Alex mf MFDavis.
For the last few years, a group of friends and I have been working to get a free, public concrete skatepark built in Pittsboro, NC. We have raised money through hook and crook, fundraisers of all types, community events, etc. etc. etc. Due to those efforts, the town has given us land, but we have to raise the cash to build the park. Progress has been made.
Tonight, we will hold another fundraiser at the art gallery owned by my wife. 6 months ago, we bought 50 blank skateboards, sent them out to 50 artists, local and national, who were willing to donate their time and skill to help us get this park built. The boards will be auctioned off, with all proceeds going to the park fund.
As an added bonus, The Mountain Goats, aka John Darnielle (pictured above), will play a short set to help us get people in the door and eyes on the boards.
All details here
See most of the boards here
I cannot thank John, and all those who have helped us in any way enough for their efforts to see this through. After 25 years skateboarding, it still blows my mind to see what a group of like minded individuals can get done when they put their minds to it. We have always fought for a common goal and even now when skateboarding has grown to proportions beyond belief, those who have made it a true part of their life know that it is only through hard work and community effort that things get done.
Thank you, hope to see you all tonight.
7 notes, August 28, 2014
SUMMER OF DEAD 2014: Scarlet Begonias, 1974
…When Mickey Hart returned to full-time duty in ‘76, the song’s percussion part grew swollen with thumpery, and “Scarlet Begonias” began its long slow-motion monster movie transfiguration, the jam soon only capable of one inevitable destination. Even throughout the stunning takes of “Scarlet Begonias” during 1977, one hears the high-strung chat-chat-chattering of the cowbell, like the pulse of a Hawaiian-shirted alien creature trying to push its way out of the song’s shell. Fuck that.
Jesse Jarnow / @bourgwick
I’ll take it.
1,000 skateboarding competition points go to Randy for the wallie nose blunt at 9:30. 1,000 more for all of Preston’s work immediately thereafter.
57 notes, August 26, 2014
I had been on the ground helping Al Jazeera America cover the protests and unrest in Ferguson, Mo., since this all started last week. After what I saw last night, I will not be returning. The behavior and number of journalists there is so appalling, that I cannot in good conscience continue to be a part of the spectacle.
Things I’ve seen:
-Cameramen yelling at residents in public meetings for standing in way of their cameras
-Cameramen yelling at community leaders for stepping away from podium microphones to better talk to residents
-TV crews making small talk and laughing at the spot where Mike Brown was killed, as residents prayed, mourned
-A TV crew of a to-be-left-unnamed major cable network taking pieces out of a Ferguson business retaining wall to weigh down their tent
-Another major TV network renting out a gated parking lot for their one camera, not letting people in. Safely reporting the news on the other side of a tall fence.
-Journalists making the story about them
-National news correspondents glossing over the context and depth of this story, focusing instead on the sexy images of tear gas, rubber bullets, etc.
-One reporter who, last night, said he came to Ferguson as a “networking opportunity.” He later asked me to take a picture of him with Anderson Cooper.
One anecdote that stands out: as the TV cameras were doing their live shots in front of the one burnt-out building in the three-block stretch of “Ground Zero,” around the corner was a community food/goods drive. I heard one resident say: “Where are the cameras? I’m going to go see if I can find some people to film this.”
Last night a frustrated resident confronted me when he saw my camera: “Yall are down here photographing US, but who gets paid?!”
There are now hundreds of journalists from all over the world coming to Ferguson to film what has become a spectacle. I get the sense that many feel this is their career-maker. In the early days of all this, I was warmly greeted and approached by Ferguson residents. They were glad that journalists were there. The past two days, they do not even look at me and blatantly ignore me. I recognize that I am now just another journalist to them, and their frustration with us is clear. In the beginning there was a recognizable need for media presence, but this is the other extreme. They need time to work through this as a community, without the cameras.
We should all be ashamed, and I cannot do it anymore. I am thankful for my gracious editors who understand that.
Fuck this, of course.
Fuck, additionally, all the trickle-down “opportunities” that a crisis like this one creates.
Read the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, put together by incredibly hard-working and underpaid professionals who live and breathe and understand the community.
I turn 36 today. This song is perfect.
5 notes, August 19, 2014
do some dishes when you crash on someones couch
2 notes, August 14, 2014
Over the past few days I’ve seen a lot of confusion about the geography and municipal structure of Ferguson and St. Louis, so I just want to offer a quick rundown of the region and make some distinctions that often elude not only national media but frankly many St. Louis residents as well. This isn’t just me being pedantic; if you want a full understanding of the insanity going on in Ferguson this week, you need to understand the deep roots of St. Louis’ regional dysfunction.
The St. Louis metro area has a strange, flukish governmental framework that dates back to 1876, when St. Louis City made the monumentally shortsighted decision to separate itself from surrounding St. Louis County. When the city needed to expand westward in the ensuing decades, it had nowhere to go, and gradually the region’s political and economic center of gravity shifted to the County. Today, the City and the County cooperate on some regional bodies but municipal codes, public finances, and most services (police, fire, courts, public works) are divided along the City-County line.
But this is only half of the reason why “St. Louis”—i.e., the metro area—is so dysfunctional. The other is that St. Louis County is itself further balkanized into no less than 91 independent municipalities, 74 of which maintain their own municipal police departments—most of which, like Ferguson’s, are small and suffer from a lack of oversight. These 74 separate departments, plus the much larger St. Louis County Police Department, serve a relatively small suburban area that—even in other fragmented metro areas like Dallas-Ft. Worth—would (and should) be served by no more than three or four departments.
When you understand this insane fragmentation, and understand that the police response in Ferguson is being “coordinated” by St. Louis County Police in conjunction with dozens of other smaller independent municipal departments, tweets like these begin to make more sense:
Re: rubber bullets in #ferguson protests…unclear if other depts used them; but St. Louis Co. police says they didn’t.— joelcurrier (@joelcurrier)August 12, 2014— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce)August 14, 2014
Ferguson chief told me his staff didn’t know about Wes and Aryan’s arrest, ops are being run by St. Louis County tonight.— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce)August 14, 2014
Question for whoever is in charge of this police situation right now: Who are you, and what is your plan, exactly? #Ferguson— Matt Pearce (@mattdpearce)August 14, 2014
Importantly, this does not downplay the very real racial component at play in the St. Louis County Police Department’s unbelievably heavy-handed response to the protests in Ferguson—in fact, the region’s racial tensions and its governmental fragmentation are inextricably linked to one another, since efforts at reunification or consolidation often run into opposition from white suburbs that want to remain separate from predominantly black municipalities like Ferguson.
There are pretty obviously a lot of holes and weak points in the national coverage of what’s happening in St. Louis right now. Chase Woodruff has done a very good job, here, eliminating a big one.
It’s been a good summer. Not so hot. Collarbone is all better and the knees are feeling pretty alright. Thanks to pals for being pals.
7 notes, August 12, 2014
Tom Penny 411VM #30
Genius. The difference is, what. Nothing.
The above is Teju Cole in Every Day is for the Thief.
These photos are from a northern suburb of St. Louis, Missouri, yesterday.
There are no more excuses, American writers of fiction and poetry.
Kristin’s joke line in her perfect mockery of an internet poem — “i worry i’m too special to love” — is the best, most succinct indictment I’ve seen.
You are a flower. You are a snowflake. You are proof of god’s own poetry. But holy shit, look around you.
9 notes, August 11, 2014