It has recently occured to me that the so-called "Happiness" installments should be more-aptly titled. The images portrayed are from an era when skating was 'in,' and the majority of the people who skated during that time quit. After this disentigration of popularity, those who continued fell into what could be consider the "new beginning." Unlike surfing, which has only become more and more popular throughout the world to the point that all ages and genders commonly practice the activity, skateboarding had a chance to be born under a context of a more evolutionized generation (as each successing generation tends to be). Thus, skateboarders today are, to the mainstream, easily misjudged as bums, derelicts, who roam in the same open (homeless) fields.
Michael Moore's documentary, "Bowling For Columbine," portrayed America as a highly fearful society, (wrongly) scared of city streets due to media frenzy. This seemed to me to be a perfect example of how a more evolutionized sub-culture had exceeded the general populace in terms of awareness. It wasn't so much about open-mindedness, it was just that the truth was being pushed on us a little more than the bullshit eventually enough to overcome (but overcome what?).
To try and bring this to a head, it seems to me (a person who is old, has a real job, and still couldn't avoid skateboarding everyday if his life depended on it) that those images are more of an artifact, and less a reminant of a time when "everything was better." Today, here and now, is true happiness.
Admonish at will,
First off, there is help for you. Highly qualified doctors who deal with mental stress, depression etc.. are out there, ready to help you. All you need to do is seek the help.
Ok, now to your mail. If I was to heed your message as truth and/or agree with you, which I certainly don't, maybe these would be better titles for the "Happiness" section of our beloved 'Tap:
1. "Memories of the Day's When We Didn't Have A Cool President Like Bush."
2. "World Famine and Global Warming Was Down! So Fucked!"
3. "I Wish We Had More Deadly STD's, Bro.
Scathing sarcasm, yes, but c'mon....Are you shitting me? Look, I'm all for today being the first day of the rest of my life, live for today etc...Life is good!
But, skateboarding was "in" in that era???? Where the hell are you living? Maybe you haven't seen the Forbe's article on the Hawkman or checked the profit reports on some of the big X-treme game conglomerates. If not right at this moment, certainly skateboarding has NEVER enjoyed as much "in-ness" as it has in the last 5-8 years.
I guarantee you Alva or Adams would give their right testicle to replay their sponsored-teen-ripping, "in" years in todays climate. If only for the unlimited financial possibilities.
As someone who grew up splitting time between skating and surfing equally, I can tell you two things:
1. 98% of my friends never quit skating as it's relative popularity diminished a couple of times over the years. There was only one reason we skated: we skated.
2. I've been fortunate to travel all over this country and abroad, and skating has grown in popularity (with both genders!) ten fold over surfing, if only because of the geographical limitations of surfing.
The point I'm making is already building. Can you see it? Alva, Adams, Blouin,Knox, Jessee, Rigsby, Blender, Way and all the others just skated because that's what they did. If you really take a look at the "Happiness" section of the Tap, you'll see there is no real era being celebrated.
We're celebrating finding a ditch with your buddy, flourescent wheels and matching trucks, ramps in the middle of the woods, bombing down to the local beach break, sweaty warehouse sessions, inverts, Bertlemans, copers, lappers, smith's, lien's, 5-0's, Kasai's, Ladd's, Biniaks and Shecklers. It all makes us Happy.