Friday, November 26, 2010

Skate Journalists

Remember when skateboard magazines had writers? As in they actually staffed people with a specific journalistic skill set to write interesting, coherent articles that held their weight against the photos. They went on tours with teams and while sometimes their writings had nothing to do with skateboarding at all, it was usually at least entertaining. To me, Dave Carnie was the pinnacle of skateboard journalists. In his Big Brother days, many times his articles were better than the photos that accompanied that (not to discredit the photos). However, in the last 5-10 years, probably in an effort to cut costs at the sake of synergy, the skateboard journalist has become a dying breed. There are few left as magazines have been tasking photographers to write the articles in addition to taking the photos. If not the photographer, they will pawn it off on the team manager of whatever them the article is about or skateboarders themselves. While this may seem like a good idea from a cost perspective, it is a terrible idea when weighing the hit on quality the magazines have taken. But skateboarders don't read the articles anyway, right? Sigh. The thing about having photographers, TMs, & skaters write the articles is that most of them never even finished high school, much less went to college or know anything about writing. I know that doesn't mean they can't write a good articles...but have you read an articles in a skate mag lately?! While I used to look forward to the photos AND articles, now I, sadly, only look forward to the photos. There are some photographers that write good articles, like Kevin Barnett (Thrasher), but it is pretty rare. The same goes with TMs and skaters. There are a select few that I get stoked on, but if I read another article about not knowing what to write about, I am going to go crazy. The standard is something akin to:

So and so hit me up to write this article/intro about [insert subject matter]. I couldn't figure out what to write. Blah Blah Blah...

I may be a bit of a hypocrite, because I'm not the best writer, but I do love to write and try to put a real effort in. I have my first article published in the latest issue of Focus in regard to the Naysayer Tour. It isn't a master piece, but I tried to at least make it entertaining. You can read it here. And that is all I ask for in an article. We need more Dave Carnies, more Chris Nieratkos...and someone, please hire Kosta (from Quartersnacks) to write for a skate mag (Skateboarder?).

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Football Culture

So this past Sunday I was visiting family in Charlotte, NC and decided to accompany my dad to the Carolina Panthers vs. Baltimore Ravens game. He has had season tickets for the Panthers ever since they were first established and I have gone to games with him in the past, but I was younger and was less suspect of organized sports and the fan culture clinging to them. This time was different. I was well aware of the bizarro world of the NFL by the time I even entered the stadium. Here are some of the observations I made.

While sitting in the stands it is easy to get confused and think there are other football players sitting amongst you. They all have the jerseys on with their name and numbers (lots of people with the same names and numbers, though), and most of them are big guys. I would think: Why are they sitting here? To be accessible to the fans? To enjoy the game while they are off? I was sure they were players from the teams because they kept saying "we" when referring to the team. However, do not be misled, as I was. These are not actually football players. They are fan that just dress like them. And the bigness is fat, not muscle. These people might touch a football once a year, on a good year.

As a kid, my mom used to yell at people in movies to warn them of impending danger. I never understood this tactic because 1) they can't hear her through the TV, 2) it wasn't live, & 3)they were just actors. At these football games, all of a sudden everyone is a coach. They are yelling at the players to do this and to stop that. While this is live, there is no way the players can hear them, though that doesn't deter these fans from screaming what they would have done if they were a bit younger with a higher muscle/body fat ratio.

I guess you cannot enjoy football sober. Beer is a huge part of the football culture. I guess that is why everyone enjoying it was drunk, and as the only sober person, I did not find it the least bit entertaining. This drunkenness led to nonstop sexual harassment of the fairer sex. Every woman was a target for advances and requests to take their clothes off. But instead of being insulted, it genuinely seemed as though these ladies enjoyed the attention. I guess if you are a woman going to a football game, it is par for the course.

"Why would you wear a Steelers jersey and not expected to get boo'ed?!" I know competition is the hugest defining factor of sports, but the fans are ruthless. They trash talk each others team (Panther fans called Ravens fans Dirty Birds). They take everything personal and each victory and failure of the team is that of each fan. What your team did is what you did.

Football is a gender identification. Most of these fans need it to prove that they are men with testosterone. They need the cheerleaders, the beer, the tailgating, the big men in small tights, etc. I think most of these men would be lost without sports. It gives them "athletes" to live vicariously though, enabling them to feel like real men.

Obviously there are exceptions to these rules, but I do not see the appeal and am lost as to why so many people enjoy it. But I guess non-skateboarder can say the same thing about skateboarding.

I'll leave off with some of the remaining photos I snapped with my phone while at the game.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Charlotte's Web

Charlotte - 11/20/2010 from Naysayer Skateboards on Vimeo.

With Thanksgiving approaching and being unable to visit my family at the time, I decided to come down to Charlotte, NC a week early. I meet up with Drew and some of his homies today for some skating and filmed a few things on my digicam before it died...and, of course, I left the charger back in NYC. So I decided to just edit what I got from today since I won't be able to film anything else with it during the trip. I also shot these photos at the last spot after bashing my shin real bad, making me unable to skate at the time. Blogger is uploading the photos weird, so just click on them to see them bigger. Enjoy.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

a count down to failed success...and vice versa

As time moves on, the count down to failed success and vice versa has become more apparent. Failure is inevitable and has become more of an expectation than a possibility. It all goes back to the start of my career and adult relationships, but has been on full blast the last year or two. Now before I continue, I should state the obvious. This blog has traditionally been heavily skate focused, though there has been some coverage of culture, music, art, etc. However, it has also been neglected. That is mostly due to a lot of skate focused things being posted through Naysayer and so much coverage all over, that why would anyone care what my take is on it? So moving forward, while I will still cover some things about skateboarding, this blog will also be a bit more personal. So be warned. You may not know me and thus not care, you may know me and still not care, but maybe you are a bit voyeuristic (as I would assume most are) and follow along out of pure curiosity. With that said, let the show begin.

Failure. Not succeeding. At least it implies going for it and trying, right? I definitely would admit that I put effort into anything I do. Some might say I put too much effort in and try too hard, but I try to give everything all I have. After graduating NYU and beginning my career in advertising, I immersed myself so much into it that I worked unnecessarily long hours for years, learning all that I could, and trying to advance my professional growth at the quickest rate possible. And with that I was successful. I was rewarded and validated. Things looked optimistic. However, for all the effort I put into my career, something even more important was not being properly cared for. At the time, I was simultaneously starting what would become my most long-term relationship to date. Things started off amazing and progressed well. After a year, we moved in together, we were in love, and were building a future together. However, I have a way of ruining things that were or could have been great (failure, this will be a reoccurring thing). As I focused on work, and made time to skate outside of that, she was left with my scraps. We had our ups and down, but as the years went on and my career advanced, our relationship suffered. I don’t know why she hung around for so long. I guess it comes down to love. She loved me, and I loved her. It was apparent. But as she always said: love is not enough. After 5 years, love really was not enough and we broke up. She did nothing wrong, she simply wanted more of my time and I remained selfish and refused to give it to her. I ruined what could have been a great thing.

Fast forward 6 months and I meet another girl. My life is very different, she is very different, and our situation is very different. I have more available time, but she lives 700 miles away. This time she is the busy one. Work, a band, hobbies, social life. Things were great, despite the distance. We communicated regularly. She visited me, I visited her. Things were looking up…but the roles ended up getting reversed, in a way. While there were strong feelings involved, we were not a couple and agreed to not set any expectations. This is where I fail again. As her times became less available, I grew antsy and demanded more of it than she could/cared to provide (sound familiar?). Instead of allowing things to be and accept them as they were I felt the need to confront her with things we agreed wouldn’t be issues. I had created expectation without her consent and made a natural, yet inconsistent thing into something serious and unnecessarily finite. So my knack for ruining thing had reach a new low of spoiling something that shouldn’t have even been spoilable. How about them apples?!

I guess I could segue into my fails in other aspects of my life. Like some bad career choices, lost friendships, an alienated family, and, most recently, somehow killing the firewire port on my MacBook (chill, even the small things count). But I will not delve any further into those things. I will just accept the fact that life is but a count down to failed success…and successful failure (vice versa)…for me. This is the thing. I am successful and good at certain things. In my career, I am a great marketer and know how to strategically engage an audience with an advertiser through media platforms. In skateboarding, I know how to work my niche and have built a brand with a ton of potential. I may not be the best skateboarder, but I go for it and find success in the failures I make. Those are the two things I have going for me. Despite all my failure, I have marketing and skateboarding, haha. Now to figure out how to not ruin great things with great girls…

Friday, November 05, 2010

Eby's Clearance Rack Footage

So I was going through my footage and realized that I had a bunch that I would not use in any real part or anything, mostly because it was too old, sketchy, or whatever. So I decided to do what I periodically do with my footage and that is purge it in the form of a "throwaway" clip. The irony is that this is my third one and I have still yet to put out a part proper...not sure what that indicates exactly. Well, here it is...