Wild Rides and Wildflowers: The Question of Helmets


I’ve been thinking about why we didn’t wear helmets after the first years that we rode our bikes.

For me it is connected to the impulse not to give in to coercion. We were working in a very coercive environment and we were members of a very coercive church and the society that we lived in was coercive in many aspects. Even though we had chosen to be part of all those coercive environments neither of us was well-equipped to work in them in the submissive manner that was required. Well equipped isn’t the right word. Neither of us was disposed to submit. We were and are risk takers. And we are defenders of others in the face of authoritarian coercion. Wearing helmets was safe. We were tired of being safe. To end a life with an epitaph that says “he was always safe” is just not interesting. Or honorable. So we didn’t wear helmets.

Those are my thoughts as I prepare (once again) to take on the bureaucratic administrators (is that redundant) over their denial of our department’s wish to hire Scott Carrier.


About Scott Abbott

Ph.D. in German Literature from Princeton University, 1979. Then I taught at Vanderbilt University, BYU, and Utah Valley State College. At Utah Valley University, I'm Director of the Program in Integrated Studies and former Chair of the Department of Humanities and Philosophy. My publications include a book on Freemasonry and the German Novel, two co-authored books with Zarko Radakovic (published in Serbo-Croatian in Belgrade), and translations of a book by Austrian author Peter Handke and of a catalogue of an exhibit called "The German Army and Genocide." More famously, my children are in the process of creating good lives for themselves: as a model and manager, as a teacher of Chinese language, as a watershed scientist and science writer, as a jazz musician, as a corrections officer, as university students, and as parents. I share my life with UVU historian Lyn Bennett and our yellow dog Blue. Some publications at http://works.bepress.com/scott_abbott/
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