Posts Tagged ‘Rich Mahogany’

Trendwatch 2K19: Lawyering Up

January 26, 2019

Soda headband all the way on, Leticia Bufoni last week showed the rickety, seatbeltless and whiplash-providing rollercoaster that is the competitive contest skater’s emotional inner life on this, tha eve of the 2020 Summer Time Olympics. With a nearly half-full arena on its feet, Leticia Bufoni goes full Bastien on a serviceable lipslide, only to see it all torn away moments later by the fatal combo of Aori Nishimura’s rote boardslide and an opaque scoring algorithm. Such is the story of all our lives, only with less national pride and energy juice funds at stake, and perhaps bodily safety.

The Seaholmed setup says it all, speaking not only for Leticia Bufoni, but the team she represents. Beyond the Plan B FamilyTM, the path toward wallowing in Olympic gold and loudly blared sovereign anthems increasingly stands a group effort, paved in judicial tomes and buttressed by rich mahogany wall paneling, professionalized places where all-black Emerica shifters probably don’t cut the workwear mustard like they might in the computer science or customer service realms. It is within such hallowed halls that the would-be action sporting medalhoister must seek wisdom and succor for those tricks that require fine print decypherage, or specialist counsel for bloody scrapes of the legal kind.

Skateboarding always has been governed by unwritten rules; increasingly, it bows to written ones, trading no-compliance for steadier career pathways, societal thumbs-ups and, crucially, coin of the realm with which any number of foreign cars and uniquely shaped vape pens can be acquired*. Egged on by roller sports governing bureaucracies and gymnastics entrepreneurs, skateboarding has tooted the Olympics Warp Whistle, and now the miniature tornado approaches, promising transport to a new and wetly glistening land. Here awaits governance: the uniforms and sticker placement strictures are yet to come, but already Olympic aspirants such as Creature fiend Cory Juneau are running afoul of drug policies, with the support and encouragement of Mount Olympus clout-chasers such as Street League, and shouted from official rooftops by megaphone-bearers including World Skate President Sabatino Aracu and UK Anti-Doping educational and support executive Amanda Hudson:

“With skateboarding set to make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, it’s vital that athletes have a good educational grounding on all things ‘clean sport’ and their anti-doping responsibilities, ahead of the Games.”

In many ways these developments reflect simply an Elton Johnish mobius strip: More rules require more lawyers and administrators, whose salaries and billable hours require more funding via corporate sponsorships, requiring more big events, requiring more rules and administration, requiring more administrators and lawyers, requiring more sponsors and exclusive partners. This looping logic is reminiscent of many naturally occurring circles, including the bassline of the Big Tymers’ famous 2000 single ‘Get Ur Roll On.’

Are the Olympics the end result of such a cycle or a catalyst for more? Does the accumulation of wealth, like a katamari rolling swiftly down a mountain made of dollar bills, make legal targets out of accumulators and profit drivers such as Nyjah Huston? Could a reasonably priced yet highly respected correspondence-course law degree place Frank Gerwer in position to emerge as skating’s Jackie Chiles?

*Real ones will recall one of Rob Dyrdek’s cardinal rules of professional skating: lease, don’t buy

Even Dwarfs Started Small

September 27, 2009

ellenpage_whipit
Sonny’s missing

I have a thing with little kid skaters, which is to say, I have a thing against them, meaning, I generally/totally can’t stand watching them. In order to demonstrate how seriously serious I am and potentially earn internet cool guy points, I’ll just say there are times when I feel kinda iffy on Guy Mariano’s Blind video part, and when it comes to somebody like Nyjah Huston or Chaz Ortiz forget about it. Whereas I am a fan of dudes like Nick Jensen and Grant Taylor post-puberty, I really wasn’t at all interested in their floppy flips and billowing T-shirts before they cracked the 60-inch barrier, and even the watchable exceptions to this rule like Jeron Wilson and Colin McKay only serve as a bitter reminder that there are 14-year-old kids out there front-blunting it up while I have to go to work, pay taxes, spend my time thinking about cures for constipation and so forth. Youch.

But these deeply personal problems of mine are basically just background for the revelation that was Yaje Popson’s section in the much-ballyhooed “Rich Mahogany” video (holder of the title for best internet promo of the year), which had me reconsidering my whole hate-first-wait-five-years-and-then-ask-questions approach to little kid skaters. Now I got this New York-centric vid a couple months ago, partly because of that promo and partly because Billy Rohan and Lurker Lou were in it, and I just naturally assumed that over time I would gravitate toward the bearded dudes’ parts because, you know, we here at B.T.O aren’t impervious to internet stereotypes the same way we are to fiery lava. But there I’d be, letting Yaje Popson’s opening part play through, the usual little-kid grumbles fading to the back of my head like so many unreturned library books and Slap messageboard passwords.

One major advantage this kid has is backside lipslides, which he can seemingly screech across most any available surface. Another is an innate ability to break down my old person defenses. Let me give an example. At one point in this video part he’s doing this line down a street and he whips out the fakie frontside noseslide shove-it, a classic mid-to-late-90s ledge trick that’s gotten all bogged down these days with fakie flips and bigspins and reality TV and shit. It’s the sorta trick I would see somebody do at a spot or a park and think to myself how the dude doing it probably had been skating a while. Yaje Popson has a lot of these type of moves, or else something about the way he does a trick like the switch backside bigspin that made me think about Rick Howard in “Questionable” instead of whoever’s doing them these days (Darrell Stanton?). Or this frontside feeble grind he does on a beefy ledge, which is awesome in all the standard ways. And, he nollie 180’s into that courthouse bank drop, which is just silly.

Of course at this point Yaje Popson’s already past the little-kid red zone, because at 17 or whatever he’s shed most of that dumpy midget style that some dudes unfortunately never overcome, no matter how tight their clothing gets. There’s a weird kind of feature on him here, but the best idea is probably to get the Green Diamond video and watch that because it’s also got loads of beards and Vans and Kyle Iles does the sickest switch noseblunt slide. There is also a Soulja Boy song and the “Bossy” instrumental. You can buy it from Unicron probably, I can’t find Quartersnacks’s ordering page anymore.