How To Feel Epic: A Print Media Review of the Final Issue of SLAP of All Time

One cold and rainy November Sunday, there was no skating going on. Unfortunately, no one has decided to open an indoor park here for like 8 years; from what I hear, they're not exactly licenses to print money. Although, there are always kids who mention that "We're opening a warehouse, dude!" but they seem to always be super sketchy, occupying spaces like the offices and back rooms of abandoned gas stations. I don't know where they are anyway, so fuck it. I went to the shop, got the final issue of SLAP, then went to the gym.
Usually when it rains I swim laps then hang out in the sauna for like fifteen minutes. Swimming makes one feel fucking awesome; I think it's the same thing as what is commonly referred to as "runner's high." Although it is parallel to running (doesn't Reese Forbes jog 5 miles every day or some shit?) in many ways, I don't think I will be winning said gentleman's "high ollie challenge" in the near future. As far as saunaing goes, I do not know if it helps one at all medicinally, but if Arto does it it must be cool, right? That dude doesn't age. I was thinking of a way to explain its benefits, and I think it's good for your joints or some shit, and while I have not, unfortunately, b/s lipslid any kinked rails lately, I really can't verbalize it any better than Arto himself did in the March 2008 Thrasher:

For the Scandanavians, the Seandos, a sauna is something very holy and kept with a high spirit in Finland, the Scando-land that it comes from. It has a long history of spirits and cleaning and meditation--all those things that people used to use a sauna for--calming down, giving birth, and just feeling epic. It's basically a small wooden room with a stove with hot rocks in it. You heat the rocks up and then throw water on it and it makes a very hot ...

To clarify, I am definitely not Scandanavian--indeed, I am a big Jew. However,the Scandinavian people did extend a helping hand to the Jewish people during WW2, so Scandanavians totally hate Jews just a little less than everyone else in the world. More importantly, "feeling epic" is, of course, what I'm all about. Just like any other social realm, however, there are rules to the sauna. You don't want to be like this "Little Carmine" type dude that always hangs in there, munching on Fritos or some shit, drinking water, pouring water over his head "to stay fuckin' hydrated," reading the Wall St. Journal--it's not a good look. Also, never bring your mp3 player or, heaven forbid, your blackberry into a sauna because it will malfunction. First, though, how did I get to this point? Why am I reading the final (print) issue of a skateboarding periodical in a sauna with a bunch of naked jewish dudes?

Back in the early Nineties, every Saturday I would ride my bike to the mom and pop shop and get whatever new mag or promo VHS tape was there. At this time, it was the only skate shop in town, besides 17th St., which was half-assed at best. Now there are four. Maybe five. The offspring of this mom and pop was actually one year ahead of me in middle school; we were always just a little jealous of him because he had all the freshest skate rags and shit like that. So one November I went down there and picked up SLAP #8:

It was sick--in effect, a conduit to a better place with limitless horizons. One thing about SLAP--it never relinquished its earnestnest about how, like awesome and amazing skating was/is. While Big Brother was trailblazing humor, irony, and epic road trips, SLAP documented the physical and mental intersection between skating, art, and random layout. If anything, it veered more into to the artistic side when skating became less hip-hop oriented; that void was never filled--well, maybe by Strength...

Furthermore, the early issues, especially those few early "large" format ones, reminded me of some graf zine with the low-budget, black and white ads, and printing on which one could actually see the dots if one looked close enough. One of my favorite articles from the early years was the Pep interview that Andy Stone recorded on some obscure antiquated magnetic tape cassette format. According to the interview, when he sent it in to the mag, they had no way of transcribing it. That was it--no interview, his words lost to the sands of time. Although this was a logistical error that was never corrected, it drives home the point that absence of content can be just as
effective as presence.

This whole way of looking at shit has been on my mind since I recently completed watching Sopranos seasons 3-6 on the OnDemand. Once you deduce that the screen going black indicates Tony's murder, the aftermath--blood, skull fragments and brain matter in the onion rings, Meadow seeing her father's head explode--is a million times more horrific than anything the cast and crew of a television program could have staged. This, after a fashion, is the cumulative effect of the early issues of SLAP: a handful of black and white photographs can impact the psyche (3:18) more powerfully than--oh, I don't know-- some dude's "private" skatepark broadcasting a s.k.a.t.e. "tournament" amongst your favorite pros via the interweb, an idea that would have blown my mind in 1992.

ps. If you can still find one, the last SLAP is worth getting if only for the two-page spread of every single cover...
pps. I started mentally formulating a circa-1992 BATB bracket, but I didn't get any further than Jovantae, Damon Byrd, Alf...
ppps. Active Erica lifestyle coverage on p. 106

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