonderful 12 year-old birthday party bike ride imaginable.

There was more booze than people could drink (in such a short amount of time so early in the night, anyway), then something like 800 linear feat of glowstix, that in a most charming display of hippy-dippy bicycle craft activity was eagerly zip-tied to everyone’s rigs, each in our own special and characteristic way, then groovy black-light dayglo dance music roller skating for anybody who wanted to—(and once we got a look at it pretty much everybody did.)

And while the aspiration to stay up for 5:00AM bicycle breakfast wasn’t universally fulfilled, the Technicolor nonsense did continue well past Last Call, even though bridegroom Ben, who I enthusiastically pedaled crosstown to fete on the eve of the eve of his wedding, probably won’t recall.

But I’ll remember, long after the light of the glowstix on my bike fades, well past the time my roller-skated hips stop aching, and the image that’s going to shine longest, I think, is the view of some three dozen hard-core heavy-drinking hobo bike gang delinquents going all Martha Stewart on the grass while decorating their two-wheelers; talk about good-clean wholesome all-American fun; I didn’t even really need that magic cookie; magnanimity made for psychedelia all by itself.


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