“if you’re not a guido, then go ‘fuck your face.'”

December 13, 2009

keep it cool

One of my favorite Stern bits of all time is when he goofs on Springsteen–specifically, that particluar affectation that Bruce takes on in certain songs and stage raps. You know what I mean–like he’s from some Kentucky coal-mining town or some shit, with no job prospects besides doing whatever his daddy done did. Anyway, Stern would basically say “Hey, moron–you’re from Freehold, you live 45 minutes away from the biggest city in the world, why don’t you just take a train there and do whatever you want?!”

In essence, that is how Wenning came up. That’s also why, whenever dudes clown on him for the hour or so of unintentional comedy he  released over the past year, including the basement/living room interview, the hyperbolic “blasting guns” videos ,or the “heavy hittas” site in general, I  somewhat take offense. Not A LOT–I mean, what do I care–but the circumstances under which he blew up in 98-99 and the part of the world from which he came make it contextually–I dunno man–kind of smug. I mean, whenever I saw him there, the dude was the dirtiest kid at the banks–no easy feat, for sure.

Kind of like that fucking show Jersey Shore (which, as many of you do, I watch religiously); there’s something off-putting about twentysomething dudes and dudettes who moved from other parts of the country to NY to work for Viacom–by all accounts the most hire-and-fire of all hire-and-fire operations–smugly laughing at NJ as they edit video deep inside the Viacom building. I mean, who are they to say that one method of having fun is superior to another–that these folks’ attempts to seize the day, however, ham-fisted, are worthy of web 4.0 ironic ridicule?

Life’s too fuckin’ short, bro. Although, I’m probably just as lame for laughing at these fucks on a semi-weekly basis.

New Jersey is an extremely dense state, both in terms of transportation systems and sociocultural systems and processes. Therefore, if you don’t have an understanding of NJ as an entity, one’s understanding of Wenning  will not comprise the entire story. Learning switch back tails on some box in some driveway, taking NJ transit trains 2 hr each way to skate the (small) banks, sleeping at Newport and/or Penn Station, All these things and more are Springsteen-esque. without a doubt. His downfall and subsequent industry limbo status, even moreso.

This makes his 48 blocks interview all the more captivating–worthy of a pulitzer for skournalism if there was such a thing. Feeding into my obsession with lawyers and their unavoidable stranglehold on the whole fucking world, Wenning also sheds light on industry shadiness like no other interview I can remember while explaining the presence of City Stars fingerboards in my local Target.  If he succeeded in mounting a comeback and ended up full on DGK, a team comprised of Wenning, Kalis, Williams, Wade, and Curtin would be the coolest team since Menace.  Something to believe in during these black times.

ANYWAY, similar to Gall & co.’s appropriation of the Jersey scum* moniker, the ladies and gentlemen of Jersey Shore buy into the guido philosophy full tilt. Furthermore, similar to Gall’s utilization of industrial decay, the Jersey Shore kids fashion NJ into their own wish fulfillment area.

Wenning just bypassed the whole state. It couldn’t contain him. Indeed, unlike the LOVE or EMB dudes who got sot super good the best possible way–skating with a bunch of super good dudes, cooperative learning-style–Wenning’s futurism seemingly came out of a total vacuum. I think that [the African-American] Mike Wright told me one time that  he had a box in the street out in front of his house or some shit. Then there’s that yellow curb from that one Plan B “day in the life”-type vid, reminiscent of the apocryphal tale of young Chris Cole skating a curb somewhere between Trenton and Phila. for two years straight. Sometimes those types of environments yield the best results, such as Cole’s ns nollie heel out down the big LOVE rail (career highlight IMO) and Wenning’s sw tail sw heel out on pyramid–maybe the techest shit to go down there ever. He did that more than 10 years ago.If one takes Jake Johnson out of the equation, it’s not even close.

Indeed, as the Nineties recede into the collective rear-view mirror, the outlook for another “outlier,” in the Malcolm Gladwell sense, coming out of nowhere and delivering classic Photopsynthesis-type material  looks particularly grim. I mean, there are tons of good-as-fuck kids out there, but many a time have I watched Welsh’s part in Free Your Mind/Ryde of Die ( I consider this one part) and thought to myself “fuck, this level of badassery will never be matched.” Unfortunately, it will probably be lost to the sands of time amidst the tsunami of video out there on the interwebs. Come to think of it, quantifying–or even qualifying–what contributes to developing badassery seems like a thesis for the next Malcolm Gladwell book or some shit.

Maybe it’s the whole all-consuming filming obsession. This isn’t just endemic to skating; society in general is becoming exponentially more narcissistic.  The capability to post videos of onesself and ones’ friends for “the whole world” to see feeds into classic 8th-grade “LOOK AT ME” psychology. Who the fuck knows; maybe kids would develop a more coherent style if they focused  on just doing instead of filming. To quote 12-step literature once again, you’re responsible for the effort, not the outcome, know what I mean? If it happens, it happens. All I knows is, instead of falling all over themselves to self-film  in some kind of desperate attempt for someone, ANYONE to notice them, Wenning and Poppalardo** just went out and did shit that made dudes want to film them.

*moar durante

**Yes, I know Poppalardo got on Alien through a sponsor-me tape. Still though….

4 Responses to ““if you’re not a guido, then go ‘fuck your face.'””

  1. Jesse said

    you skarticulate very well, sir.

  2. Brad K. said

    Thank you for taking the time to write this stuff. It always blows my mind.

  3. Shaun said

    I think there’s something in our New Jersey water…

  4. jamesyo said

    best skate blog by far. every post solidifies this

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