Beginnings – London’s Burning

London’s Burning-July 7, 2005

For the past week I had this whole intro planned out on the “funny” benign differences I had noticed between European skaters and American skaters-like Post-Its filled with notes and all kinds of “it’s the little differences (a.k.a. buying a beer in a glass in an Amsterdam movie theater)” as Samuel Jackson declared in Pulp Fiction (’94). The gist of the thing ran something like … European skaters are somewhat politically involved. Liberal or conservative, they generally know what is going on in their country, and they go to the polls to vote because they know that if the wrong politician wins, it’s game over for Paris, London, Rome, Barcelona, or Madrid. It was, all writing tricks aside, this lighthearted piece on differences in kit choices, favorite brands, bands, tricks, and the rest of the topical info that never touched that horrible topic of politics. It was slightly about how, because of their staunch opposition (again-both left and right) to the U.S. invasions and permanent occupations of both Iraq and Afghanistan (remember, the other war we’re fighting in another desert?), the Euro skaters tend to lean more toward the Rasa Libre/LRG/Organika/et cetera vibe than the bling-bling-diamonds-and-Hummers-on-Sunset-in-front-of-Miyagi’s flavor that U.S. kids (and companies) wet their painted-on or Biebel-sized pants over.

Interestingly enough, the Euro kids I’ve met so far out skating (I moved to Europe from West L.A. about nine months ago) are kind of like the hippies of yore. I know it sounds weird, but young Italians for example are essentially Socialists-a.k.a. extreme left (sorry, Reda). They now hate America with a passion-as does the rest of Europe. I happen to be an American, so I’ve tried to explain a million times that the U.S. is not out to take over the world and that 9/11 would have scared Don Corleone himself out of his leather lounge chair and made his little white cat shit bricks on Brando’s silk suit. I try to explain again and again that many American skaters do not support all the actions of the administration currently running their country. I try to explain again and again that skaters by definition are against all authority figures-especially ones that decide the Geneva Convention prohibiting torture is “outdated.” But alas, for the most part, my desperate pleas fall on deaf ears. Nobody believes me-an American residing overseas-that my homeys at the Venice Taco could give two shits about a government bent on killing people in some desert halfway across the world and would never enlist in the army even if they thought Hitler was alive and well and living in Texas.

Anyway, I just got home with my wife to write this little lighthearted piece on skateboarding only to find out that somebody blew up the Tube stop in London-the same one I just got off at for a job interview six months ago. Thank god I didn’t get the job, right? Or yours truly would be yours dead, G. Whoever planted the bombs aside-talk to Michael Moore or Karl Rove about that one-now I have to go skate because it’s the only thing that keeps me from wetting my own pants in this world of war, destruction, religious insanity, and 40 dead and 700 injured (and still counting) on a subway system Nick Jensen rides to skate spots every day. I hope to god the park is still open. Otherwise, I’m bombing a hill. Peace.

-Mackenzie Eisenhour