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Full Disclosure: I’m not a movie guy.

The last film I saw in a physical movie theater was 50 Shades of Grey.

Under protest! Do what I gotta do, I guess.

Truth be told, I prefer visual narrative entertainment in one-hour chunks, like they do on the HBO. However, I keep a mental list of a handful of films that, if they appear on cable, it’s mandatory to begin watching no matter where the narrative is. Case(s) in point: Purple Rain, Top Gun*, Heat (the one with Pacino and DeNiro, natch), and, yes—City of God.

I first saw City of God in Ohio in 2003 or so. It was sick, and, more importantly, it marked a paradigm shift in my whole perception of Brazil. Up to that point, the main influence on it was a VHS copy of Wild Orchid that one of my dad’s coworkers taped off of Cinemax (I assume) and lent to him. Even though I was too young to process what the hell was going on in the Mickey Rourke “classic,” I was able to conclude that there was some “crazy” shit happening.

Hey—we took what we could get in the pre-Internet era.

A few years earlier, my dad used to run that song “The Girl From Ipanema” non-stop on one of the first CDs ever, like in 1985 or ’86. I don’t know if you remember, but physical compact discs were like $25 then. RIP “the music industry.”

ANYWAY, City of God made an impression both for its visceral storytelling and depiction of Brazil as a land that sustains itself on a potent admixture of violence, mysticism, and partying. Since then, my perception of Brazil has been further shaped by that one Patrice O’Neal (RIP) bit and Brazilian skateboarders, who, qualitatively, may be better per capita than any country in recorded civilization.

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A War To End All Wars

May 12, 2012

I read Catch 22 in fifth grade. Although I have forgotten most of the characters and plot, the quote “man is matter” has resonated throughout the years.

I think about this truism often. Whether machine guns from a German fighter plane shatter one’s glass machine gun turret in a B-25 or one falls on one’s shoulder while f/s grinding and one’s knee lands on one’s board, thereby tearing a piece of one’s shoulder muscle like an Airhead®, the end-sum game is the same. We consist of a bunch of bones and junk.

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alt. post title: "Richard Angelides Can Still, Ostensibly, Land a Guitar"

Winter: a time for contemplation. For some dudes, a time to, from 12 PM to 12 AM on Sundays, barricade oneself in one’s “man cave” with NFL Sunday Ticket and a styrofoam cooler filled with Natural Ice. For skate dudes, a time to ensconce oneself in one’s television entertainment room with a grip of videos. Indeed, during the VHS era, if one entered a skate house, the legitness of said house was directly proportional to the height of the tower of VHS tapes alongside the entertainment center. Chest-high was optimal.

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Before I get into this last part, let’s sum up:

Part One (exhibits A-G)

Part Two (exhibits H-L)

Part Three (exhibits M-Q)

Part Four (exhibits R-V)

Exhibit W: Axion

image courtesy youwillsoon

First of all, this exhibit was probably the most challenging to write. Why? Writing about the significance of shoes ain’t easy. Watson kills it at it though. Of course, there’s also that Made for Skate book, but that seems like more of a coffee table kind of thing (I may be wrong here). That dude Bobbito wrote a book that seems to focus more on the cultural implications of footwear, but I think I read it in B&N in like 15 minutes back in like ’04, so maybe it just had little blurbs or some shit like that.

ANYWAY, along those lines–sneakers and their socio-cultural implications–I recently had the following exchange with my brother, who doesn’t skate, never skated, wears Rainbow flip-flops most of the time, and is pretty much a total frat dude: Read the rest of this entry »