On the last Saturday in May, the Isle of Man Tourism Trophy begins. It’s the most important thing in the world. Spectator Australia readers will wonder why? What about Ukraine? The liberal rout? What about so many other events when we’ve never even heard of this Isle of Man story? I will explain my reasoning.
The Tourist Trophy, or TT, is an annual motorcycle event founded in 1907 and is a special gem that has ignored time.
Motor racing in general pushed back the barriers and made the sand traps bigger and bigger, eventually removing both them and the grass so that the area outside the track was frequently used to gain an advantage. No one dies anymore. Death and ugliness have been regulated out of sport, but TT is different, still largely with amateurs doing it for fun. They don’t even have a track!
There are very few great tracks left. Silverstone is a shadow of its former self, quibbled to death with crowds pushed back so far they need binoculars to see the track. Spa has survived, although the Eau Rouge Raidillon complex may have been neutered in recent times. Bathurst is a road that has turned into a race track and is typical of the great circuits of the world.
Why is it important that circuits can be designed and built to the latest and strictest standards that ensure total safety for everyone on the track? Does it matter that those old tracks, adored by foolish romantics, have been shut down or upgraded to mimic computer-designed antics where there are no consequences for actions? Do consequences matter? Don’t we want regulators to keep people safe?
Back around the Irish Sea, they run at 300km/h on a road through towns with buildings inches from the runners. Blink and you’re dead. It is typical for two riders to die each year at the event and the spectators are about the same (although some count spectator deaths as only one per year). It’s the risk of sitting on the side of a road with runners charging at high speed, and the Isle of Man is a high-speed race with much of it at full throttle.
How do idiots die on the side of a road ranked as the most important thing in the world? That’s the most important thing because these idiots chose to be there of their own free will and the powers that be decided that they are free to do so if they wish. The race nods two fingers to the Nanny State, which has conquered the rest of the world. I really want to scream at the godly establishment in Canberra, “Stop protecting me! I swallowed your garbage!
Compare that to the sugary idiots of the bureaucracy, who have nothing useful to contribute to the world. They constantly reach out to interfere with people who want to live, work, play, be exalted, succeed and fail. They are the ones who generate all the wealth that sustains the beggar public service. Meanwhile, the civil service harasses them relentlessly and does everything to convince the nation’s winners that they are, in fact, helpless victims to be dealt with.
Stop protecting me. I can do better myself without bureaucracy getting involved.
I am a fitter and turner. I have spent a large part of my life working as a toolmaker and I am jostled every day with safety rules. Rules regarding high-visibility clothing, safety glasses and hearing protection. I’ve endured too many unreadable MSDS sheets, not to mention bulky respirators and masks.
I’ve seen the civil service stage a smart takeover by requiring companies to employ security guards to essentially do civil service work. In fact, it is the civil service that gets a permanent corporate sycophant to do the bidding of bureaucracy at corporate expense. This is a major detriment to productivity and, even worse, security also deteriorates. Indeed, security concerns the individual and the actions he undertakes in his work and has nothing to do with the mountain of paper produced by the bureaucracy.
By using computer-controlled machine tools, companies have a great advantage of being fully covered. For example, you need to close the door and a sensor tells the controller that the door is closed. Only then can the control start the machining cycle. This is really good. Chips that fly around and make a popcorn sound when they hit the lids are kept away from the operator. Likewise, the coolant does not soak the operator. Manual machines are horrible things in comparison. I avoid them if I can.
Someone had the wonderful idea of protecting me by putting a lock on the door. It is impossible to do anything if the door is not closed. This is where it gets difficult. Materials of all different sizes are introduced. The machine needs to know where it is by using a hand wheel to move the tool until it touches a feeler gauge on the material, then the tool can be moved to a known position. But the door is closed. You can’t move the tool with the door open and how do you hold a feeler gauge on the counter with the door closed? Siemens decided to put a button on the controller so that if you hold down the button you can move the tool with the door open. They also positioned the button so far back that it took a full octave range to brush the edge of the steering wheel with the slightest breath.
So the machinists, although not the greatest geniuses, are straight forward people and simply unlock the door sensor tag and then leave the door open with the tag in the switch turning everything on. This is a common practice that I have seen for over 40 years. Yes, security. I’ve seen security doors on big machines unlocked and sent for demolition. Does anyone in the bureaucracy understand this?
I guess what they understand is power. It’s not really about security for them, it’s more about power and controlling whoever they can. See why I’m screaming, ‘stop protecting me’? The security they imposed did nothing to help me and a lot hurt me.
Back on the Isle of Man, they descended Bray Hill. It’s lined with stone walls on either side and the crazy load descends the drop on cold tires that have limited grip. If they hit a bump before the bottom dip and a bend to the right, they’ll have next to nothing of it under control. People do this by choice. We should celebrate that.
The mad, mindless charge into Ballagarey, where they lift before the bend, then return to it through the bend on a two-lane road with a stone wall above the gutter on the outside of the bend. We should celebrate that.
Riders call it Balla Scarey, but get as close to top speed as possible because this corner is vital to their lap time. The Creg Ny Baa pub faces a straight line, perched on top of the mountain. The bikes are charging towards him at over 300mph and any slippage means they’ll smash through the terrain, including the crowd on the porch drinking their beers and watching the race. We should celebrate that.
It’s a last taste of freedom without the stifling grip of those who dread life and fear that we live it. It’s the difference between people, some are afraid to die and a few remaining brave souls are afraid they won’t live it.
The Isle of Man is for those who wish to live and are willing to die doing so. It’s the most important thing in the world because it gives people the right to make that choice. Make the choice you want, but let everyone else make their own choice too.
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