August 2011


Episode IV: NOOO Hope

Although I grew up well-acquainted with The Force, as far as sci-fi/fantasy trilogies go I’m really more of a Lord of the Rings guy. What can I say, Middle Earth is a hell of a lot more scenic than the blackest depths of the Dagobah system. And let’s be honest, full-heartedly repping both trilogies would result in such a culmination of staggering dorkiness that I think my pants would automatically hike up an extra 6 inches and tape would suddenly appear around my glasses. Anyway, while this hardly classifies as news, since George Lucas has built a bit of a reputation for ruining his own franchises, it’s gotten just too damn amusing not to comment on.

Despite the fact that Darth Vader’s anguished “NOOOOOO!!!” from Episode III: Revenge of the Sith was one of the silliest and rightfully-mocked moments amongst three prequels full of moments deserving mockery, George Lucas has gone back and lost his mind in the editing room once again, this time for the rerelease of the original trilogy on Blu-ray. Through some misguided attempt at achieving pointless symmetry between the two trilogies, Lucas now has Vader shouting his infamous “NOOOOO!!!” when Palpatine electrocutes Luke Skywalker’s light-side-of-the-force-having ass. It’s hilarious. And also sad. But mostly hilarious.

No… no, indeed. Darth’s first “no” sounds like he just smelled a whiff of dog shit, while the second “no” sounds like he just realized he stepped in the dog shit.

To be clear, that video is not pulled from the Blu-ray. It’s a sort of “mock up” a fan made, using the DVD footage and dubbing in the new Blu-ray audio. Nonetheless, what a way to turn a great scene into a campy parody of itself. Just like the mighty Death Star, it seems George Lucas too cannot be allowed to exist in the Star Wars universe.

star wars comic1 Episode IV: NOOO Hope

star wars no comic2 Episode IV: NOOO Hope

Gratuitous? Yes. Looks like I’m feeling a little Lucasartsy-fartsy myself — I just couldn’t stop myself.


Look Up

All right, gang — despite the fact that all is, in fact, not right with my computer, I have decided that I might as well try to be as productive as possible during the next 7 to 10 days while my iMac’s cold corpse languishes, neglected for far too long, in 14th Street’s hellacious Apple Store. It’s not so much that I think staying busy will keep my mind off the fact that I’m the direct cause of my computer’s apparent suicide, rather, even I’m getting bored by all the sulking. So, in the meantime, I’ll do my best to whip up the delightful content offerings you love (and the ones you love to ignore) despite my current considerable handicap, and I’ll save the complaints for my imaginary therapist. Ah, mental health… who needs that shit, anyway?

looking up at apartments1 Look Up

candles on staircase sunset over silhouettes of buildings1 Look Up

Fortunately, most of my data is backed up, which means the whole history of Dedleg won’t be left only to the cruel winds of the Internet. Which — yay — means I can still post pictures of sunsets!!! Regrettably, the only sunset photos I seem to care about at the moment are the ones I didn’t have backed up… funny how things work that way.


Landmark records in obscene language were achieved

office space copier Landmark records in obscene language were achieved

Last night, I learned a valuable lesson: never make fun of a hurricane, otherwise your hard drive might die later that day. Sure enough, less than an hour after transferring my collection of pre- and post-hurricane photos from my camera to my state-of-the-art, sleek and sexual Apple iTurd wrapped in shining steel (I imagine to protect the outside world from its considerable evils), the computer froze for a solid 10 minutes before issuing its last gasp and subsequently forgetting that it had a hard drive installed. Many variations of the word “fuck” ensued.

Today, I march on to the Apple Store, and at their so-called Genius Bar I shall be told by a high schooler who knows less about computers than I do that my hard drive is dead and I need to loan Steve Jobs one of my kidneys before they can install a new one. Suffice it to say, I will not have my promised hurricane round-up today, or likely ever, considering the photos are now probably lost to the insatiable hunger of the all-consuming black hole that apparently exists inside my iMac where the hard drive used to belong. Suffice it to say, Dedleg might be a bit slow these next few days as I work the street to afford to replace my fashionable approach to desktop computing, and/or consider a solitary life off the grid, where I can let my hair and fingernails grow hideously long, and never return to home row again.


Speed Freaks

Although it seems NYC’s longboard infestation has begun to taper off, it’s more likely that it has merely stabilized and we’ve just gotten used to ignoring the idiots. Accordingly, Thrasher’s latest hill bombing contest is long overdue. Further proof that skateboards can do everything longboards can do better, and you’ll look cooler while you’re at it, too.

This video is also helpful in our culture’s ongoing dedication increasing the gray area in between “cool,” “fun,” and “incredibly scary.” Think of it like a Bermuda Triangle of bad decisions that you probably won’t regret. Anybody with any amount of hill bombing experience can testify to the fact that this clip is not nearly as fun as actually bombing a hill, but it’s also significantly less likely to encourage fear-induced-pants-shitting, so it kind of balances out.

Loading the player …

The dude bombing the sidewalk who somehow survives a harsh bout of wobbles only to speed-float off the curb and into the skateboarding legendarium is the clear winner, but all these guys are champs as far as I’m concerned. Yes, even the poor fuckers who slammed at the bottom of the hill. Actually, scratch that — especially the poor fuckers who slammed at the bottom of the hill.


Breezy like Sunday morning

Today, I woke up with a fairly grotesque white head emerging directly from the middle of my nose. Make no mistake, while hurricane Irene may have turned out to be the biggest disappointment since probably The Phantom Menace, nature is, decidedly, still a bitch.

Anyway, when it comes to natural disasters, “disappointing” is usually a good thing. Maybe that’s not how audiences leaving the theater on the opening day of Volcano felt, but there’s a big gap between fiction and reality, as, I think, the past 72 hours of local news coverage has illustrated quite extensively.

Of course, a responsible blogger would have photos to commemorate the nonevent… and I do. Trust me, it would have been perfectly snide. Unfortunately, my camera is currently existing within my girlfriend’s purse, a terrifying abyss I have learned well to never approach. So instead of a batch of photography that will only be relevant for, at best, the next 6 hours, I went with my remaining shots from Long Island’s wine country that I wrote about on Friday. At least it’s not completely irrelevant if you pay attention to the narrative I’m trying to string together here.

cool light fixture Breezy like Sunday morning

Oh, who am I kidding. Obviously, this is one of the biggest fumbles in blog history. I may never type again! So let’s stop trying to justify it and just accept the fact that Irene somehow still managed to become a veritable catastrophe.

tree through big window Breezy like Sunday morning

wine casks Breezy like Sunday morning

That’s a whole lot of wine.

overlooking vineyard Breezy like Sunday morning

And that’s a whole lot of wine to be.

pink flower close up Breezy like Sunday morning

At any rate, you can look forward to our redundant, self-gratifying hurricane round-up tomorrow. And yes, I am aware that “look forward to” could also just as easily mean “plan to avoid.”


It's going down

beer about to fall on girl Its going down

God, I love the weekend.


Skated and Destroyed

It just wouldn’t be a week in skateboarding news without a famous spot getting bulldozed to make way for an infinitely-stagnant construction site. In turn, Caltrans, a California transportation agency comprised primarily of dickheads and fun-haters, has launched a crusade against the Bay Area’s DIY skate spots. On Tuesday, workers posted a notice of encroachment on Oakland’s illegal skater-built nirvana, The Spot. By Thursday afternoon, it was rubble.

Following desperate pleas and petitions from local skaters to save The Spot, Caltrans proposed the city of Oakland lease the location for $5000 a month, a fairly reasonable offer, if by “reasonable” you actually mean “greedy and insincere.” $5000 a month for an empty lot under the freeway that developers aren’t even interested in. In fact, there are no concrete plans (ugh, no pun intended) for the space post-demolition, though Caltrans is reportedly in negotiations with a billboard company to “maybe use some of the land.” $5000 a month for some real estate in such hot demand that Caltrans might put a billboard there. But still, those nasty skateboarders! They had to go today, at 8 AM sharp no less.

oakland the spot volcano Skated and Destroyed

bulldozer destroying oakland spot Skated and Destroyed

Before and after photos courtesy of Slap Magazine.

Caltrans’ spokesperson / professional buzzkill, Bob Haus cites “homelessness issues” as part of the problem. Correct me if I’m wrong, but DIY skate parks tend to turn derelict areas where homeless people often congregate and set trash cans on fire into an active, community gathering place for skateboarders, who, generally, make the place an undesirable campground for the homeless to nod off or take shits at. You need some privacy for that kind of filth, nah’mean? Perhaps the homelessness issue in question was not the fact that it would attract bums, but instead, that The Spot pushed them out and as a result, the city of Oakland was experiencing a spillover of vagrants into areas where white voters might see them. Or, who knows, maybe Caltrans just mistook the skateboarders for homeless people. Fuck, I’m a skateboarder and even I sometimes mistake skateboarders for homeless people.

Nonetheless, skaters in the Bay Area will be more metaphorically homeless than ever after this latest blow to the local scene. Adding insult to injury, or perhaps just more injury to injury, Caltrans is on a warpath when it comes to DIY skate spots. Reportedly, Oakland’s other community-built park, Bordertown, is scheduled for demolition next. A coalition of local politicians and skaters were able to keep Caltrans at bay back in 2005 when they first tried to destroy Bordertown, and now it seems they’re hellbent on getting even.

It’s very disheartening to see such an incredible spot, that took over two years of committed work, refinement and upkeep, demolished in a matter of hours. Rest in pieces, as they say.

Unfortunately, it looks like Caltran’s negatrons have brutally defeated the optimism and hardwork of Oakland’s good-natured skatebots, but remember this my brothers — this was only one battle in our own war against the machines. We may not win in the end, but we can make things extremely inconvenient for all those bureaucratic douche bags, at the very least. Keep building, and keep skating.


Come on Irene, at this moment, you mean everything

I suppose I would be remiss if I escaped the week without talking about the dread hurricane Irene. Heck, I think it’s the most popular topic of commentary across the social networking world right now, beating even The Bachelor and the MTV Video Music Awards — so you know this shit is important. Unfortunately, I don’t possess any pictures from inside the eye of a hurricane, or really any storm photography at all. Instead, I went with some overcast shots from Long Island’s wine country, which could totally return to the ocean after Irene’s had her way with it this weekend, so I think it’s still topical.

hurricane irene weekend impacts Come on Irene, at this moment, you mean everything

long island wine country Come on Irene, at this moment, you mean everything

Anyway, I don’t mean to be so flip about it — it’s beautiful out there. Seriously, it’s basically The Shire. And you know how I feel about anything even vaguely related to Lord of the Rings

precious precious Come on Irene, at this moment, you mean everything

robot sticker on sign wine bottle on table Come on Irene, at this moment, you mean everything

This guy gets up!

vineyards close up tree trunk Come on Irene, at this moment, you mean everything

dandelion puffs in vineyard Come on Irene, at this moment, you mean everything

Personally, I hate the hype before a storm — either be a legit monster hurricane, fuck everything up the ass and teach all the cynics like myself a good lesson in respecting the long dick of Mother Nature, or get the hell out of here with your “steady, soaking rains” and “strong, gusting winds.”

I lived in Chicago, only a couple blocks from the Lake, for two years. I know the true meaning of “strong winds” — most of the time they’re just a pain in the ass — and I also know here on the East Coast they’re the equivalent of “people freaking the fuck out.” And that, obviously, makes meteorologists very happy because they get to keep their jobs despite being completely worthless at almost everything, aside from hyping up every tropical storm that wanders anywhere close to the continental United States. So come on, Irene. Do you worst. Only don’t shut down the subway in New York, because that would be really annoying.


Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned

Cheaters is a hilarious show for a whole lot of reasons, not the least of which is this…

I will say, however, that I’d probably feel bad for her if only I could stop laughing so much.

Talk about all time worst nights ever. And to top it off, you’ve surely got Joey Greco hiding in the shadows nearby, just smiling and nodding his head as if to say, “Now that’s good TV.”


You look so good in black

Just a quick scrawl for today, inspired by the dark skies overhead at present, since I was otherwise preoccupied in the past today. What I mean to say is, I spent most of my time redoing the drawing I did earlier this week, since it was a hot mess. But it’s alright, I straightened it out icon wink You look so good in black

better off ded You look so good in black

In other news from the exciting world of the artsy fartsy, here’s some information on an upcoming show I’m in at the Hudson Guild gallery, on 26th Street between 9th and 10th Avenues, right in the heart of the artsiest and fartsiest. The show is called FREESTYLE, and it’s an exhibit based on… you guessed it, ice skating! No, dumb dumb! It’s all about skateboarding art, duh!

freestyle announcement You look so good in black

Well, that’s nothing if not eye-catching. The announcement is quite colorful. But hey, I imagine the art on the walls will be too, along with the cast of characters that will surely be in attendance. Be there, or be sorry.


I'm too sexy for this train

I can’t decide if this video shows exactly what I hate about living in Williamsburg, or why I actually kind of like living in Williamsburg.

On the one hand, the crowd of dancing goons would probably make me want to tear my face off if I were an occupant of that train car. On the other hand, getting surprised by the pole-dancing young man in heels would be pretty mind-shattering, and not that I particularly enjoyed his show, but I do appreciate his presence. Proof to some, perhaps, that society is doomed to a life of penance awash in hell’s hottest flames, but to me, it provides some hope to the contrary.

If a (presumed homosexual) man in 6-inch stilettos can grind his leather-glad genitals on a subway pole in America with no real persecution or punishment, legal or (especially) otherwise, that just might be proof that our culture has moved on to proverbially bigger things. About goddamned time. Religious zealots can play Candyland all day for all I care, but stay the hell out of politics before you really do make sure we all perish in flames. Uhh, oddly impassioned, incendiary religious/political rant over.