therapy. [obscure Infectious Grooves reference]
Truth be told, I have suffered from writers block of late. Like Jack Black once said, one cannot manufacture inspirato.
However, the good ol' SLAP board never fails to supply topics from the well of the modern skateboarding Marketplace of Ideas (tm). Specifically, one thread reminded me of a specific topic on which I had thought about posting but got lost in my mind somehow....
The new Plan B vs. the "old" Plan B.
More specifically, the idea that the new Plan B is a manufactured corporate creation, the riders "bought" by Way, presumably, under the shadowy auspices of "D.N.A."
Firstly, the old. It is my understanding that Plan B was the brainchild of Ternasky, who hand-picked the riders to form an uber-team. Ternasky then employed his micro-management motivational style, the result being Questionable, Virtual, sketchy editing practices, and the beginning of Jason Lee's part in Video Days, allegedly a dig at said management style. The thing is, most of those dudes were already on Ternasky-affiliated companies, with the notable exceptions of Howard and McKay and Rodney Mullen 2.0. Danny Way, however, embodied both the past of Ternaskyism and its radically progressive future, molding the street not-giving-a-fuck-ism and vert majesty of H-Street into a new genre that only he and a select handful of dudes have ever fucked with.
NOTE: This is where the psychological shit begins. By all accounts, Way spent his "childhood" on a compound of sorts in the San Diego area, skating an assortment of ramps, shooting guns, riding dirtbikes on an assortment of dirt fabrications--basically externalizing the Id to the fullest extent. By the way, a variation of this topic was previously covered very effectively herein. Ternasky functioned as the Super-Ego--through his influence, directly and indirectly, synergizing the moral-philosophical aspects of Plan B--a more elite version of H-Street/Life populism-- with raw, inventive, insane, unconscious talent (read id) the likes of which will probably never be seen again. Specifically, it is doubtful that without Ternasky, Way is switch tre-flipping over vert channels in 2004. Note: the above is all speculative.
Enter the rebirth of Plan B. First, the main thing I cannot reconcile mentally, irrational or not, is the fact that it's basically a reconfiguration of Zorlac, which will never be cool. Another notable difference is that Plan B, under the auspices of the World brain trust, by osmosis perhaps, assimilated the creative joie de vivre that characterized the art direction of the time. However, one must be careful lest nostalgia cloud one's judgement here. Many dudes lament the modern-day direction of "billboard" graphics; however, if I recall, most of the Plan B graphics were corporate ripoffs of some kind--as was the trend of the time. I might be wrong here, but I don't recall any of the Plan B graphics or ads taking on the socio-political dimension of, say, some of the LIFE graphics--the Sheffey "by all means necessary" board being the most notable example.
Therein lies another moral dilemma surrounding the "new" Plan B: its image is somewhat antithetical to the Ternaskian legacy--specifically, the austere populism of H-Street that was perfected in LIFE's brief but unimaginably influential tenure. As opposed to the Hensley garage setup, one is privy to dudes driving 300M's to late-night private sessions at private TF's. As opposed to the Civic, the utilitarian, fuel-efficient vehicle best suited for commuting from spot to spot, one sees dudes in Range Rovers with generators in the back, driving to late-night filming missions at some secret location.
However, let us still not let nostalgia cloud our judgment; comparing skating and/or filming now to 90/91 is like comparing...fuck, I don't know. Maybe comparing the 1920's to the Great Depression. Dudes do whatever they have to do to film. My point is that the new Plan B is all id and ego--there is no super-ego. There is organization--a central domicile, ads are clean and innovative trick-wise, yet there is no conscience. There is no overarching philosophy. All is engineered for maximum profit--here's the skater, here's the trick, here's the board with his name and corporate logo real big. If you are a student of The Wire, this should come as no surprise. Data drives everything in 2008-9. Feelings? Humanism? Expression? fuck that shit. Where are the fucking quarterly profit statements/crime statistics/standardized test scores?
ps. Truth be told, I am a fan of Wenning (since he was the dirtiest kid at the banks) Ladd (still one of the most progressive) and Rodriguez (still fucks with shit that no one else is really fucking with, like sw f/s heel 5/0, etc).
pps. when was the last time austere populism flourished? a recession.