There’s Never Been So Much At Stake

November 17, 2011

"I don't fuck losers"

I recently sifted through an old CD binder on account of having to drive a car without satellite radio. In addition to some old Spitritualized b-sides ‘n  shit, I came across the cd single of “Every Me Every You” by Placebo, known to all skaters as “the first of two horrible songs that Mark Appleyard skated to transcendently in the early 00’s.” Indeed, if one were to grade Appleyard’s skating on a three-criterion rubric of power/style/control, few dudes would score higher. On the other hand, one would be hard pressed to think of a dude with a higher quality-of-skating to quality-of-music supervision ratio.

However, subjectivity fuels music’s ephemeral appeal. As I started listening to the CD, (I wish there was a nifty slang term for “cd single” like “cassingle”), I got psyched. Then I watched that Sorry part a few times before skating. I entered a kind of music supervision symbiotic biofeedback loop–as I listened to the song, the more I got psyched on the part, and vice versa. Exponentially. Kind of like listening to 2chainz on a Friday night can make one feel like one is not only riding around, but, truth be told, getting it, listening to a song from a Mark Appleyard part provides the feeling that, maybe just once, I could switch tailslide some handrail as effortlessly as stepping a curb.

However, Appleyard’s part in Really Sorry, while maybe qualitatively sicker—handrail kickflip tailslide bigspinnery and all that—facilitated no such phenomenon. Maybe this is due to Courtney Love’s harpie-like voice and yucky body. Upon reflection, though, on a journey deep into the center of the mind, I stumbled upon the missing puzzle piece that opened the door to my obsession.

I realized why the song in Appleyard’s part is sick, even though it is horrible.

It multiples Cruel Intentions by Appleyard’s Sorry part to the power of nostalgia.

Few late Nineties films reflect the promise of the “dot com” tech boom like Cruel Intentions.  Those dudes you saw at the bar with clear Palm Pilots? They were gettin’ it. The potentials for manipulating money seemed limitless. Indeed, one could interpret Sarah Michelle Gellar’s breasts as beckoning symbols of the limitless promise of the coming decade.  The only teenager in the history of film who bedecked herself in an assortment of pantsuits, Gellar’s character in this movie is a study of over-the-top bitchiness, the aforementioned breasts just barely contained by the aforementioned pantsuits and supported by an intricate metal structure not unlike the Triborough Bridge. An even-more-over-the-top female of equivalent of Baldwin in Glengarry, she proclaims “I don’t fuck losers” instead of “coffee is for closers.” In addition, she does bumps of what we assume to be coke out of a custom-made coke bottle shaped like a cross.*

This is one of the most obvious examples of visual irony ever.

We first hear the Placebo track as we meet Ryan Phillipe’s character driving across said bridge, alongside the Mount Hebron (I think) cemetery in one of the most obvious examples of foreshadowing ever. One of the most interesting and appealing aspects about the retro-future NYC Sebastian inhabits is its total lack of hipsters. However, Sebastian aspires to more than a typical trust-fund rake. An early adopter, he uses basic hypertext markup language to construct an inappropriate website dedicated** to his therapists daughter. An anachronism, he keeps a leatherbound journal—not an “anglefire” domain name–in which he details his conquests.

It is reasonable to assume that Sebastian writes somewhat effectively, because he talks in that super annoying affect that probably comes from the director instructing him to turn the “annoying, fey rich guy” up to 11. Indeed, whoever wrote the script devoted himself to the Dawson’s  school of unrealistic dialogue. However, the dude displays a couple cool moves around the beginning of the third act:

A)that move when a girls coming up an escalator and you’re standing there at the top of the escalator waiting

B)that move where you put a girl in a car service and gingerly tap the roof twice after you close the door

Appleyard-level style, baby.

Is Cruel Intentions an effective movie? I have yet to reach a conclusion. At the time, everyone went apeshit aver the scene in which Gellar makes out with Selma Blair, but this was pre-internet. Ultimately, it falls into the  late-Nineties role of a cautionary tale about the dangers of manipulating human emotions like the “dot com”/day trader fuckers of the era manipulated capital. A chick flick version of Boiler Room, or some shit. Indeed, SMG’s character in CI and Ben Affleck’s equally over-the-top character in Boiler Room would have constituted the quintessential early 00’s power couple. Totally fucking over-the-top, bro. Quick—someone get Affleck on the horn. Got another pitch idea. What is he up to these days anyway–besides writing another film in which he plays another construction worker who works at that same construction site from Good Will Hunting?

Come to think of it, what became of that whole late-nineties power group? Freddie Prinze Jr., Van Der Beek, Charisma Carpenter (MAD UNDERRATED), Rachel Leigh Cook, Tara Reid– there are at least twenty names, five of which were in every film in the late Nineties. No artistic cohort has disappeared faster, except for maybe those mid-00’s “hood figgas” like Young Dro, Paul Wall, Lil’ Flip, Lil’ Keke, Lil’ Scrappy, Chamillionaire, Shawty Lo,*** etc.  Even more violently than music, however, whenever an actor falls out of the spotlight for a minute, the collective mind says to itself “fuck happened to them?”

Truth be told, I know pretty much nothing about this particular field, but I assume that one needs a specific acting job in order to act. A myriad of wheels—agents, sets, directors, contracts, shit like that–need to be in motion. That is to say, Freddie Prinze, Jr. doesn’t wake up and text everyone in his contacts asking “Yo you acting today? “ Scott Wolf doesn’t roll up to the local acting spot and try to get an acting sesh going. On the other hand, perhaps Jav and Fabs owe their recent success to retrofitting a skating mindset to acting. Indeed, I have long held the belief that skating molds one into a more workplace-effective person.

 Skating is different, though. If a skater hasn’t gotten coverage in a while, we, as a collective, assume that, in some form or fashion, they are out there skating on any given day. What they do is who they are. However a dude portrayed himself in a part functions as their identity for the next five or so years. This is slowly changing though, with the relentless kamikaze attack of web clips. Now, dudes are like “damn what happened to that dude?” when he hasn’t had an ad or “throwaway” footage in a couple months. This is  why the Chocolate–whose riders receive basically no internet coverage–video will kill it. For all their recent infatuation with transition, Rick and Mike keep it 90’s in this critical component.

I recall some recent Jeff Staple video in which he states that culture will soon become like oxygen–some shit’s that’s just “there.” We view it on a phone through some kind of feed–whatever the web 7.0 version of Twitter will be, I suppose–and then it vanishes. I feel this happening to me as I type this.  Truth be told, I have had to devise a system to keep up with internet coverage–a job at which I am currently failing. Hellaclips.com is useful, but I still have a bookmark folder devoted to internet skate footage that I “need” to watch. One of those good problems–like Marlo said.

ANYWAY, I’m sure there are some dedicated actors out there for whom the rewards are internal. However, in the collective zeitgeist, acting is a way to make a shitload of money by sitting around interrupted by brief periods of pretending to be someone else, which is something everyone who has a job does every day. If one holds down a job, one assumes a new identity every day when you get to work. The identity of a person who genuinely wishes his coworker has a good morning. Who takes interest in what your coworker did over the weekend. Who is excited to put out whatever fires one’s job demands.

Make no mistake—I am glad to have a job. Indeed, I hold true to the Great Depression attitude towards employment: “Don’t complain. You are fortunate to have a job. Be a team player.” I have no proof to support this, but I reckon that many Element riders harbor a similar sentiment.

I have no idea what those wacky Cruel Intentions kids are up to these days. Well, I have somewhat of an idea. Phillippe and Whitherspoon’s marriage imploded. Selma Blair—who was seen in the early 00’s on the Seaside boardwalk drunk and rocking a wifebeater—is doing some kind of acting, based on my rudimentary internet research. Gellar is on some show on the “CW” network in which she still looks good—kind of like Appleyard’s recent coverage.**** Nice to look at, but kind of just “there.” Stylish as fuck, but mostly just reminding us of the psychological devastation the past decade hath wrought.

At least she has a job, I guess.

So quick—get Spike on the horn. Only one thing can reignite that unstoppable  late-Nineties-USA vibe—a reboot of the Cruel Intentions franchise starring Appleyard, [Podium?/Street League] Erica, and @Shaymariaa.

There’s never been so much at stake.

*Is there a market out there for this type of drug nicknack?

**at least five years before Zuckerberg!

***in retrospect, it really was slightly foolish to buy that yellow Lamborghini

****For the record, I think his part, as well as Luan’s and Texeira’s, in Extremely Sorry was sick as fuck

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One Response to “There’s Never Been So Much At Stake”

  1. alex said

    You are mental. I like it.

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