HBO’s Real Sports is showing a segment on cockfighting, so I appeared on Marc Daniels’ The Beat of Sports show on Orlando’s 96.9 The Game this morning to talk about the cockers I met and talked with while reporting on cockfighting for VICE Sports.
“‘There has always been a conflict between making art and selling art. It’s always something artists had to negotiate, from the days of patronage to now. Colin writes about the first Greek poet who gets paid for his work, and how everyone said he was a sellout. And he kind of was, but he placed a value on his work. He wasn’t afraid to ask for it, and that was a historical moment.’”
“Ghost stories are how we attempt to codify the uncanny and the uncomfortable, the painful and the personal, the romantic and the irredeemably horrible. After all, are not people haunted by lovers and places haunted by tragedies?
By hewing to the facts and using a historian’s loupe, author Colin Dickey seeks to illuminate ghosts’ cultural presence. Ghostland, Dickey’s new book chronicling the sociological history of America’s most haunted places, finds its power not in the numerous phantoms lurking in the country’s shadows, but in the buildings, battlefields, slave prisons and Native American lands that birthed them.”
“Shattered tempered glass twinkles coquettishly, promising danger and beauty. Growing up in Brighton Park on Chicago’s Southwest Side, Rolón remembers both the exquisiteness of the sun striking broken car windows in the street and the realization that something bad had happened to make that shimmering moment. These pieces in the Bochinche room take elements from the shattered window and evoke a night sky.”
“That “entertainment factor” is what led NBC to promote Weir and Lipinski to the top broadcasting slot for figure skating in the run up to PyeongChang 2018, and propelled them to be the delightfully different voices at such venerable sporting institutions as the Super Bowl and the Kentucky Derby and, now, the Summer Olympics. It is what keeps their social media feeds humming with roughly half a million followers, and also what caused my non-sports-fan friends to gush pronouncements of love for the pair when I told them about my assignment, and that is what makes them so important. In a sports-media landscape choked with old white guys offering hot takes, where antiquated notions of toughness and “honor” are conflated with masculinity and used to obfuscate or excuse violence and misogyny, Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski bring something beyond entertainment and knowledge. They bring inclusiveness.”
In honor of Go Skateboarding Day, some of my writing on skateboarding:
“Burglary is unique among crimes in that it requires architecture for its execution. Human constructions are integral to its very definition, which involves the illicit entry of a structure with the intent to remove property. If there’s no structure, there’s no burglary—and you’re left with theft or robbery.
If burglary requires architecture, do burglars exhibit a predilection for architectural mores? When they cut holes in ceilings, tunnel into bank vaults, ignore well-guarded doors for the soft walls surrounding them, are burglars not demonstrating how an aberrant view of social and civil engineering can be brought to bear for personal enrichment?
In A Burglar’s Guide to the City, Geoff Manaugh, author of influential architecture siteBLDGBLOG, explores the unique relationship between architecture, civic planning and crime. Paste chatted with Manaugh on the phone about custom-made crime, the unique spatial relationships of bandits and how Die Hard can best illustrate complex architectural concepts.”
“It is an effort to combat the lasting, damaging impacts of underrepresentation. “You pick up art history books and they are always talking about those people, and it’s the same people from book to book to book,” Marshall explains. “At a certain point, it induces this notion that you are not one of those people that do great things.” Marshall’s technical proficiency is at once a wink at the sacred Western canon and the creation of his own—in essence, the redefinition of art history.”
“The dash is shot through with controversy, with whispers and questions about aids, be it the strong wind at the track that day or the rumors of doping that plagued Flo-Jo’s career. What is irrefutable is how she looked: not just victorious but incredible, equal parts Amazon and amazing as she screamed away from her peers in a flash, her right leg completely covered in an asymmetric purple, her other one bare, her wrists encircled in chains and fingertips bathed in fire. With one of the greatest feats ever performed by a human body in an outfit that would not look out of place on Nicki Minaj, Flo-Jo proved that one could be serious about both performance and personal style. Triumph!”
“Paul Rodriguez is set to headline what may be the most elaborate skate movie ever made.
Spanning continents and directed by skate auteur Ty Evans, fully crewed and accoutered with the latest state-of-the art cameras, a van outfitted with video mounts designed for helicopters, a fleet of drones—replete with specially trained pilots—and the royal largesse of a Middle Eastern prince, We Are Blood seems to hew closer to Hollywood-style motion pictures than the collection-of-vignettes, album-like skate videos that get played for inspiration before a mission or to stave off winter, wind, and rain. Its preview trailer looks something like Yeah Right! or Fully Flared or Pretty Sweet, films wherein the aesthetic, vis-a-vis the presentation of the tricks, was almost as important as the tricks themselves. ButWe Are Blood has an obvious thematic thread, that of skateboarding as an internationally recognized culture, demonstrating disproportionately shredded front toes of shoes as lingua franca for a cosmopolitan, honest-to-God culture.”