Volume 21 Number 8
file: Toner 25
by Kevin Wilkins
Elections happen a lot here.
Even now, as I push these PVC keys, there's a kind of humming and whirring in my city that's got people's panties in a collective bunch.
For a lifetime of Tuesdays, our townsfolk have been expressing their worry–an unflappable, agonizing style of worry–that once the wrong candidate is elected, once the wrong legislative bill is passed, or once the wrong tax is overridden, a giant sinkhole will engulf the area, knocking down homes, browning manicured lawns, sending children flying headlong into the wrong schools, and possibly summoning Enron's former board of directors to happily oversee the rebuilding process. Drama abounds.
Maybe the drama is what makes it seem like elections happen a lot here. Dramatic fallout has an extremely long half-life.
Anywho, on election day, and even sometimes after election day, the voters in these parts–and parts all across this great nation of ours–put on their proudest faces, relieved that wrongs have been righted, and then happily adhere to the gluey-backed claim that they have indeed played a role in the democratic process.
“I Voted Today,” their stickers tell us.
Good for you.
Now, while I understand the voting-awareness rhetoric, through the eyes of a skateboarder it's always seemed relatively silly. I assume this is because shouting from the rooftops about what we've done–skateboarding or not–does not come very easily to skaters. There are exceptions to this made-up rule, but it's also similar to the logic skateboarders call on when resisting our own sprawling growth–from yesterday's backyard beginnings and cable access to today's booming mall shops and ESPN. And it's made us become skeptical to the point that when we see a skate logo on a shirt we more than likely look down to the same owner's shoes surveying for flick holes.
But maybe we're wrong.
Perhaps there should be a grassroots campaign to promote skater turnout. It does kind of seem like the sessions are smaller lately. And didn't a couple buddies of yours just announce that they'd officially “quit” skating–declaring their retirement from the waxed hood of their Civic or while holding hands with the opposite sex? And when you see a kid tugging an aluminum scooter around by its silly handle, or black-booted in-liners smooshing 60-durometer wheels under the soles of their feet, doesn't it make you want to ask them, “Why don't you just get a skateboard?”
Come to think of it, a simple round sticker on our nonexistent lapels could aid our cause a bit. It'd help remind the public that we are doing something every day to support our vocation–deliberately forwarding our interests by practicing what we preach–and in doing so, we're turning on new skaters and reminding old ones of the progressive positivity that can only be experienced through skateboarding early and skateboarding often.
More skating means more skaters. More skaters means more awareness.
I like it.
By apolitically stating to the world, “I Skated Today,” you can remind your fellow citizens that there are other things going on besides partisan bickering and finger-pointing, and it's possible that they may just loosen up a bit and enjoy the good things happening around them instead of worrying about the bad things that haven't yet, and may never, ever come to pass.
Like I said, elections happen a lot, but skating happens a lot more.
We should celebrate it.