Saturday, January 2, 2016

Searching for the Authentic on a Motorcycle

New World Notes #409 (#358), 29:47 (January 5)
Broadcast quality MP3 (41 MB)
Decent quality MP3 (14 MB)

This week's show is mostly monologue.  It's an extended "personal essay" by me, more or less in the tradition of Blue Highways and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.  With I guess a few echos of "News From Lake Wobegon."

It's about authenticity and its opposites.  It's also about motorcycle design, and simplicity versus clutter, and the rebirth of the "Indian" brand, and the quiet, subtle virtues of a Harley-Davidson. It's about how New England place-names sort of begin to make sense after you've lived here 20 or 30 years.

It's about corporate franchises and their phony food and their phony architecture--including fake gables, fake windows and even fake "widow's walks."  And it's about taking a motorcycle to search for "the authentic"--and sometimes even finding it when you get far enough out of town.  Uncasville, maybe.

This installment was previously broadcast, as NWN #358, in January 2015.


Bill C said...

Kenneth, loved the show, especially the intro photo. I have always been fascinated by women on m-cycles, and m-cycles/cars mentioned in song and print, but not as in advertisement. Authentic came in, and your ride preference, then history, authentic not hype, all created a great show to me.

Why? Had to calculate, 45 years on two wheels. 41 years now with my iron Sportster, main ride is a Moto Guzzi SP, a Matchless G80CS gives me much pride, and any reason to ride my 51 Indian Chief.

Lou Reed's "I love my GPZ so much I could kiss her" caught my attention when new too. And Bruce Springsteen's "I got a sixty-nine Chevy 396 with fuelie heads" will always give me reason to question if he's a car guy.

If I might offer my favorite "gear head" singer/song writer for your consideration, Fred Eaglesmith is worth a listen.

Love your show
Bill C

Kenneth Dowst said...

Bill, thanks so much for your kind words.

I'm a Fred Eaglesmith fan too. I don't know of any motorcycle songs by Fred, alas. Great car & train songs, though. I'll count, among the latter, "49 Tons" (of diesel locomotive couldn't drag me back to you!).

Best, Ken

Bill C said...

Ken, Love that line too, thanks to the relationship Gods, only one comes to mind whenever I here it.

Best back to you
Bill C