Anthony Smallwood – Coping Mechanism

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Coping Mechanism

Anthony Smallwood 

Full disclosure: David Alan Harvey is a great mentor and dear friend and the fact that we’ve almost been arrested/killed together at various times in our travels means we’re pretty close. So, admittedly, my track to the pages of Burn was an inside one.

That being said, I hope his call is a good one and you, the Burn viewer, will enjoy this look at our obscure little subculture of skateboarding in empty swimming pools around Washington D.C.

 

 

The roots of our crew go back to the late 1990’s when a group of DC residents with surfing backgrounds  and I started to bomb hills on longboards in DC and particularly, Adams Morgan, trying to keep the flow alive while stuck inland.
Shortly after, we discovered a downhill racing pro tour in California, called EDI or ‘Extreme Downhill International’ and immediately started to fly out West for competitions. At the time, most riders belonged to, or were aligned with, some sort of team, usually based around a skateboard manufacture.

So we decided we needed a team name as well, and thus was born ‘The District of Columbia Downhill Club’ or ‘DCDC’ for short.
The DCDC was a combination of the Waikiki Outrigger Surf Club of the 1920’s and the Jamaican Bobsled team of 1980’s Olympic fame, since the Jamaicans have no snow, we have no (serious) hills. But still, like that inspiring team of misfits, we would show up and charge just because we loved it. And the Waikiki vibe came from just having fun while competing and enjoying the company of your friends. Nothing to take seriously at all.

After a few years on tour and competing in places like Europe, Canada and South Africa, the team pretty much disbanded as a competitive entity.

I continued to skate hills for fun, but my time was soon grabbed by an underground skate spot in DC called ‘Fight Club’ where I documented the scene for five years (more on that later).

While I was away from the downhill scene, it had grown immensely and I’d heard some younger guys in the DC area were charging and flying the DCDC flag. So one day I decided to hit a local downhill jam and try and catch myself up, shoot a few photos. It turned out to be a hill packed with 75 skaters, all between 10-23 years old and most not doing anything substantially exciting, besides getting dropped off by their moms.

Then all of a sudden a guy came screaming downhill in a tight, mean tuck and at full speed, threw down a 100 foot layback slide. Just a gnarly, aggressive approach.

We started talking and found out we’re both DCDC and he asks, “do you skate pools? My girlfriends dad has a pool he’s destroying and said we could empty it and skate it”. So we decided at that moment to leave the race and go visit the pool. It was filled with muck and plants and four feet of soil and it was a very hard pool to clean, but we knew it had to be done.
Shortly after, a contact told us of a pool at a house slated for demolition, located in a very exclusive Washington neighborhood.

It was such a beautiful pool, but totally on private property and on a street rife with active neighbors.
The plan was set forth. We would charge it at 9am, try and get all the water out within two to three hours, then maybe skate for twenty to thirty minutes before the neighbors called the cops. Totally worth it. Turns out the neighbors loved it and came by daily to watch and even brought us food and drinks. We called it ‘Patawomeck Pool’ after the Indian word for Potomac.
Two pools, two months.

 

 

We were now infected with the pool bug and soon turned to the internet for remedies, utilizing maps from space, real estate ads and foreclosure sales to ease the symptoms. Now the DCDC is also known as ‘District of Columbia Drain & Clean’.

The approaches are to knock on homeowner’s doors and ask permission, or, in the case of vacants, totally barge. When barging vacants, the houses are generally unkempt, with fallen mailboxes, uncut grass, old newspapers, collapsing fence etc. We then knock on the doors of the neighboring houses and let them know who we are and our reasons for being there. Explaining our motives honestly and giving the property a shiny makeover makes neighbors happy and less likely to notify any sort of authority. It makes their place look better.

The best scenario, by far, is the backyard permission pool. That’s when a homeowner allows people on their property to skate their pool, many times for years and years. This gives the skaters many visits and attempts to conquer their moves.
Pool skating goes back to the early 1960’s and there is a great photo from the era of surf icon Herbie Fletcher riding up the walls of a pool, replete with team jacket and bare feet. Years later, the advent of urethane wheels, coupled with a major west coast drought led to the creation of modern pool skating as we know it, best exploited by the legendary skaters from Dogtown, a rough, run down area encompassing Venice and Santa Monica, California.

The sheer abundance of pools and the climate keeps many West Coast pools dry and available, so guys will barge a pool, get chased away, roll down the block, skate another pool, get chased again, and do it all over the next day, without ever going back to the same pool.

For us, however, we have a limited amount of pools and none are ever empty, with most having a full 8-10 feet of muck and slime.
So it’s best to find a friendly port and anchor for a bit, try and see if we can stay awhile. That’s why we love a good permission pool.
The racial component to our actions can’t be overlooked. Most of the neighborhoods we scour are predominantly black and our crew is predominantly white, but we believe differences are easily overcome with thoughtful, straightforward dialogue. And growing up in a city with a very large black population, I’ve learned that they appreciate white guys that aren’t afraid of a simple human interaction – guys with gumption, that aren’t afraid to knock on a door. The crazy request to skate a pool can actually lead to great friendships.

To us, those that allow pure strangers on to their property to skate their pools—an act altogether reckless, dangerous and destructive—are some of the coolest, most open-minded people you’ll meet.
This project is dedicated to them.

 

 

How this book came about

As I stated earlier, David Alan Harvey is a great friend and a huge inspiration. We’ve worked together in NY, Mexico, Italy, Canada and Brazil and one year I threw him a show at Fight Club for FotoweekDC.

Fight Club was a notorious skateboard slum started by myself and skater/artist Ben Ashworth and located in a run down, abandoned warehouse that was a once a crack and prostitution complex. Ben and I both hated the name but the space looked so much like Brad Pitt’s house and fighting pit from the movie that it was the first thing people said when they walked into the place. Over it’s five year existence it hosted many sessions, contests, concerts and art shows. A skate contest with boxing theme–complete with rope, bell and roller-derby ring girls one night–David Alan Harvey or Steve Olson art show then next.

I documented the action at Fight Club for it’s five year run and accumulated fifteen thousand images and sixty hours of mini DV footage and had intended from the start to make a photography book and documentary film, knowing that something pretty special was going down.

One day I started to discuss the Fight Club book with David and he suggested we hold off on publishing it for a while. Turns out he’d been following along with our pool exploits on Instagram and decided that material was better suited for immediate release. Fight Club had been defunct for a few years at that point. We could do that project anytime.

Well, I started to panic a bit—I believed in the FC work as a project because that was my focus at that time—but I never really shot the pool stuff with any intention of creating a book—or even creating great pictures—it was always quick snaps at these pools because hey, there’s muddy work or skating to do–but how could I say no??

That means it’s a bizarre combination of landscape and still life photography, alongside art, action photography and photojournalism. It’s all over the place.

It’s probably not up to the standards of what’s considered professional skateboard photography—my deeper influence would be photojournalism–but I hope the uniqueness of the locations and the passion of the participants carries over to a satisfying experience for the viewer.

Anthony Smallwood
DCDC

author:  COPING MECHANISM    …coming soon!   BurnBooks

96 Responses to “Anthony Smallwood – Coping Mechanism”


  • Tony Skater…. and here DCDC is! Looking forward for the book! You already know what Im about to say, but sometimes saying over and over again is just a reflection of how Im blown away for something or someone and how rewarding is to share the feeling. You are awesome, you and every flag, mission, lesson you represent. And this work..Im so proud, because it isnt just you sharing “your backyard “, your stories and History, but translating your passion: pool skating and inspiration: art forms, in a such interesting, enticing, generous display… either visually and by your writing.

  • I love everything about this essay! It’s so fresh, new and fun! I love the way DCDC use technology like Google Maps to find pools: I bet when Maps was first envisaged it was never in anyones wildest dreams that a group would use it to find abandoned pools to skateboard in – never in a million years.

    I’ve heard that a lot of skateboarders become photographers and it’s easy to see why. Great photography here by any standard.

    Brilliant; made me smile. Thanks.

    Mike.

  • Love it, the film-book together looks like the future.

  • Hah, hah! I just watched Fight Club tonight for likely the 10th time. So a question for you would be what part of your work represents your alter ego? And how do you want YOUR Tyler to be represented in your work? The wonderful part of photography is the limitless interpretations possible. It’s wonderful to have the opportunity to hear directly from the artist, and a photo may still resonant differently for the individual. Looking very forward to seeing this book! Congratulations, this is a very important achievement!! Cheers!

  • HHARRY

    thats a great idea…
    i was just watching SPIKE LEE’S Katrina 4 episode documentary…
    i was contemplating…why 4 episodes?
    could he just communicate all his points with photos/stills? why video? and why his videos are mainly stills (apart from the interviews)?
    what separates a movie from stills? isnt a movie a bunch of stills after all?
    i love Spike Lee to death but, but but….i can still get his message without spending 4 hours watching stills dressed with video footage…
    i cant wait for this book … i just cant wait… because for me , STILLS let me participate, while video FORCES me…to “accept”..
    And yes i totally agree… stills+video=future
    in our case here i also cant wait for the movie…
    the fastness, the adrenaline, the rush… the HISTORY that Tony is trying respectfully to preset and represent..
    ive a feeling that ill have a hard time to choose between book/stills and movie..
    i think in this case here the answer is BOTH..
    both formats compliment each other…
    i expect something GNARLY, DIRTY, NASTY and “disrespectful”…
    SKATEBOARDING, DOGTOWN, HEAVY METAL, HIP HOP….
    I WANT IT all…ALL…
    i want a book that will make me get drunk and go vandalize my suburbian neighbor’s ass…
    i wanna feel motivated to do graffiti at his door, destroy his boat and slashhis tires..
    i wanna blast SUICIDAL TENDENCIES on my ghettoblaster and hit the middle class corporate asshole neighbor under the belt, bust his balls and paint the anarchy sign on his door…
    i want to revolt and i want this book to allow me stay fresh, angry and sexy and super young…
    ive a good feeling that this book will encourage me to do all that with a smile on my face..
    cant wait.. apetite for destruction is what i hope..
    im ready to preorder and i warn you mr.Tony…either deliver and give me what i want, or im coming up to your house and ill set it on fire…
    im waiting

  • CONGRATS Tony and the entire crew! :)

    LOVE the video so much…god damn, how gorgeous is that stuff and those mad drone/crane pans just delirium…..

    absolutely am crazy about the brilliant title too!!! That’s a tough act to pull off and can;’t thing of a more brilliant title and i absolutely the idea and the book project….the marriage between the detail stuff and the riff on classic skateboarding/waving pools for a ride pics :)…

    as an ex (possible?) boarder of concrete and wave, just pumps my heart…but what really gets this gig going is the relationship to the home owners :)…and also never never never did i think DC folk were pooling board….yea SoCal (been there) but the freshness of imaging waving concrete spirals in the backyards of DC just kills me…so fresh :)

    LOVE to see this turned into a full length Doc….here’s to you Tony and Crew.

    love ya, love this project so much! CONGRATS :)

  • “stills+video=future”

    If the future is the 1980’s. Has no one ever heard of Ken Burns?

    The photos and video are both fine, certainly very proficient, technically. Congrats.

    But I just can’t help getting hung up on the social aspects of the whole thing. My first thought was that it looks like a bunch of aging rich guys squandering a small fortune on a poor kid’s sport. Somehow, it made me think of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI and what came after.

    Am I missing something? The “and (we) immediately started to fly out West for competitions,” and the crane shots, and other clues that big money was spent on this made me think it might be more of a window into the lives of trust funders than it is of a skate scene.

    If that’s totally off base — if these are just the typical poor white kids on dope skateboarders who fund their cross country flights and crane shots with some kind of hustle — then I apologize and wish them the best in their future endeavors. Or even if they have high paying day jobs and this is how they spend their free time, well hey, it’s better than golf. Otherwise, I sure hope they are spending at least a good part of their inheritance on better things.

  • Anyone who digs the mud out of the bottom of a pool deserves to play in it. The pool, not the mud. Or both.

  • “stills+video=future
    ———
    My bad, I didn’t mean combined.
    I meant A BOOK and a documentary ,
    That compliment each other , not combined slideshow style.
    Just 2 different entities ..
    A book that stands alone without need to watch the documentary and vice versa.

  • Otherwise, I sure hope they are spending at least a good part of their inheritance on better things.
    ——-
    Come on now, skateboarders? rich?
    Not sure , but let’s see what Anthony thinks…

  • Looks like they had a lot of fun doing it. I agree with Panos that no one is likely to get rich skateboarding, but also agree with Mike that it does look like they’ve got some money to play with from somewhere.

    And it some ways it does seem like carrying a juvenile pursuit deep into adulthood – but then when I think about it a little further, isn’t that the real reason a whole lot of us become photographers, anyway? Not to put aside childish dreams but instead to find ways to live by childish dreams?

    Oh, I do remember all the advice from well-meaning friends and relatives when they told me I should put my cameras down and get serious about bearing the responsibilities of life. And then, one day, when I sold almost all my possessions, packed a very young family into a Volkswagen Rabbit and pointed it north, they really freaked out. Some even went out of their way to find responsible jobs for me so I wouldn’t have to go, but I drove right past those jobs and just kept going north.

    And that is all have done in the 3.5 decades I have spent here – pursue my childish and juvenile dreams.

    So, yeah, you skateboarders. Keep pursuing your juvenile dreams. And this might be one photo book that actually has a chance of making money.

  • I agree with Panos that no one is likely to get rich skateboarding ……………………………. it is a sport, has numerous sponsorship and followers in their millions and that is what the top guys like Ryan Sheckle, Rob Dyrdek etc make millions.

  • I also mean a book – show as a thing and then a some video around that preferable a behind the scenes for me.

    MW I don’t think you need big bucks for this anymore, I’ve got a mate with a phantom drone and a Gopro and I’m pretty sure you can do a crane shot on the cheap if you look around.

  • comeon , friends…
    all i said is that particular DCDC team (i believe) is NOT rich…
    of course any sport like any other sport has its million dollar stars..the Tony Hawk greats too..etc…

    i was talking about this particular team here…on above essay/docu/book
    gracias

  • plz lets not generalize… thats pure racism…lol

  • My answer was to Frosty remark but then skateboarding probably isn’t big in the freezer he lives in …………..these guys should create a network of lost pools and ponds and with the owners create a scateboarding cuircuit called “bucket the mud”

  • I should know by now not to look at burn essays when I’m in a foul mood and it’s much worse when the cause(s) of my foul mood can possibly be projected onto the work at hand. In this case, it hit the trifecta. I’ve been doing a project that involves what many consider lower class people, I’d just read another article about how the wealthy are ruining (have ruined) Burning Man, which is an event that is dear to my heart, and I’ve been in a long-running fight with the powers that be in my little town on behalf of local skateboarders, who are pretty much banned from everywhere. The local skateboarders, btw, are among the most powerless and disaffected people in this society. They do not jet off to Cali whenever they get bored with the local facilities. They are always bored with the local facilities, or they would be, if they were allowed to go there. The library actually hired a security guard to keep them out of the playground.

    Anyway, I realize it was a tad hyperbolic to compare wealthy skateboarders to Louis XVI, and as pastimes for the rich go, it’s not nearly as destructive as golf or downhill skiing. And as anyone who knows me would readily point out (thanks Bill), it’s not like I’m Mother Theresa. So sorry guys, I was out of line.

    Still, it would be a better world if people who put that kind of skill and organizational effort into fixing poor people’s homes, or doing some kind of good deeds, instead of cleaning middle class people’s swimming pools so they can play in them. But at least they are doing no harm, and I’m not exactly leading the do gooder movement, and if wishes were fishes…

    Regarding the “stills+video=future,” I now see what you’re saying, just hope it’s a temporary aberration rather than something that becomes de rigueur. Because, basically, these things are just promo videos. Advertisements. They are not art, or to the extent they may be, they pale in comparison to the work they are promoting.

    I appreciate the technical skill of this particular one (and later realized that had to be a drone shot), but getting back on my high horse, can see the trend of requiring high end video skills and equipment to get photographs published is yet another way of taking an activity that used to be achievable for just about anyone and making it another walled garden for the wealthy. Fuck, I miss Burning Man.

  • Regarding Bill’s comment, I should add that his 3.5 decades of playtime have produced many important images that are valuable as social and historic record, as well as art, so even if do-gooding was not the primary motivation, it is a motivation, and it’s good done just the same. I think that example speaks to the motivations of the overwhelming majority of documentary photographers.

  • Hello everyone, I apologize for the being out of touch since the posting of my essay but things have been crazy here the last few days and I’ve barely been online.

    Roberta, Mike R and hharry, thank you so much for your positive comments. They were the first and only comments I read when the essay was published and it made my day.

    Before I go any further, I would like to thank David Alan Harvey for this unreal opportunity. I’d also like to thank Francesca Gennari for helping put this essay together, and Panos for being a true bro, always showing love and support. And a “thank you” to any burn reader that took the time to look.

    Bob Black, thank you for your support. I’m really glad you like it. I know you’re tough to please, so that means A LOT!

    Imants, I like the way you think!

    Now the boring part.

    mw + Frostfrog, First of all, that’s not my film. We were simply the subject. Yes, they used a $20,000 drone to get those “crane” shots, along with probably a quarter million dollars in RED cameras, lens, etc.

    But guess what? They’re professionals. That’s what they do. And you most certainly have seen their work on NatGeo Channel. So full disclosure: They’re friends of mine and they know what we’re up too regarding pools and asked if they could document it. Initially we were hesitant, as we’re not great “rippers” and thought it would be silly. But after awhile we realized that we’ll never get another chance to work with such professionals utilizing that type of gear. So we said yes. They shot us and interviewed me and that was it. I had nothing to do with the editing or choice of music or any of that.

    Then this..

    “But I just can’t help getting hung up on the social aspects of the whole thing. My first thought was that it looks like a bunch of aging rich guys squandering a small fortune on a poor kid’s sport. Somehow, it made me think of Marie Antoinette and Louis XVI and what came after.”

    “Looks like they had a lot of fun doing it. I agree with Panos that no one is likely to get rich skateboarding, but also agree with Mike that it does look like they’ve got some money to play with from somewhere”

    “And it some ways it does seem like carrying a juvenile pursuit deep into adulthood”

    “I hope they’re spending their inheritance on better things”

    “Still, it would be a better world if people who put that kind of skill and organizational effort into fixing poor people’s homes, or doing some kind of good deeds, instead of cleaning middle class people’s swimming pools so they can play in them”

    Wow, guys… Those are the only conclusions you can draw?? Pretty pathetic, really.

    First of all, we’re electricians, teachers, baggage handlers, social workers, mechanics, and firemen. Blue collar. Or “poor white trash” …we just can’t win for losing. Trust funds?? hahahahaha.

    We get to play skateboarder and photographer on the weekends, or when our wives, girlfriends and dogs let us.
    My main pool partner is a guy named Marc Ondrejko. He’s a fireman. He’s a young guy and he’s been on the force for a year. Guess what? He’s already saved lives. I ask, how many lives have you saved??

    And you’re going to tell me he needs to go fix some poor person’s house?? He’s not allowed a pursuit on his day off?? He should keep “giving” ?? You don’t know us and you have no idea what we do in our free time and how we give. We’ve given hundreds of boards to disadvantaged youth. We’ve traveled to Middle East, Cuba and Latin America promoting the goodwill of skateboarding. I’ve visited hospice for children with HIV and took them for spins on my board. We just stay within the confines of what we know: Skateboarding. I don’t care if you run a goddamn charity. Your bitterness shows, so no, you aren’t making any real difference. Maybe you show up for a Habitat for Humanity house raising, or work on other “serious” projects, but you’re just going thru motions that allow you to build up sanctimony. So you can tell everyone else what they are supposed to do and how they’re supposed to live their lives. Say it ain’t so? Convince me otherwise.

    Jetting to California?? Free flight is a benefit of working for an airline.

    Juvenile pursuit? Hardly. The best skating is done by those 21 and older. I imagine you see health benefits in something like Yoga, but you couldn’t imagine any benefit to skating. That’s a shame because we have guys in our crew in their fifties and they blow minds.

    Next week, the Kennedy Center is opening their 2015-16 season with an event produced by Ben Ashworth of ‘Fight Club’ fame called ‘Finding a Line’, a look at skate culture, with skating, music and art. Imagine that. They gave us money to build a ramp and invited 30 top pros to come perform. About 4-5 guys are over 50 years old. They will shred, the people will cheer, all will be good. And that night we’ll all wave to the President’s box, slip out the door and head to an abandoned school with an indoor pool. Kennedy Center one minute, abandoned building the next. That’s skateboarding.
    Look, I get it. It’s a culture you guys don’t understand. That’s fine. But have a little more of an open mind.

    And seriously, people can’t help how/where they were born. I do know some trust funders and they’re great people and carry themselves with grace. But it’s like they’re not allowed to ever be frivolous.
    I just don’t get all the boxes people get stuffed into, by people with such judgement.

    I’m not going to get into any back and forth with people. Listen to yourself. Go do something positive.

    Thank you.

  • Brokensquare, I’m sorry I offended you and I’m a little puzzled that I did as I certainly did not mean to. I did set the term “juvenile pursuit” in a larger context that, while presented lightheartedly, was actually meant to compliment and praise you but somehow you not only did not read it that way, but interpreted it just the opposite of how I meant it.

    So, again, I apologize. You have my utmost respect and best wishes as you move forward with your project.

  • Imants – Skateboarding is big in Wasilla. Wasilla boasts the biggest and best skateboarding park in the state, better than anything in Anchorage. I have taken a number of pictures there and have been tempted to try some of those pipes myself, but given the fact I already have an artificial shoulder have thought better of it. In addition, our community is blessed with probably more than 100 miles of paved bike trail and I often meat skateboarders as I bike down those trails. Sadly, I have not been able to bike down them over a month now. As you know, I face brain surgery in just over two weeks and the doctor has forbade me to ride my bike or do much of anything I like to do until after I heal. He has even ordered me to stay out of the Bush and off the Arctic Slope and never to be more than a quick ride away from an emergency room.

    Earlier this summer, the Yup’ik village of Kwethluk, out in the Kuskokwim Delta in Western Alaska, secured a grant from a non profit and built a skateboard park of its own. By all accounts, the young people of the village have been having a blast.

    Swimming pools – now that’s another matter. Here in Wasilla, there is an indoor pool at the high school and I think there might be one in a spa, plus I heard once about a rich family who build their own indoor pool. There are people who have this little pools you can put up and take back down again, but no real yard pools that I know of.

    If the kind of summer we have had this turns into a trend, this could change. We had many hot days in the seventies and 80’s this May and July and even a few in the 90’s. The highest temperature we experienced out here in the trough where I live was 94 degrees (34.4C). Even in the farthest reaches of the Arctic Slope Coast, my second home, the official weather bureau officially recored temperatures as as 85 – further inland into the Arctic, mid-90’s.

    Early in June, my wife bought a well-developed tomato plant from some Russian immigrant farmers who had started it in a greenhouse. I figured she had just wasted her money as we have no greenhouse and this is not a place where normally you can successfully grow tomatoes without a heated greenhouse. But as the summer progressed and the weather remained so hot and little tomatoes began to sprout all over her plant, I thought, “maybe.” She was going to bring it in the house Wednesday night but forgot. Sadly, we had a hard freeze that night. The tomato plant was killed. There’s still a bunch of tiny green tomatoes hanging on it, the largest being slightly bigger than a golf ball. People have been advising us to make fried green tomatoes. Maybe we will.

  • Brokensquare, I should add that I have been a fan of skateboarding since the sport began. When I was growing up, before anyone I knew of ever seen or even heard of a real skateboard, we would buy metal-wheeled skates that you could strap on to regular shoes, remove the wheels, nail them onto short boards and then go “skateboarding.”

    And then one day a real skateboard showed up and I bought it. Oh, what a blast I had! Lots of kids started buying them and we all had a blast (ps: I was a surfer, too). I got to a level that I and all the neighborhood kids thought was really good, a level that amazed my dad because he did not think it possible for anyone to what I did on a little skateboard.

    But in all honesty, compared to what you and today’s skaters do, what we did then was nothing. Not even worth speaking of. I began my career making the tribal paper for my wife’s White Mountain Apache Tribe in Arizona. There, I made my best friend with a Navajo man, the late Vincent Craig, who had married an Apache friend of my wife’s. He did much work with young people and I helped him organize the first-ever skateboarding event ever on the reservation. Skateboarding continued to grow on the reservation. Long after I left with my family for Alaska it became HUGE!!!

  • Mike – Thank you for the good words regarding the work I have created in the course of advancing my juvenile pursuits into my senior years.

  • “Pretty pathetic, really.” “Your bitterness shows, so no, you aren’t making any real difference.”

    Yep. Guess you missed the apology part. Anyway, glad to hear you’re all fine people doing good in the world. Carry on.

  • there are few serious documentaries about skateboarding culture…
    ill post some here soon…
    CULTURE…
    graffiti also scares people coz its called by authorities as VANDALISM…
    but talk is cheap
    let me find links to those docus..
    i see now how easy is to confuse skateboarding with “bad boy/girl behavior”…

    i also see how society sees/translates PARKOUR nowadays….
    same “treatment”… they will try to tame it, they will turn it into an Olympic sport..
    why? no, its not what u think..its not because of the $$$$ nor profit….
    its a new way of police PROFILING…
    they will make it “legal” just to CONTROL IT…

    Wall Street CREATED FORECLOSURES , after selling fake dreams , expensive swimming pools…
    WAIT…DID i say swimming pools?

    yes… whats the aftermath of our collapsed economy? we can write a 100000000 page book about it..
    but
    but
    but
    i thing fo sho…. millions of mucky nast swimming pools..
    muriatic acid and toxicity…

    and now we have a bunch of dreamers , artists & poets, CLEANING ALL THAT MESS , just bring a positive change and creat ART with playfulness to compensate what the upper & middle class created..

    lets crucifie them the, mock them, snitch on them, chastize them & discourage them.. they are the outlaws????
    good, im on their side…

    let the rest watch FOX tv with their
    INLAWS
    I’ll stick with the
    OUTLAWS

    big hug

  • oh btw, Imants, goth u brother .. and i agree btw..

    Bill, i know where u coming from… u always have the best intentions and i always love your input.. i dont think that Tony needs apologies.. if you and Tony be in the same pub youll be drinking and cheering up…thats the main thing with typing… text sounds harsh and so easy to sound rigid…
    i used to love skype, but we need a new skype that we all see each other while speak…everything would be more constructive if we could see eachother faces

    MW,
    trust me its the full MOON… it always made get into a foul moood..still does
    but let me tell you something about the way you write/post here…
    you start with HOWARD STERN super fun style… as a prologue,
    then as main theme you return to a Jesus freak guilt MODE AND
    AS AN EPILOGUE, you become super cool
    (i mean u become yourself)
    i use to hate the middle section of your posts,
    now im not sure anymore..
    i think i like it..
    i dont miss the good ol’burn anymore..
    i just realized it only hibernated for a bit, but still…
    yes yes..its still here
    where DAH?

  • Anthony is small Australian country towns skateboarding is a life saver, kids have something to do physically and then they can network with like minded kids throughout the world. The best part is that it continues on into their adult lives then there is snowboarding…………….

  • I know frozen one skate boarders would skate in a frozen faucet if they could

  • If a bunch of guys want to spend their spare time doing this then why not? It certainly looks like a wholesome and positive experience for all involved. Some people play Paintball tournaments or rebuild old vehicles or even watch trains. All of this is their business and not ours.
    A photographic essay on the subject though IS our business (as viewers). So where is this one?
    Well the video is plenty slick (Going out on a not too thin limb I would say Harvey juniors work) but with professional crew using top end kit that’s what you would expect. The written story is also well done, certainly up to the standards of the vid and very informative. But this is a photo essay right?
    And thats where it is weakest. Informal diary snaps and grab shots no matter how tightly edited are always going to look like what they are when put alongside the other parts of this presentation. The positivity and production values of the rest of the material carry them so far, but dedicated stills would have made this much more rounded (IMO).

  • I know frozen one skate boarders would skate in a frozen faucet if they could
    —————–

    Perfectly stated !!! That’s what it’s all about…
    Create CHAOS for no apparent reason

  • That’s the essence of LIFE:
    Confirm your existence , in the most UNREASONBLE WAY..
    Ignore anything that “makes sense”
    DEPART

  • Anyone that dares to EXPLAIN everything and tries to makes sense of everything is my definition of the ENEMY

  • I miss my skateboard!
    This takes me back to my days where all I wanted to do was ride ride ride….skate all over town.
    Propaganda was on my TV playing on repeat until the tape got so warped it was just lines and static…
    I never skated a pool but who cares….this is skateboarding no more no less.

    Awesome work Anthony!

    I wouldn’t worry too much about the naysayers….you know….somebody has to play that role.
    Be grateful is not you ;-))))

  • “If a bunch of guys want to spend their spare time doing this then why not? … All of this is their business and not ours.”

    Yep. But a couple points:

    1. When people publicize and commercialize what they do in their spare time, even though there’s nothing inherently wrong with that, they do open themselves up to comments.

    2. I think it’s most likely a basic part of human nature for us, many of us anyway, to try to make universal generalizations out of specific instances.

    Take the trust fund issue, for example. I, too, know decent people with trust funds. I even know billionaire hedge fund managers who I personally admire, and CEO’s of large corporations who got ridiculously corrupt golden parachutes, but generally seemed like good people.

    But even though I personally know these decent individuals, I think a society in which .01 percent of the population controls most of the wealth and most of the politicians and their children and children’s children never have to achieve a single thing on merit in their entire lives, while the bottom 20 or 30 percent have to slave 60-80 hours in shit jobs living paycheck to paycheck with little hope of advancement, is a failing society that will likely devolve into authoritarianism and oppression. Considering incarceration rates, along with income inequality, we’re already pretty far down that road.

    So yea, there may not be all that much wrong with those nice trust funders we all know, but the system that produces them is fucked and needs to be changed.

    Same can be said for a system in which aquifers in arid climates that took millions of years to fill are depleted in a lifetime or two so rich fucks can play golf.

    Can something similar be said about adults with well-paying jobs who like to skateboard in pools in their spare time? That would certainly be a stretch, imo, but it’s fair game for discussion. Though granted, here is not the best place.

    “lets crucify them, mock them, snitch on them, chastize them & discourage them.. they are the outlaws????”

    I’m into the outlaw aesthetic almost, if not as much as you, Panos, but I don’t see these guys as any kind of outlaws. I don’t mean that as a negative criticism, just an observation, like the way Gladdy described their activities as “wholesome and positive.” And on that note, btw, I appreciate that I see nothing in the text, video or stills that suggests they are posing like any kind of outlaw, unlike so many bankers, lawyers and sales manager-types who buy expensive Harleys and play dress up in hopes of appropriating the outlaw mystique.

    I think that’s part of what set me off to start with, the unfair conflation of organized professional skateboarders with the white punks on dope skateboarders like I know or see in the work of others such as Gus Van Sant. There’s no doubt a little cross over, but although they may inhabit the same universe, they do it in two distant galaxies. The Kennedy Center. Fuck.

    And Panos, I am really impressed you caught on to the mechanics underlying my typical posts. Not that Jesus has anything to do with it, and I am certainly not cool these days, but you basically got it. Did it again here, eh. Fuck.

  • Way to go, Tony.
    I can see your salvation in that hectic urban environment is with a skateboard.
    Everyone needs a passion in their lives to feel contentment.
    I’ll not forget the art donations you collected to help victims of hurricane Sandy.
    Keep on truckin’.
    MH

  • MW,
    Smiling… I really dig your last comment…
    One think though I disagree with both Tony and you:
    I never ever met one cool trust fund baby yet…
    Maybe I’m not lucky but ill give u both the benefit of the doubt
    Although my soul screams (all trust fund babies can go and suck mean d$ck…lol

  • And yes , maybe the word “outlaws” is a bit over the ….
    But that wasn’t Tony’s words nor intentions I guess (not that I know)… its just that I’m still such as ROMANTIC as a little French girl from the 1800s…
    Nostalgia got the best of me…
    All I’m dreaming is Anarchy signs and broken car mirrors and nasty territorial graffiti and bad tattoos a..nostalgia. A place in our souls that Sid Vicious is bigger than Jesus a place that blood is the everyday norm.. change through love and blue violence …
    Again when Appetite for destruction becomes stronger than the appetite to rebuild, that’ll be the day that earth will become a holy place.. that’s my definition of the so called second coming…
    Love you all and good morning

  • whoa!!! everybody chill….everybody please take a chill pill….

    i am not sure how a story on skateboarding turning into a discussion on trust funded kids and the vagaries of society gone bad, but it’s Burn at it’s most outrageous…

    i personally know all of the commentators here….not a bad person in the bunch…some phrase things in what might seem to others as confrontational but that is free speech….and should be countered with free speech..fine..that is the nature of this particular beast…

    for sure 100% if i had all the Burn squad in the same room with Tony Skater (that is what i call him) i cannot imagine a more convivial bunch…everybody would leave the room high fiving everyone else…

    when i saw this film for the first time only ONE THING really struck me….it was the words of that sweet black woman who described the skateboarders checking out her house and then knocking on her door and then becoming lifetime friends…for me THAT is the story….i don’t see rich people or trust funds or any signs of society gone into decay on this story….i see the opposite in that film….i honestly just don’t see anything negative about it ….matter of fact i published this story after so many stories dealing with serious bad shit in the world as a balancing story…an uplifting story…so for me its really odd that it went sour in the back room of Burn…

    Tony isn’t used to this crowd..or any photo blogging crowd….it’s not where he lives…so he might have over reacted to the sort of thing we are all quite used to…the whole point of Burn comments is to give honest opinions…sometimes they come in the form of barbs digs etc…that’s part of blogging….that is if you are used to it….for those not used to it , as Tony is clearly not, it can appear like an un researched personal attack…that is clearly how he took it….Tony is a street warrior…somebody bumps him on the shoulder and he is going to bump back…

    hey amigos…will everybody PLEASE forgive everybody else???

    i am totally guilty sometimes of reading something too fast and over reacting….we’ve all done it i think…Tony clearly missed Frostfrog comment meaning and thought it was an attack..Frostfrog (Bill Hess) just doesn’t attack ANYONE… EVER…a more diplomatic soul cannot be found….

    weekend skateboarders are like weekend skydivers or scuba divers or stamp collectors or touch football players or Frisbee teams….taking their time away from probably a dull job and putting a little excitement and energy into their lives…..seems like a good thing to me…

    Tony has done so many good community action things for the DC area with Fight Club and various charitable organisations…he is also an avid art lover and travels the world ( for free on his employee pass) to find good art…he has been to major art fairs all over the world…last time i saw him on the road so to speak was at Art Basel where he knew every painter and their history..

    there are bad things going on in the world…for sure..out of control…but the “back room” of Burn should shine as a place where we can all hang out drink a beer, smoke a joint, and share our mutual love of what photography can do…

    so, peace?? please….

    many thanks…big abrazos to all…

    david

  • “it was the words of that sweet black woman who described the skateboarders checking out her house and then knocking on her door and then becoming lifetime friends…for me THAT is the story….i don’t see rich people or trust funds or any signs of society gone into decay on this story ”

    :)…EXACTLY…that was my feelings and what i LOVE about both the film and the project and the pics….totally didnt understand were all that rich kid/white kid/trust funding stuff came from…so i didnt bother (a first ? :) ) to wade in this time….

    just want to repeat: this project can/needs to be a full doc…that approaches both Tony and crew as people (love the interviews/voice over) and the families who invite them in…others may not have seen it, but i see it as a full on case study in sociology…not to mention that this takes place in DC and all that that would imply :)

    and I’ve almost never met a rich boarder…and even if i did, so what….can’t get the juice and joy out of the bones…i think this project is much more unique that others may think…

    and those drone crane shots, just gorgeous…..as is the interview with the woman who calls it like she sees it :)

    Burn at its most outrageous ;)hahahahahahahahah….actually, having stayed out, it’s been an itneresting read…

    and TONY: damn, i long ago was once accused of being too ‘easy’ on projects here…hahahahahaha…regardless, i stand by what i wrote, albeit, short: love the film, love the book project…keep it going…and if you want to expand to T-dot, i’ll go riding w/ya sometime…;)

    b

  • PS.

    One of the Best Skateboarding docs out there is about the Papas brothers….it is called ‘All This Mayhem’…it is crushing…and heartbreaking…and with Dogtown, my favorite Skateboarding doc…

    MANDATORY watching for anyone who has picked up a board…

  • “i am totally guilty sometimes of reading something too fast and over reacting”

    As are most of us, and by this late date I am used to people reading my stuff too fast, missing the subtleties and overreacting, so the only thing I felt about Tony’s reply was regret that I’d instigated it.

    So I’ll quickly point out that in my original post, there was a qualification that if the skateboard crew were not trust funders, if there were indeed an explanation as to how expensive videos were made and people jetted off to Cali etc., then the negative criticisms did not apply. Happily, there are good explanations for those expensive-seeming facts.

    After your reply, the talk of trust funders and outlaws was more of a typical, off-topic comments section jeremiad, only distantly related to the piece at hand. Though to be honest, I do find the disconnect between what you guys do and the skateboard kids I see that are constantly harassed by the powers that be somewhat fascinating on a more societal level. But that doesn’t necessarily make it negative. Certainly not on an individual level.

    Misreading tone causes a lot of unnecessary headaches as well. In this case, I was sincere in my apology as well as acknowledging the truth of some of the critique directed against me, and in agreeing with Gladdy that it was really none of my business. If any of that came off as barbed or snarky, it was not my intention.

    Were I able to delete my posts, like on most other platforms, that first one wouldn’t have been up for even three minutes. David is right about the nature of comment sections compared to real life. I’m sure if I had met any of you guys in real life and you told me about the pool thing, I’d think it was cool.

    On the positive side, the conversation brought out a lot more positive information about you and the crew. So I wish you well, carry on, and try not to let comments from assholes on the internet bother you. You publish your stuff, you’re likely to get a few.

  • MW

    you are a journalist and with a keen sense of right and wrong…but sometimes my friend you are not a very good journalist…and you bring your personal views of a world gone wrong to every story we publish whether relevant to that story or not…

    how in hell have you twisted a clear clean story about a bunch of guys who mow lawns paint garages and make friends with people so they can practice their art into something less? i just don’t get it…free speech is a given, but you do jump to some odd conclusions without having done your basic duties as a journalist with just a wee bit of homework….or you assume a dark side to even the most positive of stories…

    your tactics have a pattern…..you attack, you assume, you dig, with very little foundation …and then later you say something like “oh i had a headache this morning when i went off on so and so”…why not take two aspirin first, think a bit, and then write? after all you ARE a professional writer and pro journalist…all i am asking is for you to live up to your own standards that you often put off on everyone else but not yourself….fair enough?

    sure it would be boring around here if everyone just agreed on everything….yet when something to me appears as simple attention getting, then i must say it turns me off….you are capable of brilliant discourse Michael….you are well educated, well read….i like you personally as you well know….but i think what happened here in this case is that Tony read you and then read Bill Hess and for him it was all running together…can you at least see how that could happen?

    again, i am for peace …and for discourse with foundation and relevant to the material we present…

    thanks amigo…

    cheers, david

  • There seems to be a lot of sturm und drang going on here over a bunch of guys who like riding their skateboards. If they’re not hurting anyone (except themselves, of course; I trust they’re wearing helmets when they do this stuff) then who cares if they ride their skateboards in swimming pools, public parks, or gazpacho canneries? All right, I made that last one up, but I think I’ve made my point.

  • Good Afternoon Everyone,

    See what happens when you invite skateboarders? All sorts of shit goes flying. hahahaha

    Where to begin?

    Ok, David is correct. I’m not one to take much grief from anyone in any form unless it’s coming along with the barrel of a gun. And even then; you may shoot me but I’ll still be talking shit to the very end. I’m a warrior, no doubt. And I’ll take a personal attack to my face over an internet attack any day.

    And thats how I judged it. As an attack. Critiques, I can take and actually look forward them. I really liked what john gladdy wrote. HE didn’t quite believe in the strength of the project as photojournalism, and damn, I can respect that. Not once did he attack anything. john, I tip my hat.

    Frostfrog, sorry buddy but it just seemed like you were piling on. I should have separated the comments. But I do take issue with the whole “juvenile pastime” thing, because to me skateboarding is a culture, and it’s one that I’m quite proud of and support with everything I have. And it’s never cool to criticize cultures one doesn’t understand. Beyond that, I really enjoyed reading your posts. Interesting stuff that really made me smile. I’d say you’re definitely one of us. Do you still have that metal-wheeled board?

    MW, the great thing about skating is that all are welcome! No one cares if you’re a white punk on dope or a, god forbid, trust fund recipient. Many times they’re there together, at the same session and cheering each other on. Skateboarding is purely democratic. I’ve never experienced anything like it. I’ve watched grown men cheering on and pumping up some 10yo chubby kid who’s about to try dropping in for the first time. It’s scary as hell and we can all relate to overcoming that fear, so his attempts on a very small ramp has meaning to all of us. And we want to see that kid achieve it. We know the feeling, and it’s a good one. And we all know the feeling of an unsuccessful, physically painful attempt. And that’s our common denominator. Take the slam, get back up and try again.

    I didn’t see your apology or post. Now that I have read it and have heard about your efforts with the local skaters, I’m pretty stoked. Thats good shit and your work in that direction is far more important than my book project, so I’ll tip my hat and leave it at that. Need anything, reach out.

    No if you’ll excuse me, I’m on my way to the park to take some runs. Everyone have a good, safe day.

    Tony Skater

  • In any case, on another subject entirely:

    The monthly staff meeting was today precisely at noon, as it always is, and I was there on time, just as I always am, and just as always I spent much of the time during this monthly staff meeting sitting in my uncomfortable chair wondering what it is about monthly staff meetings that make me wish I were dead. I can’t say for certain why this is my inevitable reaction to monthly staff meetings, but I strongly suspect that the reason I feel this way is that, as the late and much lamented dearly departed Akaky Bashmachkin, no one could require me to go to monthly staff meetings, and if, like the philosopher Jeremy Bentham, who attends all staff meetings held at the University College London despite his having died in 1832, my presence was a requirement no matter what my state of temporal being, I would not care one way or the other, apathy being one of the salient characteristics of those who are blind, deaf, dumb, and dead. Unfortunate, I fear, but all too true; the dead are the very embodiment of the low information voter whose lack of historical knowledge and pride in our civic institutions are the bane of our modern political discourse. It is no wonder then, I think, that most of the dead vote for Democrats.

    The interested observer can usually distinguish monthly staff meetings from other congregations of like-minded people by the monotonous drone. In this monthly staff meetings differ from baseball games, for example, where the crowd noises are generally happy, especially if the home team is winning, horse races, where the crowd noises are imploring, particularly if the horse you’ve just bet the ranch on is starting to fade coming into the home stretch, and the St. Patrick’s Day parade, where the crowd’s noise is generally both loud and peristaltic; green beer will do that to you. Monthly staff meetings, on the other hand, drone on and on and on like a set of out of tune bagpipes, although that in itself poses the question: if the bagpipes you are listening to were out of tune, how would you know? Yes, the drone, like the beat, goes on, its monotony enhanced with subtle undertones of minutiae and spiced every so often with fresh organic ennui just brought in the garden, where even the woodchucks wouldn’t eat the stuff. Woodchucks have standards, after all, unlike your average organic vegan locavore, for whom the taste of dirt is the imprimatur of their moral and cultural superiority over the unwashed and unenlightened masses of their countrymen, who delight in stuffing their pie holes with hamburgers, French fries, and other such disgusting rot.

    And what do we discuss at the monthly staff meeting? Nothing of any consequence. Directives will be promulgated, policies will be implemented, staff inputs will be sought, actions will be discussed, it is all very passive voice, as if the directives and the policies and the staff inputs will pop up all by themselves like poison ivy or a long lost relative at the reading of your rich aunt’s will. And what are staff inputs, anyway? I have been on the staff of the egregious mold pit wherein I labor for my daily bread for longer than I care to think about and in all of that time no one has ever asked me for an input. People have asked me for help, people have asked me for money, and one guy asked me to stop banging on the men’s room door until he was done banging his girlfriend—yes, that was embarrassing, thank you for asking—but no one’s ever asked for an input. So I have no clue what a staff input is, except that the people who run this place think so much of them that they call monthly staff meetings in order to bore the staff to tears talking about them. Perhaps they do it because they can. In The Rebel, Albert Camus wrote, “tyrants conduct monologues above a million solitudes.” Well, there’s not quite a million of us—we wouldn’t all fit in the building if there were—but we do have some people who like to talk whether or not they have anything to say and some other people who like to talk when they know that the people they are talking to have to sit there and listen.

    The interesting thing about monthly staff meetings, perhaps the only interesting thing from a purely scientific point of view, is how the monthly staff meeting refutes key aspects of Einstein’s theory of special relativity. Einstein postulated that as a physical object grows nearer and nearer to the speed of light, time itself would start to slow down, until a few seconds at near light speed for that object could see the passing of years, decades, centuries in normal time. And yet this mycological cesspit moves no faster than the rest of the planet, and despite this, time slows down to an unendurable crawl during the monthly staff meetings just as surely as it does at near light speed. Why time would make an exception to the physical rules of the universe for a monthly staff meeting is not known, but as someone who has to endure these temporal slowdowns twice a month (once for the entire staff and another for department heads) I cannot discount the possibility that time does this because time is a big jerk. This makes as much sense as any other reason that is out there, I think, and frankly, the idea appeals to the broad streak of rampant paranoia that makes up a good part of my personality.

  • Man I love all things skateboarding. Alas I nearly broke both wrists skating a few weeks back and that was with wearing wrist guards! Guess this is a young man’s sport after all… (not to say I won’t skate again). Bought a piece of art from some local skaters this weekend (a duo known as Shig) and now has a proud place in my office. Its really ugly and fuck you and really great and beautiful at the same time. That’s the essence of skateboard culture.

    Again, fantastic story to this, esp the video. I’m with John on the photos though – wish it had been thought out as a story more while shooting rather than just finding a few things that work after the fact. Not to say there aren’t some good/great images here though that tell us what we need to know the facts per the writing, but man skate photography is an elevated art form in its own and Tony will know what I’m talking about, so up against a lot.

    Yeah, Burn regulars can be hard/harsh at times but it is what it is. I’ve got an essay in the submission can and if/when DAH publishes it I’ll be sure to put on that extra layer of skin!

  • “Yep. Guess you missed the apology part. Anyway, glad to hear you’re all fine people doing good in the world. Carry on”

    What a bullshit apology! Hard to get pass such a self-righteous asshole without commenting on it. Hey MW, speculating on others’ motivations so they fit into your self-absorbed world might make you feel more secure, but it’s your fantasy. Did you get booted from a drum circle and feel like you have to take it out on others?

    Sorry.

  • Kinda weird to judge this work….an upcoming book…by seeing the few photos here.
    It looks to me more like a recap of the video if you don’t have the time to watch it type of thing….i could be wrong but the point is that how can anyone say this or that without having actually seen the book?!?!?!?

    Yeah…more chilling less fighting ;-)

  • Thank you, Tony, David and Panos.

    Tony, I used the phrase “juvenile pursuit” not as insult but as factual statement that it is in our juvenile years that most people who get into skateboarding first pursue it. For many, it ends there as well. But I did go on to play with the concept a bit and to note that a good many of us are photographers only because we carried our juvenile pursuits into adulthood and never surrendered or let go of them. In this way, I intended to praise you, to liken what you are doing to how I have lived. As of July, I am now officially a senior citizen. I continue to pursue my juvenile pursuits toward old age and this pursuit is what has brought me to where I am today – continually on the precipice, but having gained great treasure in matters of experience, heart and spirit, if not pocketbook.

  • And, no, regrettably, I do not still still have the steel-wheeled homemade skateboard. I have no recollection of what I did with it. I’m pretty sure I broke it.

  • Charles, yes, looking back I sure wish I would have taken more care to create better pictures and even tell a better story. The way it goes down, there really isn’t time. It’s hard to focus on the photography aspect, when you’re also cleaning and working and skating yourself. It would have been a great subject for somebody to take seriously, No doubt.
    I suppose it would be like you hauling in Nirvana’s equipment, helping set up and then shooting photos while having a guitar strapped around your neck, rocking out onstage. Probably best to do one or the other hahaha ..something’s going to suffer hahaha (did you ever do that?)

    So like I stated in my essay, I’m not even convinced myself it’s worthy of this treatment. But it is what it is and if David Alan Harvey says he wants to publish a book of said images, in spite of it’s-less-than-spectacular technicality, then we’ll throw it out, see how it lands. That’s our mentality. We somehow missed the social fear/embarrassment gene and the usual rules of order generally don’t apply. Anything goes. It’s awesome.

    I truly appreciate the criticism though. That’s what I hoped to receive. It’s the only way to learn and grow. No thin skin here, just no shit taken.

    In all reality this book is a simple three act play. Discovery-Preperation-Skate, not much else, really.

    And of course the photography aspect is the least important aspect of all. The best days are never documented and the photos never tell the full story.

    I do hope you’ll give it a look when it’s complete.

  • Bob, man let’s ride! I’m glad you’re stoked on this project. And it’s really cool to readr all the perspectives on skating.

    A few months back I was sick as a dog and bedridden for a week and watched a ton of flicks, including ‘All This Mayhem’ Pretty sad tale all around. I also watched ‘Stoked’ the film on Gator, which is another sad story. Then I watched ‘The Man Who Souled The World’ about Steve Rocco and ‘Rising Sun’ about Christian Hosoi, two films that are NOT sad in any regard. If you haven’t seen them, check them out. So glad to see Christian out there killing it again. Great guy.

  • skiwaves,

    Thanks brother. People still talk about that event. SO much great work. Thanks again for your contribution and I hope to see you next time I’m in OBX!

  • Carlo,

    Man, get back out there! Thanks for the kind words my friend

  • Tony, really enjoyed this. I know nothing about skating. But I know something about meeting strangers, building trust, developing relationships and sharing passion. To me that’s what this essay is about.

  • TONY :)

    yea, the story about the Papas brother (atm) and Gator (stocked) so fucking heartbreaking…..really tore me up, both…..before i touched a surfboard there was skating boarding…man, brother, i can tell you about shit wheels and stiff boards and when we didnt do tricks (my step son taught me alot, or tried) when all we did was ride down hills and try to jump ;)..hahahahahah..oh, those days……..loved ‘the man who souled the world’ :)…. haven’t seen Rising Sun….but will tonight…..:) :)
    S
    you ever see ‘in search of animal chin”?…original bones brigade…’waiting for the lightning’ :)

    and yes, i am stoked about your project…like i said, not just ’cause i dig the life and dig the boards (i guess i’m still doing juevenile stuff too ;) ) but because i think it would make a great doc film…and BECAUSE THE RELATIONSHIPS WITH THE FAMILIES make this project unique about skateboarding books and movies :)

    get it done! :)

    hug

  • Tony,

    Of course I’ll check out your book when its finished! I’m sure you got the goods, just dig and think outside the box when editing/designing. Technically perfect doesn’t mean good. And yeah, I know what its like doing something else when you should be photographing. Like herding small kids around now, or walking our big dog. I never had to carry gear for bands but did a lot of chauffeuring – I had a VW van, and neither Bruce nor Jon of Sub Pop fame had a drivers license so I did a lot of the heavy lifting in the early days. I too wish I’d taken more of the everyday pics than just the ‘glory’ ones. But one needs to work with what they have.

    Yeah, Mayhem is a killer documentary. Very sad. I want to see the Hosoi one. I used to have a Hosoi rising sun deck back in the day until it got run over. I love redemption stories such as his.

    Congrats on getting published here and the worthy pastime. Its one thing to ride pools in pooled out LA and whole ‘nother thing to do it someplace like DC. Seattle has no pools but we now have an abundance of skate parks, even indoor ones. An old friend, Marshall Reid (used to run Manik that did a series of my pics on decks) also teaches young kids to skate with a skate camp called “Skate Like A Girl.” One of these days going to get stoked and do my own series of skate photos. Just need to find the angle…

  • CP :)…dig those boards..

    ok, time to watch, here is the Hosoi doc: about to watch it…..

  • CP :)…as far as i’m concerned, “Cypher” is nearly skateboarding book…aint it ;)…only w/out the boards/wheels ;)….

    lots in common between breakers and riders :)

  • Tony, thanks for your gracious words. As for my efforts on behalf of the local skaters, I’ve been successful only in getting the powers that be to consider them. In response to my mini crusade for a skate park, the mayor and the city council did a half-assed job of researching costs, came back with a ridiculous number and said the skaters would need to raise the funds themselves. On my efforts to repeal the ordinance to ban from all parks and public spaces, I’ve been told it ain’t gonna happen. I still bring it up from time to time and have bigger plans to fight for these things in the future, but it’s likely all just tilting at windmills. And truthfully, as you might guess from my previous comments, I never really gave a shit about skate boarding per se. I saw the attacks on the skateboarders as the most visible proof that the city is waging a war on poor kids.

    David, I’ve never meant to practice any print journalism around here, but the back and forth in this thread actually kind of demonstrates what I’m best at. I was raised as an adversarial journalist, meaning I was trained to ask questions that put the interviewee on the defensive. The belief is, and I find it to be mostly true, that people are better at saying what they really believe when they are defending themselves than they are when they believe they are sharing a story with a friend. Of course I typically tell the subjects what I’m doing and why, and I wasn’t at all consciously using that technique here, but I think there might be something akin to muscle memory involved.

    And you can see the benefit. When he felt he was being attacked, Tony very eloquently filled in key parts of the story that we had heretofore been missing.

    Now with that expanded knowledge, I, and I’m sure others, have a much better understanding of both the skate scene in general and his activities in particular.

    Whereas before, I didn’t have much to say about the photo essay, now I feel I can make some constructive criticism.

    First, I think the video is perfect for what it is. You are really lucky to know such generous professionals.

    Regarding the text, I think it needs to be made clear that you all are regular people with a passion for what you do, not just rich guys with $200,000 in video equipment who can jet off to California whenever they like. This may surprise you, but some people get upset about that kind of thing. Short of upset, I’m sure a lot more people notice the costs of that stuff and go hmmmm. Bill, for example, noticed it and went hmmmm, though not in a bad way.

    Also, I thought the paragraph you wrote above about how all skaters are welcome, i.e. that it is a classless society, was great. Were I writing the story, that would be very far up if not part of the lede.

    I think the photos you have so far are good, but I think those parts of the story that came out in our conversations point in further, deeper directions you could take with the photos. Before you enlightened me on the details, I didn’t find the story all that interesting. It seemed pretty basic. Guys find unused swimming pools, clean them, skate them, maybe meet some nice people along the way. Nice, but not particularly deep. But now I understand that there is much more to it. There is, as you say, a culture.

    We don’t really see that in the photos, though. So my humble suggestion would be to consider going deeper into the lives of the participants. Teachers, baggage handlers, firemen? Show, don’t just tell. That kind of deeper inspection of your lives, I think, would provide a really strong context for the pool and skating shots.

    As for how to visually show the “all skaters are welcome” aspect, I have no idea how to do that, but if you could figure it out, I think you’d have a major accomplishment.

  • Bob black I agree about CYPHER..
    I have it and it’s all about CULTURE…
    Break dancing , skateboarding Grafiti , revolt.
    I agree

  • Charles, I’ve seen that series. So badass. Love the crowd shot as a deck.

    Bob, I think you would also like a great web series produced by Vans called: Jeff Grossos Love Letters to Skateboarding. Really funny show with many references to the BB era. A true gem of the internet.

    And Bob, you’d be stoked to know, we have some of the top guys from that era in DC next week for Kennedy Center event and there is going to be a super secret pool session. It’s hard to even fathom, all these years later..

    Plus, I should say Bob, and everyone else for that matter, we are having a birthday party for Iris, the lady in the video on Saturday October 10th. Not sure where you’re located but if you can make it I guarantee you’ll have the time of your life. Last year we threw her a party and people still talk about it. Party was supposed to go from 2pm-7pm and at 1am people still didn’t want to leave. This year will be bigger and better. Skate contest, photo show, BBQ etc

  • Btw, whoever does not the book CYPHER ( by Charles Peterson ), I HEAVILY recommended

  • Tony ..,
    Big REQUEST:
    Can u plz SUGGEST SOME documentaries so I can watch about skateboarding culture.
    Bob already has some GREAT SUGGESTIONS..
    But I also would like to have your favorite playlist..
    Oh, that goes for everyone here, skateboarder or not.
    I personally ( although a proven beach bum ) would never consider myself a skateboarder not a surfer..
    But that’s all I wanted to be all my life .. The toughest thing I ever done was downhill mountain bike up on Santa Monica mountains ( the 3 witches trails up in Sullivan canyon ),
    But I was so slow , I remember once a 60 year old lady from Puerto Rico kicked my ass on that downhill race…
    And I was in great shape too, to give u an idea … Smiling..
    Ok, that’s why I’m here , to learn..
    So pls to ALL
    POST your movie documentary playlists skateboarding surf related ..
    I’d prefer California related stuff although I enjoyed the latest PARKOUR CHAMPIONSHIP in the most beautiful ISLAND IN THIS EARTH…
    Santorini Greece.. YouTube it

  • MW, it’s cool that you’re showing interest in a community you’re not really a part of, and it’s actually folks like you that can make a difference. Those kids just need guidance and a way to build cohesion in their community, they need a project they can all rally around. Throw art shows and other DIY events and ALWAYS ask for a donation. Even if it’s a piddly little photo show in a coffee shop. The idea is support.
    We wanted a bowl in DC and the city said “here’s an abandoned tennis court, have at it” and then said “oh, and you can’t dig any sort of hole”
    So much for our plans for a pool style bowl. Then Ben Ashworth–yes, that guy again–decided we should utilize the techniques of Auburn Professor Sam Mockbie, which consists of building structure with filled tires. So that’s what we did. We gathered 3000 discarded tires, stacked them accordingly, then covered the whole thing in concrete. It’s a beauty and it’s called Green Skate Lab or GSL for short. Look it up.
    It cost us $35,000 in concrete, bob cat, etc but it would’ve cost $150,000 if we hired a company to come do it. We raised the money thru shows and sales and donations. Tony Hawk put up $20,000 and we raised the rest. He has a foundation to help communities like yours. Tony Hawk Foundation.

    It also helps if the kids get involved in ways to show they’re a positive part of the community. At community events get a table, get signatures, give out flyers and just talk it up. Just push push push. And keep us posted

  • And regarding my pool book, as stated earlier it was never actually a project. And it is a pretty simple storyline. On that I totally agree. If you ask me, the one thing that makes my project unique is the geographical location of these pools. They don’t look like the backyards you see in So Cal. Unfortunately, there’s no time in my life for a deeper look at the characters in play. And it wouldn’t really work since I’m not a dispassionate observer. These are my friends. But there could be a good story for an outsider to cover.

    For me, this project is a dead language for the most part. Sure, we still have to edit the damn thing, but there won’t be much more material created.
    After Coping Mechanism is released, I’ll start to delve into my 20,000 images from Fight Club.

    And after that, my 3rd and final installment of the skate trilogy will be a book of skate related tattoos. I’ll shoot some but will mostly rely on submissions. I’ve talked to people in the skate industry and everyone is kind of surprised it hasn’t already been done.

    So look out Burn people. I may have you all chase tattoo photos from your local skate scenes

  • Anthony,

    one day i’ll buy myself a new board….soonest but not yet.
    the itch has never left me!

    Panos,

    i used to watch this non-stop and then head out to the streets…we were a small group of 4 sometimes 5 dudes…
    http://youtu.be/zWm-SUDIpY0

  • Panos,

    The films we discussed earlier are solid.

    Dogtown & Z-Boys
    All This Mayhem
    Man Who Souled The World
    ‘Stoked’ Gator story
    Rising Son

    Watch ‘Jeff Grosso’s Love Letters To Skateboarding’ online for a great inside look a the culture

  • Paranoid Park is not part of the canon?

  • BOB, PANOS,

    In some ways breakdancing is even more pure – no need for decks, trucks, pools, half pipes, etc. Just a flat surface and some beats. Both are all about DIY and release. Adrenaline junkies. Parkour also fascinates me.

    As far as trust funders go – they’re all out in the California desert right now. Skateboarders are generally broke and really don’t care that much about money (until they have it – see ‘Mayhem’). Case in point – the piece of art I bought Saturday was actually part of this hokey display these skaters had put together to show off their smaller pieces. I asked if they’d sell just the one panel – sure they said if the price was right. Considering their small pieces went for $30-60 I offered $300. It actually blew them away and so I asked what they thought – they hemmed and hawed and mentioned $200-300. I told them I’m an artist myself and could use the discount so we settled on $250. I love that they actually talked me DOWN though! So humble (and maybe a bit stupid).

    Best,

    CP

  • Awesome , thank you all..
    I’m watching that Australian Mayhrm thing ,
    And 10 minutes in I got myself inflating the tires of my silly Trek bike..
    That’s what I call motivation and inspiration bitches!
    Love you ALL..
    Keep me awake and I’ll owe u for life;)

  • charles
    totally, breakdancing ad/or parkour does NOT require ANY KIND OF GEAR, nor purchase….

    and yes, humble=stupid=low self esteem or pure “dont give a fuck” attitude is part of the scene..
    oh i wish i was educated enough to explain it and analyze it..
    im curious…
    but as i said way somewhere above…
    i love MAJIK,
    last thing i need u know is “whats the trick? or how u/he/she did it…
    i wanna LEARN,
    BUT NOT the techniques part..not the “know-how” coz then my thrill is gone…
    oh sooooooooooooo wanna keep being a child…
    ive been through so much unnecessary pain….
    im bored of my own self…
    so i rely on YOU…
    thank u

  • and to define , whats “YOU” , is the Artist, the giver , so please to all of YOU that are the GIVERS , the artists , plz share….
    im tired stressing this out last 6 months…
    my mouth is dry from begging..TH

    therfore THANK U DCDC THANK TONY THE SKATER,
    THANK U ALL..
    plz lets feed each other..

  • so since im here all alone ive a job for the right one,
    here it is ( text me in person only , plz,not here and in Tony’s thread , thank u ):

  • Panos, Paranoid Park. Not instead of anything anyone else might recommend, but definitely in addtion. Bob, back me up on this.

  • I’ll definitely be checkingbit out. No doubt:)
    Thank u

  • AKAKY

    i’ve been saying this for a few years….you gotta get this stuff in a book…forget photo essays…you are not going to do that…it’s not in your nature, or you would have done it…what is in your nature are these incredible observations so well done…Teju Cole’s “Every Day is for the Thief” marries writing and pictures very nicely…you should do something similar..or not “should do” but could do…not pictures as illustration, yet as adjectives to the subject…that extra twist…your office life, your small town life which might seem like a molecule in a mass can become larger than life…Thurber used Walter….whether you make it fact or fiction doesn’t matter….try to get this done before those guys who are following you close in….

    cheers, david

  • MW

    i totally get Michael the adversarial journalist bit….and yes, people defending themselves does often enlighten….my ire is only directed at you when you make condescending declarations as if you knew what you were talking about …so sure, dig dig dig..yet isn’t it incumbent on the digger to have done a wee bit of homework as well? or ask a provocative question rather than being so damned definitive?…

    otherwise my friend that puts you on the defensive as here…you on the defensive explained things pretty well..irony of ironies…but is that really necessary on what is presented as a light perhaps refreshing break from all the “heavy and deep” essays?

    cleaning pools and skating them is not a “deep” subject like rain forest destruction or favela life or cocaine blue…it is what it is and what it is i don’t think many people know about…everyone i have seen looking at this, and most are not in the skating community, say something like “damn i had no idea people did this”…that’s all..done..

    you have this insatiable desire to include and add and almost catalogue any subject….you always want more, and this angle and that angle and what an incredibly boring book you would have ….can you think of any good book that was all inclusive about the subject? i cannot think of one….good books are tightly woven….and if you want more, then you should simply get another book on the same subject…

    books, essays, single photos, are best when they just say ONE THING…

    i absolutely appreciate anthologies….epics….like Meiselas Kurds….years of research and work …definitive…..academic….worthy….or Nachtwey’s Inferno….a monolith of heavy horror…those kinds books have a special place in my bookshelf..and guess what? they stay on the bookshelf…viewed very carefully once, but then you never come back…

    Delahaye’s Winterreise stays on the table and it is hardly an academic resource on Siberia…he left a lot out!! As did Pinkhassov with Sightwalk..this is Tokyo?? ….yet little slices are the most digestible, remembered, viewed again and again….

    I try to motivate people to do what they can do and will DO…no small feat…their own mark…their special table in the corner…..

    i am not comparing Tony Skater’s “Coping Mechanism” to these photo world classics….no way…..yet inside his skating community he will make a mark…hero in his world…where everybody knows his name…and shouldn’t we all be so lucky?

    cheers, david

  • DAH,

    Very well put. One of the greatest compliments I ever received was when I did the Touch Me I’m Sick exhibit at the old school museum, The Chrysler, in Norfolk Virginia. An old lady (a board member actually) came up to me in the cafeteria and said that she did not know a thing about rock and roll but after seeing my pictures now understood why people are into it and what the experience of a rock show must be like. Not why wasn’t there more/less of Kurt or more/less of so and so, or you needed more of this or that etc etc… But she got the experience and thats always been my goal, to preach to the uninitiated is always more exciting than to catalog for the collectors. Same with Cypher – many people’s first reaction was that they thought this was a movement that died in the eighties even though breaking is now bigger than ever. And of course not only couldn’t I capture it all, I couldn’t come near to including in the book all that I did capture. All that said, I still have plans to do a grunge book that might literally include at least one pic of every band I shot during that time, no matter how good or bad the pics are. More of an encyclopedic version of TMIS. But if I tried to do that originally it would have fallen flat on its face, or just been another so so geeky rock book.

    My first thought was that maybe Tony should do Coping and Fight Club as one, but you laid it out so well as to why small acts are sometime best. Yes, I too have many of those big tomes you talk about and they’re just too damn heavy to take off the shelf (sometimes quite literally!). A friend and peer once said that leaving Inferno laying around is a bit like leaving a loaded gun on the coffee table. But its the small, single subject books that I always come back to – Ray’s a Laugh, Boxing, Odo Yakuza, Christmas Tree Bucket, etc

    Talking about making his mark among his community – an old friend here in Seattle who still skates bowls hard, posted the Coping Vimeo vid to his FB feed yesterday apropos of nothing else. I posted the Burn link to his feed. So this stuff starts to have a life of its own within its own community. And to many thats whats most important, not whether it will inform the world at large of the poor or abused or exotic, or even how clever the photographer can be. But telling the small stories no matter how seemingly frivolous to some (I got that a lot in my early days of rock photography). Like DAH said all we can do is what we DO – no reason to fret over what wasn’t done or that which we couldn’t.

    Best,

    CP

  • Regarding the constructive criticism of Tony’s photos, I thought that was along the lines of what John and Charles had said and I meant it as a friendly gesture, which I think (hope) was how it was received.

    I wouldn’t describe my being put on the defensive as an irony. Granted, this may not be the time nor place for it, but that kind of back and forth is the cornerstone of intellectual discourse. It’s one of the best ways for thoughtful people to hone their ideas, especially by having the bad ones exposed by facts or superior reasoning. That’s a good thing. On the other hand, I think, far more often than not, universal approbation is a bad thing.

    On the larger issue of storytelling, I’ve never wanted anything to be all inclusive. Yes, that would make a boring story, indeed. Unless of course you are Borges writing about Funes the Memorious.

    No, my most typical advice is for the storyteller to add contrasts. The chasm between the contrasting images gives a story depth. My second most typical advice, as was the case with Tony’s story, is to add context, which also tends to add depth. That context part is where I suspect you get the all-inclusive idea.

    I’ve both studied and practiced storytelling pretty much my entire life, which includes taking many classes, reading many books (both on the subject of storytelling and critically reading stories as well), doing some teaching (which requires an even deeper level of study), and actually telling stories both written and visual. None of that makes me right about anything, but I think it suggests I’m not totally talking out my ass on the subject.

    One of the key takeaways I’ve gotten from all that work and study is that there are storytelling formulas that work and I believe that storyteller should be aware of them. Another is that the best storytellers find unique ways to subvert those formulas. They typically know, however, what the formulas are and subvert them consciously. Here on burn, where most of the work shown is by what you might call “emerging” storytellers,” I often suspect that the photographers are unaware of those time tested techniques and would benefit from considering them. That’s the heart of my typical critique.

    I would be way out of my league discussing photo books with David Alan Harvey, or most people here, but I have studied your work fairly thoroughly and actually use it to make those very points when I teach. I’d almost go so far as to say that the masterly use of contrast (both in the storytelling and the color sense) is your hallmark. For me, the Nairobi story is exemplary (look at the preacher by the railroad, the big game hunter and the taxi driver side-by-side), but it’s part of just about everything you do. You are also very good at context, like the shot from the air of the beach at Bahia. Though I know many of those helicopter shots are part of Nat Geo’s formula, that is an example of a time tested formula that works. A better example, I think, is “Based on a True Story” which is so friggin contextually savvy that the pictures can be mixed and matched and still work.

    So basically, my typical advice is to be more like Harvey, not to be all-inclusive.

    Lastly, I’m really surprised you would say that a story, or even an individual photo, should be about just one thing as your work always tells numerous stories. Divided Soul is, imo, an example of that in book form. Just off the top of my head, the picture of the kid with the musical instrument and the old car in Cuba is an example of it in a single.

    But perhaps it’s just a question of semantics as in both those cases one could argue that the many stories add up to just one thing? But again, from a storytelling perspective, while far from being all-inclusive, in both those examples we are seeing contrast and context create depth. imo.

    Anyway, back to Tony’s story… After learning something about what he and his friends are like, their positive social activism, and the skate culture in general, I think that the pool story is much deeper than it appeared on first glance. I understand and respect, however, that projects can become “dead languages.” That’s how I felt about “New York” when a lot of people were urging me to continue it but I knew I was done. But dead languages often beget living ones with greater vocabularies. As storytellers, I think that’s pretty much what we do. I’m looking forward to the next two parts of the trilogy.

  • TONY/CP/PANOS :)

    Tony, first let me say THANK YOU for the recommendation on Rising Sun! :) what a great film…and what an amount of ups and downs while watching it until midnight last night….you know, that’s my generation…Christian is 1 year younger than i am and he was the first ‘it dude’ i remember in late high school and college…along with Alva….and boarding with surf and punk rock and books literally saved my life in school on many occassions…and while i’ve only crunched a wave 2 times in the last 14 years (both times in Taiwan), all boards still pull at my skin…shit, i can tell you stories of raising my step son (6 when i met him) and he went all wild mad with skating and his my (my ex, still one of my best friends) hated the noise and the clatter and our weekly trips to the store and nights spent watching Rodney Mullen vids and then i showed my gen’s stuff…anyway….Christian was amazing…and what a great redemptive ending….and where Tony H mades millions and continues to help alot, christain found his belief…and so gorgeous….

    and PLEASE let me (without being so pious or obvious) point out this significance: i want you to embrace HOW important this project is…and you must get it done and turned into a doc…i’ve seen almost every skateboarding doc and this idea/project is like habitat for humanity in a sense: uniting families…and I’D Love to go to the birthday bash..but i’m in toronto, as i told David this morning, i’m stuck with insane work schedule this summer (what is a single dad/writer/artist to do putting a kid through univerisity to do, but work ;) ), but i hope we can all meet on a porch in obx one day….meet my buddy Lance Rosenfeld…he knows me personally, let’s share a ride someday, would love that….and PLEASE PLEASE get this done….really, the story of the families with the homes and the cross fertilization is so important…MORE NOW than ever….do NOT make me explain why, in all kinds of high falutent, academic language (which i can, of course) ;)…..there is so much to this project, yes, as DAVID says, it is feel good…BUT, it is really so so much more and i’m really stoked about its potentialo and significance….in a world christened by squalor and dour news, this is one of those projects that gets at so many questions in the us/dc etc….and yet can be a bridge…and u r so fucking humble about it…and yes, that jones me :)…stick it and make it olley up :)…hugs

    DAVID: well said….i have enjoyed again, the long discussions…after all these years, i’m finally enjoying the time to read rather than to write pages of comments here ;)…..hahahahahahahaha….

    AKAKY: for christ’s sake, get that book done already…mine is done at end of year, don’t make me kick your ass…that, as always, was brilliant! :)

    hugs all, KEEP MAKING CATS :)

  • One of the best takeaways from the Chrysler show I did was that in the time it was up (three months or so) youth membership at the Museum tripled. The director of the museum hated the show with a passion (he’d rather stick with the Adams/Weston ilk) but everybody else loved it and loved the fact that it brought young people into what is generally a very stuffy museum. Mudhoney played the closing party to over 600 paying attendees on the front lawn. The portrayal and celebration of youth culture, no matter how frivolous it may seem to the high art or war zone pj world, is exactly what is needed right now in order to bring young kids into the bigger equation of what art is and can be. Just a thought in regards to Coping….

  • Tony… you already know what I think about you as a friend and as an artist… This work is brilliant, you and the crew renewed the meaning of pool-skating… I think it give everyone a glimpse of the true skate-life, made of brotherhood, passion, determination and a big heart.
    Respect brother.

    Fran

  • “forget photo essays…you are not going to do that…it’s not in your nature, or you would have done it…”

    I haven’t tried to do one yet. Give me time, I’ll think of something.

  • Give me time, I’ll think of something………..you better hurry as photograph and text are expecting their first litter of ………the groundswell of post-Gutenbergism is upon us

  • The groundswell of Post-Gutenbergism? Is that what that stuff I keep trying to get off my shoes is? Well, I’ll be damned–I was wondering what is was.

  • you need new shoes now that the printed word is no longer is the sock it has become just a picture

  • Imants, I think I can say, with no small degree of confidence, that I have absolutely no damn clue what you just said means. That I need new shoes is a given, what with the post-Gutenbergism all over them now and staining them a pretty nasty shade of dog crap brown, and I should probably get some new shoelaces as well; the ones I have on seem to be down to the last few knots before friction has its inevitable way with them, but why anyone would want to print messages or pictures on socks is eluding me. It’s not like someone can sell advertising space on socks, you know, or, in our digital age, even wants to. Socks, as far as I can see, are strictly an analog medium of communication and now that Steven Jobs is dead, I don’t think there’s anybody out in Silicon Valley who can change that.

  • Love it Tony. Cool video introduction.. Hope to see you down the road

  • https://instagram.com/p/7MMH2ZhrTe/

    My buddy just got ticketed by police coz he dared to skate in front of a local 7/11..
    The cop of course didn’t care that the 7/11 is a major drug dealing “center”..
    But
    But
    To cop’s defense , we talked him out and DISMISSED THE TICKET

  • While I’m checking The WEB to find a used skateboard ,
    Couldn’t help it but to check the latest breaking news:
    Refugees on their way up North…
    Immediately the first question came to my mind is this:
    Do Aliens really exist ? Are UFO’s real ? If they are why did they stop visiting us???

    Here’s my theory :

    “And… All of a sudden … Europe REALIZED that refugees REALLY EXIST !!! Europe is so corrupted , never helped Greece , Italy or Malta to deal with the crisis but now …!??? They suddenly woke up??? Why?? Oh I see why.. Coz they are heading north , passed Hungary , passing Austria and reaching Germany soon…
    Oh … That’s why..
    And USA ??? After they made sure they (we) destabilized the whole Middle East , war after war, bomb after bomb … we pretend we have no idea … We are busy listening to all bullshit that Donald Trump super IDIOT has to say … Believing every bullshit Obama serves us , ready to vote for yet another Bush !!!
    In the meantime China tries to show the world their man power and their ridiculous untrained idiotic Army … Of course Putin riding Harley Davidson bikes , while North Korean Kim JON JUN JIN JAN JOCK ITCH masturbating relentlessly on old penthouse magazines ..
    No wonder the UFO’s stopped coming over to this ridiculous planet.. Who wants to visit this joke called Earth , the habitat of a bunch of idiotic violent babies..
    WE ALL SUCK

  • Yo Anthony! Don’t know how I missed this post on Burn, but congrats man. Really rad stuff. Looking forward to the book. Funny how we both live in DC and never ran into each other before Hole in the Sky last year. Fuck, I was long boarding in the early 2000’s going from the National Cathedral, over to Dupont and landing on the Mall. That’s a fucking ride! And traffic is no joke. Way before that it was A Town and B Town ramps, Lansdowne and Springfield Ditch. Not to mention going to shows at Fight Club. Hope your digging Suspect Device.

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