Posts Tagged ‘Sheldon Meleshinski’

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?

The Great Shark Hunt

December 15, 2009


James Brockman, Elissa Steamer, Chris Cole/Tom Asta, Tommy Sandoval and Sheldon Meleshinski on the set of Zero’s “Strange World.” Not pictured: Young Jeezy, Richard Nixon and the interns from “Mythbusters”

Bringing it all the way around, we shall now contemplate whether the Snowman-powered Chris Cole/Tom Asta section is meant to characterize Zero’s “Strange World” in the same way that Ally McBeal’s torrid affair with Jon Bon Jovi came to characterize the final years of FOX’s “Single Female Lawyer.” There is the combination of old and new in Cole and Asta themselfs, Young Jeezy on a Soulja Boy instrumental indicating the continued dominance of the South and Atlanta in particular, and this time around, nobody gets smacked in the face when Chris Cole does his cab frontside blunt on the handrail. It is a section of contrasts that also features a manly nollie heelflip backside lipslide from young Asta, who has morphed from a rail-centered pipsqueak in his OIAM days to a pipsqueak who has time to kickflip into and out of the same backside tailslide if the desire so moves him.

There are other pipsqueaks at work here, suggesting that Jamie Thomas may actually have been bummed that Zero already burned through the “New Blood” title a ways back: Donovan Piscopo brings kind of an Austyn Gillette update to the Bobier part in “Misled Youth” and stocky Canadian Jamie Tancowny* runs roughshod over a good deal of different terrains in the curtain-bringer-downer, karate kicking his varial heelflips and f/s reverting out of a stock k-grind which is a more interesting take than I’ve seen for a while on a handrail. The awesome clipper backside flip is there, with perhaps a brief view of the disappearing sequence-ruiner, as well as a giant switch backside 180 and frontside heelflip, and the Thrasher bigspin cover that came out super good. At 20 or whatever he is who knows whether he’ll get any taller, but aside from shit like the kickflip noseslide Tancowny’s generally safe from the trappings of lil-kid style.

Elsewise the likes of Garrett Hill and James Brockman come off better in this video than in some past appearances, with Hill looking kinda more polished and Brockman executing some pretty major moves that are hard to cast aside, though we have not been huge fans in the past. It would’ve been cool to see more footage of Rattray, whose street stuff seemed more invigorated than in recent years, and the same with Ben Gilley’s southern caveman act, which has somehow become more entertaining and bracing as years go by. It’s like he’s got more to lose by throwing what looks like a sizable frame onto those railings, maybe. One-eyed Sheldon Meleshinski has one of the best tricks in the whole video with a bigspin backside tailslide that’s spun straight into the camera and looks all ridiculous. This posting would also be remiss if it didn’t mention Dane Berman’s ollie into the channel bank as one of the scarier-looking feats in recent memory.

This video was actually more anticipated around the BTO play-yard than the past few Zero vids in part because of the hallucinatory stylistic change-up. It kind of reminded me of the mid-90s, when Nine Inch Nails kept heading further down the spiral and you wondered eventually whether he’d have to just off himself to keep things headed to their natural thematic conclusion. Zero had taken the skulls/death motif to a pretty minimal end in “New Blood” so the fresh bad-trip approach was welcome, but it’s interesting too how closely some of the editing and whatnot stayed to the “Thrill of it All”/”Misled Youth” era – thinking here of Gilley’s 50-50 attempts/accomplishment, Garrett Hill’s fumbling 50-50 transfer at the beginning of his section, the overall pretty enjoyable soundtrack and the tight 30-minute runtime. Zero makes these videos cheap nowadays and both this and the Slave one are worthwhile.

*whose “Lil Fucky” nickname is I think one of the best ones out in a while