It seems to me that helmet laws are an exercise in ‘natural selection’. A quick reference in any scientific journal sets forth the proposition that natural selection is the process by which natural genetic variations within a population or organism may cause some within the populace to survive and reproduce, and some to die off. Simple. The archetypal example of extinct species, the dodo bird, was a flightless bird endemic of the islands in the Indian Ocean. It neither feared humans, nor had any predators, that is to say until the 17th century, when humans discovered how tasty they were. The influx of external stimuli coupled with too few generations able to adapt to changing condition equaled extinction. Why do I say this? Well, the absence of a helmet on a motorcycle has exponential effects of potential death in the event of rider separating from machine. Although, helmeted riding has an extremely negative social consequence. If we as a species teach social traits to our young that include helmetless riding then those offshoots of populace mathematically may die off. Though the converse may cause reduced population dynamics for reasons stated below.
I’ve heard every variation of argument known to man about helmeted motorcycle travel, pro and con, with and without, mandated and chosen, legislated and unlegislated, loved and hated. I don’t care if you memorized the “Hurt Report” from 1981 cover to cover. I don’t care if you are a forensic neurologist, an emergency room orthopedist, an electrical engineer an electron particle scientist, an ambulance EMT, a helmet fatality statistical mathematician, or a constitutional law professor. One simple inescapable fact remains despite the volumes of research that either side of the helmet debate is capable of generating. DRUM ROLL: Helmets fuck up your hair. Yes, I have declared it so. “So it is written, so shall it be“ words convincingly spoken by Yul Brenner playing Ramses II in Cecil b. De Mille’s film ‘The Ten Commandments’ (1956). Rent it sometime. Albeit ironic that the great Yul Brenner was bald as a cue ball in the roll. I assume you thought I was going to join the debate on the great orthodox argument that “helmets save lives”? Oh Contraire. While helmeted biking may save lives and our government’s imposition of such rules upon us is a great example of “I’m from the government and I’m here to help”, my point is not pro or con helmet for safety sake. The simple fact remains that a helmet, be it full faced, half shelled, modular, peanut shell novelty, three quarter, vintage, smoke shielded, custom painted, chrome polished or like mine, clearance sold – WILL MAKE A MESS OF YOUR HAIR!!!!!!!!! So ignore New Hampshire’s “Live Free or Die” slogan. Forget the political debates of the last 30 years on federal funding and any ‘approved list of helmets’. Cast aside your standing on to ride lid free or not. Political action committees to support freedom of helmet choice candidates? My analysis saves all that trouble. The real question lies within our vanity, not within our politics.
We live in a society where amazingly women will implant saline, silicone or composite bags into their chest in the hopes that they will perhaps look better. Men will plant rows of someone else’s hair in lines like corn across their scalp in the hopes they will perhaps look better. Both sexes will inject their faces with needles full of Botox bacteria (Botulinum Toxin Type A) in the hopes they will perhaps look better. Crazy? Personal choice I say. Nonetheless, great lengths are taken to get to the ‘look better’ result. So say what you will about the safety and reliability of wearing your helmet. The fact remains that doing so will negatively affect your appearance, at least until the next day. I say we rise up. We band together as a vein society and fight our oppressors with fire. If tanning bed companies can convince the FDA that UV radiation despite being known to cause cancer, premature aging, 1st to 3rd degree burns and eye damage, are safe, then why can’t we as bikers use the same tactic? Helmets are prejudicing us because they are messing up our hair. They are rendering worthless the millions of dollars we as bikers spend on hair care products, stylists, colorists, dyes, relaxers, curlers, dryers, brushes, combs, and for the ultra vein – glitter!!
Us motorcyclists, while donning helmets, have been reduced to a disheveled looking bunch, thereby contributing to poor public perception, diminished hygiene, bad self image, poor societal relationships and ultimately a less productive class of people. If you think freedom of choice on helmet laws is your position, you’re wrong. Forget all that you have learned. Drop the fight for helmetless travel using the U.S. Constitution or the State Legislation. Join your brothers and sisters of the open road and look in the mirror. You really look like hell. Your hair is a mess. Matted down to your scalp or stuck to your forehead. Band together. Rise up. Call your Congressman/woman and be heard on the new tactic. We are sick of being forced to look unkempt, being treated unfairly because of how we appear, and not advancing along with the rest of society because of bad hair (otherwise known as helmet head). This pandemic may ultimately genetically mutate us over time to live shorter, less healthy lives. So you see, taken scientifically with all sociological implications considered, HELMETS JUST MAY BE KILLING US!!!!
Well, signing off for now. Remember, ride strong, ride safe, and in the end, make sure you ride home. (and in all seriousness, please wear a helmet). Written by Steve Murrin, the ‘Original Biker Lawyer’