Pushing Against Racism is an initiative launched by the Good Push Alliance along with a dozen other social skateboard organizations to promote a commitment against racism within the skate community and beyond. Skateismalso has a full feature about it if you’d like to learn more ♥
“I went from being a kid skating on my block to hanging out with all the best skaters in New York City because I learned how to do a frontside 360 boneless.” A friend once had a story about how their book club took a razor to The Powerbroker and sliced it up into three books to make it more reasonable of a read. This isn’t that dramatic, but a blog interview that takes over two hours to read is a lot for most people in the era of byte-sized #content — but we’re *SO* happy that people are putting detailed, rich content on the internet that requires a commitment! Isn’t that what it’s for?! The Slam City Skates blog’s interview with Eli Gesner about skateboarding + graffiti in New York in the 80s, night clubs in the early 90s, the beginnings of Shut + Zoo York, etc. is like a little history book :)
“Jake Phelps surely embodied worlds in decline: Old San Francisco, famously non-PC, MJ1s on his feet until whatever deadstock tap ran dry, proofing a decades-old print publication with a snarling discontent any seasoned editor would recognize and respect. An artifact arguing and cussing every day for a place in a world moving some other way.” Unfortunate to link their way two weeks in a row for obituary purposes, but Boil Ocean has a way with them words.
“Though I would sometimes cross the street to avoid him, I can remember so much of what he said to me.” Patrick O’Dell also wrote a thing about Phelps over on Vice.
And here is a re-link to Willy Staley’s California Sunday profile of Phelps that originally ran in 2016, A.K.A. what BTO labeled as “secular-press skate piece top five.” Would be *so* open to a conversation about what the other four are ;)
Munchies has a mini doc on the institution that has sustained New York skateboarding like none other throughout the 2010s — of course, we’re talking about 2 Bros. They also bring up a terrifying reality re: the ten-year leases that got signed at the start of the decade ending (e.g. when everyone was still reeling from the recession), and the dollar slice soon becoming a thing of the past.
“I think the mainstream American skateboarding culture is kidding itself. They’re really dismissive of emotions in a way that is hurting itself. It’s becoming more and more inline with traditional athleticism, but also what is acceptable as a skateboarder is so narrow – you have to be cool, not talk about your feelings.” If you’re one of those idiots like me who put off watching Minding the Gap for months, here’s another motivator: Skateism put their interview with director Bing Liu online. Yeah, you need to enter your card details, but a Hulu trial to watch it is free, and you can cancel the second you finish the movie — provided you’re not destroyed for the rest of the day.
It is not easy to write about Patrick O’Dell’s film, Dumb: The Story Of Big Brother Magazine, and Shit: The Big Brother Book within one year of each other without sounding redundant. Even though it hasn’t published an issue in thirteen years, Big Brother holds a unshakeable stake in skateboarding’s collective heart. Thrasher bears perhaps the most recognizable skate brand on the planet, Skateboarder was the first-ever skateboard magazine, but no, more Big Brother, we need more.
Having covered everything from the cult of Cardiel to Menace throughout Epicly Later’d, O’Dell is the best person to sit across from anyone throwing heart eyes at a mammoth of skateboard lore. The linear story of the magazine is told through a series of new interviews, shoddy unseen footage that otherwise only had its audio transcribed, archived clips from newscasts (i.e. interviews with angry parents), and clips from Big Brother‘s video series.
An abridged history of Big Brother was told in the 2007 Steve Rocco documentary, The Man Who Souled the World. Rocco’s few appearances in Dumb cover the same ground as before, where he recounts the infamous story of why he started the mag in the first place. Unlike the Big Brother book, which apart from the epilogue, was narrated by Sean Cliver and Dave Carnie’s recollections, Dumb‘s interviews cover a wider spectrum of contributors to any and all Big Brother projects.
Seeing someone do a line where they walk up the five after the two-up-four-down at the Jersey City Post Office still gives me a fuzzy feeling on the inside. Shout out to one of the greatest little kid spots on the east coast.