IN THE NAAAAVY…

Another one I’ve had open in a tab for a cpl-three days and now can’t remember where I first ran across it.

The same US Navy that once got sunk at Pearl Harbor, turned around, rebuilt the fleet, then put the entire Tojo navy on the bottom of the ocean in four years. The same Navy that braved the Nazi U-Boats of the Atlantic to supply the war effort in Europe. The US Navy that prepared at a moment’s notice to rain thermonuclear death onto the Soviet Union from the cold, pressing, silence of the deep.

Ahh, but there’s the rub, see: it AIN’T the same Navy, any more than it’s the same nation.

They are afraid of a fucking virus with a more than 99.9% survivability rate for anyone young and healthy enough to serve in the US Navy.  When COVID broke out on the USS Roosevelt, there were 1,156 cases, three hospitalizations, and one death.

But the Navy is so scared that they had to pervert the symbol of the United States Navy and virtue signal with it.

The Navy is under the command of cowards.

Utterly, utterly pathetic. But fitting enough for all that, seeing as how, like I just told ya, the larger society said Navy is burdened with defending has shown itself to be composed mostly of ditto over the last year, for the selfsame piss-poor reason. Bearing that in mind, there may be something of a bright side here: the Navy’s shiny new Be Saaaafe!!! approach to warfare—whatever that even means in Amerika v2.0—in combination with the American “military” establishment’s unswerving commitment to Diversity Is Our Strength™, just might be enough to entice this mentally-ill freakamuffin into signing up for a hitch:

Dude(ette), I just…just…can’t even. The above rampant psychosis was found at the joint from which I hijacked the disgraced-eagle image and commentary above, a place yclept Gun Free Zone, which clearly needs to be cast into my bookmarks and Ye Olde CF Blogrolle with a quickness. Thus was it written, and thus it has been done. Welcome aboard, fellas.

Will no one rid him of this loathsome pest?

Never forget the CF creed: They will not stop. They will NEVER stop. They will have to BE stopped.

LGBT Activists Haul Jack Phillips Into Court Again, This Time Over Transgender And Satan Cakes

LGBT Activists Haul Jack Phillips Into Court Again, This Time Over Transgender And Satan Cakes
Hearings began in a new case against Masterpiece Cakeshop over a Colorado baker’s refusal to bake a cake celebrating a man’s decision to become transgender.

You’ll all remember this perfectly sane, normal, reasonable legal professional, I assume. More on him anon.

Hearings began Monday in a new case against the Masterpiece Cake Shop located in suburban Denver over a transgender male suing for the owner’s refusal to celebrate his transition.

Jack Phillips, a devout Christian who runs the cake shop in Lakewood, Colorado, is a defendant in court again this week after fending off discrimination charges in a more than half-decade-long legal battle that reached the U.S. Supreme Court when, based on his faith, he denied to bake a custom wedding cake for two gay men in 2012 but offered other items.

“I don’t make cakes for same-sex weddings, but I’ll sell you anything else in my shop, cookies, brownies,” Phillips told the couple, who, out of all the bakeries in the area, sought out the baker who would deny them the very specific service that compromised his faith.
The couple, David Mullins and Charlie Craig, filed a complaint with the Colorado Civil Rights Commission arguing Phillips violated the Colorado Anti-Discrimination Act (CADA) which prohibits any business that offers services to the public from discrimination based on race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.

The controversy went national, provoking harassment campaigns and death threats against the suburban baker that ultimately cost him 40 percent of his income when Phillips stopped baking cakes following a lower court’s decision against the shop. The case inspired another against Phillips after the Supreme Court announced in 2017 it would re-examine the lower court’s ruling, which it ultimately overturned on narrow grounds.

Autumn Scardina, a transgender female-identifying attorney in the Denver area, called Phillips to demand a custom cake celebrating his gender transition after he heard the Supreme Court would consider the initial case against the Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Twice, Scardina had already emailed Phillips to call the baker a “bigot” and a “hypocrite” while mocking his religious beliefs in 2012 when the controversy first arose.

A 2012 email presented as evidence in court also show Scardina offered to be a plaintiff in a discriminatory case against the cakeshop in the gay couple’s absence if they chose not to move forward with litigation.

The cake shop denied Scardina’s 2017 request for a pink and blue cake after he said it was to celebrate his gender transition. Scardina responded with a new complaint picked up by the Colorado Civil Rights Commission that was dismissed in 2019 by the group after Phillips filed a lawsuit against the state in federal court. Months later, Scardina chose to pursue charges of his own seeking damages, fines, and attorney fees to wreck Phillip’s finances rather than appeal the commission’s decision to drop the discrimination claim.

So at what point does persistence become obsession, anyway? Because whatever it is, it’s apparent that loony-bin refugee Mr Scardina long ago blasted right through the barrier and kept the pedal to the metal from there, passing huge nuisance, if mostly harmless to come to rest deep inside actually, literally quite dangerous, really ought to be locked up territorial boundaries. Background on this demented freak and his ceaseless vendetta:

Of course, it’s no accident that Phillips, owner of Masterpiece Cakeshop, was targeted. It’s part of what I’ve called a “pacification process,” where the Left is following its culture-war victories with an effort to stamp out remaining dissent.

As the Federalist’s David Harsanyi puts it, the “campaign to destroy Phillips’s business was never merely about punishing a single man for refusing to submit to prevailing leftist orthodoxy. It was also a warning to all would-be apostates that thought crimes could lead to fiscal ruin, public denunciation, and endless harassment. In that sense, the prosecution has probably already paid off.”

It’s not the first warning, either, as Christian businessmen have already been driven out of business by the sexual devolutionaries.

Helping to effect this targeted-harassment action, Scardina had called Masterpiece Cakeshop on June 26, 2017 — the very day the Supreme Court ruled in Phillips favor in the first suit — “to design a custom cake with a blue exterior and a pink interior to symbolize a transition from male to female,” as Harsanyi relates it. (Interestingly, Scardina is still “blue” on the inside and has only, and can only, effect a pink appearance on the outside. That said, aren’t we told that the ol’ blue-pink Neanderthal-think is “gender stereotyping?”)

But Scardina is way too busy with the Christian persecution business to worry about ideological purity. “Previously, Scardina — going by ‘Autumn Marie’ and other monikers — was the one who allegedly asked for ‘an image of Satan smoking marijuana,’” Harsanyi also tells us. “In another request from ‘the Church of Satan’ — also, according to a complaint, likely Scardina — Phillips was asked to make ‘a three-tiered white cake’ with a ‘large figure of Satan, licking a nine inch black Dildo.’ How creative, right? ‘I would like the dildo to be an actual working model that can be turned on before we unveil the cake,’ went the request.”

Oh, I just bet you would at that, you warped sicko. The war of harassment and persecution being waged by the abominable Mr Scardina, for the purpose of punishing Phillips for the crime of

  • Being a practicing Christian man who takes his faith seriously
  • Daring to uphold Christianity’s precepts, tenets, and obligations
  • Living his faith without either apology or shame, relying on morality and conscience as his guide
  • Wanting to have nothing whatever to do with obnoxious, pushy mental defectives entirely consumed with forcing all infidels everywhere to swear fealty to the Left’s madhouse catechism

And on the topic of pestiferous, unhinged freaks, permit me to share a few tidbits of potentially pertinent info:

Scardina Law
Get in Touch!
(720) 420-9068

1245 East Colfax Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80218, United States

Autumn@ScardinaLaw.com
Todd@ScardinaLaw.com
Sean@ScardinaLaw.com

Hours
Open today
09:00 am – 05:00 pm

There’s also a link to the firm’s blog, although it appears to be somewhat, shall we say, neglected.

OBLIGATORY DISAVOWAL OF ALL RESPONSIBILITY FOR THIRD-PARTY UNSEEMLY AND/OR CRIMINAL ACTIONS: Please understand that notice of this information is intended purely as a helpful convenience for any Denver-area CF readers who may be shopping around for lawyerly assistance. BY NO MEANS should this information be used to, say, make fifty or more nuisance, prank, or hang-up phone calls on a daily basis; send scores of offensive emails—with an attached image featuring, ohh, maybe a hideously explicit image of Satan licking a nine-inch dildo, let’s say—and/or use Mr Scardina’s email address to enlist him on numerous spam mailing lists; clog the firm’s snail-mail box with scads of puzzling picture postcards; or any and all other nefarious purposes. Nor should anybody in the Denver area get any bright ideas about making an in-person appearance at the firm’s office—shabbily dressed, poorly groomed, reeking of alcohol, sweat, and sundry gag-a-licious filth—to request “a nice handie” from the receptionist, piss in the potted plant, break wind in a raucous fashion, then flee the scene with a loud and scornful laugh.

The proffering of said information shall in no way be construed as endorsement, encouragement, or incitement of similar acts in addition to those listed, all of which this blog’s proprietor hereby abjures.

Days of future past

Nightmares really DO come true.

Nearly a year ago, after COVID hit us hard, I spent my endless at-home time online, looking at whatever I could find on pandemics. I found one treatise on possible methods of dealing with a pandemic. One method was presented as a cautionary tale about how not to treat a pandemic — and naturally, it was a template for 2020’s treatment protocols minus (if I remember correctly) developing a vaccine. Although I believe that the article was 10 or 15 years old, I thought at the time that it had been looked at, and someone (Fauci, I’m guessing) said, “Oooh!  Let’s try all that!  What could go wrong?”

Sadly, I didn’t save a copy, and I can’t find it now. I’m not making the same mistake again. Now that I have a platform to write about this pandemic, I am sharing what I read.

A friend sent me a link to a 2010 document that the Rockefeller Foundation produced, called “Scenarios for the Future of Technology and International Development.” Take the time to look it over, please. It is based on a workshop on identifying “critical uncertainties” and exploring their potential effects on technology and international development. It specifically examines how mankind would adapt to unanticipated shocks over the next 15–20 years.

The authors identify four possible reactions to an event. Two are most relevant: one is called “lockstep,” defined as “a world of tighter top-down government control and more authoritarian leadership, with limited innovation and growing citizen pushback.” Another is “hack attack,” an “economically unstable and shock-prone world in which governments weaken, criminals thrive, and dangerous innovations emerge.” There are two more on page 16. For my purpose here, they are less relevant.

Flip, if you would, please, to page 18. The lockstep scenario posits a pandemic. It is virulent and, in the model, kills mostly healthy adults, 8 million people globally in seven months. It describes society coming to a screeching halt, with industries like tourism, travel, local businesses, and offices all closed. In this scenario, the one country that fares best is China, which uses a seemingly admirable totalitarian approach, sealing its country, quarantining all citizens, and swiftly ending its pandemic.

It then describes a world with national leaders imposing draconian rules and restrictions, from face masks to temperature checks. “Even after the pandemic faded, this more authoritarian control and oversight of citizens and their activities stuck and even intensified[.]…[L]eaders around the world took a firmer grip on power.”

Anybody who finds that at all surprising is either deep in denial or just an out and out knucklehead. It’s not a difficult or outlandish prediction to make, seeing as it how it’s perfectly in line with what we know about those “leaders” and their unslakable thirst for more power and control.

The scenario posits that at first, people willingly give up privacy and sovereignty to more paternalistic states, in exchange for greater safety. Independence of thought is stifled. In the narrative, it takes 13 years for citizens to weary of this control, which enables rampant cronyism and corruption.

It also provides space for tyranny’s consolidation, entrechment, and expansion, with the added bonus for the Power of a concomitant spread of intimidation and uncertain among an already-cowed populace, for whom the challenge of rising from their knees to do battle with their despotic masters will eventually become insuperable.

From the start of the contrived Covid panic I maintained that no matter how threatening THEVIRUSTHEVIRUSTHEVIRUS!!!™ might or might not actually turn out to be, the disaster guaranteed to ensue should Americans docilely yield up their liberty and rights in response would be orders of magnitude worse. As Bill Barr said, there is no pandemic exception to the US Constitution. The past year’s wretched stream of encroachments and abuse provide a yardstick to gauge the depths of irrelevance into which that once-revered document has plummeted, tragic as that is.

I repeat once more: if this way-oversold virus was really the extinction-level menace they told us it was, they wouldn’t have needed to repeatedly lie about the damned thing. There’s no way to conceal a disaster of such enormity; there would be no need to prompt or persuade. We’d all be surrounded by the reality of it, which would be inescapable and undeniable. The hospitals wouldn’t have been dangerously overtaxed; they’d have been wrecked, thenm abandoned—those that weren’t actually on fire, that is. I probably WOULD have had to don the humiliating Mask Of Submission—not so much to “do my part to fight this virus and BE SAAAAFE,” but to at least partially fend off the gruesome odor of decaying corpses stacked head-high in the street. We’d all be up to our eyeballs in 53-foot reefer trailers warehousing the overage of deaders; very few of us would have the slightest desire to socialize, closely congregate, or even risk venturing outside their own homes. HIDE such an event? It would be impossible to avoid it.

But that’s exactly what they did do: they lied a year ago, they lied all summer long, and they’re still lying today. Full stop, end of story. It’s one reason why the only way they’ll ever get a single drop of their shady “vaccine” in me is to rassle my ass into stout full-body restraints beforehand. FREE ADVICE: better bring help. Admittedly I’m not as young and strong as once I was, but I’m still a reasonably feisty old sumbitch just the same. If it’s a fight you think you want, I promise I’ll do my utmost to give you one. MORE FREE ADVICE: it will NOT be fair.

I don’t care how frightened you are, I don’t care how grave the goobermint tells us our situation is, I don’t care what scary numbers the CDC, Praetorian Media, ProPols, or anybody else gin up in order to stampede the herd: you must never, ever, EVER give up essential liberty to purchase temporary security. NEVER. Those who do…well, you know the rest of it.

The dismaying spectacle of multitudinous “Americans” quietly allowing themselves to be frightened into lily-livered compliance with blatantly authoritarian edicts, all bereft of Constitutional authority, all based on fraudulent premises, pseudoscience, and naked propaganda, says one hell of a lot about their character, not a bit of it complimentary. Liberty is but a memory, the economy wrecked, uncountable millions of lives ruined—all of that and more a direct product of the shameful refusal to resist—to stand athwart tyranny and yell STOP! Is it too late for Americans to reclaim their rights, restore their dignity, and renew their sacred birthright? Only time will tell…and there’s precious little of it.

Okay, I just had to share…

I thought I was done for the night after that last one, but then this came along:

January 9, 2021

INSTAPUNDIT’S CUCKING NOW? Don’t go crazy, people. They want you to go crazy. Posted by Glenn Reynolds at 8:58 am

Glenn Reynolds at InstaPundit

Inspired by this:

With all due credit to the incomparable Chris Muir.

Sorry but not-sorry Glenn: I’m with Muir on this one.

Her Name Was Ashli Babbitt

Our Boston Commons moment was yesterday:

Woman fatally shot in Capitol identified as Ashli Babbitt

https://banned.video/watch?id=5ff6857e00bac0328da8e888

All of the nominally “Right Wing” and “Conservative” pundits, media figures, and legislators who sat around and watched and made excuses for or mealy-mouth pro-forma condemnations of BLM and Anti-fa rioters all this summer long and suddenly decided to go squish and cuck and sternly condemn the Stop The Steal protestors at the Capitol yesterday should read that and watch that video and mark it well and remember…

Remember that name. And remember the other names:

His name was Cannon Hinton.

His name is Kyle Rittenhouse.

His name was Aaron “Jay” Danielson.

Her name was Ashli Babbitt.

And all of the other people over the course of the last four plus years who’ve been beaten, shot, burned out, and murdered by Anti-Trump protestors that I haven’t listed all have names. Go look them up. And remember them.

And remember this:

We see you now.

And we remember.

The Left isn’t going to eat you last just because you decided to cuck and refuse to stand behind people who were rightfully and righteously demanding that a traitorous thief not be installed in the Oval Office via the largest and most blatant act of election fraud in the entire history of the United States.

But we might decide to eat you first.

And, yeah: I’m looking at you, Glenn Reynolds. I’m looking at you, John Hinderaker. I’m looking at you, Ed Driscoll. I’m looking at you, Bob McManus. I’m looking at you, Tyler O’Neil. I’m looking at you, Kim Hirsch.

We expect the Pences and the McConnells to shoot us in the back when the Left calls for our heads.

We don’t expect it from you.

We don’t forget. We won’t forgive.

Rome never looks where she treads.   
   Always her heavy hooves fall   
On our stomachs, our hearts or our heads;   
   And Rome never heeds when we bawl.   
Her sentries pass on—that is all,
   And we gather behind them in hordes,   
And plot to reconquer the Wall,
   With only our tongues for our swords.

We are the Little Folk—we!
   Too little to love or to hate.   
Leave us alone and you’ll see
   How we can drag down the State!
We are the worm in the wood!
   We are the rot at the root!   
We are the taint in the blood!
   We are the thorn in the foot!

Mistletoe killing an oak—
   Rats gnawing cables in two—
Moths making holes in a cloak—
   How they must love what they do!   
Yes—and we Little Folk too,
   We are busy as they—
Working our works out of view—
   Watch, and you’ll see it some day!

No indeed! We are not strong,
   But we know Peoples that are.   
Yes, and we’ll guide them along
   To smash and destroy you in War!
We shall be slaves just the same?
   Yes, we have always been slaves,
But you—you will die of the shame,
   And then we shall dance on your graves!

We are the Little Folk, we

A Pict Song
By Rudyard Kipling

We’ve all already gotten way past tired of all this, and we’re getting a bit testy. And the jackal and the kite have a healthy appetite.

The other side is not the one you really want to be identified with.

No facts please, we’re Leftists

Reality dysfunction.

Cannon Hinnant’s murder shocked America last week. A 5-year-old boy murdered in front of his home is a horror few can comprehend. Why would a man execute a child riding a bike, especially one with whom he had broken bread just the night before? Yet, only conservative media seems interested in the story.

The racial dynamics of the murder explain why it’s largely ignored: the alleged killer is black and the victim is white. No one doubts this would be the number one story in America, if not the world, if the races were reversed.

The relative lack of attention implies this horror is just an ordinary part of life in modern America. It’s a sad tragedy, but there’s nothing you can do about it. The media and political elites tell you to move on and hope the justice system delivers the right punishment. It’s a very different attitude than their typical response to a police-involved killing or a minority’s claim of discrimination. Unlike Hinnant’s death, those are treated as grave injustices our society cannot abide. 

Hinnant’s senseless murder is not an ordinary crime and we shouldn’t shrug it off as a sad, but typical tragedy in modern America. That’s the mindset that smothers us into apathy and acceptance of things we should never tolerate.

His death is certainly more relevant to crime trends than George Floyd’s death or the “noose” discovered by NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace. Both of those widely covered events were treated as representative of the discrimination all blacks suffer in America. Unarmed blacks, we were expected to believe, are at an incredible risk of being murdered by cops, as Floyd’s death allegedly proves. And blacks can suffer horrible discrimination and harassment regardless of their income, as Wallace’s phony hate hoax allegedly showed.

Both of those narratives are more important to the Left than the death of an innocent child. The first narrative is based on false assumptions. Only 10 unarmed blacks died at the hands of police in 2019; most of the cases were ruled justifiable homicides. The cases included a black man who attacked and stole a police officer’s taser before being shot and another man who drove his car into police.

But those 10 cases, we are assured, amount to a “genocide” and justify rioting, anarchy, looting, the destruction of American heritage, and defunding the police.

In contrast, and in fact, crimes like the Hinnant murder are far more common. There were 514 black-on-white murders committed in 2018. That’s more than two times higher than the number of white-on-black murders. That same year saw more than 500,000 black-on-white violent incidents; just under 60,000 white-on-black violent incidents occurred in 2018. Blacks are only 13 percent of the population, yet commit the majority of interracial violence.

Blacks themselves live under much greater threat from black-on-black violence than they do from murder-by-cop. There were 2,600 black-on-black murders in 2018, a much higher figure than the number of unarmed blacks killed by police.

If the facts are inconvenient to the advancement of the Left’s agenda, then the facts must be ignored. Trouble is, the facts always ARE inconvenient for them.

Chris Pfouts

A good friend of mine recently hipped me to an obit for another good friend, my brother-in-deliquency Chris Pfouts. The obit was written by Pfouts’s co-editor at the long-gone and lamented Iron Horse magazine, a second or third-tier biker rag that Snow and Pfouts redeemed from the nefarious clutches of Paisano Publications and, for a glorious while there, put on the top of the heap.

Under Snow’s and Pfouts’s capable direction, Iron Horse quickly became renowned as the verymost literate and intelligent of all the biker rags, while still retaining that all-important seedy, true-biker edge. It was a razor-fine line to try to walk, but Chris and David did it with style and class.

I never actually knew David at all, but I can tell you that pretty much every word of his tribute to his erstwhile partner is heartfelt and true. The link to the whole megilla is here, but I’m gonna swipe a goodish chunk of it as an “excerpt.” I can’t see any way around it.

25 years ago, on a rainy, late winter Friday night the phone rang in my dinky Brooklyn apartment. High-stepping Harley frames, engine cases and the general detritus of the Project Shovel, I leaned an ear to the answering machine to screen the call. The voice on the other end sounded strangely distant and wasted. I almost didn’t recognize it.

“Listen, man, I’ve been shot. This is for real. I’m shot in the leg, right above the knee. I need you to call 911. I already called ’em, but you’ve got to make sure they’re on their way. Then call me right back. I need you to stay on the phone with me til they get here. Don’t forget to call back.”

My bike was in pieces and Deborah had driven her Chevy C-10 to a gig in Manhattan, so running the five miles through Flatbush to Chris’ pad wasn’t an option. I dialed 911. NYPD and ambulances were enroute. I called Chris and stayed on the line with him for about 15 minutes until the cavalry arrived. He didn’t want to pass out from shock.

Chris had too much California in him. At that time, the year was 1988, NYC was in the full-throttle death-grip of the crack epidemic that had turned the city into a shrieking WFO urban nightmare of the Wild Wild West. It was New Jack City on every corner, and Chris was shot for the inexcusable offense of taking out the garbage after dark. He’d had words with a dealer in front of the Williamsburg apartment he shared with Indian Larry, and what would’ve merely been a spirited exchange of unpleasantries in a more civilized part of the country, like Cali, escalated in a New York Minute into a life-or-death proposition. Chris told me of being on his knees, pleading for his life, looking up the smoking barrel of the pistol that had just shot him, inches away from his face. Of the crack dealer hesitating, considering the coup de grace, and then packing his piece and strolling away. Chris humped the stairs back into his apartment, his boot filling with blood. He kept his life and his leg, but that night all the California had been shot right out of him and bled away onto the mean streets of Brooklyn.

Not too many people have such vivid recollections of Chris Pfouts. Most readers of the ‘90s-era Iron Horse know Chris only as the guy who stepped in to edit the magazine at the end of its run. It’d certainly be a disservice to Chris’ memory to selectively recall his somewhat cynical deconstruction of Iron Horse in ’97-’98 and be done with the matter. That ain’t even half the story and a great big tip of the hat to ol’ Top Hat is richly deserved here.

Chris was with Iron Horse for four years, from late ’86 to late ’90, issues #63 to #94, and was instrumental in the transformation of the mag from a slimy, thinly-disguised skin rag into the compelling document of East Coast biker muscle that earned the loyalty of a wildly diverse and wildly devoted audience. Before Chris arrived, I was a lone voice crying in the wilderness, the sole staffer with any kind of motorcycling experience among an unholy cabal of cheapass pornographers, industry burnouts, hustlers, scammers, and ripoff artists. Even though I’d been listed as the editor since since 1984, I held the position in name only. I had no pull or leverage, and had been told very plainly that if I didn’t like it I could leave. Thus, I quit once in frustration and went to work for Dian Hanson of Outlaw Biker, before we both got fired by her publisher Harvey Shapiro. (Harvey then usurped Dian’s pseudonym as well as the magazine she created and proceeded to attend biker events around the northeast as the nonexistent “Casey Exton.” But that’s another story.) I returned to IH, determined to hang in there, convinced that, this being New York City, anything could happen at any time. Sure enough, in the fall of 1986 everything changed. The immediate powers-that-be took themselves out of the picture. Editor Peter “Wolfman” Wolf got deathly ill and checked into the hospital for a lengthy stay, while his henchman, John “Littlejawn” Littel, moved on to a gig in the straight publishing world. Vice President Tony DeStefano was left as the magazine’s sole overseer. None of these Three Stooges had known or cared anything about bikes or bikers, and with two stooges out of the way, the sleazy, ever-downward trajectory of Iron Horse was about to shift dramatically. Ad astra!

“So you’re the only one here who rides?”

The inquiry from the tall, lanky dude with the mid-‘80s mullet and the perpetually quizzical expression required a response crafted with no small measure of delicacy and diplomacy, yet I knew I was gibbering answers with the manic intensity of Dennis Hopper in Apocalypse Now. The prospect of a potentially friendly face chancing upon the heart of darkness that was IH inspired simultaneous heights of hope and depths of dread. There was a responsibility to bring Chris up to speed ASAP regarding the bizarre situation he’d wandered into via Tony’s ad in the New York Times classifieds. At the same time, I desperately did not want to scare him off. “The heads. I know, the heads… he gets carried away…” Chris didn’t blink as I related the casual atrocities inflicted upon Iron Horse over the past two years— how third-rate porn publisher Murray Traub had reduced the once-proud Paisano title to a product that was literally and figuratively slimy. The printing was so bad that ink would slick off onto the reader’s hands, and the editorial content was on par with what you’d scrape off your shoe at a 42nd St. whack-off theater. It seemed no coincidence that the Iron Horse offices were right next door to NYC’s most infamous porn palace, Show World. Genuine motorcycling articles and story ideas had been routinely stifled by Wolf, Littel, and DeStefano, fueled by an underlying disdain expressed for the mag’s audience. Every time I’d propose something like Biker Lit Crit, a road trip article, or a serious editorial or industry critique— anything to give Iron Horse an identity beyond that of a sleazy party rag— I was informed that such material wasn’t necessary because “bikers don’t read.” The arrogance and contempt that limited Iron Horse’s potential wasn’t just stupid and short-sighted, it was extremely dangerous. People could get hurt. For instance, photographer Bobby Hanson, Dian’s ex, was found flat on his back in a pool of blood while on assignment at the New York City Custom Motorcycle Show. For years, I’d had my suspicions about the incident, which were later confirmed when I interviewed Chuck Zito for IH #114. Bobby had mouthed off at the Hells Angels booth and Chuck had promptly knocked him out for his bad manners. Later on, Harvey Shapiro said something stupid as Casey Exton and got one of his editors put in a coma via some freelance batting practice by irate clubbers. Unlike Bobby or Harvey, Chris Pfouts was a stone biker who was of the culture and understood it, and as an added bonus, was smart, hip, ironic, and a great writer. Tony had interviewed several other applicants, mostly porno sleazeballs and a couple of cornball jap junkers, but I kept insisting on the biker dude. In the end, with his stooge partners no longer on the premises, Tony just didn’t want to be bothered.

Alas, I can confirm Snow’s low opinion of Shapiro/Exton, having worked for him at Outlaw Biker myself for about six years before its inglorious collapse thanks to Harvey’s mismanagement and chronic thievery. Shapiro was a grifter and total sleazeball from way back yonder; even his “Casey Exton” nom de pen was stolen outright from a former female OB editor in the wake of her escape from his grubby clutches. She was reported to have been quite unhappy about the petty larceny, too.

On the other hand, though, Chris, with his characteristic cynicism and perverse sense of humor, wasn’t repelled by Shapiro as most people were, but found him amusing instead. Don’t kid yourself, though, that a streetwise hardcase like Pfouts was at all taken in by Harv’s cheery, friendly facade; he liked him okay, he was fine with having a beer with him now and then, but he was keenly aware of how untrustworthy and dishonest he was. When I was offered the OB job, Chris urged me to take it…and also vehemently advised me to count every single penny in my pay envelope, to always cash the checks without delay, and to never, ever sit with my back to a door when Harvey was in the office. Mercifully, that wasn’t very often.

The decision to hire Chris was an immediate force multiplier. Far beyond the simple arithmetic of names added to or subtracted from the masthead, editorial control shifted into the greasy hands of a couple of mangy bikers and the potential for Iron Horse as a real-life motorcycle mag expanded exponentially. No longer were stories and articles screened by porno degenerates— degenerate bikers were now calling the shots. Chris and I had no idea of what we were doing, we just winged it everyday, writing what we wanted to read in a bike mag. Each issue pushed the envelope of what we could get away with. I remember Tony nervously inquiring about the iron cross imagery I’d been inserting into the mag— ending each article with an iron cross dingbat. Seems that Murray was offended, but we refused to remove it— it was A Biker Thing, man, you don’t have to understand. Biker Lit Crit became a regular feature and was excerpted by SPIN magazine. Iron Horse was cited in the Encyclopedia of Bad Taste and I was quoted by the New York Times fashion page. Regular features like Jap Junk, project bikes, our editorials and the often contentious give-and-take with the readers in the Back Talk section gave IH a confrontational, no-bullshit rep.

I always thought Chris was older than me, 10 or maybe 15 years older. It wasn’t until I read of his passing on the Greasy Kulture blog that I realized he was only six years my senior. He always seemed an old soul or at least someone with old wounds. He really didn’t speak much of his past, I considered him an “original”— a California biker who rode during the ‘60s and helped define the subculture as it became codified in films, books and magazines and popular culture. I believed that the guys who had gravitated to the bike scene before it had been popularized by niche magazines and movies were special. I’m sure he would’ve been repulsed by the notion, but Chris seemed to me to inhabit the hippie end of the biker spectrum— a shorthand reference to his essentially artistic nature. I used to be intrigued by evocative blasts of graffiti on the Lower East Side that read “war hippies,” and I used the term in a later Iron Horse cover line. It seemed a perfect descriptor for those sensitive souls who rode choppers but weren’t afraid to kick motherfuckers in the teeth— the kind of people who appeared in and read and wrote Iron Horse. That was Chris.

I knew he rode an Indian back in the day, and his tales of SoCal biker life were always fascinating. A lot of his stories appeared in his Junkman column and I especially liked one about his XLCH riding buddy, Tommy, who crashed his Ironhead and terrorized children with his skull-stabilizing halo. Chris was also known as Top Hat, and it was under this pseudonym that he chronicled his excellent Project Indian series for the mag, #66 through #82— one of the very best ongoing magazine projects ever published, shepherded as it was by guru Indian Larry. That bike was raw and brutal and would’ve been right at home in the pages of Greasy Kulture today. If I recall correctly, Chris was introduced to Larry by legendary upstate Indian freak Chuck Myles, whom we visited several times in Deb’s pickup, sourcing parts. I definitely remember being surprised that Chris was unaware of Indian Day. Within a couple of months of moving to NYC, I’d ridden my Super Glide in Sept. ‘84 to the annual Redskin rally on Hendee St. in Springfield, Mass., the site of the Indian Museum housed in one of the original factory buildings. Chris, Larry and I made the trek in 1987 in photog Rob Sager’s van and covered the rally for IH. In one of the pics, you can see an Indian frame, tanks & basket going for 1500 bucks!

I rooted around a bit and came up with this old pic from the IH series on building Pfouts’s almighty Chief:

Pfouts-N-Larry.jpg


That’s Chris on the right sporting the mullet Snow mentioned, Indian Larry on the left, and the famous Indian project in its birthing stages front and center. Snow is correct again: that classic Chief bobjob was one of the coolest damned customs I ever saw (or rode proudly beside, in both NYC and NC after Chris moved down here) in my entire life. It featured more tricky wizardry than you could take in without long and careful study. The linkage Larry and Chris came up with for the dual-Linkert carb setup was a real brainbender all by itself, as was the generator—robbed from a junked 70s Opal GT, it fit in the space provided as if it was made solely for the purpose; according to Chris, the Opal unit was the only thing out there that would, and Indian originals, while still floating around out there, were both kinda hard to find and pricey as all hell.

Larry was an experienced Indian guy and a bona-fide genius when it came to tranforming those noble Crimson Steeds Of Steel into true works of mechanical art, keeping them choogling on down the road in matchless style. In fact, Larry’s own Chief, also featured in the hallowed pages of the resurrected Iron Horse, was a gorgeous masterwork that pretty much redefined the bobjob genre while still paying respect to its fine heritage.

Larry and Chris had been roomies on the Lower East Side until shortly after I moved to the LES myself, then had something of a falling out and blew apart to go their separate ways. Larry is long gone now too, sad to say. Ironically enough, he too has a Carolina connection: he died back in 2004 no more than thirty miles from where I sit typing this, in a crash while doing a little closed-course stunt-riding exhibition at a big bike show in Concord. Back to the Snow obit:

Chris and I parted on less than cordial terms. He headed downtown to work on Mavety’s tattoo mag, and I continued with Iron Horse. Though Chris was a biker, I don’t believe he ever considered Iron Horse as anything more significant than an exercise in exploitation. Not to get too psychoanalytical with Chris no longer around to debate the point, but it seemed to me that the shooting understandably changed him. There was maybe too much New York cynicism now in place of the mellow California vibe.

When I read of Chris’ passing on the Greasy Kulture blog, I didn’t want to accept it. I always thought that one day we’d meet again and share a Guinness or three and maybe I’d give him a tat. Over the years, I enjoyed seeing his profile shots in each issue of International Tattoo Art that accompanied his editorials— he’d grown into the curmudgeon he’d been all along. I hoped he’d get around to chronicling his biker experiences, especially those on the NYC biker scene, but there is never enough time. As it was, I could only slump back from the computer screen with the finality of Chris’s death. I cracked a cold Miller, poured a libation, took a ride on Animal Mother, and contemplated the miles and memories that lay between that simpler, more dangerous slice of New York life 25 years ago. I was thankful for each mile of the ride and all the miles that hopefully still lay ahead.

A last memory now seems a glimpse of a dream or fable. It’s a brilliant spring day in New York City, the trees luminous green with sunlight. We’re in Sager’s van. Rob’s driving, his blue-eyed hound dog, George, is in the very back, while Chris, Larry, and I are balanced on milk crates or ragged seats. We’re coming back from covering an event for the magazine, or maybe we were helping somebody move, or perhaps transporting bike parts around the city. Rob pulls the van over in front of my Brooklyn apartment to drop me off just as Deborah is walking up the sidewalk with her guitar and mic stand, her blonde hair flashing like a siren, her sundress radiant as the day. Chris leans out the window and asks, “Hey sweetie, wanna go for a ride with a van full of bikers?” Deb’s been performing Memphis Minnie songs on 7th Ave. and doesn’t miss beat. “No thanks, mister, I already got me a chauffer.” A fortunate convergence of souls. All gone so young, all deserving of so much more. All made Iron Horse a continual, ongoing journey to a limitless, unbounded horizon.

Those were the days, all right. I miss Chris greatly myself; he was one of a kind, a true American original of a type they just ain’t making anymore, and never made all that many of anyway. Rest easy, my brother, till we meet again. And thanks to David Snow for penning such a poignant, straightforward piece memorializing him.

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