Is This Karma? Is This Heaven? Is This Hell?

For years, we have been desecrating monuments, terrorizing the public, destroying parks, and marauding through neighborhoods — all while hiding behind a self-ascribed veil of creativity. “We’re different! You see a bench?! Ugh, you loser. I see a canvas for my skateboard! Pratt scholarship, here I come!”

Somewhere along the line, this proclamation of creativity and its marriage to digestible rebellion caught the eye of the fashion crowd. We pretended to not care because that’s what we always do, but we loved it. We got casted in runway shows, granted our own WEEK of tributes from the fashion publication of record, let into the Wang party eight deep with our boards, and we even gave women cause to suspend their strict height requirements in admiration. Sure, some of our peers were put in a chokehold for 5050ing a foot high ledge, but otherwise — man, times were good.

But what about those we wronged along the way? Those monuments we desecrated? Those old ladies we terrorized? Those parks we ruined? Those white picket fence neighborhoods we marauded? Did we really think we could leave these people broken, without having to atone for our sins?

There’s a famous Twilight Zone zone episode entitled “A Nice Place to Visit,” in which a career criminal dies, and winds up in a place where he is unable to lose. He gambles and there’s no risk. He taunts cops and nothing happens. He robs a bank and there’s no resistance. Thinking he has found himself in heaven, and fed up with it, he tells his guardian angel that he has had enough winning and needs a challenge: he wants to go to the “other” place. “This is the other place,” he learns.

Keep Reading »