Best letter to the editor ever

Dailies -


Cycle-World-Letter.jpgXenophobia, racism, media illiteracy and even a stab at Charlie Sheen, this is one of the craziest letters to the editor we’ve ever seen. Taken from the August issue of Cycle World (like HFL four months ago, but your girlfriend doesn’t yell at you for taking it in the bathroom), this proves that spewed vitriol isn’t the exclusive preserve of that thing all the kids are using. What’s it called? The Interwebs or something. And here we thought all letters to the editor where written by the magazine’s staffers.

via Icon

  • Zirq

    Are you referring to the blurb about the Icon Ad or the subscriber wanting to cancel their subscription?

  • MotoRandom

    Didn’t we have this mud slinging fest for the online version of this ad back in April? It’s funny how everyone talks about how badly we need to get young people into riding and wearing safety gear and the turns around and rips on one company who’s trying to accomplish those ends by speaking to young people on their level.

    Seriously. In both cases. It’s a friggin’ cartoon. Not real life. Much like Grand Theft Auto, there is not intent to condone these activities in the real world. Video games and cartoons are not the real world. They are entertainment. Stop taking yourselves so seriously. If you are not entertained, turn off your TV, shut down your computer, close the magazine and go for a nice walk. It’s not that hard.

  • shinigami

    What’s your point?

    The Icon ad, while perhaps eye-catching (like, say, a multi-car wreck on the 405, or, say, an Icon promotional video) is also ugly, and degenerate.

    The fact that an ad campaign caters to hooliganism does not make it profound.

    • Wes Siler

      As stated many times here, I’m actually a big fan of Icon’s advertising. They target young men with a hormone overload, young men with raging hormone’s dig violence, voila, advertising.

  • Random

    It’s a relief everybody knows how to distinghish fiction (and ads and art and videogames) form reality. Dont’t we?

    Do the rest of the world hate US because of the culture exported worldwide? Doesn’t seem so around here. The quality of the american (ahem) “adult” movies, seems to be particularly appreciated.

  • Random

    Dawm, I need a splel checkcer. Sorry for above.

  • Zac

    It’s not really that crazy of a letter. It’s pretty typical “kids these days” crap. Sure I see the media illiteracy, but seriously, what racism?! A jab at “rap music culture” hardly constitutes racism, and is, in fact, a pretty race free way of picking out certain cultural memes.

  • Mark D.

    I’m going to go watch some Two and a Half Men, because if I don’t, the terr’ists win. I THOUGHT THIS WAS A’MURICAH!

  • The EMD

    The Icon ads are my favorites. Cartoons, hot babes, cool bikes….uh, I guess I don’t see what the big deal is. To posit that these ads cause others to hate the U.S. is bullshit. People hate/ harbor stereotypes/ discriminate for many different reasons, but I’m pretty sure a cartoon ad in an MC mag isn’t one of them…except for a few wingnuts that is. Bring back more ads like this!

  • mbs

    Frickin’ classic stuff right there. I hear the guys at Icon are all terrorists… with the ho’s.

  • telekom


    • HammSammich


      It’s a little boring and formulaic. Perhaps that alone won’t cause society to fall apart, but when combined with the twin demons of rap music and and pr0n, it clearly creates some sort of unholy reaction that will lead to the apocalypse, or at least to the French disliking us more.

  • eric

    That was some funny stuff. Go to Icon’s site; their comments about it had my in stitches. Spring break in Kabul, eh? Classic.

  • Kidchampion

    Yes, he has a point. In other countries, Benny Hill would be chasing a topless woman around that motorcycle, to the tune of Yackety Sax. Now that was real music! Unlike your so-called “rap culture”.

  • Chuluun

    Maybe he’s just as bummed as me that there hasn’t been a great rap album since ‘The Cold Vein’.

    I didn’t think it was such a crazy letter, but I know you guys get impatient with us ‘media illiterates’ who don’t grasp the finer points of advertising/graphic design. Because that, after all, is how to distinguish a rounded human being.

    • Wes Siler

      I’m glad you can acknowledge your inadequacy, it’s the first step to recovery. :)

      It’s just funny someone complaining about violent media in 2010, I mean how long have people been saying that violent video games/movies/whatever are going to bring about the downfall of society and turn our kids into brain sucking zombies?

      • HammSammich

        It goes back at least to comic books or radio, and I seem to recall somewhere that historically similar arguments were even made about reading too many works of fiction in general.

        I do wish our society could draw a better distinction between sex and violence in the media. I’m baffled by some of my friends who have no problem with their children watching the simulated autopsies of murder victims on shows like CSI, etc. but balk at the notion of topless women as being somehow unnatural and wrong.

        Regardless, this is clearly not the sort of simulated violence that one could even remotley mistake for reality so I’m not sure where the anger comes from. It’s tantamount to complaining about Plymouth’s use of the Road Runner name and image because the Warner Brother’s Cartoons were too violent.

        • Wes Siler

          You sir, sound very media literate :)

          • HammSammich

            Awww shucks, thanks.

  • JB

    Fun stuff huh? In response to that letter, we actually got an excellent letter in response, to wit: “Yes, it IS George Bush’s fault. It’s not decadent advertising that bothers the rest of the world, it’s the dropping of high explosives on innocent people. In fact, American decadence since World War II is mostly what’s made the US immensely popular worldwide, motorcycles themselves being largely a manifestation of decadence.”

    A great point. But we don’t wanna go getting all political do we?

    • matt

      that is an great point, it’s not us showing off, we aren’t as ostentaicious as the oil rich nations after all, in our displays of weath, but our disregard for human life that makes the rest of the world think we are scum. I agree whole heartedly (the democrats do it too, clinton bombed an asprin factory after all. but it was one factory vs two whole countries, but, just a matter of scale)

      And more on topic, I love Icon’s ads. without seeing the ad: you’re young, you go out and buy a fast bike, you ask one of your friends to show you how to ride it, your friend does (that’s me) he says just keep it in the nieghborhood for now, till you get a chance to take a class (to become a “better rider”, and (implyed) go even faster), the guy who bought the bike spends four hours in the emegnecy room because he listened to you and wasn’t out on the highway when he tired to run from the cops, and wound up on the side of the road in the bushes. hospital vs morgue. (and seeing him after he wrecked his bike going 30, most of my friends swore of bikes forever.)

      or you see the ad, you buy some gear, ‘cuase it looks cool, and not in the wild one way, before you go out on the bike in the first place. who cares how good it is, if your wearing it that’s a huge plus on your survial chances. yes jeans will get torn to shreads against the roads, but those few seconds that they give you over bare skin???

      I tired loneing my friend a helmet and he refused, it wasn’t “cool” (this was well before icon was “cool” amoung young men)

  • Stephen

    I thought the Icon ad was pretty clever – perhaps that makes me an immoral, decadent piece of human trash who’s in league with the terrorists. But I’d rather be that than some shrivelled-up, neo-Puritan prick.

  • Chris

    Ignoring all forms of marketing is a skill that many lack, and even more could work harder on.

    Buy the stuff you want/need and don’t buy/care about the other products.

    Example: Why do Coke and Pepsi advertise? Has anyone not heard of or been practically forced to consume one of their products? I don’t think so.

  • Tom

    The point it moot. Icon stuff is crap, makes you look like a cartoon, and quite frankly I don’t like it.

    So basically they’ve succeeded in their marketing. Sell crap to young adrenaline fueled mind fucks at a large profit while making them think they are outdoing the old, out of touch “loser” bikers who just don’t understand.

    How’s that Rage against the machine song go?
    “Make you think that buying is rebelling?”

    • HammSammich

      I get that you’re kind of joking and being kind of serious, and I’ll concede that a lot of Icon’s stuff is goofy looking – but not all of it. I wear an Icon Helmet and gloves, not becuase of their advertising – I don’t think I’ve actually seen much before this post today. Nor do I think that I’m somehow buying into a counterculture by wearing their gear. I actually went to the Helmet shop with intent to purchase a Scorpion helmet because of their fog free shields, but the shell didn’t fit me right. So I went with an Icon that was comparable in price and looks (I can’t remember the model name, but mine is a pretty basic gloss black full face helmet, with some largish vents on the back). I recently replaced that one with another identical helmet after my high-side in January, because I could confidently order online without trying it on first.

      I’m guessing that for each of the d-bag Icon guys that you describe, there are just as many “ol’ Timer’s” who are still convinced that it’s safer not to wear a helmet or just to throw on a puddin’ bowl. Even if their marketing makes young dumbasses think they are somehow “Raging against the machine it still gets them wearing proper gear, right?

      • Tom


        Thankfully you can see my humor, and also see the point of my post. :)

  • powermatic

    Someday a real rain will come and wash all this scum off the streets.

    • K2theM

      Might I recommend some PDX Gear?

      Ride Icon – PDX Gear

      Icon gear has served me well for 3+ years now. Fits me good, looks great, and protects wonderfully.

    • DoctorNine

  • squidmarks

    Icon gear is great protection and is fairly priced. it wont make it through the first time you go down in it, but it will save your ass. All their gear, for the most part, will make you look like some Dbag squid 16 yr old, but isn’t that the point? Lets get the young guys/girls riding in gear so when they go down they dont give it up. once they’re older and realize how much of a squid they are they’ll become the pretentious assholes in italian gear on uppity euro bikes you want them to be…. or we can just be a nation of Harley riders.

  • AK

    Icon is for the dirt digglers (post cocked-out) and unrespecting citizens who have ZERO understanding of motorcycle and its culture/industry but at least they like bikes like you and I?


    Do we care about their shity comic book ads that condone violence and mayhem?

    No, because its target audience was intended for the above.

    Hopefully your kid isn’t stupid.


    Because he/she will surley be able to decipher for themselves that self respecting people don’t buy or wear this junk.

    (I’m not to happy about this post or my time reflecting on it, I feel as though I may have wasted 2+ minutes of my life thinking about such an insignificant subject.)

    Maybe I’ll just start making my own gear…

  • Mike J

    As someone from outside the US, I can confirm this correspondent’s opinion that Two and a Half Men is indeed wholly responsible for ALL world wide negative opinions directed towards America.

  • Sledgecrowbar

    ‘the rap “music” culture’

    Queue Bill Cosby

    You almost had me up to there. Now I’m certain this shitforbrains is a crotchety old man past his expiration date who needs to be put out of everyone else’s misery. Now there’s crap rap, and then there’s hip hop music that’s a valuable part of culture. Nobody has to like everything, but you can’t roll all rap music into one bad stereotype without at least doing the same for gospel and country. See what I mean? Two different things.

    As for the ad, Icon’s campaign in general doesn’t appeal to me at all, but I understand who it’s aimed at.

  • schizuki

    The term “racist” is so carelessly flung around that basically it now just means “doubleplus-ungood.”

  • jaski_sm

    Helmetless beefy people riding elongated, chrome Hayabusas always make me laugh. Because of that, Icon ads also look funny to me. Like the ‘Torque’ movie… (i’m from poland) (sorry for bad english)

  • the other larry

    Well the one guy does ride a BMW so whadidya expect?

  • ez

    “American” culture & entertainment is about the only thing the country can sell at the moment and actually make money (Excluding weapons ranging from 9mm handguns, tomahawk missiles to F-18′s, we are good at that too)

    It is kind of funny pinning porn on the US though, Its those Americans and their porn!

  • lloydy

    Thats your idea of a crazy letter??
    Seems on the money to me, why do you think the rest of the world hates america then??

  • Eric

    -1 for the racism accusation. So going from “meeting the nicest people on a Honda” to having a rolling gunbattle between gangbangers is seen as progress?

  • saboteur

    As part of the rest of the world, I can confirm Americans are held in low regards. But actually it is not because of the immorality, decadence, porn or George Bush (well.. may be George Bush). I mean, have you ever seen european movies or series?! they are way more immoral and pornographic.
    What the rest of the world dosen’t really like is people like James, which think they are better and more moral than everyone else but actually just have very small insights.
    Thankfully not all American’s are like this!