Posts Tagged ‘stalagmites’

A Swiftly Tilting Planet

November 19, 2017

In the 1990s, when skateboarding grew old enough to cadge cigarettes and thrill to petty crime, power derived from personal networks. Such networks were built of blood and bodily tissue, pulsating to the sounds of East Coast rap tapes, testing slang proficiencies and stiff-arming those deemed not ‘with it’ enough to merit tribal admittance. Over time, as these fleshsome blobs ingested hard currency and heaved themselves into shapes resembling semi-functional business apparatuses, they drew the eye of larger, more heavily weaponed entities, and they fought one another for pride of place and insubstantial dollar figures. All the while, their squishy amoebic forms stiffened and sparked, hardening into circuits and coagulating around wifi hot spots.

It’s a story learned by many at a young age, laying down to sleep upon straw piles and inside comfortable caves with natural stalagmite transitions. But power these days is welded to influence, a sword toted only by a certain few — those who earn it through questing, and those bloodthirsty and wily enough to acquire it by force. And, it is always sharp.

Nowadays, ‘moments’ flit by more fleetingly than ever. In our current one, the largest and most fearsome blade of influence is wielded by the Ted Barrow-curated Instagram account ‘Feedback_TS.’ The outlet punches far above its 5,700-follower weight, drawing into its orbit street-skating GOATS who yearn to be down, style magnet pros fresh off this year’s front-running full-length, and countless droves of aspirant comer-uppers lured by those juicy twin carrots, momentary fame and internet validation.

@Feedback_TS is more than a despotic judge, jury and executioner baptized in ‘Trilogy’ and ‘Mouse’ trick selections with a firm grip on format and presentation. Ted Barrow is not a pro, notwithstanding a memorable part in 2005’s ‘Lurkers 2’ alongside Jason Dill and Charles Lamb. He doesn’t get money from the skate industry. Harsh judgement and unvarnished opinion sometimes are served up, but no meanness or bitterness. Similar to the largely self-directed Slap board thralls, to skatepark heroes and strivers and the occasional professional, it is told like it is. To an extent, @Feedback_TS embodies the info-age singularity that has turned the skate biz inside-out, as the internet provides the world’s double-set early grabbers a platform on par with annointed worthies such as switch backside co-practitioner Miles Silvas and loveable oldster Jeff Gosso. Here lie isolated meadows and abandoned box canyons for creatures such as Revive and New Jersey bodybuilding manual regulator Weckingball to mutate and thrive, independent of the well-worn cart tracks, gladhanding and favored bazaars of the established skateboard business. In this turbulent realm, retired blog proprietors function on the same level as Eric Koston.

Is the right analogue to @Feedback_TS that of a wizened older brother, or maybe more accurately that worldly, well-meaning but unapologetically subversive older neighbor who probably smokes drugs and for sure operates beyond the bounds of the established family hierarchy? Between Ted Barrow and the resurgent Brian Wenning, have we entered a head-spinning and somewhat demoralizing era where switch backside smith grind shove-its rank as ‘old guy tricks’? Does the growing influence amassed by this instagram account raise concerns that it has become systemically important, with any deletion or protracted absence leaving impressionable kids adrift and guardrail-less, while parents, significant others and non-skating ass roommates wonder what happened to the deadpan voice dispensing trick terminology and occasional bursts of art history from behind the bathroom door whilst the fan is going?

11+1+11 +/- 11+11+11 =/≠ log sin cos

November 21, 2011

Ever since the skateboarding industry rebounded from its early-90s revenue nadir pros and companies alike have dreamed of releasing a video in November 2011, to reap the branding advantages of the 11/11 dateline that would occur only once in this thousand-year span. But several challenges arose. First several pros became drunk and forgot their plans. Later, California radio preacher Harold Camping predicted a rapture event occurring May 21, 2011, prompting several other parties to abandon their effort as sales were widely seen slackening after the end of the world. Then the Rev Harold Camping postponed his date further to October 21, 2011, and several more plans were waylaid. But that did not happen and now there are dueling video parts from Walker Ryan and Nyjah Huston, the only two with the sheer gumption to grasp hold of these powerful dates after so many others lost hope, and each laying claim to one of the all-ones dates that we are to see in our lifetimes, 11/1/11 vs 11/11/11.

True as it has been, there can only be “one” and the contest is rightly joined. Immediately Nyjah Huston rises to the level of advantagor because he has more letters in his name, and understood the ancient power of claiming runes. Nyjah Huston’s youthful mastery of alphabetics and numberology carries power over to him that allows him to jump down more stairs than the average person who is five or ten years older and several hundred six-packs heavier than he is. Nyjah Huston has chiseled these handrail tricks many times over in the walls of the Maloof caverns and soaked them for 50 days in some cauldron full of Monster Energy Drinks. His reward is to bathe in vats of gold pieces, gathering even more through the sale of an exclusive video clip on Itunes.

Walker Ryan was cursed with an over-functioning brain that burdened him from a young age, kidnapped by G-men and enslaved at a secret government facility known as “the Shop” where specially gifted individuals are studied. The curse drives Walker Ryan to spin rapidly in a switch backside direction, into frontside tailslides and bigspin flips. He has rejected society and bombs more hills than Nyjah Huston, creates a greater number of lines and more peculiar manuals like the switch wheelie switch backside flip, or the kickflip up onto the table at the new spot. This part is given away for free, signaling that Walker Ryan has rejected material objects.

The twin video sections clash because either one could be the same title of a terrible Kanye West CD, with the edge going to Walker Ryan because it actually was. The two clash at Rincon, with Nyjah Huston risking more limbs by kickflip backside lipsliding on the railing. Nyjah Huston’s backside flip nosegrind edges the one done by Walker Ryan, but Walker Ryan battles back since he never cried after losing an expensive contest on TV.

But in the ultimate end Nyjah Huston turns in an aggressive last couple of tricks (if that sequence wasn’t pieced together), but even still Walker Ryan turns in a lesser-hyped volume that applies a greater tax to the mind and has not already been ladled out over a thousand and one street courses, thereby decapitating Nyjah Huston in the great battle to release video footage on either November 1 or November 11 of this month. Each man’s thoughts and dreams are now his to know.