Tuesday, September 16, 2008

"Hasids versus the Hotties"

That's the NY Post's typically tasteful lede, for a story about Jews in Brooklyn who object to the city's new bike lanes and want them removed.  

They have an almost legitimate concern about safety -- bikers are notoriously reckless on city streets, which is one of the reasons that it makes such good sense to restrict them to their own lanes.

But the main issue is the "scantily clad cyclists - especially sexy women" who ride through the neighborhood, and who distract the supposedly observant men from their supposedly lustless prayers, thoughts and business dealings.

We have two thoughts on this typically stupid New York story.  First thought:  Suck it up, guys.  The truth is that we live in a world full of pretty women, and (most) men are hardwired by nature to find them distracting.  As long as there are women, you will be tempted to lust; as long as there are women to whom you are not married, you will be tempted to adulterous lust.  The true spiritual challenge which faces you is not to build a wall against temptation, but to resist it.

Second thought:  It isn't the government's job to assist in your spiritual quest.  It is the government's job to accommodate the diverse needs of a diverse city, which -- given NYC's overcrowded streets and  paucity of bikeable paths -- most certainly includes the creation of more bike lanes.  

(A tip of the biretta to Father G. Hussein Thomas, for drawing our attention to one more assaut on secular society).

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

I thought for sure we could count on you all at Maggy Eggy to cleverly and artfully blend lipstick and hockey moms into the story. By the way, should we be on alert for full disclosure of your Montauk Monster investigations?

Father said...

And y'know, now I';m kicking myself for not thinking of it.

The lipstick and hockey moms, I mean. The monster is another story -- I thought about it obsessively while we were out there. Never let the baby toddle more than a few feet from my side, wouldn't eat supper in any dimly-lit restaurants. Oh, I was careful alright.

And then came the horrors of Saturday night. We cowered in bed, while the walls and ceiling of our cheap beach motel shuddered and groaned.

"It's coming for us," I said, turning to my wife. "You and Junior hide in the bathroom; I'll guard the door with my life." Not having a gun, and unable to find my pocketknife in a the dark, I reached for the only weapon at had: a plastic fork.

"It's a tropical storm," she told me. "People have been talking about it all day. Hanna. Don't you watch television?"

I snickered. "That's what they want you to believe," I told her. "I know the truth. The Monster is out there. I read about it on Gawker.com."

In the end, they wouldn't hide. And so, while they slept, I paced the floor, fork in hand, waving my fist toward the roof and daring the creature to show itself. Up above, the creature howled, mocking me.

While the innocents slept, I kept my lonely, fork-wielding vigil. It took the stubbornness of GW Bush, and the rugged heroism of Jack Bauer -- men to whom I am compared with surprising infrequency, come to think of it. Oh, and it took all the Diet Coke and cornflakes in our mini-fridge. But in the end, I prevailed: dawn broke, the howling ceased, and I knew that the monster had scurried back into the darkness.

"You're an idiot," said Mrs. A. But I knew better -- in my gut.

Father said...

And y'know, now I';m kicking myself for not thinking of it.

The lipstick and hockey moms, I mean. The monster is another story -- I thought about it obsessively while we were out there. Never let the baby toddle more than a few feet from my side, wouldn't eat supper in any dimly-lit restaurants. Oh, I was careful alright.

And then came the horrors of Saturday night. We cowered in bed, while the walls and ceiling of our cheap beach motel shuddered and groaned.

"It's coming for us," I said, turning to my wife. "You and Junior hide in the bathroom; I'll guard the door with my life." Not having a gun, and unable to find my pocketknife in a the dark, I reached for the only weapon at had: a plastic fork.

"It's a tropical storm," she told me. "People have been talking about it all day. Hanna. Don't you watch television?"

I snickered. "That's what they want you to believe," I told her. "I know the truth. The Monster is out there. I read about it on Gawker.com."

In the end, they wouldn't hide. And so, while they slept, I paced the floor, fork in hand, waving my fist toward the roof and daring the creature to show itself. Up above, the creature howled, mocking me.

While the innocents slept, I kept my lonely, fork-wielding vigil. It took the stubbornness of GW Bush, and the rugged heroism of Jack Bauer -- men to whom I am compared with surprising infrequency, come to think of it. Oh, and it took all the Diet Coke and cornflakes in our mini-fridge. But in the end, I prevailed: dawn broke, the howling ceased, and I knew that the monster had scurried back into the darkness.

"You're an idiot," said Mrs. A. But I knew better -- in my gut.