Wednesday, November 26, 2008

One Percenters

Last week, I wrote about something I overheard in a fast food joint. Larry had the following observation:

There is a different number motorcycle gangs use to describe themselves, its the "1%" often inside a diamond, or "One-Percenters", which comes from the Brando movie "The Wild One", where when asked about the life depicted in the movie, the American motorcycle assoc said that the 1% of these bad characters give motorcylcing a bad name.

My current wife was a friend of Sonny Barger, the Oakland Hells Angel Chapter founder. She was at the Altamonte festival when they were providing security for the concert for the Stones. While living in the Oakland CA area, she meet lots of entertainers that liked to associated with them, Willie, Waylon, Kris, Johhny and Hank Jr.

And Larry has an interesting point.

We all have our experiences; we tend to assume that what we have experienced is "normal." From an old stats class, I translate normal to "68% of the population."I think that is one standard deviation for a normal distribution. But we aren't all normal; at least I don't think I am normal.

For instance, let's say you go to a football game. Georgia verses Georgia Tech. You notice that the Georgia fans are a bunch of animals. You assume all Georgia fans are animals. But that may not be the case.

Similarly, at work, one of your coworkers happens to be lesbian. She is also a Goth and perhaps Wiccan as well. You may conclude that all Goth-Wiccans are lesbians. And you would be wrong. Sure, they may have books on Gerald Gardner, and even have a large stash of porn, but that does not make it so.

Our minds really try and reconcile what we experience with what we believe. If one of your arch-enemies does a kindness to you, you might believe there is an ulterior motive.

What is the lesson to learn from this? Perhaps nothing. Perhaps, however, if you are a member of a group that is quite visible and you do stupid stuff, perhaps your actions will be painting a picture for those of us who are not embedded in your group.


Anonymous said...

I just think it's funny "normal" is the same as D+.

I am learning that we think normal is something that shifts around and it's based on opinion. If that's the case how can "normal" be normal. It moves. Normal should be a standard, ... right? Otherwise how do we define normal?


Leesa said...

knot: normal changes, sure. I mean, look at diversity in the workforce. It has changed quite a bit in 50 years.

LarryLilly said...

Model train club members, people who race pigeons, monkeys playing organs, accordion players who only play polka music, yeah, normal isnt what its cracked up to be.

I was the supervisor of a man that was going through a gender reversal process but was also going to become a lesbian. I would ask her, wouldnt it have been easier to stay a guy? But I clearly understood her mind, and well, I have always thought of "normal" as being odd.

Hell, my first wife had multiple personalities, yet she was normal. It was only when she changed those people in 5 minutes that made you wonder WTF?

Leesa, this amy/annon, what is her problem? I mean here, we are ALL anonymous. Is it herself that she is hiding from? Let those who are pure cast out the first stone. And I haven't seen anyone walking on water lately. Sad lonely lady, all that perfection and she still hasn't found Diogones.

~Deb said...


There are so many stereotypes for so many groups - you're right. Even in the gay and lesbian community, ---well let me narrow that down to the "lesbian community": even though I'm a lesbian, I used to categorize most of them as widely liberal protesting "dykes". Pretty harsh, right? I just thought that most of them were too political, militant and earthy. A lot are, but not all.

Later in life, I realized that it was only part of the percentage. (A huge percentage *heh*, but not all of them were like that.)

As far as bikers...a good friend of mine I grew up with wrote this on his website. I am not sure where he got this from, but I loved it.


I saw you hug your purse closer to you in the grocery store line.
But you didn't see me put an extra $10.00 in the collection plate last

I saw you pull your child closer when we passed each other on the sidewalk.
But you didn't see me playing Santa at the local mall.

I saw you change your mind about going into the restaurant.
But you didn't see me attending a meeting to raise more money for the
hurricane relief.

I saw you roll up your window and shake your head when I rode by.
But you didn't see me riding behind you when you flicked your cigarette
butt out the car window.

I saw you frown at me when I smiled at your children.
But you didn't see me when I took time off from work to run toys to the

I saw you stare at my long hair.
But you didn't see me and my friends cut ten inches off for Locks of Love.

I saw you roll your eyes at our leather jackets and gloves.
But you didn't see me and my brothers donate our old ones to those that had

I saw you look in fright at my tattoos.
But you didn't see me cry as my children were born and have their name
written over and in my heart.

I saw you change lanes while rushing off to go somewhere.
But you didn't see me going home to be with my family.

I saw you complain about how loud and noisy our bikes can be.
But you didn't see me when you were changing the CD and drifted into my lane.

I saw you yelling at your kids in the car.
But you didn't see me pat my child's hands knowing he was safe
behind me.

I saw you reading the newspaper or map as you drove down the road.
But you didn't see me squeeze my wife's leg when she told me to take the next

I saw you race down the road in the rain.
But you didn't see me get soaked to the skin so my son could have the car to go
on his

I saw you run the yellow light just to save a few minutes of time.
But you didn't see me trying to turn right.

I saw you cut me off because you needed to be in the lane I was in.
But you didn't see me leave the road.

I saw you waiting impatiently for my friends to pass.

But you didn't see me. I wasn't there.

I saw you go home to your family.

But you didn't see me.

Because I died that day you cut me off.

I was just a biker. A person with friends and a family.

But you didn't see me."

Grant said...

I am totally, relentlessly normal. Unlike the rest of you feckin' weirdos.

~Deb said...


Leesa said...

larry: the gender reversal process seems a bit extreme. but I guess that is a type of 1%er as well.

~deb: You labeled the poem, "the biker". I have seen it called "I Saw You", "You Didn't See Me", and "Just a Biker." I am not sure if the author is known - but it is a poem that speaks to bikers everywhere.

grant: yeah, you and your glowing chickens. Normal as rain. Or as Deb would say, Pffffbbtttttttt!

~Deb said...

Yeah, this is what he had on his profile and I don't know who wrote it. I saw one that said, "author unknown" as well. Hrmm. Great poem though, right?

Joe said...

Excellent observation (as usual).

What we define as normal tends to be based on the sum total of our experiences to date. In my experience, the broader those experiences the broader your definition.

Dr. Deb said...

Well said.

Anonymous said...

Deb is a tranny.

Anonymous said...

Whenever we label, we cheat that thing or person out of the whole that really is. We also especially cheat ourselves out of all that we can experience from that thing or person.
I hope this example serves for the sake of illustration and clarity: To merely call a bird, a bird, severs our ability to look beyond and experience the completely astounding mechanism and energy really going on.
Evolution has taught us to classify for survival. I think too often these days it is used to feed an ego.
Lessa rocks!

Leesa said...

joe: well said.

dr. deb: thanks, sweetie. Happy Holidays!

anon: she is not old enough to be a granny.

anon: you hit the nail on the head. Evolution favored those who label. Sabre Tooth Tiger = not a good pet; squirrel = good on toast.

And ~Deb's poem also talks about labeling.