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Monday, June 27, 2005




This is the first of three observations I had last Friday while driving in my car for 8 hours in 90 degree weather. Two of these pieces will be somewhat trivial in subject matter, and quite deserving of a [RANT] warning. The third, however, I hope will provide a more introspective look at the subject matter it deals with. So, with that in mind...

WARNING: The following is a [RANT]

Could someone out there in Cyberland please explain to me the relationship between the power of a motorcycle engine and the amount of raw noise it puts out? I know that when I was younger and I had my first car, when the exhaust pipe rusted out of the muffler fell off, neither of these things did anything along the lines of increasing the power to my fledgling 4-cylinders.

So why are so many motorcycles so dang loud? Perhaps the explanation is not mechanical in nature, but rather is psychological. In the sense that the bigger the noise, the more attention that is drawn to the motorcycle and thus its rider. The question remains as to what kind of attention this is -- negative attention or positive attention. Certainly the attention that is drawn from me is negative in the strongest fashion. I don't have any problem with motorcycles, but I certainly do have a problem with noise pollution in my neighborhood.

But could the riders of these menacing machines actually believe they are attracting people's admiration and approval? Do they care? Or is it simply a matter of "Look at me, look at me!" irregardless of whether the stares they are receiving are looks of approval or of extreme annoyance...

We'll explore this theme of "Attention for Attention's Sake" in a later article.


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