Posts Tagged ‘the Governator’

Rise Of The Machines

August 1, 2013

terminators

Several were astonished this week when Bob Burnquist’s helicopter burst onto the scene with a ‘high-octane’ MegaRampTM video part soundtracked to Creed. Performing a frontside boardslide on its heli-skis, a 720 over the gap and an ‘air’ on the MegaQuarterPipeTM, the chopper cruised the MegaStructureTM like a seasoned pro, albeit one prone to blowing the hats off any rival competitors unlucky enough to be caught on the deck without a chin-strap.

“The race for SOTY is suddenly wide open,” commented one of the few passersby whose mouth was not thrown slack in utter amazement. Nearby a dogeared Thrasher mag flapped ominously in the breeze.

The revelation of a ramp-ravaging helicopter was only beginning to sink in when troublesome questions began to emerge. Machines have yet to attain the needed sophistication to formulate long-winded, rambling and nonsensical blog posts. Yet in other ways their abilities seem boundless. Robots can drive cars, calculate gratuities and vacuum our rumpus rooms. Can it be long before an algorithm is designed that can achieve a perfect Nike Street League score*?

Truthfully skateboarding has not faced such a crisis of identity since Louie the Chimp bested pros and ams alike to capture the cover of Big Brother, only about a year after a Barcelonan dog gazumped Eric Koston out of last-part status in ‘Menikmati.’ While the dog inspired a score of Youtube imitators and some blame Louie’s brief celebrity for Ryan Sheckler’s ill-advised ‘chimp period’, the specter of skating’s takeover by unfeeling robotic overlords is considered by some to be a major league bummer.

Has this helicopter been machine-learning from Bob Burnquist, whose hands-free blizzard flipping, step-up tricks onto the MegaDeckTM and beauty of a backside tailslide are rumored to have pushed back the Plan B video another five years? Watching the two move in perfect sync when setting up for the midair MegaRailTM caveman and their above-coping doubles routine recalls the malicious internet rumors of Bob Burnquist’s alleged dabbling in cybernetics, surgically incorporating microscopic magnets into his feet to better grip his board on the MegaTM.

Is skating ready for a man-machine hybrid? Have Wade Speyer and his giant dump truck already blazed this particular trail in a more classically ’90s’ way? Are lucrative skate collabos with Daft Punk, Svedka vodka and Detroit’s crowd funded Robocop statue now inevitable?

*Note how an easy Nyjah Huston or Paul Rodriguez joke was avoided here.

Dylan Rieder Reveals Bleak Worldview That Includes A Futile Struggle Against Robots, Sort Of Like In “Terminator 2”

April 17, 2012

Here at Boil the Ocean Affiliated Blogging and Alloy Solutions plc we care deeply for the welfare of the pros and assorted bros who are the heartbeat of the industry and indeed, the very culture itself. That professionals represent the fleshy bedrock of the whole shebang was highlighted in recent years by the industry-backed “A World Without Pros” hearts n’ minds campaign that successfully vanquished blank decks forevermore from our storefronts and ushered in a new period of peace and prosperity for hardgoods and softgoods manufacturers alike.

Which is why this Dylan Rieder interview is troubling, in the ‘extreme’ even. Rieder, once characterized as skateboarding’s “golden boy” by the second-best dude on Element* and maintainer of a face that has launched one thousand message-board posts, talks in stark terms of how he struggles to compete in The Street League and seems to have lost his zest for colorful clothing that could earn valuable photo incentive revenues. To wit:

You should be rich; you’re in Street League.
Yeah… after taxes and all it’s not that exciting. You can’t win any money out of there anyways competing against fucking robots. It’s the same top 3 people all the time taking all the money. They need to have a cash limit, like if you win 500 grand you get kicked out to help the rest of us who can’t land everything first try; maybe give us a shot at the money.

Dylan Rieder reveals that increased automation on the contest circuit has made it more difficult for him to pay his bills, similar to the plight of former auto factory workers in Detroit.

How did you end up in Street League? You’re the oddball. You’re not doing push ups, you’re not plugged into the wall. How did it happen and do you enjoy yourself?
Yeah, it’s alright. Dyrdek is my boy, Workshop and all. Maybe he just wanted another Workshop rider. He called me and asked me if I wanted to do it. Why not? It’s extra dough in my pocket. I’m normally not too fond of the whole contest circuit thing but I got a mortgage now. You got to think about the extra pennies that can help pay the gas bill. I don’t mind it. It is what it is. You show up, you bail a couple times and then you go home. I’m not in it to win it. Under the circumstances it’s not even physically possible because everybody can do everything every try and I’m not that technical of a person.

The malaise and hopelessness of not winning key Street League contest stops seems to be afflicting other areas of Dylan Rieder’s life. He describes a waning interest in branded apparel, embarking on a slippery slope toward the sort of drab and featureless government-issued garb that clothed generations of people living under strict communist regimes.

How come you’re not riding for some fantastic energy drink company?
Fuck. You couldn’t pay me a million dollars to wear one of those logos on my forehead. Their shit is fucked. It’s cool for those guys; they make a lot of money. I despise logos and I think it’s contractual if you sign up for one of those things that every time you’re on your board you have to have one of their logos near or on your body; it’s kind of retarded. They make little stickers that look like your shirt tags and you’re supposed to put them on you. It’s retarded. I don’t understand the Nascar outfit. The whole racecar uniform shit just blows my mind. But all those dudes are rich now so kudos to them.

You’re the polar opposite; you wear no logos at all. Just blank tees. There has to be a happy medium, no?
If it was something cool, I’d wear it. It would be cool to ride for Voss, that fancy water that comes in the glass bottle. Maybe 5-Hour Energy drink, that thing works.

The bleak tone in Dylan Rieder’s latest interview suggests that he has resigned himself to a lower socio-economic tier, destined to be outperformed by machines programmed with contest-point maximizing algorithms and sneered at by former coworkers. The potential loss is even greater when you consider that Dylan Rieder is, similar to Matt Hensley, Jim Greco and the Muska, among the few fashion innovators of consequence in recent years. As new owner of DNA Distribution and Dylan Rieder’s employer boss, does Rob Dyrdek have a legal obligation to try and lift him out of the dumps, possibly by leading a sing-a-long? If life sucks for Dylan Rieder, is there any hope for the rest of us? Do NASCAR fans really “do it better”?

*When “Time To Shine” came out, anyway

Last of the Fucked Up Blind Kids

June 15, 2009


A post in which we reference the Venga Boys and anuses but the overall tone is pretty positive

The summer video season is upon us, with what seems like two videos dropping every week and as if to prove the point, I just saw this preview for the new Black Label video that apparently is coming out next month and most definitely features a bunch of kids I’m not familiar with. All of which means that A. I’m over the hill, again, and B. well behind on the commentating, such as it is. I’ll expound elsewhere about the Blind video, known to some as “The Blind Video,” based on the true story about filming a Blind video. If you have not seen it I’ll touch on some of the critical plot points: Jake Duncombe likes to party and as such will one day skate to a Venga Boys song. Jake Brown manufactures t-shirts with the F-word on them and does one of the zanier manuals in a while, Grant Patterson prefers big gaps, tall tees, and music by/for/about the ghetto. Morgan Smith is painfully Canadian, Jani Latiala catches some of his flip tricks really weird, Ronnie Creager glides.

But a few more words and possibly a couple mixed metaphors are due James Craig, however, who to my mind turned in the best section of this video and possibly the best of his career — which if you graphed it would look like two big boobs spanning the last decade, or maybe also a buttcrack with Craig’s heinous knee injury marking the tragic anus. You could probably make a sort-of convincing case for how James Craig represented the rear guard of 1990s World riders, and elsewhere Carbonite submitted “The Blind Video” as the most “Trilogy”-like World production since “Trilogy” which I can sort of see, and sort of not see. For sure a lot of these lines could have been performed in a schoolyard or UC campus of your choosing, but it’s more how this James Craig section fulfills the promise of his Blind amateur footage like this when he was something of a pre-PJ Ladd PJ Ladd (also noting the last trick symmetry with Craig’s first line in this year’s production, yes).

James Craig has also engineered a sort of double comeback with this part… in the unfortunately titled “What If” video it was clear he had pretty much all his tricks back, and then some, but his arms were all over the place to such a degree you wonder if Torey Pudwill used to watch it and take down shaky, jagged notes. He made it partway back with the surprise section in “Get Familiar” (that bigspin flip) but I gotta say I wasn’t expecting him in 2009 to be running around doing high-speed switch heelflip smith grinds, noseblunts to switch backside tailslides, and that rocket launcher kickflip that maybe exorcised some of the triple-set demons of days past. The dude could be a candidate for the short list of people who can pass off varial kickflips and it’s likely the frontside heelflip on flat will rank among the season’s very best. We here at BTO try not to read into pro skaters’ motivations and/or feelings that much but this section has the serious “fun” vibe for me; I’m a sucker for happy endings and glad James Craig handed us this one*, though I heard a second attempt at the ender trick may have taken him out again. If so, get well soon, and we’ll all try to bear in mind the thrice-endowed tart of “Total Recall.”

Bonus: James Craig’s part from the Razor Sharp vid, which I think I watched whilst drinking one time.

*pause