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Weightlifting skateboards
04.22.2015
08:42 am

Topics:
Art
Sports

Tags:
skateboarding
skate decks


 
I was going to post about these clever-as-hell weightlifting skateboards by Russian artist Meisha Petrick a few days ago, but there was too little information about them. There still isn’t, but from what I understand, they are being produced by Meisha and if you’re interested in ‘em, you can inquire about ordering one (or more) at hello@petrick.ru. I have no idea how much they’re selling for as no one has a listed price anywhere.

A strong board indeed. 

With thanks to Jeff Albers!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Groovy vintage pics of The Who on the ski slopes
03.30.2015
08:41 am

Topics:
Music
Sports

Tags:
The Who
skiing


 
According to “WhiteFang,” who claims to have “the world’s largest collection of the Who records & CDs” and also has a good deal of other stuff, these amusing pictures of the Who on the ski slopes date from 1966, which figures just to look at them. The magazine that ran them is unknown, but “Naar de Wintersport” certainly suggests that it was Dutch.

Notice the playful typeface selection and the fun borders—I must say I admire the Dutch approach to teen fan magazines!
 

 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
‘Skateboard Kings’: Early Dogtown skate doc with Tony Alva, Stacy Peralta, Shogo Kubo and more
03.18.2015
02:15 pm

Topics:
Movies
Sports

Tags:
skateboarding
Tony Alva


 

If you’re young, male and you live in the city, how do you prove yourself in the most materially comfortable country on earth?  How do you show courage, daring, skill, strength? How do you prove you’re a man? If you’re a Masai Tribesman in Africa you kill a lion. If you’re an Aborigine boy, you go on walkabout, if you live in Dogtown, Los Angeles you ride a skateboard.

Hilariously, this is how this vintage documentary from the golden age of skateboarding begins.  At the time of its release in 1978, the sport of skateboarding was still a developing endeavor that a lot of people outside of California might have looked at with simple fascination. While the sport was growing, with skate shops and parks popping up all over the country, it was by no means as prevalent and integrated into world culture as it is today. Skateboard Kings, produced by Horace Ové for the British Television series The World About Us,features early pioneers Tony Alva, Ray Flores, Shogo Kubo, Stacy Peralta, Billy Yeron, Paul Constantineau, Jerry Valdez and Kent Senatore among many others. It makes them out to be this sort of new kind of rebel on the fringes of a faddy phenomenon, with a “No really… kids are actually getting paid money to do this for a living” attitude. Interviews with parents in a skate shop are particularly chuckle-worthy as they try to rationalize letting their kids get involved in the sport despite its inherent dangers from overly crowded “skate courts” and whatnot. If parents really wanted something to worry about, imagine what they would think if they knew anything about the legendary Dogtown party world.
 

 
There’s very little of a taste of the party here, however, but it’s still cool nonetheless, and despite some of its stiffness, there’s great footage from early skate parks, pool skating (and draining), and Tony Alva narrating tricks and using still early terminology like “aerials” and “grinders.” Tiny boards, traffic cone slaloms, flat ground 360’s and rolling handstands were the cutting edge at the time. There’s also a skateboard safety clinic featured which is really funny and mike just leave modern day skaters shaking their heads. 

The last five minutes of the film are great, showing Tony Alva and others skating 21-foot high pipes soon to be installed in the desert.  The infamous “Arizona Pipes” should be legendary to anybody interested in the history of the development of skateboarding as a sport and as a creative endeavor.
 

Posted by Jason Schafer | Leave a comment
Root for Gramsci, Debord, Guevara, and Trotsky in the first annual ‘Marx Madness’ tournament
03.17.2015
11:28 am

Topics:
Class War
Politics
Sports

Tags:
Marxism
basketball


 
Did you all see John Oliver’s takedown of the NCAA on Last Week Tonight last week? If you are in any way concerned about the rapacious nature of collegiate athletics today and you haven’t seen it already, you really must. (I’ve embedded it at the bottom of this post.) It’s tempting to say that they took it too far, but they simply didn’t—the NCAA deserves exactly that much vitriol and then some. They’re just that bad.

I’ve been a sports fan all my life, baseball football basketball, but it’s getting more and more difficult to reconcile any kind of progressive or left-wing identity with the cash-grab, bully-cities-into-building-expensive-stadiums, jockish wife-beating etc. mentality. It’s difficult to watch the Last Week Tonight footage of coaches abusing their charges on the court and not think that this is some sanctioned equivalent of slavery, much as (say) the nation’s prison complex is similarly enforcing a very nasty form of Jim Crow. The NCAA is so bad that it’s increasingly becoming a moral imperative to oppose it. I’ve recently made a similar decision regarding the NFL. (I’m hanging on to baseball for now, but we’ll see where that goes.)

If you’re on the Left and you can’t reconcile your love of sports with your progressive principles, then you should look into Marx Madness, the clever online bracket tournament that pits Gilles Deleuze against Angela Davis, Terry Eagleton against Mao, Louis Althusser against Slavoj Žižek, and Vladimir Lenin against Ulrike Meinhof.
 
Here’s the blank bracket:
 

(For both brackets on this page, you can click on the image to see a much larger version.)
 
The winners are decided by user votes—that’s right, you can have an impact on who wins this thing. The voting for Round 2 is open until Friday, March 20. The crowning of the champion will take place on April 20, so smoke up a doobie and invite your friends over for the Big Show (which will probably be anticlimactic because it takes just a few moments to find out who won it all).

Here’s the description of how Marx Madness works:
 

Marx madness relies on the power of the people. Click on the image of the bracket ... to zoom in at high resolution and see the match ups. Thinkers were randomly seeded into the first round. Each week, there will be a public online vote to determine which individuals move forward. Be sure to visit the site each week before Friday at midnight to cast your votes.

 
After the votes are tallied, the winners are announced and each matchup gets a little writeup in the breathless mode common to sports reporting—this is easily my favorite part of Marx Madness. For example, here’s the summary of the first-round matchup between Antonio Gramsci and Jacques Rancière:
 

Gramsci over Ranciere
In a clash European theorists of civil society from different eras, Gramsci strolled to victory over Jacques Ranciere in round 1. The little Italian theorist, dissident, and long-time prisoner quickly made the transition from war of maneuver to war of position, overwhelming Ranciere’s vaunted ‘police’ defense. Gramsci moves on to an Antonio derby in the round of 32 against Negri in a classic 20th vs 21st century match up.


 
Here’s the same bracket as the one above, with the results from the first round already filled in:
 

 
More Marx Madness after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
The artist formerly known as ‘Jock!’ Check out Prince’s Junior high basketball picture!
03.04.2015
05:49 am

Topics:
Music
Sports

Tags:
Prince
basketball


 
Ladies and gentlemen, Prince the jock.

Remember that sketch from Chapelle Show where they reenacted Charlie Murphy’s story about meeting Prince with his brother in the 80s? The one where The Purple One and his crew beat everyone from Eddie Murphy’s crew in basketball, and then served them all pancakes? I remember thinking the show had taken some artistic license, not because of the pancakes (I’m absolutely sure Prince is a very hospitable host), because of the basketball detail; Prince is a massive personality, but he’s physically really tiny.

But apparently, he’s got game! Who knew?

Not only was that story, in fact, true, Prince’s athletic prowess has been well-documented since junior high school, as you can see from the Afro-tastic photo above. Yes, young Prince Rogers Nelson was quite the baller despite his diminutive stature, and a recently recovered article from The Minneapolis Star Tribune archives has the quote from his coach to prove it.
 

 
I understand the disappointment of not making the starting lineup—especially when you’ve managed to work around that kind of height disadvantage, but I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say I’d rather have made Purple Rain.
 
Via UPROXX

Posted by Amber Frost | Leave a comment
Yes, there’s footage of Prince Charles skateboarding in a double-breasted suit, 1970s
02.24.2015
10:50 am

Topics:
Amusing
Sports

Tags:
Prince Charles


 
According to the YouTube uploader, this is very rare footage of a young Prince Charles skating in a double-breasted suit and dress shoes. Now since it’s on the Internet, it ain’t that rare anymore. I’ve never seen Prince Charles showing off his stellar skate moves before, but that doesn’t mean diddly-squat. (It’s an excerpt from a short doc about Charles visiting an inner city youth organization.)

But here he is in all of his future-King-of-England glory at a skatepark showing all the kiddies how it’s done. (Not really.) His feeble attempts at conversation are amusing (“So you’re an expert on that? Ah, yes. What about looping the loop?”) He claims that had he known in advance that there would be skateboarding, he’d have brought along a helmet and “the other protective paraphernalia.” Because all royals are big on safety. At least he might’ve left the wing tips at home.

 
via The World’s Best Ever

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Japanese juice company invents wearable robot that feeds you tomatoes while you run
02.24.2015
08:30 am

Topics:
Amusing
Food
Sports

Tags:
tomatoes


 
Japanese juice company Kagom have done the impossible; they’ve created a wearable 18 lbs. robot that fits comfortably on your shoulders and dispenses succulent tomatoes into your pie hole whilst you go about your morning jog. The robot, called Tomatan, holds up to six medium-sized tomatoes. When you feel the need for a snack or suffer from hunger pangs while on your run, just pull the lever and a lovely tomato plops into your mouth.

This is the solution we have all been waiting for.

“Tomatoes have lots of nutrition that combats fatigue,” says Shigenori Suzuki of Kagome.

If you feel the 18 lbs. Tomatan is just too heavy, never fear, there’s also the “Petit-Tomatan” (which is half the weight of the Tomatan). The Petit-Tomatan will be tested out at Tokyo Marathon on Sunday. Should be interesting.

Watch the Tomatan in action, below:

 
Via Death and Taxes and IB Times

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Making Flippy Floppy: The Talking Heads exercise ‘infomercial’ you never asked for
02.18.2015
02:06 pm

Topics:
Amusing
Music
Sports

Tags:
Talking Heads


 
The title of this post pretty much says it all. Is it corny? Yes. Did it make me laugh? Yes. Do I wish something like this really existed? Yes. Should national treasure Richard Simmons make this thing? Most definitely.

 
With thanks to Jeff Albers!

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
Collect ‘em all: Andy Warhol, Marcel Duchamp, Grandma Moses play ball in ‘Artball Trading Cards’
02.18.2015
10:32 am

Topics:
Art
Sports

Tags:
Don Celender
baseball cards


 
If you’re like me, either you do this or you have friends who do this, dismiss any athletics-related topic by—eyeroll optional—relegating it to the category of sportball or sportsball, I’ve seen both used. Artist Don Celender was touching on something vaguely similar when he produced his endlessly amusing Artball Trading Cards project in 1971.
 

James Rosenquist, Tight End
 
The more I hear about Celender, of whom I had never heard before a few days ago, the more I like him. He unfortunately died in 2005 at the age of 73. He was a native of Pittsburgh and received art-related degrees from two esteemed local schools, Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh; he taught at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Here’s a section of his NY Times obit—I like absolutely everything about this:
 

In 1969, with Conceptual Art gaining steam, Mr. Celender began a series of letter-writing campaigns that spoofed the movement while spreading its ideas and gathering interesting information. With his Cultural Art Movement he sent outlandish proposals to 25 museum directors, suggesting for example that Sherman Lee, director of the Cleveland Museum of Art, drop by parachute 1,000 works of Asian art from the museum’s collection, one at a time, onto the state of Alabama. Mr. Lee replied that since art was in the mind of the beholder, he had “mentally performed” Mr. Celender’s idea.

In subsequent works, Mr. Celender surveyed film directors, prison wardens, labor leaders, religious figures, travel agents, celebrities and famous chefs about their art preferences. He also produced a series of baseball cards using artists’ faces.

 
He was kind of the thinking person’s Ted L. Nancy of his day, if that reference means anything to anyone. But far from the nut that that description implies, he appears to have been a gentle satirist of the art world while playing fully within the art world’s rules.
 

 
On those “surveys” of various types of people on their art preferences, you can look at an example here, namely an “ART PREFERENCE SURVEY OF SOAP OPERA ACTORS/ACTRESSES” (in the example, Guiding Light actor Jerry ver Dorn says he favors M.C. Escher).

The playing cards constitute irresistible eye candy for baseball fans of a certain type—I am certainly one of the clan. I badly want to hold and touch these little scraps of silly cardboard. There isn’t that much information out there on the cards, it seems; it was difficult scraping together the visual evidence I was able to gather for this post (if anyone has or finds more images of the cards, please let us know). If you’re lucky you can find a set on eBay for about $50.

The cards seem to vary significantly, to the point that any sentence written about them risks being inaccurate. For some of the cards, Celender seems to have been used the metaphor of regular playing card, as in the “James Rosenquist, Tight End” card pictured above, whereas others seem entirely made from scratch—rather than deface actual baseball cards, Celender appears to have made mini-collages of baseball players and superimposed the black-and-white face of an artist over the player’s face, and then added a fakey baseball team name like “METZ” or “CENATORS” (for those who disdain sportsball, the Washington Senators were a baseball franchise from 1901 to 1960 before becoming the Minnesota Twins, and then, weirdly, from 1961 to 1972 before becoming the Texas Rangers; the Mets currently play in New York City). On the back would be a “highlight” from that artist’s career. You can see the method here, using Jean Dubuffet‘s “The Gypsy” and Thomas Hart Benson‘s “July Hay.”
 

 
I believe there were five sets of cards. For completeness’ sake, here are the artists represented in each set, culled from the listings at specific object:
 

Set 1: Josef Albers, Marcel Duchamp, Max Ernst, Alberto Giacometti, Robert Morris, Richard Pousette-Dart, Franz Kline, Jean Dubuffet, Georges Roualt, Leo Castelli, Isamu Noguchi, Anthony Caro, Vincent van Gogh, Marisol, Gerald Clarke, Bernhard Berenson, Albert P. Ryder, Fernand Leger, Horace Pippin, Paul Jenkins

Set 2: Helen Frankenthaler, George Luks, Hans Hofmann, Georges Braque, Victor Vasarely, Marc Chagall, Martha Jackson, Henry Moore, Richard Lippold, Raoul Dufy, Alfred H. Barr Jr., David Smith, Bradley Walker Tomlin, Georgia O’Keeffe, Pavel Tchelitchew, Grandma Moses, Arthur B. Davies, Albert Alexander Smith, Tony Smith, Allan Appel, J. Carter Brown

Set 3: Robert Rauschenberg, William Glackens, Tom Wesselmann, Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Thomas Hart Benton, Édouard Manet, Henri Matisse, Adolph Gottlieb, Wassily Kandinsky, Yves Tanguy, Ivan Karp, Donald Judd, Larry Rivers, Thomas Eakins, Willem de Kooning, George Segal, Grace Hartigan, Jackson Pollock, Robert Henri, John Marin

Set 4: John Chamberlain, Henri Rousseau, Hans Hartung, Ibram Lassaw, Ozenfant, John Goodrich, Hilton Kramer, Ray Johnson, Roy Lichtenstein, Jacques Lipchitz, Barnett Newman, Ad Reinhardt, Peggy Guggenheim, Bridget Riley, Matta, Rufino Tamayo, Piet Mondrian, Andrew Wyeth, Everett Shinn, Richard Lindner

Set 5: Jasper Johns, Piet Mondrian, Dan Flavin, Thomas B. Hess, Mark Rothko, Pablo Picasso, Patrick Caulfield, Claes Oldenburg, Alexander Liberman, Alexander Calder, Andy Warhol, Ossip Zadkine, Pierre Soulages, Charles Burchfield, Clyfford Still, Allan Kaprow, Sidney Janis, Dorothy C. Miller, Sam Francis

 
Here are a couple more images (if you are diligent in your searches you can find more out there; this isn’t a bad starting point) and a stimulating Vine:
 

 
More after the jump…

Posted by Martin Schneider | Leave a comment
Don’t mess with these hot mamas: Vintage photos of badass Roller Derby Girls
02.12.2015
01:25 pm

Topics:
Feminism
History
Pop Culture
Sports

Tags:
roller derby


1950
 
Here are some vintage photos ranging from the early 1940s to 1970s of women’s roller derby competitions. As you can see by the images, these women ain’t takin’ no shit while they’re on their skates. It’s hardcore stuff.

I tried to add captions to photos I could find information on. I also included a movie trailer at the bottom of this post for the 1972 film Kansas City Bomber starring Raquel Welch. Because RAQUEL WELCH ON ROLLER SKATES! Honestly, what more could you want?
 

 

Chicago, IL. 1948
 

 

Midge Brasuhn of the Brooklynites
 
More after the jump…
 

Posted by Tara McGinley | Leave a comment
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