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September 22, 2006


Three years ago I rode Prague Critical Mass (which is not called
CM but simply Cyklojizda--bikeride) and lamented that by taking
over the major highway the leaders had overreached and that all
future rides would be marred by police intervention. I was right and
wrong. The police have become involved, but only as benign escorts.
My prediction was off because it came from my American experience
where nonviolent civil disobedience is usually met with brutal force
and violent repression, whereas here the result was dialogue and
compromise. The police escort on today's sweet 1,200+ ride was sort
of welcome as their presence checked the hostility of angry drivers.

After the ride I was invited to say a few words at the release party for the Czech
translation of
Andy Singer's CARtoons. Here's some of what I said: A picture is worth
a thousand
words. And if that picture is funny, it's worth 2,000, maybe 2,300 words.
A good
cartoon is like a riddle. You decode its meaning and laugh when you "get"
the joke
. In that laughter is recognition. And recognition is the first step to change....