I am a college student who is currently working on an advertising campaign for Harley-Davidson for my advertising class. My group's goal is to focus our campaign on women. As you probably know, most of the HD riders out there are men, so we thought it be interesting to target women. And not the classic, "all I wear under my chaps is underwear" women, but normal women who have moved on from the late 80's/early 90's fashion of fringe and leopard prints.
One of our assignments was to research people's opinions (negative and positive) on HD, and I came across your website. What I found interesting about your site was the hatred that you have toward HD and their owners. I appreciate having an opinion, and I completely support the 1st amendment, but your site goes well beyond opinionated. I am not a HD owner, or rider, and yet I took offense to attacks that you made. If you want people to respect your choices (ie not riding a HD) then you should respect the people out there who do ride a HD.
I think your hatred of HD riders stems from a moment in your life, where maybe you were ridiculed by HD riders and now you take it out on every HD owner/rider that you met. Could you not afford a HD to begin with, so you settled on Honda or Yamaha? Did you want to fit in so badly as a "biker" but because you didn't own a HD you weren't allowed to join the West Coast Choppers?
All I am saying is not every HD owner fits into the cliche description of the ignorant ass with tattoos, leather, and long, greasy hair in a pony tail. There are actually some men (and women hopefully or my campaign will be a bust...) who work on Wall Street, who own these bikes. Obviously because if you're going to afford a $30,000 bike, you have to make some kind of money, so you don't have to give up the obvious things, like food, and shelter. And many of these men are (gasp!) married, so their $30,000 investment was not to get laid, but just for the pure pleasure of riding a motorcycle (the open air, the open road, and every other bike riding cliche that is out there).
Overall, I would like it if you kept an open mind about HD riders/owners, and other people in general. Its people like you (and the ignorant people who write you, HD riders included) that keep this world from making progress. I don't understand why we can't respect each other and the choices we make. I understand you may dislike Harley Davidson, but to attack the entire population of HD riders is just being ridiculous.
Thank you for reading my email. I hope this letter lives up to your standards. You had a long list of rules about emailing you, so I hope I didn't break any of them.
(oops, I left my caps lock on - I hope I
didn't offend you)
which I have replied...
I sincerely hope that your reading comprehension level improves considerably in the next few months otherwise you’re going to have a very hard time finishing junior college at all (and may in fact be forced to drop out and resort to earning a living as a silent, smiling, big hair endowed hand model promoting parting gifts for failed contestants on popular syndicated television game shows). Your email itself curiously uses many of the now clichéd lines and verses of The Milwaukee Orthodoxy (the “holy book” of the typical Harley zealot). I find this particularly interesting as it clearly shows that while you may freely claim that you do not own a Harley Davidson, your email indicates that you do in fact think very much like a typical Harley owner. Please don’t take that as a compliment because it is intended as anything but.
“I am a college student who is currently working on an advertising campaign for Harley-Davidson for my advertising class. My group's goal is to focus our campaign on women. As you probably know, most of the HD riders out there are men, so we thought it be interesting to target women. And not the classic, "all I wear under my chaps is underwear" women, but normal women who have moved on from the late 80's/early 90's fashion of fringe and leopard prints.”
So, what you’re telling me is that you’re working on a make believe advertising campaign for a motorcycle company that specializes in producing and selling make believe? Now isn’t that quaint! I wish you the best of success in your endeavor because judging The Motor Company on their latest efforts, Harley Davidson could certainly use some new direction in its marketing department. Their current public relations fiasco is a television commercial which merely reinforces a negative stereotype often perpetuated and spread by ignorant Harley owners. Yes, Harley Davidson decided to produce a mainstream media commercial which showed men trying to get sex from their dates at the end of the evening festivities and subsequently being turned down and outright rejected (much to the obvious chagrin of the frustrated males portrayed in the commercial). It isn’t until one of the frustrated males actually buys a Harley (and, one assumes, subsequently dresses like a Harley owner by including all the officially licensed and endorsed elements of the wardrobe) that the women start to lose their clothes and open their bedrooms with a willingness that would make a typical adult film star blush. The bottom line of the commercial is; The Motor Company is telling you that if you’re a guy, and you buy a Harley, then before you know it you’re going to be getting more hot tail than you can shake your jolly log at.
Yes. You may very well indeed be able to do better than Harley Davidson has done because that one commercial alone pretty much set women’s lib back by about six decades and lowered the glass ceiling to somewhere just below ground level.
Your scholastic situation is certainly intriguing. If a significant portion of your grade in this class depends on you successfully creating a pretend marketing campaign for Harley Davidson, then please allow me to give you a piece of friendly advice… do not approach producing a marketing campaign for Harley Davidson like you would approach creating a marketing campaign for any other contemporary motorcycle company. If you try to sell your Milwaukee built product based on such common selling points as cutting edge technology, modern engineering, high performance, a legacy of winning or superior build quality, you will fail for sure as you simply cannot reinforce these dubious claims with any real world proof, at least not if you plan to compare your product to a product made by any other contemporary manufacturer of motorcycles. You see, Lauren, the problem with advertising for Harley Davidson is that Harley Davidson likes to think that it is still a motorcycle manufacturer when nothing could be further from the truth. Harley Davidson quit being a motorcycle manufacturer decades ago and today, Harley Davidson has more in common with companies like Avon and Amway than it does with contemporary motorcycle manufacturers like Honda or Ducati.
The key to the success of your project is going to be if you base your awareness campaign on (and subsequently market your outdated product to) a very select and very well defined subculture in society. You can easily identify these people and isolate them from the pop culture at large by defining your intended market presence to those people who have a large amount of disposable income; to those people who feel very insecure about their personal appearance; to those people who cannot get noticed based on their own personality or achievements; to those people who need to be part of a much larger group or a bigger whole in order to function even on a limited basis in society; and to those people who are gullible and personally needy. Perhaps the most important aspect of all, though, is that you simply must market your product to people who don’t know the first thing about motorcycles. Why is this aspect of your presentation so important? Easy. Those who know what a motorcycle is built for let alone how it should be built simply don’t own Harley Davidsons. Don’t fret though, Lauren. Your two greatest selling tools will be ignorance and fashion which, strangely enough, just happen to harmoniously coexist perfectly in each other’s presence (that is, if contemporary pop culture is any type of leading indicator on the matter).
“One of our assignments was to research people's opinions (negative and positive) on HD, and I came across your website. What I found interesting about your site was the hatred that you have toward HD and their owners. I appreciate having an opinion, and I completely support the 1st amendment, but your site goes well beyond opinionated.”
Oh, cry me a raging river, you whiney, thin-skinned, liberal pansytard…
Since we have already established that your reading comprehension ability is somewhat around the same level as a tepid bowl of Campbell’s alphabet soup, I will try to explain my site and my stance in the very absolute simplest of terms (and subsequently hope that you might be able to understand). My website and I are reactive in nature which means that you have to come to me first, you have to attack me first before I retaliate and when you do attack, I will fight to defend my position in the arena of ideas using all the knowledge, experience, intelligence and wisdom that God, in His great generosity, has decided to bestow upon me in this lifetime.
The truth of the matter is that no one forced you to come to my website, Lauren. I don’t advertise my website, I don’t actively promote my website and I don’t charge admission in order to view my work or my writing. As such, I have absolutely no control over who comes to my website and I make no profit from them when they do. No, you visited my domain of your own free will and accord. The end result of this decision on your part is that the only person you have to blame for visiting my website, reading the content, and subsequently getting your little pink Care Bear panties in a wad over what you read is nobody but yourself.
The only “hatred” I have on my site is for stupid people who refuse to think outside the flock and for those who want to sit in the middle of the fence and do nothing but whine and complain. I try to expunge ignorance in a proactive manner with my replies and that proactive way is fairly evident once you read a few of my postings. You have to pick a fight with me in order for me to even take notice of you and when you do, I’m probably going to not only prove you wrong using logic and facts (and most of the time the very logic you use and the facts you supply), but I’m also going to have a lot of fun in doing so. . . especially, if you try to use trailer park based double-wide logic to present your laughable argument (as you have done in your email, Lauren).
I can take apart the Harley Davidson mythology with very little effort because Harley Davidson does not produce motorcycles (and haven’t for several decades now). No, they produce subscription based lifestyles. Even The Motor Company admits to building and selling a lifestyle and all the required paraphernalia to go along with it. You see, if you are the kind of person who has to buy a lifestyle from someone else, that means that you were too vacant in personality and charisma, let alone the imagination and self creativity required to generate an original lifestyle of your very own volition.
Harley owners are idiots, Lauren, by and large. The most vocal and zealous among them can’t even spell the name of the bike they ride (“Harly Davisdon forevvur yuo faggits ... !!” -94Fatboy@aol.com). Harley Davidson is not a motorcycle manufacturer, please don’t delude yourself; they are a fashion empire at best and a pagan religion at worst. I firmly believe that Harley Davidson is in fact a trailer park born religion, one worshipped and populated by the lowest common denominator in society. After all, when you name your only child “Harley” after what you most fervently desire and what you worship with your whole heart (yet can’t afford) then that’s religious placation to a false deity. When you ritualistically scar your body with the logo of a commercial company you pledge allegiance to and you have to pay for the right to advertise for this company, that’s serf-like fealty mixed with a peasant-like mindset. When you refer to your customers by such antiquated nomenclature as The Brotherhood, The Sisterhood, The Family (didn't Charles Manson refer to his followers as "the family?") and The Faithful, then it is a quasi-religious order which you are establishing and perpetuating. When you preach violence and death on those who don’t believe exactly like you do, when your only answer to a logical argument is to physically threaten the other person and their family (especially when you can’t defend your own position using any real facts), then that is religious zealotry in its ugliest, most natural form.
I abhor idiots, Lauren. I loathe people who can’t tell fact from fantasy, which choose to let others tell them how to dress and what to think. I loathe people who choose to advertise for others, from head to foot, at their own expense and for no personal gain other than the ability to claim to belong to the same thing that a bunch of other people in their same mental operating range do. I hate the sheep that populate the lower levels of our great society but most of all, I abhor their incessant narcissistic bleating which fills my email box daily with tired old clichés and advertising tag lines, the likes of which any fifth grader could see the fallacy of. All of this media churned marketing flotsam and advertising jetsam is not only a pitiful effort to justify their pathetic existence and validate their many poor choices made so far in life but it is also their holy verse, their definition of life and their reason for being. Rene Descartes, a great mathematician, once said “I think therefore I am.” Most HD owners firmly believe “I own a Harley therefore I am.”
No, ignorance is not limited strictly to owning a Harley Davidson, Lauren, though, that does seem to be one of the main requirements in order for a person to be considered truly ignorant in this day and age. The fact that a vast majority of idiots in this great country actually do ride Harley Davidsons (or fervently desire and / or aspire to do so) is not just a coincidence but a distinctly disturbing social pattern, a distinct and characteristic way of thought; a meme, if you would like to give it a name.
Yes, Harley Davidson is a meme, not a very bright one, granted, but it is a meme nonetheless. Perhaps you are familiar with what a meme is. Perhaps not. I would think that the study of memes would play an important part in any career based in advertising. Harley Davidson is a meme and it spreads quickly like a cranial cancer among the lesser intellectually gifted members of society. In fact, the dumber and less educated a person is, the quicker the Harley Davidson meme can infect and take hold of that person, biasing their thoughts and opinions and turning them into jack boot lock step marching leather clad, freedom mantra mumbling hillbilly automatons. Harley markets their product to the lowest common denominator in society because, honestly, that is the only level of consumers who not only believe the ridiculous myths that Harley Davidson has to perpetuate in order to survive as a company but also this market segment is the only social layer that is rich enough in wallet yet poor enough in mind to actually want to belong to something they can’t otherwise create on their own. If you are to be successful in the assigned endeavor for your course, then you too must target the LCD as that will be the sweet spot for your capital gains in this exercise.
I find it curious when you say that you value the First Amendment and freedom of speech. An important lesson we must all learn in life is that saying you value something and subsequently fully understanding what it is that you value are two very different and separate things. Oh, you may value the First Amendment and the idea of freedom of speech, but you certainly don’t understand either of these ideals or rights in any capacity other than the very simplest of forms. You seem to believe that the First Amendment and freedom of speech only applies to you and those who think like you, that freedom of speech is the freedom to say anything you want as long as you don’t disagree with the majority or you don’t hurt (stupid) people’s feelings. This is a very dangerous (and very liberal) mindset to have but one I have seen often among the unwashed villagers that compose The Faithful. You cannot have a free society like we enjoy today, Lauren, if you start telling people what they can and can’t say. The fact that you also think the same way as most Harley Davidson owners reminds me of the old saying, “You are judged by the company you keep…” Most people attend college to obtain an education but in your case, I think you are backpedaling at a frightening rate of speed.
François-Marie Arouet, who we know by the pen name “Voltaire,” once said “I may not agree with what you have to say but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.” I’ll understand if you aren’t a big fan of Voltaire’s work, let alone if you’ve even heard of the man. After all, the liberal arts curriculum has never truly included any really substantive or qualitative material that would actually be of some small worth and possible use to the average human being later on in their life.
“I am not a HD owner, or rider, and yet I took offense to attacks that you made.”
I find it humorous and ironic that you took offense at my “attacks,” but that you did not in turn take offense to the attacks (let alone actually recognize them as attacks) that were first made against me. I find it humorous that you did not take offense at the threats of violence by the brand worshipping, knuckle dragging Luddites who think just as you apparently try to do. Clearly, you support group ignorance and shun enlightened personal discussion which is not something I would normally expect from anyone who claimed to be in college. The only “attacks” posted on my website are the attacks which I received first and then simply replied to, subsequently defending myself and my position in the process (and having a lot of fun while doing so). Your hypocrisy is as humorous as your naiveté is deep, Lauren. Harley owners “attack” my opinion of them, and I stand by that opinion since most of their attacks not only prove that I am correct in my beliefs but also provide me with all the factual ammunition I need to shoot big smoking holes in their shallow arguments. Truth be told, you have to “attack” me first before I “defend” myself and my opinion. Otherwise, I could care less who you are, what you ride or what you do with your life. That’s the way it has been for over a decade now.
After all, it’s not my fault that in this monumental decade long battle of wits (and what a one sided battle it has shaped up to be) the Harley owners keep bringing rusty old chains and tire irons to the fight while I keep deploying smart bombs.
“If you want people to respect your choices (ie not riding a HD) then you should respect the people out there who do ride a HD.”
My dear, sweet, and oh, so pathetically naive child… This will come as a severe shock to your intellect (be that as it may) but I don’t want you to respect the choices that I have made or the choices that I will make. Ever. I know this is a difficult concept for you to embrace in your touchy-feely oriented liberal minded world where everyone thinks and dresses the same way but there are still some real, true individuals out there in our society who move and act at will without regard to obtaining permission from you (let alone actually caring what you think about what they do). Individuals like me do not care what you think about how we live our lives before, during or after the fact. What you care for or do not care for, what you respect and what you do not respect, what you like or do not like does not affect me in the least. I don’t care what you think of me, if you call me names or even if you print this reply out and wipe your tangle haired ass with it.
Because you (and people like you) are completely irrelevant in the vast scheme of things. You are numbers. You are statistics (something you should be familiar with in marketing study). You don’t stand out. You don’t make a difference. You go with the flow and you shuffle along with the rest of the bewildered herd. People like you never have been, are not, and never will be someone I consider qualified to be a peer of mine let alone an equal simply because you just aren’t intellectually equipped to hold such a lofty position in my life. As you are not one of my peers, your opinion and likewise your feelings on the matter are inconsequential, at best.
I detest the type of person who would seek to hold a middle of the fence position on anything. In modern times, people like you are called “moderates.” In ancient times, people like you who were content with their place in life and didn’t seek change were called “subjects.” History has shown repeatedly that nothing good ever came from people who never wanted to cause waves or ripples in society, who never wanted to question the status quo or never felt the need to stand up for what they believed was right. Breakthroughs, achievements, sweeping changes and victory, all these facets of societal progress come from people like me who dare to stand out, who dare to stand up, who dare to be at the top of the bell curve, who dare to speak up and to do so without remorse or regret. This nation and our great achievements were not produced or cultivated by people like you, Lauren, and they never will be. People like you are appeasers, not achievers.
There are winners and losers, Lauren, always have been, always will be. That’s life. I chose a long time ago to be a winner, regardless of rules, situations, other people’s feelings or what ever else may come or get in the way. I am someone who goes out and gets what I want regardless. You and those like you are appeasement artists, trying to get along with everyone so that nobody’s feelings get hurt. You want to straighten the bell curve so that it is a flat line, no winners, no losers, everyone is equal all the time.
I have learned that in life you can either stand for your own beliefs or adopt someone else’s. I’ve made my choice. I see that you have made yours as well, all the more the pity.
“I think your hatred of HD riders stems from a moment in your life, where maybe you were ridiculed by HD riders and now you take it out on every HD owner/rider that you met. Could you not afford a HD to begin with, so you settled on Honda or Yamaha? Did you want to fit in so badly as a "biker" but because you didn't own a HD you weren't allowed to join the West Coast Choppers?”
I think your ignorance stems from your severely under-developed reading comprehension skills and your complete inability to form complex thoughts on your own. The clichéd arguments you listed above follow verse and line of The Milwaukee Orthodoxy, not what someone who claimed to be a student in college would present as their argument.
Pity that but then I guess that the hallowed halls of academia aren’t what they once were. At least when I graduated college, way back in 1992, the faculty actually still challenged a student to think on their own in order to earn a diploma. I guess with the consistent dumbing down of America over the last four decades that they’ve straightened the bell curve significantly and lowered the bar down the point where anyone can graduate. My coworker says that kids in his child’s school can get on the honor roll with a C average. I find this to be truly sad news for our great country but ironically, great news for you because it means that if the bar has been lowered as significantly as I think it has, you might just be Valedictorian material after all.
Oh, and for what it is worth ... "West Coast Choppers" is not a motorcycle gang, per se, at least not like the Hell's Angels. WCC is a custom chopper building garage, run by Jesse James (a short, heavily tattooed man of very little real talent, no tangible intellect and very little detectible charisma or so I've been told by people who have actually met him in real life). Anyone can belong to the WCC "gang" as long as they have enough money to actually spend buying a custom built "West Coast Chopper" (and provided that they can put up with Jesse James' trademark bullshit long enough to order a bike from him). WCC is almost as bad as Harley Davidson as I see some of the most total losers riding around in beat up pickup trucks with big WCC decals on their bumpers, tailgates and rear windows. Jesse James, much like Harley Davidson, is firmly entrenched in the trailer park pantheons and worshipped as a hero by the LCD among us.
“All I am saying is not every HD owner fits into the cliche description of the ignorant ass with tattoos, leather, and long, greasy hair in a pony tail.”
Wow. Did you know that you just described Jesse James of West Coast Choppers fame?! Exactly!
Lauren, if you are going to pass this assignment, then the very image you just quoted is going to have to be your target market because that is the image which The Motor Company perpetuates in its out of control myth spinning marketing campaign. The images you have recited are the key visual references for what you can be if you just buy one of their ridiculous products! You really don’t have much experience, real life experience, with Harley Davidsons or their owners, do you? The next time you are out in public, just look around and notice all the cars and trucks that have HD emblems or decals or tags or bumper stickers on them. If these people love Harley Davidson so much, why aren’t they riding their Harley Davidsons?
It’s because they don’t actually own a Harley Davidson and, likewise, couldn’t tell you anything about motorcycles if you stopped them and asked them. These people are fashion lemmings. It's just cool to have a HD emblem or tag or decal on your car or truck because that shows that you think like others do, that you want to be part of the larger whole, that you want to be liked and that you will agree to think like others do if they in turn accept you and like you in return.
Let’s try something, shall we? I know it will be hard for a wallflower like you to do (think of it as breaking out, socially) but I want you to go out in public, yes, actual real world public and do some extra curricular research for this project.
I want you to go to your local Harley Davidson dealer and just observe the clientele, both the employees and the customers. I want you to watch the kind of people who shop there, the kind of people who work there and I want you to make notes on them. Look at the prices and specs for the Harleys being offered (and if you are particularly brave, ask about the technical specifications for any of the models and see if the people who actually sell the bikes can tell you anything about what they sell… chances are, they can’t). After you do that, I want you to then go to your local Honda or Kawasaki or Suzuki dealership and look at similar models to compare price and specs. Look at the people going into a Honda or Suzuki shop. Look at the shop itself, does it look like a motorcycle dealer or like a department store? Look at all the non-motorcycle related stuff that is offered by Harley Davidson and by Honda. Oh, you didn’t see any of that stuff at the Honda dealer? Hmmm. Maybe that’s because Honda sells motorcycles and not a lifestyle. Okay, final task: check the bottom line on the bikes being sold and compare them. You’ll be amazed at how much you’re really paying just to have a particular name on your bike.
While you are out, do try to find some Harley owners and even if they are nice and cordial, talk to them if you can and start to look at how they dress, look at each piece of clothing that they wear and count the HD logos on their body. I’d tell you to ask them some hard technical questions like “how many spark plugs does your motor have?” or “where do you put the oil in the engine?” However, since you probably know as much about a Harley Davidson as the person riding it, chances are your question will be answered with an uncomfortable silence mixed with abject toe staring and lip chewing.
If you ask them why they bought their Harley, they’ll probably spew forth a tirade of advertising clichés. Count the free advertising for the company that they do and that they pay for. See how many times the Harley Davidson name or logo is displayed on their body, from head to toe. Count the number of HD emblems on their bike, from front to back. It’s the “lifestyle” that Harley Davidson sells, the freedom from having to think, the ridiculous idea that freedom can be bought and paid for with a gold Master Card, that you can buy a bad ass reputation rather than having to actually go out and earn one on your own through your own efforts. Harley Davidson sells a lifestyle and reinforces the limited mindset to go with it. No, not every Harley owner is an uneducated loser, but the ones who email me generally are.
Oh, and for what it is worth … The “good” and “smart” Harley Davidson owners feel exactly the same way that I do and tell me so quite often via email. They dislike the RUBs and the Yuppies who buy Harley Davidsons so they can ride around and pretend to be something they are not. A Harley Davidson used to be a bike for rugged individuals, where if it broke down on the road, chances were, the only person for miles around who knew how to fix it was … you. Today, it takes no brains to own a Harley, just a large sum of cash and the willingness to suspend your common sense while adopting someone else’s faux patriotic beliefs.
“There are actually some men (and women hopefully or my campaign will be a bust...) who work on Wall Street, who own these bikes.”
RUB (Rich Urban Bikers) and Yuppies pretending to be something that they are not, refugees from the cube farms by weekday, bad ass bikers rumbling around on their All American Freedom Machines on the weekend. I find these sad posers hilarious and a constant source of never ending mirth when I see them riding around on the street, decked out from head to toe in officially licensed and endorsed clothing, all sporting the revered bar and shield logo on every square inch of their body they can. As for your campaign, I think you will do well enough to pass your course. After all, Harley has been selling to idiots for nearly a quarter century now. I’m sure you can come up with something that will get the message across to your target market. When making your sales pitch, might I suggest that you use crayons, construction paper, lots of glitter and stick on foil stars in your presentations because you’re going to have to bring your message down to their level in order to convey the meaning. It would probably help if you had a tape deck playing Steppenwolf’s “Born to be Wild” in the background as well.
Why use a cassette tape player instead of a compact disk player? Well… I wouldn’t want you to send your target market audience into abject technology shock and you really don’t want to startle the bewildered herd. After all, a stampede of spooked human cattle is such an ugly thing to witness, especially when it takes place in the close confines of a classroom.
“Obviously because if you're going to afford a $30,000 bike, you have to make some kind of money, so you don't have to give up the obvious things, like food, and shelter.”
Lauren, one of the sad facts you will learn rather quickly in life is that money has never been a leading indicator of intelligence (or value); just because you have or earn a lot of money doesn’t mean that you are subsequently smart. The guy who invented the Pet Rock in the 1970’s wasn’t a rocket scientist by any stretch of the definition but compared to the people who paid him ten bucks a pop for something they could have walked out in their garden and found for free, it made him look like Albert Einstein in comparison.
Anyone can win the lottery, that doesn’t make them a Nobel Prize physicist.
So many lessons you have yet to learn and the sad thing is, you’re probably going to learn them the hard way in life. Harley Davidson is not a motorcycle, it is a status symbol. People buy Harleys not to ride, but rather to draw attention to their selves because they are otherwise unable to attract attention to their selves on their own, not without a big, expensive, flashy, loud, overweight, underpowered piece of antediluvian junk to announce their presence wherever they go. You don't ride a Harley so much as you own a Harley and brag about it to anyone who isn't quick enough to walk away.
“And many of these men are (gasp!) married, so their $30,000 investment was not to get laid, but just for the pure pleasure of riding a motorcycle (the open air, the open road, and every other bike riding cliche that is out there).”
The masculine aspect of owning a Harley Davidson is clear and present, Lauren, whether you choose to acknowledge it or not. So much of the Harley Davidson mythos is composed of laughable images and innuendos of “real men,” inordinately large male genitalia and of course, the notion that anyone who does not ride a Harley is either gay, has a small penis, or most of the time, a combination of the two. Sex and Harleys are inseparable, just look at the latest Harley Davidson television advertisement which we discussed above. Even The Motor Company perpetuates the stereotypes for which it has been labeled with. Harleys are big rolling phallic symbols, they are little more than a surrogate penis with some tassels and a kickstand.
Also, there is no “investment” potential in a Harley. I’ve debunked that sad myth many, many times before. Oh, I do so hope that you will get the chance to take some business courses before you graduate college, especially if you continue on in advertising. Perhaps after you have learned about money you will see exactly how big a joke Harley Davidson really is. Don’t get me wrong! I will be the first to admit that Harley Davidson is a tremendous success as a business entity while at the same time it is an abysmal failure as a motorcycle manufacturer. The fact that Harley Davidson survives by prostituting their cherished and treasured logo on everything from cigarettes to lucrative restaurant chains is indicative of their inability to compete with contemporary motorcycle manufacturing companies in Europe and Japan. The “investment” myth is just another well established part of the urban white trash lore that is The Milwaukee Orthodoxy. I won’t explain it here (you’ll just have to look it up on my site) other than to say that as far as “investments” go, I could take thirty grand, put it in a shoe box, stick it under my bed for five years and when that five year period of time was up, I’d still have more money than you would if you “invested” thirty grand in a Harley Davidson and sold it for the same price that you originally bought it for.
Since you don’t know much about motorcycles (and even less about business), let me assure you that as a rider with over 25 years of riding experience on and off the road, you can get the open air, the open road, and every other bike riding cliché that there is out there for a lot less than you can if you bought a Harley. You can get a much better built, better handling, better braking and better accelerating bike for a quarter of what you pay for a Harley. A Harley is a brand name, it is a trendy image firmly drowned in the cesspool-like pop culture that pervades our society and you pay for that image. Harley is all about image, Lauren, because it’s the only thing they have left that they can actually sell their products on. Image is the only thing that Harley has ever been able to figure out how to create and that is where the majority of their R&D money goes into, trying to figure out how to make more image.
“Overall, I would like it if you kept an open mind about HD riders/owners, and other people in general. Its people like you (and the ignorant people who write you, HD riders included) that keep this world from making progress.”
Lauren, I know it is difficult for you to deal with rejection in life so I’m going to try to make it as fast and painless as I can. You see, I really, and I mean really don’t care what you would like, what you want or even what makes you twitter with excitement like a horny squirrel with three nuts. You would like it if I kept an open mind about Harley owners and people in general?
Who the hell are you to dictate to me what I can and can’t do, let alone who I should like, who I should be nice to and why I should do it all in order to make you happy?!
Why, you may ask with tears welling up in your eyes?
Well, you see, I’m a misanthrope, a rather well educated one at that and while the day I stop learning is the day that they close the lid on my box and put me six feet under, I’m afraid that I am set in my ways as a jaded old soul. Certainly my contact with people such as you is only going to reinforce my negative beliefs in the human race rather than shatter and reinvent them. I don’t support Harley Davidson because I don’t reward failure and giving any of my hard earned money to Harley Davidson is tantamount to rewarding their failure. We, as Americans, vote with our minds, our hearts and our dollars. We vote not only at the ballot box for elections, but we also vote when we elect to shop at one store over another, to buy one product over another, to eat at one restaurant over another. Americans vote, many, many times a day, not just once every few years. Once more, giving Harley Davidson any of my money is casting my vote in their favor, in effect telling them that not only is what they are doing perfectly all right but also that I don’t wish them to change. I assure you, nothing could be further from the truth in that regard.
People like you not only coddle failure and ignorance, you embrace it, reward it and encourage it to spread as fast as it can. You want everyone to be even, no one to get their feelings hurt and for all of us to get along and behave. I’m sorry, but the human machine isn’t built like that and the kind of behavior that you advocate simply isn’t the behavior that brought us, as a species, to this exact point in our history.
People like you (and those who own Harleys) give me no great hope for our culture. Instead, you give me very dire concerns for the longevity and stability of our great nation. You speak of progress, Lauren, but once again we see that while you may believe in progress you certainly don’t understand it. You have chosen to defend a company who has failed time and again to advance. You have chosen to defend a company that cannot compete in engineering or technology. You have chosen to defend a company that is the antithesis, the very nadir of progress. You have chosen to defend a company that profits by making copies of fifty year old technology and who is in turn supported on the backs of morons with more money than common sense (and many lacking in even a basic high school education as well).
The irony of the situation is that you chastise me, an educated person who chooses my words and arguments carefully, who strives to present myself in an educated manner, who rides what can arguably be considered one of the most complicated and advanced motorcycles on the planet (itself a mixture of science and technology married through the heat of competition and a desire to be the very best that there can be) and you somehow think that I am against progress!?
Unreal … but then your conclusion shows a great amount of shallow thinking on your part, if it shows any original thinking at all.
While I am busy trying to bring the rest of the human race, especially the stupid sub-groups, up into the 21st century where the smart people and I live, all I get is grief from self-appointed idiot defenders like you who think I’m being mean and unfair. Let me tell you another secret about life, Lauren. Life isn’t fair. Life isn’t nice. Life doesn’t play by the rules. You can either think for yourself or let someone else think for you. If you chose not to think for yourself, you have no right to challenge those who do. As I have already stated, in life you can either stand for your own beliefs or adopt someone else’s. If you don’t understand this, you’re probably the kind of person who is destined to own a Harley Davidson one day.
“I don't understand why we can't respect each other and the choices we make. I understand you may dislike Harley Davidson, but to attack the entire population of HD riders is just being ridiculous.”
Does somebody need a really big group hug? What a whiney liberal you are! I have an opinion. I am reactive. My site is reactive. I do not attack. I defend my opinion and I do it quite well with the education and experience that God has seen fit to grant me. When Harley owners first attacked me over a decade ago, at that time I chose not to roll over and take it like so many others had before me, like people such as you would like for me to do. I stood up for what I believed in and I fought back because I believe in what I am fighting for. I saw a bigger picture before me, I did my research, compared notes and discovered lo and behold, the core elements of The Milwaukee Orthodoxy. I discovered that Harley owners are a bunch of uneducated, thin skinned wannabe whiners who are anything but rocket scientists. If I had to describe Harley’s target market, I’d say it was an ugly head on collision between two trains, one carrying the cast of Hee-Haw and the other carrying the cast of The Stepford Wives.
Harley Davidson stops being “cool” when you reach your teenage years and start learning about real things like engineering, mechanics, electronics, cars and girls. A basic high school education should keep you from ever wanting to purchase anything made by Harley Davidson. If you are lucky enough to complete a four year college education with a degree in anything other than the liberal arts, you should be guaranteed that you will be smart enough to see through Harley’s marketing miasma and its faux patriotic pandering. If a high school education and four years of college doesn’t teach you to avoid (like the plague) anything Harley Davidson sells, then the American education system failed you somewhere along the way, or perhaps you simply failed to learn anything while you were present in the system. Winners and losers, smart people and dumb people. Over achievers and underachievers, life is full of them. Always has been, always will be, since time immemorial.
As for me, I choose to be a champion for educated people, to protect those who seek to be different and to make fun of those who choose to conform. I seek to repel ignorance and to chase the unwashed villagers from my castle gates using the whip of education (and perhaps a bar of soap and a cauldron of boiling hot bath water to forcibly promote at least some basic semblance of personal hygiene among the gathered masses). I am a non-conformist, I roll over and expose my belly for no man or woman in this world. I adopt no memes. I follow no herd, no flock and I question everything I see, hear or read. I speak my mind and if your feelings get hurt when I do it, well, that’s just too bad, doll. You can lose sleep over it because I certainly won’t. I advocate free thinking and I support people who don’t subscribe to commercial memes, who don’t take their directions from the media and who don’t live their lives by flock or herd oriented behavior. If you want to be the champion and spokesman (sorry, spokesperson) for a subculture of clueless morons who can’t distinguish fantasy from realty, be my guest, doll.
Now, as for all Harley riders being dumb, well, we go back to the old saying of “you are judged by the company that you keep.” Since Harley cannot compete with the rest of the world in build quality, power, performance, engineering, science, technology or competition (competition improves the breed…), then they are trapped with how to sell stuff that the rest of the world went and left in the dust decades ago.
How do they do this?
They create a trendy wardrobe to go with their tired old junk and then they mark the price up and sell it exclusively to gullible people with more money than common sense, to people who believe (erroneously) that the more something costs the better it is. Harley Davidson creates a need you didn’t know you had and one only they can fulfill. Oh, you might not be stupid just for buying a Harley, but there is no escaping the fact that you bought a stupid product. Now, if you bought a stupid product, an outdated product, and you paid four times the price that you would have for a smart, modern product that will do the same job, then you have to not only question your education (or obvious lack thereof) but also your intelligence. Can you really want something so bad that you'll be dumb enough to buy it for more when a much better product costs less? Harley Davidson hopes so, in fact, it's a theory that they've been banking on successfully for decades now.
“Thank you for reading my email. I hope this letter lives up to your standards. You had a long list of rules about emailing you, so I hope I didn't break any of them.”
Well, the most obvious infraction is that you forgot to look over “The Harley Davidson Owner’s Manual” where most of your arguments (as well as those of the other members of the flock and the bewildered herd) are cataloged, described and subsequently debunked. Your mindset tells me that while you will probably never work for NASA or do great things to advance the human race in science or technology, you’re almost assured of having a bright career ahead of you as a fast charging market development specialist for Harley Davidson … or perhaps failing that, as a spokesperson for either NASCAR or the WWF (the intelligence level required to work for any of those three career field choices is wholly interchangeable to a very large degree).
(oops, I left my caps lock on - I hope I didn't offend you)
The only way you could ever offend me, Lauren, was if you or your opinions were somehow even marginally relevant to my existence in the first place and I can assure you most whole heartedly that neither you nor they are.
Now, since you did seem to have a problem with the caps lock key, let me explain it to you in terms I hope you can understand. The caps lock key is a rather unsophisticated piece of modern computer keyboard technology. Indeed, the caps lock key is on the same level of complexity as the average household light switch with both examples being a simple two position toggle residing in either a constant “on” or “off” state of operation. Given as to how you have presented yourself so far in our spirited discussion, I can completely understand if the simple nature and operation of this basic part of your keyboard invariably escapes your obviously severely limited intellectual capacity to understand and thus I completely understand why such a device leaves you imminently confused.
I did find it interesting that two words (and exactly two words only) of your entire email were typed in all capital letters. This either indicates that you typed these two particular words in the manner described in a failed attempt at pure spite or that you are simply a spastic prone inept individual who hit the caps lock key entirely by accident (and further more lacked the intelligence required to figure out the operation of the DELETE key to subsequently undo your initial mistake).
I’ll wager that it’s
the latter situation because it has been my experience in life that mentally
retarded people such as you generally aren’t the world’s most physically