Can’t people tell it was a joke?

February 19th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A Wellington businessman who has declared “open season” on cyclists has outraged advocates who say his comments are frightening and dangerous.

, managing director of publicly listed mobile radio company TeamTalk, wrote an editorial in the latest company newsletter railing against cyclists.

He calls them “sodding road vermin”, “roadkill”, “weasels in Lycra”, and said “it’s time to declare open season”.

“More than anything it’s their unbridled arrogance that gets up my nose.

“Unlike the rest of us they don’t pay road user charges or extra ACC premiums. But in spite of being guests on our roads they think they have some god given right to ride wherever they bloody-well please, whenever they please.”

However, Mr Wade said he had just bought a bike and would let readers know how he went.

The editor of cyclingnz.com Tim Pawson said the article was “distressing and appalling”.

He said it was frightening to see such anger in the editorial.

Oh good God, it is a pisstake.

The “editorial” is here. David Ware has just taken up cycling. He is actually taking the piss out of anti-cycling views. Does anyone think you would seriously write an anti-cycling rant and then announce at the end that by the way I am now a cyclist.

David is well known for being slightly wacky. He once settled a commercial dispute with an arm wrestle. His company’s annual reports are half annual report and half cocktail guide.

Tags: ,

29 Responses to “Can’t people tell it was a joke?”

  1. DylanReeve (166 comments) says:

    His style was far from obviously satirical. Aside from the fact it would seem insane to write such a thing in a company newsletter there isn’t much to hint that it’s a joke. If anything it was the mention of taking up cycling at the end that seemed most jokish.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. Viking2 (11,484 comments) says:

    hahaha. Everything he says is true.
    Remember many a true word is spoken in jest.

    road lice.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. graham (2,335 comments) says:

    Oh dear, here we go. Cue everyone having a massive discussion on whether it was serious or humorous, whether we’re reading too much into it, whether we can judge this properly based on what is written in isolation from any of his other writings or whether …

    Wake me up when you’ve decided.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. xy (187 comments) says:

    It’d be funnier if being on a bike didn’t mean you get this shit yelled at you from cars in earnest.

    Vote: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. orewa1 (410 comments) says:

    Whether satirical or not, it is an idiotic thing to write in the newsletter of a telecommunications company.

    Team Talk no doubt has customers and employees who are cyclists, or who have had friends or relatives hurt in cycling accidents. How will they feel about this? And there is always an idiot out there who will take comments like this as a licence to take cyclists on when driving.

    Yes, Ware is wacky. A kind of cross between Richard Prosser and Allan Freeth, without the redeeming features of either. But that does not make his actions ok.

    Foolish stuff. Seniority and status implies some responsibility for one’s actions.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. scrubone (3,099 comments) says:

    Seems a lot of flippiant remarks are being taken seriously at the moment.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Griff (7,791 comments) says:

    Griff once cycled to work
    After three bikes eaten by cars Griff decided life was far more important. T boned by a taxi whilst stationary at intersection. Hit curb at 35kph avoiding red light runner. Hit by driver turning left .

    Its fucken terrifying out there when you push peddles.
    Even if you are a courteous rider.
    The fitness cycling gave me in my youth is far outweighed by the lingering effects of the injury’s received at the hands of stupid car drivers.

    Vote: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. MT_Tinman (3,202 comments) says:

    Hit by driver turning left .

    Perhaps if you had not tried to pass the turning car on the wrong side it would have missed.

    It appears that no matter what anyone says/writes/publishes the slime are able to find a dickhead who is offended by it.

    I shall continue to ignore these slime attempts. I suggest others do likewise.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 3 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    As for road user charges, they should only be applied to business, profit making vehicles. Not personal or family diesel vehicles

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. mikemikemikemike (325 comments) says:

    Would you be angrier if he referred to them as Wogs? :p – Or do influential business men not count when it comes to making inflammatory statements in a public forum?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. lyndon (325 comments) says:

    It is a technical problem that he changed topic before his punchline. People barely read things anyway, if you signal the relevant bit is over they’ll stop. (I was reading a column about standard net-style skimming and its effect on interpretation of a satirist who tends to leave his tells until late in the piece. Can’t find it.)

    And if you pay as much attention as cycling advocates do you will find the equivalent sentiment isn’t exceptional even published (cp Poe’s law). And there’s an issue with repeating random abuse that the twits who agree will take it as validation anyway (see comments above) though I’ve no idea how much one should worry about that. [Edit: this is to say something can be 'a joke' and still 'dangerous']

    It happens that things jump out of context on the net and context is important. Such is life. But I think after a few seconds kicking around my bit of social media people noticed it was (probably) a (some kind of weird and possibly pointless) pisstake.

    But the Herald article takes the statements at face value. Even while reporting the bit about buying the bike. I do have a problem with that.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    orewa1 dear oh dear, lighten up just a tad I happen to agree with what he wrote even if it was a piss take but you get this when lazy journalist troll in house publications. happens with the police and numerous other s. some junior reporter has seen this rushed it past a lazy subs editor without reading the whole article.

    but you do need to relax

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    orewa1 dear oh dear, lighten up just a tad I happen to agree with what he wrote about bloody cyclists and their two axe handle lycra covered arsed even if it was a piss take but you get this when lazy journalist troll in house publications. happens with the police and numerous other s. some junior reporter has seen this rushed it past a lazy subs editor without reading the whole article.

    but you do need to relax

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. mikemikemikemike (325 comments) says:

    To steal a reply you wrote in response to one of my comments on the Prosser issue – Mr. Farrar:

    [MMMM: Yes, a non story. Wow what great judgement you have. I mean nothing wrong with saying people who ride bikes are vermin and that it is time have an open season on them. fuck what sort of warped world do you live in]

    – Sorry mate just had to :p

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Griff (7,791 comments) says:

    MT_Tinman (2,124) Says:
    February 19th, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    Hit by driver turning left .

    Perhaps if you had not tried to pass the turning car on the wrong side it would have missed.

    The habit of drivers not indicating left turns and the lack of lane discipline displayed by drivers in Auckland goes without saying.
    Passing someone then swerving left in front of them without indication is not legal.

    Vote: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. xy (187 comments) says:

    And “I’m going to fucking kill you … i was joking, can’t you take a joke?” is basically bullying 101.

    If you want to make jokes, don’t joke about killing people, especially when people are being killed already.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    If you ride a bicycle or motorcycle outside of tracks specifically dedicated to them, you are an idiot.

    It doesn’t matter how well you ride or how much you try to persuade car drivers to take more care. You will eventually be cut off or hit, and you won’t have a metal box to protect you. You aren’t easily seen, and nothing will ever change that.

    Vote: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. muggins (3,787 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson (312) Says:

    February 19th, 2013 at 4:57 pm
    If you ride a bicycle or motorcycle outside of tracks specifically dedicated to them, you are an idiot.

    It doesn’t matter how well you ride or how much you try to persuade car drivers to take more care. You will eventually be cut off or hit, and you won’t have a metal box to protect you. You aren’t easily seen, and nothing will ever change that.

    I rode a bike to work on and off for about 45 years and I was never hit . Got cut off a couple of times, but only caused me to brake heavily, didn’t fall of. Plus 30/50km Sunday rides with a group.
    But I only ever worked in smaller cities. I wouldn’t have been too keen to bike in Wellington or Auckland.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. grumpyoldhori (2,362 comments) says:

    So David Ware thinks it amusing to be squeezed between two cars, fair enough.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Johnboy (16,651 comments) says:

    David Ware sounds like a prick! :)

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Steve (North Shore) (4,564 comments) says:

    A pisstake sure, and the road lice are still raving.
    Long may you ride, I have popcorn.
    Btw, when are you going to start paying road user charges?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. m@tt (629 comments) says:

    All that matters is he tried to be satirical and failed miserably. You can hand wring and carp and moan as much as you like about people taking offence to this. The fact is they did, how sad, never mind, nobody will ever change the fact that humour is relative to the observer, not the ‘comedian’.
    If the author really was just trying to be funny, then he’ll probably be a bit more careful in the future. If he was trying to stir people up, then he’ll probably do it again sometime. Life will go on.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Left Right and Centre (2,983 comments) says:

    I’d just like to say that over in the GD thread I did ask whether it was possibly written tongue in cheek.

    Steve- Hey, teacher- leave them kids alone. We’ve had this talk…. why don’t cyclists pay road user charges? Because they’re not harming anyone- that’s why. NZ wants people to cycle- not put them off. Except you. How much road tax do you want them to pay by the way? That’s the next thing. If you made them register their bikes… no-one would use a bike. Their ACC component would be excruciating.. maybe more than anything else on the road. And then people would just stop cycling.

    And you’d be happy… no cyclists on the road. I love cyclists… I think they’re fantastic. Good for them is what I think. If they’re following the laws and behaving… good for them. And even some of the rules they break… if they’re not affecting anyone else- slowing anyone else down or being dangerous… I don’t see a big problem there. I go back to ‘good for them’. Hard work operating a self-powered vehicle. They’re burning calories and looking good (well, not all of them look good but still- good on them).

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Left Right and Centre (2,983 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson-

    You aren’t easily seen, and nothing will ever change that.

    So I take it that your opinion would be that high visibility clothing doesn’t do a lot to increase cyclists’ chances of being seen?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Not enough.

    I speak as a former cyclist and motorcyclist, who will never ride either again.

    People in cars naturally look for other car sized objects. It’s human nature. A small vehicle coming up the wrong side just doesn’t register enough of the time to make it safe.

    Like I said. I don’t think that there is anything cyclists can do to make cycling an acceptable risk. Bad drivers and bad cyclists make it worse, but it will never be really safe in large cities. Small towns aren’t so bad, as someone said abocve.

    If people really want to cycle, we should have separate cycling highways.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Tom Jackson (2,553 comments) says:

    Honestly, you’d be safer riding a horse.

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Kea (12,841 comments) says:

    It is about time these road lice were taught that public roads are not play grounds for their toys or their personal gyms. Cyclists constantly demand special privilege on our roads, including an “exclusion zone” around them that, if given, forces proper vehicles into on coming traffic. When their selfish erratic and incompetent behaviour causes an accident, the cops prosecute the victim !

    But enough of the good news. Most cyclists, who do it as a hobby, are invariable arrogant people with terrible cold personalities and are extremely self absorbed. On a personal level I find them even worse than socialists. Cycling is a disease that tends to infect white middle class males at higher rates than the general population. Anyone who cycles should receive none of the considerations and protections other road users have. This is in keeping with the fact that they are the only road users who do not need to pass any sort of qualifying test to use the road. If they don’t like it, they can go play on their little toys some place else. I won’t miss seeing these ridiculously dressed wankers disrupting traffic.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. pq (728 comments) says:

    I notice a lot of the school kids are wearing orange jackets now, and not cycling abreast.
    This helps me
    There was a letter to ChCh Press yesterday that wished for the motorists to be prosecuted for all accidents with cyclists.
    Its 8pm ,most of the roads are closed , I have cyclist cross the median strip, black clothes, no lights, no helmet, flip bike up above road hole, right in ront of me , taking crazy risks, I have not seen him yet.
    Driving in Christchurch

    http://paulscottstories.blogspot.co.nz/

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. BlairM (2,341 comments) says:

    My experience of cycling activists is that they are a pack of humourless, entitled, sandal-wearing herpderps who expect the government/council to build them two-lane cycleways all over the city. I think they pretty much deserved a serve, and they deserve to be further mocked for their response.

    Vote: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote