Friday, May 06, 2005

American Skate Idol

I have an idea for a new reality TV show where a panel of cynical skateblog editors travel across the continent holding auditions for the Coolest Skater Award. Notice I used the term "coolest" and not "most skilled". This is because everyone knows that Omar Wiggfield could win any competition involving four wheels and plywood, hands down. Even such maverick events as the "free-wheel flatbed dolly downhill slalom" provide little challenge for a seasoned vet such as Omar. So unless we enlisted him as one of the judges, there would be little point in searching the burroughs and 'burbs of the western world for the most talented wheelieboarder.

Cool, however, is another matter. Cool we can do. We're so cool here at Fakiegrind that air-conditioner manufacturers steal our used toothbrushes for DNA samples; so cool that Lou Reed, the King of Cool himself, called us beforehand to ask what we thought about the idea of using "Walk on the Wild Side" for a candy bar commercial. Go right ahead, we said. Nothing's cooler than taking the counterculture of our youth and selling it back to us as junk food. Just look at rap music. But we're getting sidetracked here.

Just imagine a table with four or five over-the-hill skaters sitting behind it, staring over their cans of Dr. Pepper at a brazen young hopeful standing with his skateboard on the stage. The kid does a few moves on the various obstacles that make up the show's set, and then the judges lay into him:

"That kickflip was WEAK! I've seen pancakes flipped with more grace than you moved that board! And why don't you tie up your shoelaces, or did you skip that day of kindergarten?" etc.

The winners of the show would get featured in videos and magazines, wearing all the latest, overpriced skate clothing, and shown exclusively doing tricks on handrails and down giant sets of stairs. There would be precious little in the way of interesting writing or interviews, and nothing to show that skateboarding has anything to do with having fun and doing your own thing.

Well, that's my idea for undermining skateboarding as we know it. Good thing skaters are far too shrewd to ever fall for such a sham.

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