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Thread: Jeremy Clarkson, idiot

  1. #1
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    Default Jeremy Clarkson, idiot

    Apparently a Vespa was too much for him to handle:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/driving/jeremy_clarkson/article4963194.ece


    Recently, various newspapers ran a photograph of me on a small motorcycle. They all pointed out that I hate motorbikes and that by riding one I had exposed myself as a hypocrite who should commit suicide immediately.

    Hmmm. Had I been photographed riding the local postmistress, then, yes, I’d have been shamed into making some kind of apology. But it was a motorcycle. And I don’t think it even remotely peculiar that a motoring journalist should ride such a thing. Not when there is a problem with the economy and many people are wondering if they should make a switch from four wheels to two.

    Unfortunately, you cannot make this switch on a whim, because this is Britain and there are rules. Which means that before climbing on board you must go to a car park, put on a high-visibility jacket and spend the morning driving round some cones while a man called Dave — all motorcycle instructors are called Dave — explains which lever does what.

    Afterwards, you will be taken on the road, where you will drive about for several hours in a state of abject fear and misery, and then you will go home and vow never to get on a motorcycle ever again.

    This is called compulsory basic training and it allows you to ride any bike up to 125cc. If you want to ride something bigger, you must take a proper test. But, of course, being human, you will not want a bigger bike, because then you will be killed immediately while wearing clothing from the Ann Summers “Dungeon” range.

    Right, first things first. The motorbike is not like a car. It will not stand up when left to its own devices. So, when you are not riding it, it must be leant against a wall or a fence. I’m told some bikes come with footstools which can be lowered to keep them upright. But then you have to lift the bike onto this footstool, and that’s like trying to lift up an American.

    Next: the controls. Unlike with a car, there seems to be no standardisation in the world of motorcycling. Some have gearlevers on the steering wheel. Some have them on the floor, which means you have to shift with your feet — how stupid is that? — and some are automatic.

    Then we get to the brakes. Because bikes are designed by bikers — and bikers, as we all know, are extremely dim — they haven’t worked out how the front and back brake can be applied at the same time. So, to stop the front wheel, you pull a lever on the steering wheel, and to stop the one at the back, you press on a lever with one of your feet.

    A word of warning, though. If you use only the front brake, you will fly over the steering wheel and be killed. If you try to use the back one, you will use the wrong foot and change into third gear instead of stopping. So you’ll hit the obstacle you were trying to avoid, and you’ll be killed.

    Then there is the steering. The steering wheel comes in the shape of what can only be described as handlebars, but if you turn them — even slightly — while riding along, you will fall off and be killed. What you have to do is lean into the corner, fix your gaze on the course you wish to follow, and then you will fall off and be killed.

    As far as the minor controls are concerned, well . . . you get a horn and lights and indicators, all of which are operated by various switches and buttons on the steering wheel, but if you look down to see which one does what, a truck will hit you and you will be killed. Oh, and for some extraordinary reason, the indicators do not self-cancel, which means you will drive with one of them on permanently, which will lead following traffic to think you are turning right. It will then undertake just as you turn left, and you will be killed.

    What I’m trying to say here is that, yes, bikes and cars are both forms of transport, but they have nothing in common. Imagining that you can ride a bike because you can drive a car is like imagining you can swallow-dive off a 90ft cliff because you can play table tennis.

    However, many people are making the switch because they imagine that having a small motorcycle will be cheap. It isn’t. Sure, the 125cc Vespa I tried can be bought for 3,499, but then you will need a helmet (300), a jacket (500), some Freddie Mercury trousers (100), shoes (130), a pair of Kevlar gloves (90), a coffin (1,000), a headstone (750), a cremation (380) and flowers in the church (200).

    In other words, your small 125cc motorcycle, which has no boot, no electric windows, no stereo and no bloody heater even, will end up costing more than a Volkswagen Golf. That said, a bike is much cheaper to run than a car. In fact, it takes only half a litre of fuel to get from your house to the scene of your first fatal accident. Which means that the lifetime cost of running your new bike is just 50p.

    So, once you have decided that you would like a bike, the next problem is choosing which one. And the simple answer is that, whatever you select, you will be a laughing stock. Motorbiking has always been a hobby rather than an alternative to proper transport, and as with all hobbies, the people who partake are extremely knowledgeable. It often amazes me that in their short lives bikers manage to learn as much about biking as people who angle, or those who watch trains pull into railway stations.

    Whatever. Because they are so knowledgeable, they will know precisely why the bike you select is rubbish and why theirs is superb. [Note: Hi, Jim!] Mostly, this has something to do with “getting your knee down”, which is a practice undertaken by bikers moments before the crash that ends their life.

    You, of course, being normal, will not be interested in getting your knee down; only in getting to work and most of the way home again before you die. That’s why I chose to test the Vespa, which is much loathed by trainspotting bikers because they say it is a scooter. This is racism. Picking on a machine because it has no crossbar is like picking on a person because he has slitty eyes or brown skin. Frankly, I liked the idea of a bike that has no crossbar, because you can simply walk up to the seat and sit down. Useful if you are Scottish and go about your daily business in a skirt.

    I also liked the idea of a Vespa because most bikes are Japanese. This means they are extremely reliable so you cannot avoid a fatal crash by simply breaking down. This is entirely possible on a Vespa because it is made in Italy.

    Mind you, there are some drawbacks you might like to consider. The Vespa is not driven by a chain. Instead, the engine is mounted to the side of the rear wheel for reasons that are lost in the mists of time and unimportant anyway. However, it means the bike is wider and fitted with bodywork like a car, to shroud the moving hot bits. That makes it extremely heavy. Trying to pick it up after you’ve fallen off it is impossible.
    What’s more, because the heavy engine is on the right, the bike likes turning right much more than it likes turning left. This means that in all left-handed bends, you will be killed.

    Unless you’ve been blown off by the sheer speed of the thing. At one point I hit 40mph and it was as though my chest was being battered by a freezing-cold hurricane. It was all I could do to keep a grip on the steering wheel with my frostbitten fingers.

    I therefore hated my experience of motorcycling and would not recommend it to anyone.
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    I thought the article was quite funny actually. Clarkson is pretty funny! Have you read anything else he has written or seen Top Gear?

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    Well done Clarkson! Taking a poke at his colleagues preconceived notion toward his ignorance of all things 2 wheeled.
    He is far more entertaining on 4 wheels though
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    that's classic Clarkson, that's his style for explaining everything, I bet most of that was for Hammond who he loves to hang shit on for loving bikes and old mustangs.
    "He who conquers himself, conquers all"

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    I like Clarkson! Well written! Reminds me of my learning days.

    Love the way he always picks on the Hamster. Of course, this is British humour, so it could be over the heads of some people ... especially if they favour chaps.

    BTW, when does the next season of Top Gear start? The last one was way too short!
    Egon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Geezer View Post
    I like Clarkson! Well written! Reminds me of my learning days.

    Love the way he always picks on the Hamster. Of course, this is British humour, so it could be over the heads of some people ... especially if they favour chaps.
    Oh, please. I am sick and tired of people who think that not liking a joke is the same thing as not understanding it. I understand what Clarkson is trying to do; I just think it's not all that funny.

    Parts of his article are funny enough, but where he goes wrong is when he blames bikes for things that aren't even true. Have you ever heard the saying, "It's funny because it's true?" Well, in this case, it's not funny because it's not true. Examples:

    You have to lean a bike up against a fence or a wall to keep it from falling over, unless you lift it onto the centerstand.
    Has the man never heard of sidestands?

    There's no standardization in bike controls
    . 99.9% of all motorcycles have the same basic controls in the same places: Right hand front brake, right foot rear brake, left hand clutch, left foot gear shift. On a scooter, forget about the clutch and gear shift, and move the rear brake to the left hand. That's about it.

    If you use only the front brake, you will fly over the handlebars. Um... sure, whatever.

    Even worse than these particular ignorant claims is Clarkson's entire decision to criticize bikes from his position of ignorance. For example, if you want to do a comedy routine pointing out all the problems you think some black people have, you'd damn well better be black yourself, like Chris Rock. Clarkson slamming bikers is like a white comedian trying to do Rock's infamous routine about the two kinds of black people: He hasn't earned the right.

    Now, it would be possible for a non-biker to write something funny about how hard it is to get the hang of motorcycling, but that would require a sense of humility and self-deprecation, and the understanding that just because you aren't good at something doesn't mean that people who are good at it are stupid. Someone like Dave Barry, for example, could do a good job of it. Instead, we get Clarkson's usual condescension, which is reasonably funny when he knows what he's talking about, but merely embarrassing when, as here, he doesn't.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    I understand what Clarkson is trying to do; I just think it's not all that funny.
    Looks like you're alone ...
    Egon

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    In the scale of whats funny, it isnt very.

    I dont mind the show, its usually well put together and they do some fun stuff. This certainly won't make it onto his showreel

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    We need a Top Gear-style show for bikes. (I think Twinrider would be good in the Clarkson role.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    Oh, please. I am sick and tired of people who think that not liking a joke is the same thing as not understanding it. I understand what Clarkson is trying to do; I just think it's not all that funny.

    Parts of his article are funny enough, but where he goes wrong is when he blames bikes for things that aren't even true. Have you ever heard the saying, "It's funny because it's true?" Well, in this case, it's not funny because it's not true. Examples:

    You have to lean a bike up against a fence or a wall to keep it from falling over, unless you lift it onto the centerstand.
    Has the man never heard of sidestands?

    There's no standardization in bike controls
    . 99.9% of all motorcycles have the same basic controls in the same places: Right hand front brake, right foot rear brake, left hand clutch, left foot gear shift. On a scooter, forget about the clutch and gear shift, and move the rear brake to the left hand. That's about it.

    If you use only the front brake, you will fly over the handlebars. Um... sure, whatever.

    Even worse than these particular ignorant claims is Clarkson's entire decision to criticize bikes from his position of ignorance. For example, if you want to do a comedy routine pointing out all the problems you think some black people have, you'd damn well better be black yourself, like Chris Rock. Clarkson slamming bikers is like a white comedian trying to do Rock's infamous routine about the two kinds of black people: He hasn't earned the right.

    Now, it would be possible for a non-biker to write something funny about how hard it is to get the hang of motorcycling, but that would require a sense of humility and self-deprecation, and the understanding that just because you aren't good at something doesn't mean that people who are good at it are stupid. Someone like Dave Barry, for example, could do a good job of it. Instead, we get Clarkson's usual condescension, which is reasonably funny when he knows what he's talking about, but merely embarrassing when, as here, he doesn't.
    Whatever! I like Clarkson, Afla and Bike rants included ;-)

  11. #11

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    Saw a CBR600 on its side this morning, guy not moving on the ground. Looked
    bad. Bike was pretty smashed up. There is truth behind some of Clarkson's humor.....

    Jav

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    I liked his show on the Mustang. Driving a 68 Fastback, he was ranting; it doesn't
    brake well, doesn't steer well, doesn't handle well, but this is awesome, the symphony of it all.................

    Jav

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiqueer View Post
    I understand what Clarkson is trying to do; I just think it's not all that funny.
    Spoken in Clarkson's cliche laden tones it would probably be a lot funnier. If you see him on TV often enough you will realize that he's not too bothered with facts, just his own opinions, and also he's into winding people up. Got you didn't he. Why are you so sensitive?
    "If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. Then give up. There's no use in being a damn fool about it."
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    I'm not "sensitive"; I just find jokes a lot funnier when they are rooted in knowledge, instead of ignorance. The late, great Douglas Adams had a similar view of comedy:
    There's always a moment when you start to fall out of love, whether it's with a person or an idea or a cause, even if it's one you only narrate to yourself years after the event: a tiny thing, a wrong word, a false note, which means that things can never be quite the same again.

    For me it was hearing a stand-up comedian make the following observation. "These scientists eh? They're so stupid! You know those black box flight recorders they put on aeroplanes? And you know they're meant to be indestructible? It's always the thing that doesn't get smashed? So why don't they make the planes out of the same stuff?"

    The audience roared with laughter at how stupid scientists were, how they couldn't think their way out of a paper bag, but I sat feeling uncomfortable. Was I just being pedantic to feel that the joke didn't really work because flight recorders are made out of titanium and that if you made planes out of titanium rather than aluminium they'd be far too heavy to get off the ground in the first place?

    I began to pick away at the joke. Supposing Eric Morecambe had said it? Would it be funny then? Well, not quite, because that would have relied on the audience seeing that Eric was being dumb, in other words they would have had to know as a matter of common knowledge about the relative weights of titanium and aluminium.

    There was no way of deconstructing the joke (if you think this is obsessive behaviour you should try living with it) that didn't rely on the teller and the audience complacently conspiring together to jeer at someone who knew more than they did. It sent a chill down my spine and still does. I felt betrayed by comedy in the same way that gangsta rap now makes me feel betrayed by rock music. I also began to wonder how many of the jokes I was making were just, well, ignorant.
    Another example: I am a huge Chris Rock fan, but I never liked this one particular joke he did in his Bigger and Blacker special: If you buy insurance and nothing bad happens to you, he asked, shouldn't you get your money back? Well, no. That's not how insurance works. In fact, if you got your money back when nothing bad happened, the enitre insurance industry would fall apart. The fact that his joke depended on total ignorance of its subject matter made it unfunny for me. Of course, tastes differ, and many people are quite satisfied to hear someone make ignorant jokes, provided he does it in a snarky enough manner.

    I should point out that I like the Top Gear show and in general I find Clarkson and his blowhard attitude quite amusing. But part of the reason I usually like his comedic style is that he usually has a deep knowledge of his subject matter (i.e., what makes one car better than another.) Here, he does not, and what we are left with is a smartass without the smarts. That just doesn't do it for me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    Here, he does not, and what we are left with is a smartass without the smarts. That just doesn't do it for me.
    I guess what you are saying is, you just don't get it.

    Pete.
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    Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the twit who doesn't get it.
    Egon

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    I guess it's easy to be satisfied if you have low standards and don't think too much.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    I guess it's easy to be satisfied if you have low standards and don't think too much.
    I would be the first to admit that I have low standards and I don't think too much.............................................. .................................................. ........when it comes to a JOKE
    "He who conquers himself, conquers all"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guy Jinbaiquerre View Post
    I guess it's easy to be satisfied if you have low standards and don't think too much.
    I guess it's easy to be offended if you're a twit and try to think too much.

    Sarcastic writing is not intended to be scrutinized for accuracy or correctness. It's intended to be funny, that's all.

    BTW, just found out that there's a new Top Gear Australia. Supposed to follow the same format. I'm downloading the first episode from P2P, to see if it's rubbish or not.
    Egon

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    Quote Originally Posted by Antkiller View Post
    I would be the first to admit that I have low standards and I don't think too much.............................................. .................................................. ........when it comes to a JOKE


    Jav

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