Posts Tagged ‘alcohol’

The Ring Thing

February 18, 2010


Rings n’ things

As these words are fumblingly typed out, world records are being broken, dreams realized and untold riches crammed into the overflowing piggybanks of the International Olympic Committee in Whistler, Canada, in part thanks to skateboarding’s redheaded stepchild, snowboarding. They also say that the road to Olympic gold is paved in gold, but as illustrated by the pixels above, it’s clear that reaching for those rings is perilous too.

There’s an interesting poll going right now over at Skatedaily.net that currently indicates about 60% of the literate skateboard website reading populace knows what skater Tonya Harding, skier Bode Miller and Polish pole vault jumper Władysław Kozakiewicz learned the hard way, which is to say that for free-thinking maverick types, it may be better to avoid the Olympic juggernaut altogether. Yet there remain those in the pro-skateboard realm as well as the business side (mostly the business side) for whom the allure of Olympic glory is only too seductive. It is they who look upon an event schedule already crowded up with badminton, archery and fast running and say “me too” in service of country and that catch-all greater good, “bringing skateboarding to more kids.” CCS check-out page meet Visa card, etc.

As entertaining as it is to dream up potential uniforms for the West Coast-weighted U.S. Skate Team*, and imagine the battles raging between inner demons and the certainty of across-the-board urinalysis, it would seem folly to pound this particular square peg into the Olympics’ gold-plated round hole, if for no other reason than it would probably require the shaving-off of whatever edges still remain. The yellow precious metal lured Captain Blackbeard to a watery grave, and even Curly proved that you can’t take it with you.

And beyond plunder, what would the big O bring to skateboarding beyond a healthy dose of good-natured nationalism and hours of painful narration? Remember the “harnie”? It is for this reason that applause should greet every Mike V hockey stands brawl, every Antwuan Dixon face tattoo, every Lizard King Satan quotation and web-archived Ybor City drug arrest; they may ultimately be all that stands between skateboarding and the doom that lies in the comedown after all gold rushes, brahs.

*with all due respect to the halfcab/brown cord/white tee ensemble and the DC Euro Supertours

The Breakfast Club

October 26, 2009

Iowa_Polka
Also, this

Here at BTO we understand the power and authority of free markets. Tony Hawk for instance popularized the McSqueeb hair-cut and named a trick after Madonna, in between raising awareness of international arms trafficking via the movie “Gleaming the Cube” – therefore he gained power and many dollars. The question upon our minds this week is what recognition from a newly created Skateboarding Hall of Fame could possibly offer the Birdman that he does not already have, aside from a hazy notion of name recognition among future skateboarders with the inclination to read press releases, but we all know this to be untrue because Tony Hawk is in it for the money, the money and the cars, cars and the clothes, as clearly stated on his upcoming solo album.

But the skateboard hall of fame is the latest brainchild of the International Association of Skateboard Companies, that conglomeration of businessmen and superemployed werewolfs who devised the international “Go Skateboarding Day” and helps get kids in Arkansas arrested. As to their rationale, we’ll let IASC executive director John Bernards tell the tale:

“Taking the opportunity to acknowledge and honor the individuals who have so greatly influenced and shaped the industry allows us to look forward to the future of skateboarding without ever forgetting our roots and everything it took to get where we are today – each and every shenanigan, triumph and challenge.”

So choke on it, On Video magazine. No, but from a purely internet entertainment value perspective there are a number of funnier ways they could have approached this, for instance, judging on the criteria of “most jailed” or “most times caught on fire” or most money in the bank by the time NSS/Power/Air Speed stopped cutting checks. But instead there is only this vague notion of “influencing and shaping,” which plainly sounds like a bra ad, while spanning some unspecified time frame, similar to a series of bra catalogues. Ought not Steve Cab be in there somewhere between the Tonys Alva and Hawk? If we’re going to hook up Bruce Logan, why not the legions of additional talented freestylers and slalomers who nobly gave their dignity and lives so we could enjoy this family restaurant? Er, Rodney Mullen? What about all those guys who invented skateboarding by nailing rollerskate wheels to two-by-fours, often found slumped atop stools in various bars? What are they, chopped liver?

As a largely uninformed third party, it is incumbent upon this blog to predict that these type of annoying and largely pointless questions will dog the SHOF (or SHOE if you like) as long as it persists, which is of course part of the whole idea. Kind of like when VH1 counts down the top 400 celebrity somethings, killing valuable airtime but also sewing the seeds of discourse across office water-coolers and internet chat-venues the world over. Is BTO blindly and blunderingly playing into the IASC’s hand just with this misguided post? Perhaps, which is why I will slyly continue to refer to it as SHOE.

Back to the cultural significance. I submit to you, is the average peanut-leaguer more aware of Mickey Mantle because of multiple references on syndicated Seinfeld re-runs, or because he’s enshrined in some privately operated shrine in Cooperstown NY, home of shrines? Is there more to this SHOE beyond self-aggrandizement and some type of vague promotion of the “sport”? Is skate-boarding history, such as it is, the sort of thing that’s learned in museums and on CNN.com’s offbeat sports page, or on the streets? (I.E., not learned at all.)

Trophies and contest purses aside there is (was?) an aspect of all this shit that’s more about shooting spitballs at the homecoming kings and star quarterbacks than hoarding achievements and gala dinners. I’m sure the SHOE will raise all manner of money for new skateparks and promotions etc, and all involved are sweet bros with only the bro-est of intentions, but ought not the arbitrator of influence and, er, “shaping” be whether or not kid kickflip at the park recognizes a name, or knows how a certain trick came about? The limitations of physics aside, wasn’t one of the main attractions the lack of vicious rules and by-laws, along with the trappings and ceremony of the institutionalized sports? Can we expect to see a SHOE spot among the career aims of Ryan Sheckler, Greg Lutzka and Chaz Ortiz? And is Bo Turner lurking out back with violent designs on the winners’ lunch money?

Rushing Elephants

August 31, 2009

pink_elephants
The psychedelic Walt Disney reference so nice we used it… again

There was, and probably still is, a certain breed of skateboarder that works second-shift assembly line jobs, uses their deck to clean weed as often as skating it, and gets evicted from cheap apartments. They’re not the best dudes skating the spot, but maybe they buy liquor for the best dudes, and you could say these types remain a crucial part of the skating DNA as far as flying the high school dropout/”office job never” flag. I’m pretty sure this demographic still exists – I hope it does – and would like to think of future “buy a vowel” T-Eddy contender Ben Skrzypek as a sort of standard-bearer, because he totally looks the part. I’m pretty into this guy’s section in “God Save the Label,” because he skates different from most of the others and somehow ups the sleaze factor, no small feat in a Black Label vid, whilst generally skating much faster than you’d expect with a dude who looks like his off-board time is spent dealing bammer weed out of a single-wide trailer and flipping a butterfly knife around. There is validity to the Rob Welsh comparison on some of these ride-aways (like the fakie flip b/s nosegrind) and it’s always nice to see a dude on the make who’s not caught up in the outfit wars. We are partial to the switch frontside heelflip over the rail of course, the backside flip over the hydrant, and the cracked ender that looks like it took some balls to ride out.

Whereas Skrzyp6qrxpek rarely shifts from his black tee motif, Adam Alfaro continues the rich history of in-the-public-eye pros aligning themselves (read: dressing up as) members of their favorite band. On its face this practice may be considered uncreative and/or laughable, but I sort of thought Alfaro had something going with his desert-dweller GY!BE deal. So in some ways it seems like he’s lightened up for his part in this video: colorful socks and some loopy spots with a comparatively bouncy song and those effortless kickflips. The carve-around ditch kicker thing looks like a snowboard spot, and pretty fun.

But if you’re short on spots, or buy into Chet Childress’s sob story about a bad recession ruining his scheme to frontside grind the Taj Mahal, you could do worse than film a one-spot video part at the ever-mutating Burnside, and the harebrained hillbilly is probably among the better-suited types to pull such a thing off. He’s claiming Portland as a hometown of sorts now, and while he could possibly claim Canada after pushing a Wu-Tang sample for his song, the Label benefits from the thematic push forward I think. And the part’s good, full of trademark Chetisms such as the bluntslide pop-out, the 5-0 revert, as well as an eyebrow-raising switch drop-in and some weird disaster sorta stuff. It is also mostly free of ebonics, for those of you who A. watched the NBTT skits and B. reacted negatively. Personally I rank Chet Childress among the better skate video actors, up there with Tony Ferguson, Keenan Milton and Lance Mountain, but it’s all about the script innit?

Chuggin’ Chad

February 22, 2008

So Buzzphoto.com was on the scene Wednesday night to bring us on-the-spot coverage of Muska’s buddies hauling him out of some Hollywood ho-down, fighting a losing battle with gravity. Boil the Ocean salutes Muska, who in spite of his LA schmooze-mongering and dubious career as a DJ/failed rap producer, manages to keep it real the best way he knows how. His frontside flips are still ass, though.

The real question is whether or not Muska is in better shape here, where he’s (allegedly) sober and looking like a leatherized Sawyer/Lone Gunman mashup. Whatever the case, he’s sporting his Supra pro models both nights, and probably the same jeans, so Angel better get cracking with those royalty checks. God knows whether Muska’s got another TSM cover in him. Fuck, who am I kidding, he totally does. Muska’s awesome.