The identity of man in modern society is not a clear one. It is not defined such as it was for generations before us. Back then, when Pappy was chasing tail, a man was supposed to chase tail, smoke cigarettes, drink whiskey, win the bread, and slap his wife’s ass when he got home.
Most of those traits are gone from men today. Some of that is good, some of it is not. However, at least men back then knew what it meant to be a man. A man back then who cooked—not BBQed—was a Nancy. Now, some of the best cooks I know are men. I’m not talking chefs, I’m talking guys that what whip up some tacos that make you so happy you want to stop voting Republican and build a Slip-n-Slide over the American-Mexican border.
But who are we as men today?
Do we do as what we’re told by advertisers? Are we to define ourselves as Tyler Durden says? Should larger society be given the authority to say what it deems characteristics of a modern man? Or are we Carlin’s Modern Man?
I will say I know some of these men who still have no sanctity for sanity, who choose to rampage in their cages, who decide not when it’s time to die, but how long to spare everyone else.
This, my friends, are the men who competed in the Iowa River Rumble. It should be named…
Iowa’s Ironman Inferno
I am afraid to call myself one of these men. Yes, I applied for the position and even spent a few days in the office with that title, but at the end of the day, I was the office bitch. People were taking shits on my desk while I was still sitting at it.
During the last weekend of July, when the heat had yet to let up across the country, about 30 brave men sweltered their way through 90-degree temps at about 90-percent humidity (hot and nasty enough to de-core wheels) to skate what is probably the best skate park in the nation. Behold, the Davenport, Iowa skate park on the banks of the Mississippi River.
30 GODDAMN MINUTES!
That’s right. The sadists who put this thing on thought that in that time, people could try tricks multiple times, rest up, lace some more hammers, and live on.
Well, my old, chain-smoking, candy ass who has become to acclimated to Northern California weather pretty much fucking died. At least I only threw up once.
Yeah, I didn’t sit down, but I sure stood still too much while my fellow competitors kept going. Here’s what was left of me after my run:
If you make it into the final round—which of course I did not come remotely close to—you got to look forward to an open-ended run. That’s right. If a half hour wasn’t enough, you could keep going, and going, and going.
So, at what time length did these brutes on blades skate for?
A Fucking hour!!!
Keep your fucking 20-stair drop kink rails. If you call yourself a man, you’ll blade in the Iowa River Rumble. If you live, you’ll be a fucking man.
The Iowa River Rumble is yet another regional competition. It’s getting up there with all the other great, yearly comps out there like the Windy City Riot, Panhandle Pow Wow, and numerous other comps. It’s not quite up there with Last Man Standing or the SDSF Open, but I feel the park and the tenacity of the endurance-killing strategy can get it up there thanks to the help of the guys that make the drive—like 2011 champ Mike Tiegs—and the organizer, Bruce Bales (and others, of course).
As we all know, there will never be a comp like the Bitter Cold Showdown. The once-a-year battle for glory in jagged nipple-freezing tundra Detroit is the championship. It’s the heavy weight title and there’s no getting around it. It’s the comp that logs more miles traveled to than a small metropolitan airport.
But for those of you that don’t want to wait, it appears your blading travel cost just got higher.
The Blading Cup
Hokay, so, if you were like me and weren’t there for the first-ever Blading Cup, you won’t make that mistake again.
I mean, c’mon, a comp thrown by papa Jon Julio, co-founder of the IMYTA and founder of Valo, amongst other companies.
This is the West Coast’s Bitter Cold.
I will write that again:
This is the West Coast’s Bitter Cold.
The talent—pro and am—were all over the made-for-the-day course. There were some fucked-up obstacles, some standards, and some that made absolutely no sense.
In it’s inaugural session, the Blading Cup attracted the right scene, voices, eyes, and everything else. Next year, it should damn well have the bodies to watch the names you know and love do their fucking thing.
Stockwell and Bailey were cruising around that shit smooth enough to get rid of the wrinkles around your mother’s vagina.
Aragon was out there, doing some crazy shit that made emcees and JSF founders Erick Garcia and Kennan Scott sing for their fucking dinner.
Haffey, well, was Haffey and kept vying to find the longest, hardest way to get to something and handling that shit like a baus.
With the Blading Cup on the West Coast and the upcoming NY Street Invitational on the East Coast, it appears that the U.S. is getting some kick ass rollerblading comps in stereo.
That, my friends, means only great things to come.
Love him (which I do) or hate him, Adam Johnson will never stop being Adam Johnson.
He’ll never sugar-coat shit unless it’s your girlfriend’s ass crack. He won’t ever be shy of saying what he’s thinking. He won’t stop working. He won’t stop going after what he wants.
Of all that talk about the identity of man earlier, I think AJ is close to anything we have right how of some Hunter Thompson/Clint Eastwood/Charlie Chaplin/Pee-Wee Herman hybrid. Part joker, part asshole, part philosopher, he’s doing what he’s doing and plenty of people support what he’s doing. You should, too.
Buy Vibralux. Buy Street Artist. Buy Charg!ing.If all else fails, see what he has to say about what he does, why he does it, and what he has to say about piece of shit pirates. Check out the interview here.
If you don’t like what he has to say, so fucking what.
Blade or Die,
— Brian Krans
P.S. — Don’t expect anything from me for a while. I’ll be on vacation. I’d tell you to order my book, but I won’t be around to ship it to you.