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The Passage of a Few People Through a Rather Brief Moment in Time #166 - Parasites!

09.19.12

One or more persons during a certain period drop their usual motives
for movement and action, their relations, their work and leisure activities,
and let themselves be drawn by the attractions of the terrain and the
encounters they find there.

It's a bike ride.

Started by user nathansnider and user theroyalacademy.

It meets every Wednesday at 8:30pm
at California Donuts #21.
We ride at 9pm.
We'll endeavor to return before the last red line trains (around midnight).

On this bike ride, you might expect:
- inconvenient passageways
- oblique strategies
- Oulipian constraints
- disorientation
- reorientation
- "cover" versions of other people's rides, performed with amateurish enthusiasm
- amateurish enthusiasm
- pool halls
- bowling alleys
- karaoke
- geocaching
- full moon picnics
- traffic median tea parties
- rivers that no longer exist
- smell tourism
- Couchwick v2.0

Furthermore:
- usually 20-35 miles
- usually some hills
- a medium pace (probably not for beginners; certainly not a hustle)
- few stops, short stops
- but we're not in a rush; we don't need to run every light
- victory donuts!

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This week:

Parasites!


I yam what I yam, says Popeye. And, in a way, he is correct. Sure. We are what
we are. Yet, in another way, he is kinda wrong. For in addition to the human "you"
which you "are," each of us is also a complex ecosystem of otherness. Myriad
organisms live on our skin, in our gut, throughout our body. We couldn't live
without them. They keep our body running. And, numerically, they outnumber us:
only about one in ten of the cells in our bodies are human. The rest are bacteria,
fungi, protozoa. They are not quite us, but we are them.

The ride title is a misnomer then, because we are not talking about parasites --
the ticks, the tape worms, the bed bugs -- no. The relationship in question here is
one of symbiosis. Two things coming together to their mutual benefit. And, really,
we shouldn't even be looking at it from Popeye's point of view. Our vantage point
will be that of the gut flora. Not the host but the, let's say, guest (the endosymbiont,
if you want to get technical). And, okay, even this symbiosis analogy breaks down
a bit because chances are we won't outnumber anything. But -- bear with us here --
we will, for a time, merge with another as one. And our fate will be tied up with our
host's. Our speed, our distance, our elevation: all at its mercy*. ...Until, ultimately,
we must break off -- seeking alternate, donut-based sustenance once more.

* Chances are it will be relatively slow, short, and low.

** Note: the early worm catches the bird, so we'll be leaving ON TIME at
9pm SHARP this week.

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For the latest information about each week's ride, join our mailing list:
http://groups.google.com/group/the-passage-announcements

For more information about past rides, visit our website:
http://www.ThePassageRide.com

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Certain shifting angles,
certain receding perspectives.
 


Posted by theroyalacademy