Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The Exuberance of Youth...

Above is David Lavon. Go see his video. Go see it *now*. Try and pay attention to the part where he keeps his black yeshivish hat on while doing the windmill.

Thanks to Jewschool for the link, to my wife for noticing the hat.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

The Search for Animal Chin...

Everyone's so hot on the 80's these days. Well let me tell you something about the 80's, my friend. In the 80's, I used to shred. I was a freaking thrasher, man. I freaking ruled, OK.

Okay, actually. I was a whiny little poser who wore wanna-be skate rags, had way-too-expensive gear, and whose only real encounter with road rash led to an almost absolute abandonment of the sport (which, for me, was more of a hobby, but whatever -- pre-bar-mitzvah pischers are usually just concerned with being "cool," right? That, and getting to 2nd base). Check out the right, where me & my pal Joe not only sport some wicked Powell Peralta gear, but (I don't know if you notice) I've got Tony Hawk's first commercial deck (which I traded to this kid Brian for my brand-new Steve Caballero street deck, which was freaking huuuuuge, but which had much better trucks, wheels + bearings).

Anyhoo... oh wait, there's me thrashing again! Damn, I rocked! And that's not even a shot of my wicked street-ramp and half-pipe action! So anyway, why am I bringing up my history as the baddest-ass shred-monkey ever on four polyurethane wheels? I thought you'd never ask!

Bones Brigade III: The Search for Animal Chin (see photos above) has recently been released on Special Edition DVD. For anyone who doesn't know, this video (to quote the distributor's website) "is the most famous skate video in the history of skateboarding. Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, Mike McGill and Tommy Guerrero search for the missing master, Animal Chin, who has gone underground because the sport is getting too commercial. Filmed at the peak of the Bones Brigade era in 1986/7 by Stacy Peralta, the original and still the premier skate video maker in the world."

The DVD also includes a brand spankin' new Making-Of documentary (reflecting on the skateboarding world of 20 years ago), deleted scenes, commentary tracks, and other DVD fun-ness. Being how I myself am in the business of making DVDs, and recently completed a full-length feature DVD for sportskool (a Video-On-Demand provider) featuring the old-school skate stylings of Mike Vallely (who actually cameos in Animal Chin), I found it completely appropriate to mention this release at this time.

I do find it a bit ironic that Animal Chin is supposedly all about anti-commercialization of the skateboarding industry, yet the company that made it was TOTALLY about commercializing the sport -- look at all of the bells-and-whistles and merchandise that they still, to this day, hawk to the newbies! No one uses rails, tailbones, nosebones, risers, or any of that outdated paraphernalia these days!

Whateva, it's still classic. And its release nicely, and quite strategically, coincides with... this holiday season! How very, very interesting!!! Hmmmm.....

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Yes Men and other Activist Crud

I'm less of what you'd call an 'activist' and more of what is generally referred to as a 'passivist,' or 'someone who kinda just lets stuff happen to him and/or watches stuff happen to other people.' But I love reading about the exploits of kooky activists like The Yes Men, who came out with this documentary a few years back that is just freaking hilarious.

In short, these guys made a website that many international organizations mistook for the official website of the World Trade Organization (WTO). In effect, through their website, they were empowered with the credibility to impersonate flesh-and-blood WTO personnel at several economic conferences, and on CNN. The disturbing part is, no matter how outrageously they misrepresented the WTO (by, among other things, claiming that they had developed a device to control their Third-World sweatshop workers remotely through the usage of a gigantic golden schlong), they were not sniffed-out as impostors.

What's even cooler is that Mike Bonanno, one of the Yes Men, is actually the creator of the Barbie Liberation Organization (see their PDF about how to switch voice-chips in kids' dolls here), a pioneering culture-jamming project from the 90's which is documented in Sonic Outlaws, which I can't find on DVD anywhere, just on crummy VHS.

Anyway, if you like the above stuff (which I highly recommend renting or looking into), you should check also out Adbusters magazine. And if wanna be all old-school about it, you can participate in the 2005 National Buy Nothing Day, which is coming up on November 25. Now that's my kinda activism -- where you do something by not doing something. Kinda like Shabbos...

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Miscellaneous Grab-Bag

In no particular order, here are today's fun linx:

Saul Rubinek (pictured above) is a Jewish actor who was born in a German refugee camp in WWII. First saw him in Unforgiven as the erstwhile biographer of the Duke of Death (Duck, I says). Recently saw him in The Quarrel, where he plays a Holocaust survivor who becomes a Rosh Yeshiva in Montreal. However, my favorite role of his would have to be the big-shot Hollywood producer/coke fiend in True Romance, where, in response to a fellow motorist who flicks him the bird, he shouts, "Don't give *me* the finger! I'll fucking have you killed!!!"

• Y'all heard about the largest wireless cloud in all of history? It's in Oregon of all places! (hat-tip to Yehoshua, who, for the record, I think should start a blog called "The Shiboles Nerd")

This is a kooky site devoted to other people's conversations in New York City. While there is no way that they could verify contributions to their site, it all still seems pretty true-to-life, and pretty darn funny. (hat-tip to Jewschool)

• Another Jewschool hat-tip: Are you a Jewish artist/teacher? If so, check out this opportunity now.

• Last but not least: my holy father Reuven's site (under construction) where he showcases his coin collection, his knowledge of American history and numismatics, as advertised in the December issue of Coin World Magazine!!!

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Mr. Jew-niverse

Looks Jewish, don't he? That guy up there with the flowers and the big shnozz? He keeps popping up in my favorite media! He has cameos in Freaks and Geeks (as a sexy Jewish college boy) and Serenity (as the technophilic, android-humping "Mr. Universe" pictured above), and now, just last night, I see him in Harold & Kumar Go To White Castle (which, incidentally, was written by two Jewboys named Schlossberg + Hurwitz, and which had me peeing-in-my-pants laughing the whole time).

Well, his name is David Krumholtz. He is Jewlicious. In fact, in my humble opinion, Jewlicious should do a thing on him (if they haven't already), because he is out there frontin' our peeps by, among other things, taking hits from a bong crafted out of a shofar. And, as I mentioned previously, humping androids.

Now if I can just get him to play a bearded chassidishe ba'al teshuva in a radical West Bank yeshiva in the 90's...