Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Well, back to business I guess…

Charles Bronson as Mr. Majestyk: He didn't want to be hero... until the day they pushed him too far
The last couple of weeks have been interesting. Reprinting those old e-mails was not really like taking a vacation from blogging. Maybe if I was really smart I would have planned it that way but I didn't.

I think what I was trying to say was a little something about what it was really like before hand. There has been a lot of water under the bridge but way back when this being had thing was going on, the Polish wanted to paint a picture of me as either a madman or a hysterical political activist for bikes. That was their spin anyway. But as you can see from those letters, this was not the case. Yes, hitting the guy was a bike thing. Anyone who commutes or at least prefers to ride than to drive knows hat there are many, many pitfalls in traffic. Obviously road ragers are one of the more poignant realities.

And it was more than juts hitting the guy too. All of my moves in the situation were by the New York Messenger "How to deal with a jerk who tries to kill you with his car" book. This includes laying my bike in front of his car so he couldn't get away before I had a chance to "speak" to him. But the Polish weren't interested in that book. They just wanted to avoid a police scandal. And to make some money off me while they were at it. Anyway, this is all I was trying to say.

I guess the next step is going to be a little change of format. I probably will continue to write about "The Life" in Belarus because really, it is hard not to. But I think I am going to focus on getting the case public. There are a lot of letters that need to be written and a lot of people to talk to. Maybe this is a case of better late than never or maybe it is a case of simply being too late, but in any case, I am going to take my serious shot at getting this story out there. I mean, I know I have already had 20,000 reads, but as I have still not gotten my "apology", and because I am right, I think I will continue to be a hindrance. Wouldn't you do the same?

When I was young, about Egor's age I guess, my mom took me to see a Charles Bronson movie called Mr. Majestyk. Great film. Bronson plays a melon farmer who, despite all of his trials and tribulations, simply wants to get his crop in. the story begins when he ruins into a couple of mobsters led by Al Lettieri , who was Solozzo in the Godfather. The bad guys try and strong arm Bronson into hiring a bunch of drunks for labor rather than the skilled migrants who are available. Bronson of course declines and because he won't back down, the mobsters beat up some guy and frame Majestyk for it and he is sent to jail. When he turns the game around and fingers Lettieri, things turn uglier and uglier and the rest of the movie becomes a real showdown. You know what happens in the end. Tough movie.

For a long time now I have been thinking that it is kind of ironic that one of my most profound early movies experiences has turned out to be something I am doing myself. Just like with Majestyk and his melons, all I wanted to do was to make a little bike shop. There were no political statements, just some feel-good type moves which seemed to be both a cool thing to do and something that brought a little happiness to some people I liked -and who didn’t have much anything in the world. That's all I was doing until I ran into a bunch of really dirty people who decided they needed to mix in with me. And, just like Majestyk, I didn't and haven't backed down.

Unfortunately, this isn't Hollywood and for the last five years, the bad guys have gotten away with it. But I am not done. I still believe I have a story worth telling. I still think there is hope.

So that's what's going on. I'll try and catch you up as to what all has been going on over the next few days. It has been an interesting two weeks. Lot's of things have happened. And yea, I am still here.

More soon…