My original accompanying text for this video was going to be completely different from what it is now. It was originally going to be really upbeat and excited about getting an exclusive look into a really unique biker club, but in light of recent events, that doesn't seem very appropriate.
You've probably heard about the horrifying events that occurred here in New York City last week on the West Side Highway, where a group of motorcyclists pulled a man from his SUV and beat him on the street in front of his wife and child. If you haven't, you can get the original NY Times story here, stories of the arrests here, and the story of how NYPD officers may have been involved here.
At this moment, any discussion about bikers and biker clubs is suddenly much more serious. But serious isn't the same as reactionary, and it's not the same as sensational. These are exactly the types of situations where it is imperative that we think critically about what really happened and not rely on stereotypes to shape our judgment. The bikers who committed this atrocious crime are the exception, not the rule, and we absolutely must remember that as we grapple with how to deal with this. Anyone who beats another person in in broad daylight in the street deserves to be punished, but I would argue that the root of this crime is the men, not the motorcycles. A piece of machinery doesn't determine whether or not someone decides to choose excessive violence to resolve a minor grievance, so why are we focusing on it? If we are going to live in a functional self-governing society, we must all take on the responsibility of adding constructive and intelligent points to the conversation, whether it's as journalists or as private citizens. It's not about doing it when it's easy. It is so much more important when it's difficult. It's time for each of us to stand for true justice that is achieved by using our powers of reason and intellect for intelligent debate about practical solutions.
Let this documentary stand as an example of how bikers can also be a force for good in the world, because what really matters is the people who are riding the bikes, not the bikes themselves.
The amazing music that I was lucky enough to find for the soundtrack was composed by the artists listed below. I found them all on the Free Music Archive at www.FreeMusicArchive.org, so you can go there and search their names to find their music, or you can visit their individual websites. They are all seriously talented, so please check them all out and download all of their stuff!
Waylon Thornton: http://waylonthornton.tumblr.com
Monk Turner: http://monkturner.bandcamp.com/
Kevin MacLeod: http://incompetech.com/
POST PRODUCTION NOTES:
Gary has become a Pledge, which means he's on track to become a full member by January. The club has also acquired another new pledge named Darryl. Both Darryl and Gary have to prove their dedication to the club over the next 3 months by answering to their Pledge Master. The Pledge Master is appointed by the President whenever there are new Pledges, and this year, Chaz has appointed Evil Ed to usher the new Pledges into the club.
The ECMC asked me to mention that the Road Captain is also responsible for checking each member's license, registration, insurance annually to ensure that all members are abiding by the law.