Sunday, April 22, 2018

My challenge of stupidity: bike helmet laws


Guilty as charged ...  sigh

Yet you know, step by step we are getting a little closer to our goal of getting rid of bicycle helmet law. I am sure so!

Oh I know winning slowly feels much the same as losing but I am a firm believer of the principles set out in Rebecca Solnit's article "Protest & persist: why giving up hope is not an option."

Truly, giving up is not an option!

However back to Friday and my day in court.

Essentially the magistrate refused to entertain my defence of necessity.

But the most startling moment of the whole morning was when he alleged that I wasn't using the Queen's english properly and that I had split my infinitives!!!!

I was so taken aback I had to clarify what he had actually said!!! Once clarified I then launched into a defence of necessity for splitting infinitives, you know how doing so can make meaning clearer, more illustrative, that plenty of grammarians don't agree with the rule, that moving the adverb can be awkward, blah de blah de blah de blah!

Oh lordy, but I think he may have been a touch muddled on what actually splitting infinitves entail because the words he used to demonstrate that I had done so bore no resemblance to splitting infinitives.  Oop-la!

But how is any of this relevant to me riding a bicycle on a New South Wales road without a securely fastened helmet I hear you ask?

Quite.

But on the bright side, it was a packed court and I got to sombrely talk (split infinitive) about the perils of climate change and how a non-recyclable plastic styrofoam bicycle helmet that needs to frequently be (split infinitive) replaced just adds to plastic pollution and landfill. I got to passionately exhort (split infinitive) his honour that since the legislative and the executive had completely failed us in relation to protecting us against climate change I was now turning to him as part of the judiciary, to boldly go (split infinitive) where no magistrate had gone before in Australia and to jolly well find (split infinitive) for me. I got to diligently remind (split infinitive) him that a US court found the former deputy president's daughter, Kareena Gore and her fellow activists not responsible of the crime of trespass because their actions were done "out of necessity." Furthermore I got to solemnly state (split infinitive) that I believe it is necessary that we force our government to jolly well face (split infinitive) our role as a country in this global climate emergency just as the Dutch did with their government in 2015 when three judges ruled that the Dutch government plans to superficially cut (split infinitive) emissions by just 14-17% compared to 1990 levels by 2020 were unlawful, given the scale of the threat posed by climate change.

That my unhelmeted conduct was a question of my survival and the planet's survial left his honour unmoved. And me concluding that it was and still is necessary for to me to regularly cycle (split infinitive) and to routinely cycle (split infinitive) without a helmet in order to hopefully prevent (split infinitive) risk of brain injury, plastic styrofoam consumption, plastic pollution, landfill, carbon emissions pollution was never going to wash.

Nope, it turns out that I must continue to stupidly be (split infinitive) compelled by the NSW government to ridiculously do (split infinitive) an act which puts my health and life and that of the planet's in greater danger than if I declined to do the act.

Appeal lodged and to be mentioned at the end of May 2018 in the Newcastle District Court.

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