"I'm the hunter
Searching for love on these lonely streets--again
I'm the hunter
Searching for the things that I might never find--again!
-Don Dokken, 1985
This one kid at my work, in addition to being legit at skating, also hunts. This, to me, is awesome--in a Cardielian sense, as Phelps would attest. Both of these things comprise part of being an outdoorsman and conceptualizing onesself as a self-reliant American male. One should be able to tie a tie, change a tire, operate a grill, order wine at a restaraunt, cook eggs more than two different ways, drive stick, open a beer with a lighter or Venture truck, and grip/set up a board anywhere.
In addition to serving as a metaphor for bassist Jeff Pilson's quest for meaning in an among the dive bars of LA, hunting is an effective metaphor for skating. One is outside, doing something. That's 90% of the equation. Getting away from stuff. I, myself, have never hunted, so I am unable to compare skating to taking the life of an animal. However, in both endeavors, one uses a lovingly constructed instrument of wood and metal (and plastic... are Glocks plastic? No, they 're ceramic...). And similar to like gambling, one pays for the experience; the end result, or whatever product is obtained, is secondary to the moment-to-moment process. Well, maybe product is critical if one happens to be executing a filming mission. That requires a different mindset entirely--the Ty Evans approach of skaters as team of travelling contractors, the filmer as foreman.
While the Ted Nugents of the world value hunting on some primeval communicating-with-the-spirits-of-nature shit, tapping into the same parts of the brain that once drove use to drive woolly mammoths off cliffs using only a flaming stick and club bitches over the head and drag them back to one's cave by their hair, at the average foundation spot such as the one depicted above, one can feel a definite vibe of a different, creepier sort. Hundreds of people used to go there to work every day. They got hired. They got fired or quit. Supervisors compensated them for their time. They took deliveries at the loading dock. Millions of dollars changed hands, security dudes scoped out every hot girl that walked in, and now only the concrete foundation, some twisted metal, and the once-pristine marble floor, shards of which now only serve as ammunition for lurkers to hurl into the abyss of the parking lot, remain.
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
Look out, hypebeast! Major streetwear news here! My favorite streetwear--I mean...um, small-scale casual (?)--clothing company, Fucking Awesome, is back. First, some background:
Truth be told, the last time I happened by my local small-scale casual clothing shoppe, they had this placard or sandwich board out front advertising all the brands they carry. Lo and behold, "F'ING AWESOME" was on there. So I asked the dude if they had any of their shirts or anything because, although, gun to my head, I couldn't describe for you any of their shirts besides "gangster situations," I remember them being more amusing than your average Paris album cover rip-off or what have you. Unfortunately, they did not, and we kind of knowingly shrugged, as if to say, "What are you gonna do--it's Dill. He probably just got obsessed with something else and forgot about it." Fast forward to last month, when fuckingawesome.net reappeared. The best thing about the new site is, of course, Dill's partner taking shots at the whole small-scale casual clothing "culture," portraying them as loser pieces of shit, basically. In any event, the shirt with Keith Richards, James Brown, and Artie Lange is kind of funny. Indeed, I would give my next paycheck to have been a fly on the wall at that party.
Which leaves me asking myself, does anything in this world warrant waiting in line? Yeah yeah yeah, I know--voting. With regard to the whole "streetwear" thing, though, I suppose the silly thing about obsessing over clothing or shoe items is elevating them to art status. Then one gets into the "what is art?" debate.
"You know--paintings and stuff."
Dill's partner mentions also his work-in-progess--a documentary about Ozzy Osbourne. This reminded my of the last time I, myself waited in a ridiculously long line for something--A Black Sabbath in-store in 1998.
In a decision that speaks volumes about my mindstate at the time, I decided it would be a good idea to hang out in front of the Virgin "Megastore" in Times Square all nite with a bunch of metal dudes from Old Bridge, NJ listening to Screaming for Vengeance (note, this was nine years before FF!) on a boom box.
Although I am less all about it now than I was at the time, truth be told, I still rock out to the "stoner" metal from time to time--nothing wrong with a little Kyuss or even Monster Magnet every once in a while. However, I pretty much never listen to Sabbath anymore. The best way to explain it is that it's just in my mental DNA, like Virtual or Reign in Blood. Like what was the last time you actually listened to Slayer, you know?
ANYWAY, after hanging out in Time Square all night they started the shit. Sharon was there, supervising. The one thing I remember is how deliberately Ozzy was when he signed my copy of Volume 4, like he was concentrating super hard. Indeed, his autograph is supresingly legible:
But yeah, waiting in line for a super-limited article of clothing is horseshit, alright.
ps. I was going to title this post "Don't Stand In Line," but I decided that that would be too obscure an Ian MacKaye side project reference.