Posts Tagged ‘Barrier Kult’

Passing Virtual Hats Versus Capturing Digital Trophies, While Our Machine Masters Sit in Silent Judgment

January 22, 2018

Throughout the age of man, humans have invented machines to get money. Printing-press produced money predated the first printed Bible by a cool nine or five centuries; more recent innovations have included the one-armed bandit and the automated teller machine clique. But as demonstrated by the Internet-based currency scheme Bitcoin, its value jingling intensely higher, computers have come to surpass them all.

Skateboarders are a subset of humans who use their ingenuity to find deeper purpose and sometimes lucrative thrills in automobile parking structures, cement swimming holes and metallic stair-climbing assisters. Just as they remade the concrete Jersey barrier into a gateway to unholy pleasures, they have fashioned the Internet into a digital sieve through which financial donations freely flow, while haters and modern life’s other harsh realities are easily filtered out.

This yung year of 2018 already has seen motivational Exxon Mobil tank-blaster J Scott Hands Down seek to parlay a considerable Instagram following into a sort of X-nest egg, angling for a $100K down payment on a video part and cost of living increase associated with quitting his day job and moving his family to California to pursue a highly profitable and stable career in skateboarding. J Scott’s solicitation of funds to penetrate professional skateboarding’s ranks came as noted Canadian Dan Pageau, famed for a pioneering switchstance slam on El Toro, sought thousands in recognition of his careerlong contributions to the culture as he made his own industry exit — following similar and earlier efforts by Youtube person Vinnie Banh and various others.

Dan Pageau and J Scott Hands Down are innovative and interesting in their own ways. But their ultimate undoings may lie in failing to grasp that increasingly, the Internet is the end, not the means. Consider: Despite certain chest thumpings over Street League contest purses rising to the hundreds of thousands, machines again demonstrate their money-making superiority. Within the burgeoning realm of E-sports, wherein children and men competitively play video games, contest winnings are magnitudes larger, rising well into eight figures, with consolation prizes including an absence of battered bones and comparatively fewer court dates.

Instead of hoping to stoke sympathy of skaters and assorted well-wishers via internet money-requesting platforms, should J Scott Hands Down, Dan Pageau and Vinnie Banh instead focus on stroking keyboards and tickling touchpads, to better appease our mechanized rulers, grab for digital brass rings and capture all the riches that can be crammed into virtual wallets? Did you know that pro video game players also indulge in industry drama and get kicked off teams? Can pros like Shane O’Neill and Nyjah Huston help to bridge the cultural gap between skateboarders and the artificially intelligent paymasters of the Internet? Has this limp joke been attempted in this blogging space already before? Will we know whether and when the singularity arrives if it is not posted to Instagram?

Sole Tech: One Foot In Heaven, One Foot In Hell

January 26, 2009


The First Power

Balance is a concept that is critical to skateboarding. And I’m not just talking about the kind of balance that keeps Joey Brezinski in five-panel hats. I’m talking about the cosmic kind of balance. The mystic force that binds us together, and ensuring that for every Saddam Hussein there is a Crocodile Hunter, for every Mark Rogowski a Tim Brauch, for every chaotic evil arms dealer a lawful good veterinarian with a fuel efficient car.

The skateboarding world has explored these concepts of course via the turn of the century battles between Flame Boy and Wet Willy that spilled out across the bottoms of countless World Industries boards, as well as videos such as Mystery’s “Black and White” or, to a more British extent, Blueprint’s “Lost and Found.” And who could forget Digital naturist Bill Weiss’s dearly departed Balance skateboards.*

In the early 90s, Todd Swank even attempted to smash good and evil particle beams against one another via Foundation’s Super Collider-Super Conductor, despite the whole project being hated upon by shook scientists who feared the experiment would create microscopic black holes that would send the world back in time to the days of coordinated freestyle routines.

Thankfully that never happened and here in 2009 we find Sole Tech shoes exploring the concept of cosmic balance through the ultimate late ’00s medium, collaborative footwear endeavors. About a month ago Emerica announced its collabo with Barrier Kultist Deer Man of Dark Woods, the scary-voiced proponent of devil worship through ski masks and the abrupt transition discipline of skateboarding, who is also Canadian and regarded in certain circles as a boss figure.

Representing the side of light is that sworn enemy of Satan, car thieves and other evildoers, Mickey Mouse, who has a shoe coming out with Etnies as part of the only collabo more bizarre than a shoe designed by a masked barrier-skating devil worshiper. I know! This is all part of Etnies’ recently revealed collaboration with Walt Disney that also includes some high top Tinkerbell shoes.

Meanwhile, Sole Tech’s resident black sheep Es is pursuing a relationship with Clipse. “Quit searching for the E’s cuz the O’s is long,” indeed.

*Except, like, all of us.