Thursday, January 17, 2008

Cultural Fixation

The other night, Jeremy took off to go to a movie and I was at home and though I'd like to see a movie too. It's been a while since I had gone to see a movie by myself. Actually, to be honest, besides when I worked at a movie theater, the last movie I saw by myself was Austin Powers. The first one. So I rode over to the Los Feliz theater and saw Juno. Michael Cera kills it.

Anyway, I'm riding home, and pumping hard up a steep hill. I'm making this hill my bitch when I see about fifteen guys on fixies fly down the hill across the street. They hollered and whistled "beeeeoooowuuuup." That, in itself, was worth getting out of the house.

Now, if I had been say, on a skateboard, that never would have happened. If you're skating, and you see a group of skaters cruise down across the street, the first instinct is hostility. I can't explain it, but it's like this one-up-menship that puts skaters into a competitive mode instead of a communal mode. This is true in every case until respect has been earned. A skater has to prove himself constantly and consistently to be "beeooowupped" at all. And in a few days, when the memory of that sick switch-flip over the gap fades away, that respect must be re-earned. This is, of course, unless you are like Guy Mariano or something...

I can understand why the fixie community is so supportive. I mean, the guys on the street have to compete with cars, busses (especially), and pedestrians, with no breaks or way to shift into an easier gear. There is so much going against these guys to begin with, that to be against one another would be like going against yourself - suicide.

It's so easy to become a skater these days that it just isn't enough to be dipped in Altamont gear with swanky LE Lakai's, and a dope sideways cap. I remember back in the day, all you needed to have was a pair of Emerica MJ's and scratch marks on your board, and you were set. Legendary status. I dressed like Chad Muska for years before I realized that it didn't make me any better than my friends.

This isn't all to say that there aren't factions occuring within the fixie world. The racing, freestyle, and messengers all compete in some form - but when it comes down to it, there is still some unspoken bond that they have that skating has somewhat lost. So all you skater/haters out there learn something from people like the Church crew, and the S.A.C. crew, and say "what up" to that twelve-year-old trying to ollie up a curb. Let them know that they are doing God's work. FTP for life.

1 comment:

Self-Made said...

"beeeeoooowuuuup!" Let em know what's up Garret! Skating is all about meeting new people and becoming friends!