Head Cleaner

Probably it’s a good thing that after a half-decade’s worth of footwear purveyours collectively issuing the same half-dozen models adorned with various logos, and the seven-ply hot dog holding sway for at least three times that long, it is a plus that a subculture stretched thin by recession and embracing a certain amount of commoditization retains enough crankiness and spark to gnash message-board teeth over perceived biting. And so it is that we take heart in the internet tizzy fermented by the debut of Politic, which devotees of the “Static II” aesthetic immediately scrutinized over similarities to UK phenom Palace, what with their comparable names, repurposing of analog video machines, and triangular logos that come on t-shirts with a little version over the left breast zone and a big version on the back.

Some may call it ironic that for a subset whose pride in cellar doors, wallies, natural and/or abrupt transition and certain other unconventional landforms got it pasted as “creative” here and there now seems clearly to be eating its own tail, but there’s potentially a murkier kind of food chain being linked together here.* Palace came in for accolades from this and other quarters when it emerged as a synthesis of Silverstar, Illuminati and “Time Code” era AWS, transplanted to overcast U.K. backwaters and dubbed over on VHS tape. Politic’s initial look cribs from the same playbook and you could read in some nods to Blueprint circa “Lost & Found.” But whereas Palace a year or two into its run dialed the nostalgia-meter back to 1995 with a big, sloppy kiss to the Menace segment in “20-Shot Sequence,” Politic may be trying not to join Palace but to beat them in their golden-age tribute-payments, its supposed take-off on Palace itself a take-off on the World-led wave of logo swipes that pervaded the early 90s?

The invisible hand of the free market will determine whether domestic and international consumers will catch feelings over this episode, embiggen their hearts to allow room for competition in the subgroup or ultimately cast both into the vast sale pile that sits below the deck wall in the skate shop of the great beyond. What is not up for debate is that Steve Durante seemingly has a long-overdue professional model and the lure of new footage, in these longer and colder autumn days, that right there is enough to warm the cockles of even the most cold-hearted capitalist.

*Others would challenge this statement and say that the staters don’t have a good grasp on the actual definition of ironic, driving additional unique visitors to Dictionary.com.

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9 Responses to “Head Cleaner”

  1. Random Matt Says:

    This was a very cromulent post.

  2. Anonymous Says:

    Everyone bites a little. The skating from both these teams is on point, just leave it at that.

  3. Anonymous Says:

    triangles are lame anyways…circles have pi

  4. J-wU Says:

    The whole look and aesthetic of the poitic logo and the launch clip was unfortunately to close to the bone and seems like a poor rip off. A shame considering the skaters behind “politic”. Suprised there was no mention of the “Polar” company in the post above which although not wholly similar to “Palace” they did have a joint Swedish tour recently and seem to be a fairly close meeting of minds for all things skateboarding. Personally I think there is a time and place for blatent rip offs especially when they come off as a homage, but politic dosn’t come off this way and as stated in the blog above given the genre of the skateboarding the seemingly lack of creativity is suprising.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    reminiscent of the popwar vs. yellow brand art-department beef

  6. Chris Says:

    Initially it didn’t occur to me that Politic could be a chameleon brand that blatantly ripped from other companies in the way early 90s world/blind did. That is an astute observation indeed. Still to early to tell at this point, but it could be possible and that would actually be pretty cool, but the triangle with the owl isn’t blatant enough to merit a cease and desist, know what I mean?

    Also, Palace and Polar are both sick small companies from europe but I feel like thats about the extent of their similarities. Palace is continuously referencing skateboarding’s past and present, with a heavy emphasis on image, and formulating an identity out of this. Polar’s identity seems a lot more introverted, like a simple extension of how Pontus Alv relates to his environment.

  7. Anonymous Says:

    yeah, i’d leave polar out of it. too whimsical and not “cool” enough.

  8. A.o. Says:

    I think its funny brcause skateboarding has a history of ripping off each others aesthetics and i find it peculiar that no one says anything when bigger companies do this but for whatever reason this is a problem. Is it because theyre two “cool guy” companies?

  9. JMH&%) Says:

    I think it’s a fine time to stir in a new east coast company with some energy and flavor. 5boro with it’s bland city vignette formula seems tired and dated. Zoo who? Zoo hasn’t been relavent in a long, long time. Forget all the biting. How about giving proper nods to better times and leaving both companies be. Certainly Palace can bit off a golden age. The politic lads, however, are closer to my home and right now, worth the support over the other alternatives. Let everyone be young and develop as they will.

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