Posts Tagged ‘the Supreme Court’

Long Pork

July 23, 2014

crankshaft

Teenage angst is the eternally renewable fuel source upon which the skateboard industry may be said to rise and fall. As a power to be harnessed it can be as tender and benevolent as a caressing summer breeze, or as tormentous and destructive as the most esoterically named tropical swirly. Deck designers for decades have sought to sate teens’ hunger for scary skulls, subversive violence, conspiracy oddments and more recently easily recognizable Plan B logos; while Wet Willy and Flameboy once earned lucrative dollar bills from soccer-mom purses, such gateway graphics hooked several generations’ worth of minimum-wage paycheck earners who later would seek out socks emblazoned with weed leafs and several varieties of T-shirts that explain the veritable black holes of society from which the wearer, now more affluent and bejeweled, once had emerged.

With the notable exceptions of Rocco-sanctioned Wu-Tang album cover riffs, one-off series bowing to the continued influence of professional firepole navigators or the fleshy urethane peddled by the double entendring Hubba Wheels, lust is perhaps among the least-celebrated cardinal sin when set up against the various drill fights, junk-food odes, thirst for bling, militant anti-jealousy campaigns, and strategic piling-out plans, yet there may be plausible arguments that it or one of its derivatives underlies every ledge crooked and nearly all 360s flipped.

Does it reflect lingering prepubescent discomfits or fear of some phantom parent peering over our collective shoulder that Hook-Ups couldn’t make the post-millennial transition, that Stance magazine’s Maxim-aping spreads went unsubscribed to, that Big Brother bizarrely became more family-friendly under the watchful eye of Larry Flint? Are there alternative explanations for the general collar-tugging and furrowed brows prompted by the adult situations featured within Dylan Rieder’s wingtip commercial for Huf this month, which left some viewers breathless and others vaguely panicked, like being caught late at night surveying the more risque precincts of their parents’ vinyl collections?

Dylan Rieder makes a certain subset of his potential customer base self-conscious and frustrated, and rightly so. He has the luxury of turning in Street League runs that come off more like a half-demo, half-commentary on the point-stacking repertoires of Chaz Ortiz and Nyjah Huston; as transcribed within this spring’s immediate classic “Cherry,” his 360 flips, switch kickflips and backside smith grinds are worthy for consideration as works of art. Perhaps seeking inspiration within dog-eared months of Supreme’s early aughts calendars, Dylan Rieder with his shoe commercial seems to have redirected the rhetorical query to his railside admirer in “Cherry” toward the viewing populace at large, with one of the era’s great switch backside kickflips floated in place of a question mark.

Others unearth darker tones to these primal urges. Bronze Hardware Company already demonstrated globally that it owns computers capable of making the best video clips. Yet in Bronze’s latest offering, affectionately titled “Enrons,” Joseph Delgado’s latest Flushing ledge ticklers, an alternate take on the subway gap ollie and an obvious contender for video part of the year from hardflip lifter Jordan Trahan come spiced with smouldering gazes from hair-tossing and moistened vixens, simulated and/or animated mature acts as well as high definition video camera footage. It is obviously an exclusive video, yet Bronze also pays tribute to the wages of death and dismemberment explored in onetime movies made by clothing maker XYZ several decades ago.

Is the latest Bronze video file truly actually an elaborate metaphor the exhibitionism rampant in today’s extreme sporting industry, and the self-inflicted gunshot clip near the end a Ouija-like premonition of Pacific Vector Holdings’ game-over bankruptcy filing that was then yet to come? Is it solely a matter of days and/or weeks before Alex Olson ups the fleshy ante with clips of unclothed, poorly lit men festooning Bianca Chandon web promos? Would this be biting Pontus Alv’s post-Cliche time in the wilderness? Was Nelly right? Will the inevitable skate video parental rating system top out with 56K, and will Ian Reid ultimately mount a legal challenge that rises to the Supreme Court?

When Colloquialisms Attack Or, The Time Something About A Muska Shoe Ad Bothered Me For 13 Years

March 9, 2012

Recently as part of a broader discourse on the state of the modern skateshop I deployed the phrase “branded product,” and even with scare quotes highlighting a wry and half-joking nature, heh heh, I felt kind of like a dork. There’s any number of breadcrumbs dropped along skateboarding’s meandering path into the deep dark forest of institutionalization lo these past couple decades, and embracing this type of industry jargon seems like shaking the bag. For the youngsters there’s maybe some cachet to dangling such terms around the park or the curb, suggesting you’re familiar with the industry and maybe a little bit of world-weariness to go along with it, but as time passes I feel sometimes like these little phrases get to be more of a reminder of how weirdly and wonderfully insular our little universe can be, what with pretty much all the media by/for/about its advertisers and well-documented revolving doors granting exit and entry from jobs at companies or distributors the same as pro team rosters.

Of course at a time where our planet is regularly threatened by dangerous solar storms and powered by a steadily expanding sun that may one day engulf us, or heat us up too much to live anymore, this is all minor league shit. But, for a tribe that has developed its own vernacular to the point where a factual complete sentence like “He kickflip backside noseblunt slid that hubba for his ender in the Firm’s ‘Can’t Stop'” sounds like gibberish to the man on the street, I’m getting on my Académie Française on for some grievance airing. Disclaimer, this blog webpage has maybe abused any or all of these phrasings.

Product, singular: Sorta remember first noticing this in interviews in the late 1990s, now it is the parlance of our times when it comes to discussing numerous boards, sets of wheels, pairs of shoes and so on. During especially sensitive moments this word could be seen to carry an elitist tinge, like an offhand description of sponsorship spoils. But it’s also useful as a reminder of the commoditization of boards and wheels over the past decade, and maybe now shoes too, until the pendulum finally swings away from canvas low-tops and back toward the Es Scheme.

Colorway: Distinctly recall first seeing this in an ad for Muska’s first pro shoe for Circa. Disliked it because it always seemed a little poofy and, dare I say, girly. Why not just “see other colors of the Scheme at http://www.esfootwear.com”?

Core: When referring to a shop or a company. To me the word “core” in this sense comes from the same land where they farm those big neon-coloured hats with the fake dreadlocks, step-in snowboard bindings and surf shorts with big flames down the sides. I understand what the word’s trying to get at but attempting to affix this label flounders on the same slippery slope as Justice Potter Stewart grappling with a definition for hard-core pornography. Know it when you see it, etc.

Brand: Instead of company. Comes off a little high-falutin’, or maybe like the product of an overheated marketing 101 lab session. Rather than make things, it must also be things, perhaps to certain people at certain times and for certain favors to be delivered at an agreed upon date.

SKUs: Here you toddle down the path to the strange and surreal dimension of retail merchandising acronyms. SKU stands for stock-keeping unit, and can be used to refer to Es Schemes or other products kept in a store for sale to customers. Confusingly, a shoe* can be a SKU, and a SKU can also be a shoe, or in other cases a hat or even a Hurley sticker.

*such as an Es Scheme