Mark Palermo

Haverhillicus Homocrisicum

He Was Our S.O.B.
Long Ago Saturday Nights at the Circle 9
The Dark Side of Vaccinations
Wine: Where Ignorance and Pretension Find their Loudest Voice
A 1976 Journey in Search of Self
The Machinery of Mass Dreams
The Outlaw Georgie Bush
Sex Offender Registries Out of Control
Extreme Makeover for Airheads
The Fault Lies not in the Stars, but in Ourselves
Reconsidering George Carlin
If You Think Liberals Are Jerks...
She Couldn't Do Her Chores
Remembering Viktor Frankl
One Day on the Farm-1977
A Fresh Look at Meat
How the Real World Works: A Lesson
30 Bucks for the Human Touch
1929 All Over Again
An Old Man's War, A Young Man's Fight
More Things in Heaven and Earth...
Our Dumbed-down Public Discourse
Bread, But No Roses
Earth's the Right Place for Love
Read This Before Enlisting
Poison Is Good for You: The Fluoridation Scam
Ron Paul:He Makes Too Much Sense
War Is a Racket
Brazil's National Orgasm Day
Calling all Liberals!
Why I Don't Get Flu Shots
What is Community?
Haverhillicus Homocrisicum
If You Wanna Be a Junkie, Why?
Do We Know His Family?
Scam: Youth Sports
A Subsidy for the Human Touch?
How Not to Be Boring
If the Bread and Roses Strike Were NOW
America's Problem with the Body
Columbus Day? or Renaissance Day?
Depleted Uranium Weapons
Mitt Romney: A Clintonian Republican
A Checklist for Conservatives
On Torture and Torturers
Pimp of the Nation
Romney is a Jerk
Hypocrisy and its Champions
The Dumb Society
The Men's Taverns of Yesteryear
On Dittoheads!
Let China Sleep
2004 McDebates
Animal Rights Page
US Wealth Distribution Chart
Public Grief, Private Lives


   During the past summer, I observed a phenomenon in men from Haverhill, and it would make a great thesis for an anthropology study. The Latin term is Haverhillicus homocrisicum, or a mid-life crisis- Haverhill style.
   In other cultures men deal with ageing in various ways. In some tribal cultures, for instance, a man at midlife might give away all his possessions in order to enhance his prestige within the social group. In Europe and Latin America, a middle aged man- if he is prosperous- may acquire and maintain a young, nubile girlfriend, whom he visits on rainy afternoons. Ancient Hindu scriptures describe the Vanaprasthaya, or the forest dweller phase of life, in which a man renounces the world and turns inward for the approaching autumn and winter of his life. In Haverhill, however, a man buys a motorcycle.
   Behold Haverhillicus homocrisicum. He is typically between 30 and 40 years old. His waistline is expanding. He finds himself huffing after climbing a flight of stairs, but he tells himself he just needs to put some time in at the gym. In order to conceal his receding hairline, he shaves his head, thinking that this seemingly clever ruse makes him look virile and cool- and hence more attractive to younger females. To demonstrate his mastery over powerful machines, he alters the muffler of his motorcycle so that it makes an obscene amount of noise. He drives up and down Haverhill"s semi- rural streets ruining the peace and quiet of others who- unlike himself, like to enjoy their free time in peace and quiet. If asked, he will say he gets a sense of freedom from his bike. The only problem is when his freedom means that a sleepy afternoon relaxing in your backyard is impossible because it sounds like living at the edge of an airport with Boeing 747s taking off every three minutes.
   Some will say that loud pipes are a necessary safety measure- admittedly, a reasonable argument when one considers the astounding number of morons who insist on talking on a cell phone while they drive cars. But a motorcycle is a discretionary vehicle for most people. Probably less than 1% of motorcyclists depend on as primary transportation. If safety is a concern, a motorcyclist can use his car: nobody is forced to ride a motorcycle.
   Moreover, if we apply the safety argument, what happens when I, who also have concerns about safety, remove the muffler from my truck so that others will be more aware of me? Of course the police would ticket me- which is what they should do with motorcyclists who alter a stock muffler to make it louder. 
   So Haverhillicus homocrisicum, give it up. There's a whole new world out there: Spend quiet evenings reading a book. Attend ham and bean suppers at your local place of worship. Take up vegetable gardening. Ageing happens. I wish you all safe but quiet journeys.