Posts Tagged ‘2020 again’

The Further Rise Of The Machines

December 18, 2020

If the Skater of Tha Year race is becoming all about December surprises, chalk one up for Hal. In a move this week that sent jitters down the spine of every red-blooded opposable thumbs-haver, a motorcycle made a late bid for the top honor in boardsportsdom, brrraaaapping its way through multiple famed ‘hammertime’ spots — and straight into an uncertain future for the planet in general.

The antics of the motorcycle, piloted by/likely possessor of one Justin Mulford, are captured in the Fox Racing-endorsed video part ominously titled ‘Dead Man Walking.’ In it, the motorcycle and Mulford (a sometime associate of David Loy, who is knowed to come under the influence of techno* music) jointly pursue rubbery, two-wheeled wallrides, nose manuals and euro-gap jumps across any number of SoCal locales familiar to many remaining loyal to humankind’s seven-plied achievements: picnic tables, drainage ditches, a mixed-action sport hit on Hollywood High, and an ender-ender at the famed Staples Center hubba.

It is plainly shocking to see a motorcycle rival the likes of Pedro Delfino and thoroughly deserved SOTY laureate Mason Silva for pure balls-outiness at scale, and to understand how quickly machines have assimilated innovations such as Tyrone Olson’s jump ramp-to-handrail. Still, the vid ought to come as little surprise to the ranks of the living, even considering 2020’s varied distractions. The truth is, machines have for years inched closer to supremacy not just in feats of mathematics, strategy and linguistics, but they increasingly have demonstrated a number of athletic and ‘extreme’ flexes that indicate an unalloyed lack of fear, and a certain zest for embarrassing humankind.

Just as the animatronic Chuck-E-Cheez band once intoned to pizza-soaked schoolchildren, everywhere there are signs: Rob Dyrdek’s creation of the Street League numerological trick scoring system, transforming tricks into machine-readable currencies; later, among Bob Burnquist’s organic coconut groves, the gyrating, thrusting antics of a helicopter gone ape all over the MegaRampTM — a scene-stealing performance that increasingly reads as a dire warning rather than the extreme entertainment spectacle as which it masqueraded, in those gentler times. FuckingAwesome, understood to be the largest company in terms of t-shirt revenue, followed a Henry Sanchez ‘Terminator’ tribute board endorsed by Anthony Van Engelen with this year’s T-1000 model under the Hockey imprint, for human three-day weekend Andrew Allen.

Eventually, when semi-autonomous completes enable even the least-coordinated barneys to film Brian Peacock combos using self-filming drones, will skaters of the current epoch be considered as backward and masochistic as we today look upon hack drivers and whalers? If this sort of motorcycling catches on widely, will cops scale tickets according to the offender’s horsepower? Is this all turnabout for conjuring the MegaRampTM from Evel Knievel phantoms? Ought we all gird for the day when self-aware monster trucks, filming video parts in a post-singularity wasteland, crush the remaining legacy skate spots to dust, mixing in the wind with the charred remains of humankind?

*short for technological, which itself is a reference to advanced technology