July 2010

07.31.2010

If you're gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough

This is quite possibly the worst thing I have ever seen. But you’ll understand soon… the only appropriate response to seeing it is to share it. I never had a choice.

crotchkick If youre gonna be dumb, you gotta be tough

Well, he’ll never make the mistake of purposefully setting his crotch on fire again, that’s fo sho.

07.30.2010

Intending to burn, pretending to fight it

The worst (and simultaneously best) part about ad campaigns like Coca Cola’s new energy drink promotion is that they’re always masterfully crafted and, well, pretty fucking cool. And this commercial-in-short-film’s-clothing obviously does feature real skateboarders (including Steve Berra and NYC’s ever-legit Luis Tolentino), who are obviously passionate about skating and have spent an obsessive percentage of their lives pursuing that passion, and that’s cool too. In fact, pretty much everything about this short is cool, except for the URL for an energy drink’s website slapped on the end frames. And those few seconds are enough to leave a bitter taste in this skater’s mouth, which, I imagine, is the last thing Coca Cola wants one of their commercials doing.

Granted, this is one of the least offensive appropriations of skateboarding I’ve seen to date, even if they had to go and Michael Bay our shit up, considering the branding is super minimal and I’m sure the skateboarders who participated were duly compensated for setting themselves on fire. I’m just the cranky, jaded guy sitting on top of the ramp who still complains about Nike from time to time, while everybody else is too busy three-flipping their hearts out to notice.

We live in different times than the 80s or mid 90s, when skateboarding was relatively insulated from the horrors of mainstream advertising. And it’s naive to think that as skateboarding’s reach continues to spread across the globe like, aheh, wildfire, that it won’t have an increasingly visible presence in mainstream marketing, films, video games, and all the other various noise that bombards our retinas on a daily basis. Obviously, it’s great that there are skaters out there who can make a comfortable living doing what they love — if that means taking a check from some of the bastards whose greedy claws have been tugging at our wallets since we first set eyes on a weekly allowance, then more power to you. Get compensated, get your reparations for middle-American brand-name slavery. Such are the perils of the first world.

In the end, all I’m really saying is that we need to be careful, now more than ever, of companies that are trying to buy their way into a subculture that doesn’t want or need them. Skateboarding isn’t going anywhere. The size of the industry may shrink or grow with the years and trends, but to use a cliche, skateboarding is forever. Never let them fool you — they are not interested in skateboarding’s continued prosperity, not as long as it doesn’t align with theirs. Right now we have a relationship of convenience with the megabrands, and they will be gone as soon as skating ceases to be profitable to them.

Actually, I take it all back. We do need another energy drink flooding the skateboarding ranks, if only because I, for one, am sick of looking at all the Mountain Dew New Eras and Monster t-shirts during contests. Let’s get some more variety already. So burn on, Coke, and enjoy those billions!

07.30.2010

Treat the beat like a hemorrhoid

It was with great hesitation that I downloaded the latest mashup album to float into my net, (500) Days of Weezy. For one thing, I haven’t seen (500) Days of Summer, because I heard it was for people who enjoy crying, and the album employs the film’s soundtrack as samples for all of the beats. Additionally, I’m just really fucking tired of Lil’ Wayne. I’m glad he went to jail. That’s right, I said it. I think we all needed a break from Weezy, personally. And Weezy probably needed a break from rotting his stomach with children’s prescription cough syrup.

500 days of weezy Treat the beat like a hemorrhoid

This is not a mashup album, this is an album about Wayne.

In any case, (500) Days of Weezy turned out to be quite a surprise, loaded with some of the most enjoyable and surprising mashups I’ve heard lately. A major reason the album is so compelling is the moodiness created by samples from classic Morrissey and Simon & Garfunkel songs, interspersed with clips of Wayne’s revealing interview with Katie Couric. The fact that producer My Sick Uncle was able to create something that sounds this honest and new out of entirely derivative material is an achievement.

People are quick to dismiss mashups, both music snobs and music morons alike, and it’s not entirely undeserved. Today, a simple A + B mashup is about as done to death as J. Howard Marshall. It’s hard to take a shitty song and make it not shitty, but that’s exactly why good mashups are impressive. I’m more than happy to let a bunch of geeks with laptops and beards do what they can to salvage the dreck today’s starlets hurl upon the charts.

Fortunately, since most of the obvious blends have been thoroughly plundered at this point, hopeful mashup DJs have been forced to get a little more creative. Lately, a bevy of mashup concept albums have been released. While this can be something of a hit or miss endeavor, they’re still some of the most original remix projects I’ve heard in a long time. As it turns out, there’s plenty of gold left to be mined if you abandon the Top 40 meets Top 40 formula. Huge surprise, I know.

Lil’ Wayne x Doves - Fear Forever

To be honest, this is the best Lil’ Wayne material I’ve heard in a long time. There are miles more depth here than in the stillborn Rebirth. And the unusual collection of instrumentals backing his rhymes are a welcome breath of fresh air for the hoarse rapper whose sound has gotten significantly watered down due to over saturation. Instead of generic club bangers and weird autotuned rap ballads about getting your dick sucked, we get an entirely unique product: something… well, something worth listening to.

07.29.2010

Mummy Dearest

Gosh, learning is amazing. Are you familiar with Sokushinbutsu? It’s not exactly a house-hold word. But, translated from Buddhist, it roughly means “Japanese mummy”.

living mummy Mummy Dearest

Monks whose bodies remain incorrupt without any traces of deliberate mummification are venerated by some Buddhists who believe they successfully were able to mortify their flesh to death. … Sokushinbutsu (即身仏) were Buddhist monks or priests who caused their own deaths in a way that resulted in their mummification. It is believed that many hundreds of monks tried, but only between 16 and 24 such mummifications have been discovered to date.

Even if the Internet is liquefying my brains, at least it’s (and by “it” I mean mostly Wikipedia) stimulating them while it’s at it. The next time you feel like quitting something, ask yourself this, “Would a monk mummy quit?” Because monk mummies quit when they’re dead, bitch.

For 1,000 days (a little less than three years) the priests would eat a special diet consisting only of nuts and seeds, while taking part in a regimen of rigorous physical activity that stripped them of their body fat. They then ate only bark and roots for another thousand days and began drinking a poisonous tea made from the sap of the Urushi tree, normally used to lacquer bowls.

This caused vomiting and a rapid loss of bodily fluids, and most importantly, it made the body too poisonous to be eaten by maggots. Finally, a self-mummifying monk would lock himself in a stone tomb barely larger than his body, where he would not move from the lotus position. His only connection to the outside world was an air tube and a bell. Each day he rang a bell to let those outside know that he was still alive.

When the bell stopped ringing, the tube was removed and the tomb sealed. After the tomb was sealed, the other monks in the temple would wait another 1,000 days, and open the tomb to see if the mummification was successful.

If the monk had been successfully mummified, they were immediately seen as a Buddha and put in the temple for viewing.

Um… so basically what you’re saying is we can expect The Mummy 4: Curse of the Lotus Position 3D coming soon?

07.29.2010

Bones Brigade

Introducing the newest member of Dedleg’s premiere skate team — Death himself! Dude drove a hard bargain, but we’re confident signing The Bone Daddy is a solid investment since, let’s face it, skateboarding loves skeletons. But make no mistake, this is most definitely not the guy you want lurking at the skate spot. The incentive to land your tricks would be plenty strong, at the very least, but nothing kills a session like having to make funeral arrangements.

skate or die Bones Brigade

From this point forward, I will be officially referring to my skateboard as my scythe. It just sounds tougher than “shred stick”. Not by much, though.

Before I go — my Malaysian sweatshop employees just informed me that small tie-dye t-shirts are sold out, but a bunch of asphalt still exist. Just sayin’ is all icon cool Bones Brigade

07.28.2010

Nights in White Satin

I mentioned this jealously-inducing series a couple weeks ago, but Doin’ It Baja just wrapped up with it’s 8th episode, which just happens to be the best one of all. And in the process, it reignited my old 17-year-old-self’s obsession with Heath Kirchart.

I feel like it’s an understandable obsession. You know, since he’s The Best. THE BEST I SAY:

As the story goes, Heath’s face was numb for three months after that infamous slam at the beginning of his section which, while unfortunate… isn’t that shocking. This is old news, but slightly more shocking… or perhaps amusing would be a better word. They’re not always the same thing, just usually.

Seriously though, I mean…

heath kirchart motorcycle flag Nights in White Satin

Heath Kirchart - photo by Mike O’Meally

gob bluth come on Nights in White Satin

I’m just gonna say it: total man-crush material.

Edit: D’oh… totally missed this and now I just look like an content-starved copycat, but whatevs. The hardest working skate blog out there, The Chrome Ball Incident, posted up a gang of vintage Heath flicks yesterday. Sheesh… they’ve got their own custom Nike Dunks, they beat me to the punch on retrospective Heath Kirchart coverage…

gob bluth come on2 Nights in White Satin

07.28.2010

Searching for another world

A sense of discovery can be a great thing to capture with your camera, but it’s a little more complicated than just clicking the shutter. Not much more, but sometimes you might have to climb on to a dumpster to get a certain shot, and then the lid of the dumpster might cave in and you might put your leg into a big pile of rotting trash and what you might be pretty sure is human shit.

buildings through broken wall Searching for another world

bathroom through fence fan Searching for another world

This fan leads from an alleyway into an abandoned lot. I mean, good air flow is key, no doubt, but seriously… what? Is this a vestige of a laundry room long since demolished? Your guess is as good as mine.

cross in fence Searching for another world

Of course this Jesus guy’s propaganda is always showing up. Or maybe going to church as a kid actually worked… no…

american werewolf in paris Searching for another world

auto sprinkler Searching for another world

Fire trucks and ambulances barrel down my street roughly every five seconds — no shit, there are some driving by right now, for example. So it’s understandable that a whole shit ton of these auto sprinkler valves are littered throughout my neighborhood. I guess that whole thing where most of the city burned down could make a place a little paranoid.

07.27.2010

Rock until the wheels come off

The awesome graffiti-meets-installation-meets-animation projects that have been popping up increasingly often just keep getting better. This one by the Quintessenz crew is stylistically very different from Blu’s work, and originality always goes a long way. In this short, it does both figuratively and literally. I can’t stress this enough — True Colors is the shit.

About 3 minutes in, I think I realized that were it not for a childhood spent plopped in front of Gumby, I might not like this shit nearly as much. Either way, the video is massively cool and must have taken a massive amount of work. According to Quintessenz, the project took four months in an abandoned space with only artificial light — no sun at all. The most impressive thing about the film, to me, is that everything was handmade! To create the stop-motion animation, 5000 pictures were processed with an average of 15 frames per second. Feel free to pick your jaw up off the floor at any time.

07.27.2010

Consumerism is good!

You know, for a second there, I actually thought BP might fix this whole oil geyser problem before my shirts came in. But then they were all like,

oil spill paper towels Consumerism is good!

Photo via Yahoo! News

And the Gulf shore was all like,

oil spill dying marshland Consumerism is good!

Photo via Associated Press

And then I was like icon sad Consumerism is good! icon sad Consumerism is good! icon sad Consumerism is good!

Seriously though, with hurricane season practically busting the front door down, we’ve really got nothing to look forward to except a whole bunch of poisonous oil and Corexit getting kicked into our atmosphere. And then, say, decades of recovery. And even then, the ecosystem of the Gulf of Mexico will be forever changed. No biggie. At least we’ve got some t-shirts for you in honor of this most apocalyptic occasion. Hey mang, it’s the end of the world, do you want to greet Armageddon looking like a scrub?

dedleg wearing tshirts Consumerism is good!

oil spill tshirt close up Consumerism is good!

Both asphalt and a very limited number of black tie-dye shirts, for the weedies in attendance, are available in Dedleg’s fledgling store. Support the site you’ve grown to potentially love, or at least kind of like whenever nobody’s updating their Twitter, by supporting the National Wildlife Federation’s recovery efforts in the Gulf, since that’s where I’m donating all the profits. Every little bit counts — when it comes to your growing master collection of cool guy apparel. Oh, yeah, and I guess with the oil spill, too.

07.26.2010

An alarming new trend

Wouldn’t it be awesome if instead of having to make shady transactions with sketchy individuals in shadowy meeting spots, you could get your fix by downloading some drugs from the iTunes store? Fuck, then you could even use that gift card your parents got you for Christmas for drugs!!! Yeah, well. It would be nice. But it’s fucking impossible. Although not according to the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and this very earnest, albeit retarded, local news station.

Parents, stay vigilant! Your children are more gullible than ever!

I heard it was like, some weird like, demons and stuff through an iPod or something. He was just freaking out! — Meghan Edwards, Mustang High School Student

A shocking testimony, to be sure. Maybe it’s just me, but shouldn’t the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics be more concerned with, um, real drugs? Like the crystal meth I imagine 85% of the state’s population is addicted to?

Are we going to crack down on apple juice whenever the 4th graders pretend that they’re drinking beer now too?

Anyway, what the fuck do I know, I just got high as fuck off my Casio Digital Piano.

07.26.2010

Flower Child

These photos were supposed to go up back in May, and I was going to be all cute like “April showers bring May flowers,” but then I forgot about them and here we are, two months later… lost without a corny joke to make.

bud close up Flower Child

butterfly on flower Flower Child

Isn’t it bizarre that butterflies survive by licking flowers? That’s really what it comes down to. Except when Wikipedia tries to sneak by incendiary information like this when nobody’s looking:

Butterflies feed primarily on nectar from flowers. Some also derive nourishment from pollen, tree sap, rotting fruit, dung, decaying flesh, and dissolved minerals in wet sand or dirt.

I’m sorry, but did you say decaying flesh? Oh, ok, you did. Just wanted to make sure of that before I added butterflies to my ever-growing list of mundane horrors.

powerlines red clouds Flower Child

orchid ambulance Flower Child

Yeah, so… there are close shots, and then there’s this close shot. Obviously, it would have been better if in the adjacent shot that ambulance had been the Ecto-1. Not that the Ecto-1 has anything at all to do with orchids, I just really like Ghost Busters.

vince clortho Flower Child

In other news, the arachnid invasion in my apartment is unrelenting. It’s not obvious what they want, aside from lots of bugs, and I don’t really mind the company, but the statistical likelihood of me inhaling at least a few of these little fuckers in my sleep has got to be skyrocketing by the day. And the thought of that just makes my insides, um, crawl icon cool Flower Child

spider in purple cup Flower Child

So yeah, if you never hear from me again, you know what happened.