Posts Tagged ‘Bruce Campbuh’

Game Of Benches: Betrayal, UHauls And The Dangerous Season That Lays Ahead

September 10, 2022

The Queen is dead, and much that once seemed certain now crumbles away. As the House of Windsor proceeds with succession, in true ’20s fashion the digital news feeds are populated with graphical flow charts illustrating who is next in line for the centuries-old monarchy, the fealty of the kingdom’s territories and claims, wealth in spices and rum. The lessons from the planetary docu-series ‘Game O’ The Thrones’ are that behind the scenes, in rooms and whispers and shadows, for those who covet power unto themselfs a ruler’s passing is the time to raise armies, lay traps, and seize power. 

America has not formally recognized a king since 1977, when Elvis Presley abdicated his position to go undercover as a smooth-talking mummy fighter*. Nevertheless, the same temptations and hunger for power and dominion lurk in the hearts of the free and the brave. This past week, the States again have become fraught with uncertainty and festering factionalism. It was nigh two years ago that FuckingAwesome, a powerful house in that shrinking and increasingly fragmented kingdom of the hard-good, resurrected the fabled green, curvy bench, knowed to some as the AVE bench, from the gaseous swamp of memories past. Quartersnacks told the tale of AVE’s long quest to reclaim what was rightfully his; he used the green bench to conquer the switch backside noseblunt slide and then turned it over to the people, bequeathing it about a year ago to NY’s Tompkins Square Park in a ‘flex’ that was hailed for its generosity of spirit and human purpose. From far and wide, pros, Joes and certain others journeyed to skate it, or at least gaze approvingly upon its gentle curve, its surprising length, and sturdy square legs.

Then one late summer’s day this month it vanished, only to reappear the next day in Philadelphia, where its verdant steel planks graced Muni and Temple before, some days later, disappearing again. Briefly feared lost to forklift-operating officialdom, it instead appeared to surface in Richmond, under the control of the Bust Crew. The still-ongoing Midatlantic caper has at various points involved Harry Bergenfield and Naquan Rollings trading shots in the New York Post, an apparent ruse involving a fictitious receipt, and Anthony Van Engelen’s phone getting blown up by NPR and other national news outlets tumbling over one another for a piece. 

Skateboarders are renowned for their ability to innovate, copy-paste and beat things into the ground. While it is entertaining to imagine crews from DC to Montreal and Chicago or SF pulling up box-truck rental rates and pooling gas money — the Palace dudes have likely already crunched numbers on air freight to London — it is easy to see it all spinning out of control. Lust for the green bench and the untold power it conveys has now been loosed in the hearts of the ambitious and ruthless; unmoored from Tompkins, the bench now has proven free for the taking, portending a volatile season ahead in which alliances are raised and betrayals plotted, armies form and clash, and as the sky darkens, nocturnal brawls between territorial gangs, sort of like ‘The Warriors’ if a couple of the dudes were always lugging around a big piece of furniture. 

Could this whole thing have been orchestrated by FA or Vans or Pig Wheels to generate excitement, breathless media coverage, internet ‘takes’ and maybe, some valuable lessons about togetherness? Does the regional competition for control over the green bench risk spreading further, threatening a version of the 1990s East Coast-West Coast rap music feud, except this time with a lot of internet memes? Has anybody switch frontside blunted the bench? Will an elder statesman like Fred Gall eventually need to step in, calm everybody down, and when no one is looking claim the bench for one of his DIY projects?

*a lot of people appreciated it too