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Pumpkin Festival

I previously blogged about Street Vibrations and the club-on-club shooting in Sparks, NV last month at John Ascuaga’s Nugget Casino which left dead the HAMC San Jose Chapter President (Jeffrey Pettigrew).

We now have the first documented incident of how the HAMC and Vagos violence has provoked a response from law enforcement in Manteca, CA which is about 75 miles east of San Francisco.

It happened at a Pumpkin Festival in “the family city.”  Yes a Pumpkin Festival.  Two members of the Bikers for Christ Motorcycle Ministry were asked to leave the street fair by the Manteca Police because they were wearing their motorcycle vest with ministry patches on the back. They were told it was due to the shooting in Sparks, NV.

Keep in mind that the Christian Motorcycle Ministry is a non-profit ministry.  Not a street gang, or are they really even a motorcycle club.   Their purpose is to bring the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the biker world, a section of society,  that many have chosen not to associate with. The ministry has been operating for 21 years without problems.

Isn’t profiling against the law?  The Supreme Court ruled in the case of Cohen vs. California, 403 U.S.15 (1971) that individuals have the constitutional right under the First Amendment to wear clothing which displays writings or designs. In addition, the right of an individual to have freedom of association has long been recognized and protected by the Courts.

What’s next?  I suppose, motorcyclists will be asked to leave events because they are wearing a H.O.G. emblem on a vest or people wearing a Harley-Davidson t-shirt or one from their favorite Sons of Anarchy television show. I find this whole situation discouraging.

Photo taken by author in Hood River.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog
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H-D Liberation Video

Last night, Harley-Davidson launched the next version of their No Cages campaign during the season premiere of Sons of Anarchy (SOA) on FX.

The advertising spot, called “Liberation“, adds to the limited portfolio of creative developed as part of the motor companies crowd sourcing strategy, introduced last year.

Sons of Anarchy Cast

Mark-Hans Richer, Harley-Davidson’s Chief Marketing Officer stated: “This latest effort builds upon our momentum as the on-road motorcycles market share leader in the U.S., as well as our leadership in sales to young adults, women, Hispanics and African-Americans and the growth we’ve made in international markets.”  He went on to say… “this process has helped to liberate the creativity of our most passionate of fans.”

Like previous No Cages creative, crowd-sourcing partner Victors & Spoils shared the Harley-Davidson creative brief broadly online, and the best idea was further developed and the creator rewarded. In the Liberation case, the idea came from 30-year-old film maker and visual content creator Benjamin Swan of Sioux Falls, SD, who believes that collaboration breeds creation.

And speaking of Sons of Anarchy and last night’s premier for the 4th season. Below are eight video clips from the new season that you might want to check out whether you tuned-in last night or not.

Season Preview
SOA is back for an all new season HERE.

Sneak Peek
Watch an exclusive scene from the all new season of Sons of Anarchy HERE.

Bike Mechanic
Check out the bikes from Sons of Anarchy HERE.

Production Design
Go behind the scenes of SOA and get an inside look into the show’s set and production design HERE.

Make Up
The bruises of SOA tell a story. Go behind the scenes and see how the show creates the gruesome makeup effects HERE.

Wardrobe
Go behind the scenes of the biker style of SOA HERE.

Charlie’s Prison Haircut
Go behind the scenes and find out why “Jax” cut his hair for season 4 HERE.

Hiatus
Take an inside look into what the cast does in between seasons HERE.

Photos courtesy of H-D Facebook and FX/SOA.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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They are an old school gang.  They are extremely violent.  Beatings and black eyes are standard.  The group has turf where they make their money with drug sales and other enterprises and while in pursuit of those sales they are very territorial with much of the violence being against adversarial clubs. No one knows that an undercover ATF agent infiltrated the organization and are about to “green-light” a takedown of the worst of the worst criminals.

If you didn’t now better you’d think I was referring to a seminal moment in American law enforcement history, illustrating the courage and determination to take down an outlaw motorcycle organization.  I’m not.  I’m talking about the FX television series “Son’s of Anarchy,”  which begins the third season tonight.  Creativity and careers means viewers will continue to tap into a fantasy… who doesn’t want to be a biker outlaw, right?

Open a refreshment and escape to the little Charming town sans cookie-cutter condos with foreclosure notices as the club bashes some heads into concrete and piles up the bodies.  The series isn’t your typical script where the writer-producer phoned it in and wrote a review saying so. I’ve never met writer Kurt Sutter (@sutterink), but media reports state he is arrogant, rants about authority, and was denied by Emmy.  I think he is a shrewd marketer of misbehavior.  Any “noise” he generates in the blogosphere helps in terms of show profile.  And isn’t that all that matters in the end?!

It’s more expensive than ever to create a hit that few people care about.  Last season “Son’s” drew an average of 4.5M total viewers (Nielsen Co.).  Clearly not insignificant, but in this overexposed wave of Idol insta-stardom it has a minor place atop the TV media pile.  Season 3 picks up with:  A member of the True IRA club who has stolen the infant son of Jax Teller in retribution for… I don’t remember now.  The same Irish dude also terminated Half-Sack in one of the episodes.  Then Gemma shot Polly for kidnapping her and enabling a rape and then… now I’m confused as the plot line has more turns than a day time soap opera.  Where is that URL to the Son’s Wikipedia page?

I hope Sutter remains true to the setting without becoming stereotypical in Season 3.  We know it’s hard work as you deal with everybody’s prediliections.  After all, Jesse James has taught us the all important lesson of keeping our infidelities to a manageable number and the OCC boyz have shown that the first step in turning your life around is to do the right thing for your family.

I don’t have a Kurt Sutter man-crush, but here are some previous SOA blog posts made over the last 2 years: OMG New Media Darlings: Men of Mayhem; Bikes, Bullets & Brawls; Mail Room of Life; Bottling Ideas; Be Good & You’re Lonely; Sutter Shout Out; Season 3 Ideas

Photo courtesy of FX/L.A. Times/Gary Friedman.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Book of Eli

If the first installment of Son’s of Anarchy” (SOA), Kurt Sutter’s unique take on a motorcycle gangs modern life, served as a refreshing kick during a woeful aftermath of the financial crisis, then the 2nd installment served as a protest on assault weapon prices and the growing divide between the haves and the have-nots.

Even when viewed as mindless diversion, it’s difficult to imagine how the 3rd installment will provide bolder and grittier action for the discordant “Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels” crowd.

Television sequels find it difficult to live up to the glory of the previous season, especially when the original was a hit.  And according to Kurt Sutter, season 3 will deal with SOA roots and “a world that is outside their own.”  Speaking of another world, I came up with some ideas for Sutter’s “anarchists.” In a word Kurt – APOCALYPSE!

Is there anything better than an apocalypse? No food, marauding motorcycle gangs out to kill you, survival skills, a horrible lack of soap – none of its good.  Season 3 could be all about how SAMCRO survives in an apocalyptic world?  The below film examples might provide Mr. Sutter story ideas for SOA season 3:

  • Introduce a dangerous loner – (The Book of Eli, 2010) – SOA could introduce a “Hatchet” Harry character like Denzel Washington who plays Eli, a dangerous loner who protects the only book that could save humankind or the SOA club. For some reason, there are a lot of people out to stop him, so Eli has to depend some handy kung-fu skills with a mini-sword to survive.  SOA would need martial-arts training to combat the loner and stay alive in a post-apocalyptic world.
  • Don’t trust the military (28 Days Later, 2003) – In a country overrun by zombies, it’s completely understandable that SOA would run to “church” – the first safe haven within hundreds of miles. But when that fortress is overrun by dozens of all- male military officers who haven’t seen women in weeks, their intentions toward female companions of the club are probably less than noble.
  • Conserve water (Tank Girl, 1995) – The year 2033 is basically a paradise for quirky middle-schoolers; But, drinking water is, well, harder to track down than Tiger Woods. So, don’t be surprised if the world’s most powerful corporation tries to kill everyone the club knows so they can control the water wells.
  • Kidnap an orphan (Waterworld, 1995) – This post-apocalyptic future is literally a water world, so change the location of the club and the survival basics are self-evident. Some kind of flotation device will be needed. Motorcycles are exchanged for Jet-skis. And if you can manage to collect enough old milk jugs, tie them together and form the floating Sons of Anarchic city state on the open water.  Of course they would rely on filtered pee for drinking water in the endless search for an orphan with a map to the Promised Land tattooed on her back.
  • Have a good, old-fashioned book-burning at the library (The Day After Tomorrow, 2004) – Sure, the effects of global warming occur over many years. But on FX what if global warming was impatient and decided to screw over SOA in just one week? Well, for one, Charming, California would get wicked cold – so cold that arctic wolves would roam the streets for food. Fortunately, the solution can be found at the local club house: members barricade inside.  Eat chips from the vending machine and start burning every book in sight. Who needs knowledge when the temperature is plummeting?
  • Invent time travel (12 Monkeys, 1995) – Wouldn’t it be swell if SOA could go back in time and do things differently for the good of the club? You know, so that Charming wouldn’t have been plagued by the white supremacy “virus” that forced the SAMCRO survivors to form a new society, deep under the Earth’s crust? Good thing someone invented time travel! That way, SOA can send club members back in time to try and collect information about the “virus” so that the future-people can make a cure. Time machines don’t do much about, say, the fact that the club is pretty well damned to live in the dark with a bunch of creepy scientists for company, but whatever.
  • Run! Run for your life! (Children of Men, 2006)- When every woman in Charming stops getting pregnant, civilization is bound to get a little nutty. So, imagine how SOA would react if they were in charge of protecting the sole pregnant woman on the entire planet. A friendly baby shower is out of the question and it’s best to lace up your boots and do plenty of cardio, because SAMCRO has a lot of terrorists and religious zealots to outrun.
  • Outwit, outplay, outlast (Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior, 1981) – You might think this IS the slogan for SOA. But when SAMCRO is trapped in the only remaining oil refinery and surrounded by a murderous gang of cagers that want your gasoline, the motto “outwit, outplay, outlast” may be what saves the club. First, try a decoy: While the bad dudes think the gas is in one place, take the real stuff somewhere else. Then get a loner with impressive kung-fu and driving skills to take out every last one of the psychopaths, while the club rides off into the unknown. You may not know where you’re going, but at least you’re going somewhere in the wind!
  • Be a good dad (The Road, 2009) – The apocalypse is no excuse to abandon parenting skills. In fact, this is the perfect opportunity to teach the outlaw children about peer pressure: Just because every other human on Earth has turned to murder and cannibalism to survive is no reason to adopt those habits for the club children, right? The SAMCRO offspring will not only learn valuable survival skills, but their self-esteem will be through the roof.

There you have it.  A few potential plot ideas for season 3.  I left off the possible extended two-hour episode of club hostages incorporating the Stockholm Syndrome into the tyrannical ways of the club.

Thank me later Kurt.

Photo courtesy of Comic Con and Tommy Lee Edwards.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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The business of blogs is big business.

Then there are moments which reaffirm that blogs are not about selling, but for CONNECTING.  It’s about putting it all out there unfiltered, getting into disagreements, not afraid to look like a tool.  It’s the honesty that grabs you.

Kurt Sutter is about dishing up honesty and plays the new media game where the rules are being made up as we go.   People follow him because he is so provocative, so interesting that they want to tune in.  You may know him as the writer/producer of the FX television series called Sons of Anarchy.  He is an Academy Award-winning writer, actor and is well known for his work on The Shield.

He recently did an interview HERE about blogging and provided some insight on the TV show.  He also provides a shout-out about this blog as one of his favorite motorcycle blogs.  Huh?  Sure, I’ve posted on the series, but I’ve certainly not been slobbering all over myself about the show.  In fact, I’ve been somewhat critical due to a number of episodes that I feel go beyond developing characters (Gemma’s rape; Tig bites the nose off a guys face) for the purpose of “goosing up” ratings with violence.   So where does that leave us?  Did Mr. Sutter “work” me?  I’ve been worked before.  I recognize it when I see it.  I’m not sure this time as Kurt is not some backwoods uneducated nit-wit who is clueless about the new media business.

Blind Faith once sang, it’s time to come down off your throne.  Mr. Sutter does that and for a split-second I felt like the blog mattered.  That’s the power of blogs.  You are momentarily CONNECTED.

Sutter is on Facebook, Twitter and blogs at sutterink.

Photo courtesy of FX and SOA.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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Delonte West

Delonte West

Do 3-wheeled motorcycle (“Trike”) owners carry more weapons than the 2-wheeled brethren?

Although there is no scientific research or poll which confirms the “packing” attributes of each vehicle type, the recent arrest of NBA player Delonte West is an indicator that we might want to give the 3-wheeled riders a bit little more distance in the future!

Turns out that Mr. West, a D.C. native-turned NBA player for the Cav’s was riding his Can Am Spyder and was pulled over in Prince Georges County, MD at 10pm for — now get this — cutting off a law enforcement canine unit.  After being pulled over for “making an unsafe lane change” he was arrested for weapons possession.  What was most impressive was the assortment and number of weapons he was carrying on the trike — THREE!  One for each wheel.  A Beretta 9mm in his waistband, a Ruger .357 magnum strapped to his leg and a shotgun in a guitar case slung over his back.  Police charged West with two criminal counts of carrying a handgun for the Ruger and the Beretta, and issued him a traffic citation for driving “in excess of reasonable and prudent speed.”

CanAm Spyder -- Shotgun "optional"

CanAm Spyder -- Shotgun "optional"

Either he’s been watching too much “Arnold” (Terminator) or Son’s of Anarchy on FX.  Or maybe its time to put down the PS3 controller and give Grand Theft Auto a rest because this is retarded behavior.

My parents always taught me to follow the rules.  Don’t run with scissors.  Don’t litter. Don’t talk with your mouth full.  Don’t swim right after eating.  And don’t stick a loaded weapon down your pants (at least with the safety off — right Plaxico!).  Clearly I was brainwashed.  We have been fed this crap all our lives, that role models are the “gangsters” or rouge professional athletes.  The rich and famous are the ones addicted to the drugs.  Jail should be full of famous people, but they are so abnormal, and so admired, that we let them go on reduced charges.

Tomorrow, instead of going to Walmart to get a life, I’m going to steal some gasoline from the neighbors and go on a motorcycle road trip.  I’ll wear a samurai sword, get a DUI, smack a girl half my size, jump up on the brew pub stage and give Beyonce a video shout-out.  I’ll be abnormal tomorrow… just like Delonte… I want to get noticed for impersonating an athlete.

Photo courtesy of Elsa/Getty Images.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog

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SOA_BackIt’s not the formula used for the Sons of Anarchy script!

Speaking of television, the SOA Season 2 premiere — “Albification” — was last night and for those who missed it here is a quick recap:

  1. SAMCRO has a new threat by the name of White Power.  Henry Rollins is a perfect fit/add to the cast.
  2. A Mayan (rival MC) drug-dealing member is setup as the killer of Donna (Opie’s “squeeze” in season 1) and executed.
  3. Opie’s retribution includes the club logo knife carving/body mutilation of said rival club member.
  4. Because the execution goes sideways, Jax makes adjustments to pin it on a L.A. street gang — the One-Niner’s.
  5. Gemma is carjacked then gang raped by masked men who tell her as long as SOA deals in guns she won’t be safe.

There you have it.  Guns, violence, sex, mutilation, and more gore for shock value.

Some rather disturbing moments on television to say the least.  Truly a gruesome and brutal reintroduction to Sons of Anarchy.  It makes a person wonder if the writers aren’t copycatting the crimes of antichrist-apparent Charles Manson.  Just how much more evil and gratuitous violence do we have to endure?!   What’s next Mr. Sutter?  Child pornography, body part disposal in acid, animal rituals, an ice pick stabbing in the eye, or how about another round of the old school blow torching of club tattoo’s?  How dark is dark or gory enough?  That distant growl you hear isn’t motorcycle exhaust — it’s the impending backlash of your audience saying you’ve gone too far.   The gang rape was out of bounds.  Recalibrate your violence meter.

I’ve previously posted about SAMCRO at:

Outlaw Gangs Are New Media Darlings
Men Of Mayhem
Bikes, Bullets And Brawls
Mailroom Of Life
Bottling Ideas

Photo courtesy of SOA web site.

All Rights Reserved © Northwest Harley Blog.

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