To the majority of big, greasy, white Americans, Europe is a special place. It’s our place d’origine, where columns of plumed, musket-carrying soldiers save damsels from fire-breathing Nazis. It was our beloved homeland that treated our ancestors like useless possessions for so many centuries they finally decided to pack up and risk their lives sailing on wooden boats across the Atlantic so they could freeze to death in holes they dug in the ground at Jamestown, all the while singing songs about how happy they were to be there. Europe’s the continent that refuses to raise million-man armies to fight for the price of gas, it’s the home of common law and Euro Disney, and it’s the place where Joan of Arc landed the Spirit of Saint Louis back before the war to end all wars and all the wars that followed it. It’s where Braveheart lived for Chrissakes!
And it’s in this magical setting that skateboarding sets up shop for most of June and July in order to sell Europeans more stuff before snow falls, causing people to squander their money on frivolous purchases like heat and food. During those two months in the land that baseball forgot (lucky bastards!) lots of amazing skateboarding goes down. It happens in the smoke-filled stadiums of Dortmund and Lausanne, in the bowls of Livingston and Marseille, and in the streets of every city kind enough to have built a marble ledge in the name of some long-dead soldier, king, religion, political philosophy, or mass murderer, assuming there’s any difference.
This summer was no exception to the fifteen or so that preceded it¿skateboarders traveled to Europe en masse, and the media, like the sheep we are, followed. This entire issue is full of what we witnessed go down in the land that AA forgot during the summer of Euro 2000. Plus, for extra Old World flavor, we’ve included a fifteen-page Good Stuff with Finland’s very own Arto Saari, who states the following about the test to obtain a California driver’s license: “You could piss on the written test, and during the driving test you could kill a couple pedestrians, and you would still pass.” Anti-American statements … it doesn’t get more European than that!
So put down your dole check, slip on your tracksuit, sit down with a warm pint of lager, and enjoy the Euro 2000 edition of TransWorld¿it’s just like touring Europe, sans annoying soccer riots.¿Joel Patterson