Posts Tagged ‘Billy Gibson’

Meat Puppets

August 29, 2021

Life’s tough in cyberspace. To make it as matrix-savvy muscle for hire in the year 2035, William Gibson’s ‘Neuromancer’ teaches that it takes more than skin-tight black leather and quarts of hair gel. ‘Neuromancer’ anti-heroine Molly Millions sports a rewired nervous system for faster reflexes as well as retractable razorblades tucked beneath her fingertips, courtesy of black-market surgeons. Vision-enhancing mirrored lenses are implanted over her eyes, and on the rare occasion she cries, rerouted ducts send tears to her mouth, where her sorrows are spat upon the ground.

Skaters long have dabbled in ‘the net,’ all the way back to Plan B’s cyberpunk-themed sophomore release ‘Virtual Reality,’ through Ty Evans’ digital psych-trips ‘Tha Skatrix’ and ‘Tha Flat Earth,’ as well as early and furtive efforts to construct entirely digital communes, from alt.skate-board to Salman Agah’s ‘Ice Lounge,’ envisioned as a safe space for skaters to discuss diamond jewelry and certain shared interests. While other sports have forged ahead with high-tech body modifications, virtual crowds and remote sensing capabilities, the skateboarding sphere generally remains stuck in first gear with tattoos and piercings, all respect due adaptive pioneers Og De Souza, Sheldon Melshinski and John Comer.

Perhaps the answer ties back, as ever, to the relative lack of profit margins to be wrung from hardgoods sales, contest circuits and related television ads; so far, the investments pumped into into life extension and fusing computers with human brains have been driven by the rich and technological. Inevitably, conflicts arise over those possessing means to augment and those without, setting up a gilded class of attractive cyborgs and a trod-upon lower caste forced to get by with only two arms, no built-in spellchecker and eyes that cannot see through walls.

Enter skateboarding’s own Daddy Warbucks, Tony Hawk, already colloquially known as a human-avian hybrid (bird-man). In between ‘barging’ the Olympic course and several ventures, Tony Hawk has found time in recent months to casually push the ‘technological envelope’ beyond his hoverboard dalliances. Just in time for a richly deserved pro deck for the incredible double set-charging, handrail-handling ATV Felipe Nunes, Tony Hawk flexed his connections to score his Brazilian vert doubles partner a pair of prosthetic legs. More recently, Tony Hawk has dribbled his own blood into a biopaint mixture for a line of premium skateboards — which rapidly sold out — while ‘joking’ about the potential for creating CASL-dominating clones and/or replicants.

After a poor U.S. showing at the ‘2020’ Olympic Games, is high-tech body modification the Americans’ best hope for capturing medallions in future contests? In a few years, when the ‘every kid can do every trick’ skatepark-ready Moore’s law inevitably becomes literal truth, will prehensile tails and biologically linked boards be required to map out a new universe of tricks to learn? Following Andy Roy’s promotional tooth-pulling that led to the infected canine being packaged with some Spitfires, will the first pro clone matchup see a replicant Tony Hawk face off against a replicant Andy Roy?