A Clover Encounter of The Third Kind

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What we’re dealing with here, is a failure to communicate.Clover conga picture

No, it’s much worse than that.

Clover thinks he’s right – believes it, with the religious certainty of a Jesuit. Convincing him that one ought to yield to faster moving traffic is as hopeless an endeavor as trying to get the Pope interested in a lap dance.

Yesterday, I was headed down the mountain when I had a Clover Encounter of the third kind – physical interaction with one of them.

The road – one lane in either direction – eventually dumps out into two lanes in either direction. I’m number three in line, with a Clover at the head of the line. What happens when the road widens to two lanes? You know what happens. The lead Clover refuses to move over to the right. The car that had been behind him is now in the right lane. Clover is pacing him in the left – and I’m stuck behind the rolling roadblock.

Eventually, at last, I get an opening – and jink my car through it and past the Clover – who of course remains in the left lane only now he’s flashing his lights at me and gesticulating angrily. He catches up to me at the light. I can see he is having a Clover conniption fit. So I roll down my window.

Clover does the same and begins to spew like Vesuvius. He is extremely upset that I did not remain placidly behind him, driving at his pace instead of mine. I retort, without spew: Did you see me in your mirror? Why not just move over into the right lane? There are two lanes. The left lane is for faster-moving traffic. I passed you the way I did (on the right) because you left me no option (except to sit behind you and drive at your pace, I thought to myself). The left lane is for passing, I amicably concluded.

My even-toned attempt to enlighten only made him angrier.

A profanity laden effusion about my “speeding” (sigh) followed. Then a paean to his lawful driving – which I (according to him) ought to emulate. He genuinely, fervently, believed he was in the right – and that I am a “reckless/dangerous speeeeeeeeeeeeeeeder.”

This is what we’re up against.Clovers species

The on-wheels equivalents of the people who believe it’s ok to take your things if a plurality vote to do so (and not even necessarily that; a “representative” will do) and to cage – and kill you, if necessary – in the event you resist. The same people who would squeal with delight to know a “tax evader” had been sent to prison.

I do not get them – and they of course do not get me. We are oil and water, night and day. No, more than that. We are ethical antipodes.

All I want is to go my way – and leave Clover, et al, free to go their way.

Clover wants me to go his way.

It’s not sufficient that Clover prefers to drive exactly the speed limit, no faster – and often, considerably slower . . .  .  Even if he could easily move right – no skin off his nose – he won’t. Because – as he sees it – I’m challenging him somehow by wanting to drive faster than he likes to drive. Or rather – key thing, for Clover – I am challenging authoritah. Clover’s god. His object d’ amour.

There is no hope. No reasoning with Clover. He is Stalin’s chicken. And he wants you to get plucked, too.

Here’s what Clover doesn’t appreciate: Even though I do not like him (mucho) I am not his enemy – in the sense that I am out to get him. I’m not. He has nothing to fear from me. I merely wish to avoid him -to have nothing whatsoever to do with him, in fact.

In the encounter detailed previously, all I wanted was to go on my way – and leave Clover far, far behind. It was Clover who could not abide. It was Clover who rolled up next to me, frothing hate. It was Clover who refused to move over – using his car, deliberately, to try to impose his notion of the “right” speed.

That’s the irony – which of course Clover doesn’t see.Clover says submit

He sees me as aggressive. But he’s the one who commits the actual aggression. My passing him/driving at a higher speed than his speed does not in any way impose my will upon him. His blocking me in does exactly the opposite. And when I manage to escape his Clover clutches, what does he do? Pursues me to the next light so that he can verbally assault me. Probably – had Clover discovered me to be physically smaller/weaker – he would have physically assaulted me. I have no doubt whatsoever he would have orgasmed had a costumed goon been on hand to “teach me a lesson.”

This is what we’re up against, people.

And each year, there are more of them out there. Newly-minted “drivers” who grew up always wearing their helmets for safety, strapped into child seats until their Ritalin-addled, asperbergian iPhoned adolescence. Not all – but many. Probably most of them. Joining the ranks of the eyes-half-shut Boomers now entering their Depends Years. They invented the Safety Cult and its corollary: Submit & Obey. The Boomers like to imagine themselves – or their youthful selves – as hippie rebels who fought The Man, man. Maybe some of them did. But most probably just wanted to smoke dope, fuck and avoid Vietnam. Not that I am against any of those things. I am in fact all for those things. But in the heart of their darkness, their generation ended up snuggling The Man. They became moms (latter-day pejorative sense, as distinct from women who have had children) and suits – and learned to love authoritah. Especially when it was their turn to wield it. The same passion they brought to End the War was brought to bear to end you do your thing – and I’ll do mine.clover king

Cloverism – conformity/obedience/busybodyism – is the norm now.

Guys like me (and maybe you, too) with the WWII-era Bugs Bunny/Woody Woodpecker attitude – authoritah is absurd; and besides, who are these guys?  –  we’re as out of step as a minstrel show at the White House correspondents’ dinner.

But I’m not giving in, apologizing, or changing.

Much less submitting and obeying.

Look out, Clover. Because here I come!

Throw it in the Woods? 

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  1. Elliot Rodger is Cloverism Personified – Chris Cantwell

    Elliot Rodger final video

    This was an individual human being. There is no system or structure that is going to prevent all the potential bad things any individual may do.

    But there are systems and structures that do prevent free human action and discourage individuals from learning and executing the necessary steps to obtain the things they consider worthy of pursuit in their quest for happiness.

    These systems and structures greatly increase scarcity and deprivation for countless masses of people. They encourage people to irrationally blame others for their own shortcomings. The less you know and are able to do for yourself, the more power and control they have over you and the more you need them.

    If you take this video at face value, this artificial scarcity is what triggered this individual to abandon simple cause and effect reasoning and emotional risk taking. To deny spontaneous order, and the cumulative effect of constant focused effort and navigating the learning curve to eventually reach your long term goal.

    If he had been starving from food deprivation, others would have happily helped that person out. But there are thousands of ways you can starve. Especially in a nation ruled by mind control and mind games.

    There are thousands of different hunger games they create for their amusement and for their control. Lack of intimacy and healthy sexual release is just another way to starve. Especially a younger male.

    Here a young man with ample resources literally starved to death in front of millions of people and then went insane in his final moments. This is by design, that some given number of people will be unable to find companionship. Call it agenda 69 if you will.

    All his life, this person was fed bad information. He failed to overcome this and think for himself and look out for his own self interest.

    Instead of understanding biology and human psychology. This college student invented a crushing nihilistic conspiracy that became an insurmountable obstacle to his feeding his growing hunger. Instead of learning to feed himself, he finally snapped and then lashed out with force and violent retribution.

    Instead of seeking to trade and to cooperate with his fellow human beings, he ended their lives in a final desperate act; a young man needlessly perished and killing others in a demented Clover Rage. Just one more victim of the unspeakably demented hunger games of a society with plenty of happiness for one and all.

    • @Tor – Let us not leave out the pharmaceutical “mental help” he had received from the “experts” since the age of 8.
      Seems to be lots of pieces to the story not yet told, but all I have seen is every group from the man-haters & transgenders on up using it to boost their favorite hate.

      • The levellers are back in vogue. Only now, every obscure fringe miniscule minority must be elevated at the expense of the inventors, fabricators, engineers, and laborers who’ve built our society. It’s ludicrous.

        We must take from those who create at gunpoint. To level things out. Why should those with more ability and stamina profit from their efforts and hard work.


        a babe in every bed. to each virgin according to his needs from each woman according to her girl friendliness.

  2. I had a Clover encounter this afternoon myself. I was on my way from one job to another, and I ended up behind a dude in a pickup going about 20 mph. The posted limit on the road in question in 40, and that’s far slower than most people go — it’s pretty generally a 50 mph area. So I plodded along behind clover at 20 mph with more cars piling up behind me until the way was clear in the other lane, and I signalled and pulled out to pass. So far, so normal; clover wants to go slow, so I’ll go around him and he can do his thing.

    As I come up next to him, he starts to speed up. So, okay, I figure, he’s getting the hint. And I speed up a bit more. At which point his engine starts to roar. I look down and we’re going about 70 mph at this point; I decide drag-racing with Hillbilly Jim is just not on my to-do list, so I ease off and plan to get back in behind him. Just as I’m about to get back in lane, he hits his brakes to cut me off. SO I take advantage of his slow response time and switch back to acceleration and get in front of him, offering him a one-finger salute for his effort.

    What the hell is wrong with people like that?

    • “What the hell is wrong with people like that?”

      They are called imbeciles for a reason! (Admittedly I tend to stay within 5 to 10 mph of the posted limit just to avoid the road nazis’ tax collection efforts. However I have no problem with anyone passing if they want to go faster, it’s no skin off my nose.)

      One of my favorite Clover maneuvers is the “come to nearly a dead stop in the middle of a 50 mph highway to turn into the side road” routine. Happened to me (yet again) just the other day.

  3. You know I feel somewhat lucky in north central Fl driving on I-75. I know where the highwaymen like to hide, the speed limit is 70, the flow of traffic is 80, and I’m in the left lane doing 89 ( to keep the ticket from getting absurd if I get caught by a highwayman) or even 100 if I get an especially bold driver in front of me (I call them escorts, lol). It’s what driving should be. When I visit family in NOVA, it’s the 7th level of driving hell. Highwaymen EVERYWHERE, gridlock traffic 24/7, and half the drivers clovers.

  4. ” Joining the ranks of the eyes-half-shut Boomers now entering their Depends Years. ”
    Gotta censure your over-zealous age bias just a bit. I’m a relatively early era baby boomer. Caught about 25 overhead waves Monday thru Wednesday in South OC this week. Don’t need any Depends. Just more after-session ice and NSAIDs than I used to. And if I were ahead of you on that road, we wouldn’t have had any problems. Because you probably never would have seen me. 😉

    Now getting slightly serious. I agree with your depiction of the malignant clover mentality. But OMG….you must live in the absolute Clover Center of the universe! I see them sometime. But nowhere near as many as you seem to.

    • @Mike – I agree that cloverism is not even limited to the boomahs. I see far too many in the 21-40 range with the driving-while-zombie look. And I too am in that +60 range & not a hazard.

    • Virginia is very Clover dense. Not sure why, but believe it has something to do with the cancer of Northern Virginia. This area is suffused with Clovers, who migrate to other parts of the state. A large percentage are government workers of one kind or another. There is also the fact of pretty aggressive oinkery – cops everywhere. And radar detectors illegal.

      Of course, that helps people like me who throw the law in the woods. Those of us us with radar detectors. Cops assume most people don’t have them and so use instant-on radar less and tend to be lazier in general with their technique – shooting fish in the proverbial barrel.

      I’ve gotten just one ticket in the past five years – vs. my formerly usual 1-2 per year.

      Thanks, V1!

    • I was born towards the tail end of the Boomer generation, and I have nothing in common with those born between 1946-1953. That is the group I believe Eric is referring to, and I would definitely agree with him. Recently there has been a new designation for those of us who were born between 1954-1965: Generation Jones. I like the fact that I can now claim a generational disassociation from them.


      • Dear lb,

        There may be a statistical skewing based on generations, but one simply cannot pigeonhole individuals on that basis.

        I’m as hardcore libertarian as one can get. I am an early boomer. 1946. Lew Rockwell is a Silent Generation member, but only two years older than me. 1944. Ron Paul was quite a bit old. 1935. So was Murray Rothbard. 1926.

        When one is an individualist, it is a contradiction to collectivize people.

        • Thppppppt!! So there are some exceptions. Whoopee! The majority of them ARE collectivists. My generation grew up living in the shadow of their self proclaimed “greatness.” I’m tired of hearing all about it and am glad they’re on their way to irrelevancy.

          • Dear lb,

            I really don’t know what percentage of boomers were self-righteous New Left types.

            I went to college in Texas, and the local counterparts of Tom Hayden, Abbie Hoffman, and Jerry Rubin were a tiny minority. When they staged “happenings” on campus, my classmates and I in the architecture department just snorted at them with contempt.

            To this day, I still don’t know whether their numbers were that great, or whether like the self-styled “Bolsheviks,” they were simply better at PR.

            Many believe the “Bolsheviks” didn’t really deserve their name, because they weren’t really a majority faction.

  5. Colorado’s vehicle code specifically instructs drivers to “keep right, except to pass.” You can be ticketed (although good luck with that) if you don’t move over. If VA has a similar law (and it should) you could just point out to Mr Clover that he was every bit in violation of the vehicle code as you were.

    After all, Clover’s law is binary: Either you are complying with the law or you aren’t. There’s no difference between eating a grape at the supermarket and murder 1. Sin is sin, and even though he’s only trying to get you to heaven, that’s no justification for violating the law.

  6. Ah yes….the good ‘ole left lane vigilante clover. So frustrating.

    You handled the encounter admirably though Eric. Have you a camera where you could tape these encounters? Like a barrycam? Would make for some interesting footage for sure.

  7. I’m reminded of the Ayn Rand quote about second-handers, and I’m paraphrasing: ” They’ve got to force their miserable little personalities on every single person they meet. The independent man kills them–because they don’t exist within him and that’s the only form of existence they know. Notice the malignant kind of resentment against any idea that propounds independence. Notice the malice toward an independent man.” If clovers aren’t second-handers, I don’t know who is. It sure explains their inevitable rage when they fail to throttle their betters down to the pace they set, whether it’s in life or on the road.

    • Hi Paula,

      Exactly so. Libertarians are content to agree to disagree – and go our separate ways. So long as no one’s been forced into anything, there’s no malice – and no violence. But the people we’re talking about can’t stand to leave other people alone – especially when those people show independence of any kind. The malice is palpable.

      Interestingly, they’re also almost always physical cowards who would never attempt to impose themselves on another person in a position to defend himself. But let them get elected or appointed … give them the vote…

    • “on may 17, 1851, the tallahassee floridian & journal reprinted more of the indictment of harpers from punch. the writer singled out one harper brother, james, the nativist (anti-catholic, anti-immigrant) mayor of new york in 1844-45:

      the house of book-taker & book-seller harper, of new york, is a house built of the skulls of english authors. never did phillip, the terrible red man, taken so many scalps as have fallen to the lot of the ex-mayor of new york. he is a man all brains – the brains of other people. harper makes his daily four meals off the bones of british penmen. a joint of bulwer decks his breakfast table; at luncheon he has a snack of tennyson, at dinner, dickens & macaulay, with mrs. somerville & mrs. howitt as side-dishes; & at supper – for harper has a wondrous digestion – james & mrs. trollope.

      ~ snip from parker’s “melville biography”

      there was no international copyright law in those days. so publishers & newspapers would import books of english authors & reprint them. american authors remunerations reflected the comparative disadvantage. for a time, some of the americans would boat over to london & publish there first, to obtain at least partial copyright. long story short, tho, melville, others got ground up pretty good. & 2nd handers, like the harpers * moneyed, political/governmental, media-bernaysers (they were among the group that started the ny times, but they had moles/plants in media before that)* are the role models, or genetic material, or short-time-preferencers-at-others-expense, that out-propagate. it ain’t new & it ain’t going away.

    • Dear Paula,

      Thanks for the reminder!

      I notice it’s in the Ayn Rand Lexicon. A very handy source of “intellectual ammunition.”

      As a recovering Objectivist who still agrees with much if not all of Rand’s concepts, that one was a keeper.

  8. Eric, you should have asked him if he had his wife’s permission to drive today.
    At the risk of repeating myself:
    4. The old standby of a pussy whipped clover finally getting some power in his pitiful life and blocking a traffic lane while calling 911 on you.

  9. You’re right Eric, we’re effing doomed; in my neck of the woods Boston drivers still live up to their reputation for no nonsense navigation but the clovers are beginning to outnumber us in the suburbs. I once got stuck behind a momclover driving her precious spawn home from school at 15mph with her flashers on, for crying out loud! Pretty soon we had a procession behind this idiot and I was third in line; by dropping back a bit I was finally able to get a running start and blow past them on a straightaway to much honking and waving on her part. I confess to happily flipping her the bird as I went past, and I’m sure she spent the rest of the day telling all her fellow clovers what a crazy driver she encountered on her drive.
    To quote the Mogambo Guru – we’re all freakin’ doomed!

  10. I’ve had quite a few clover encounters of the third kind. 99% of them when I am bicycling. This is why I bring up bicycling with these sort of people in online ‘debates’. On the road, when it comes to bicycling, suddenly they are in hurry and don’t want anyone even marginally in their path. The most violent clovers come out when I pass them, when I am bicycling.

    Driving, I find they are usually trolls.

  11. Go easy on Clover; with swings in his home LTV, his 401k, and now nobody watches his TV … he’s had a pretty rough go for like a decade now.

    And BTW, costumed? I feel we should be exchanging some secret handshake…;-)


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