I don’t intend to prove anything through these writings, or change anyones mind. I especially do not intend to create any scientific or literal statements about scootering, or about the “scene”, which should be taken as fact. I am merely proposing some observations and some ideas which have buzzed around my head. As a writer, and an interested human, I am inclined to explore different aspects of my experiences, and scootering is central to my life. If you are bothered by proclamations of subjective beauty, if you are displeased by offerings of peace, harmony, gratitude, and acceptance, if you really dislike hippies and poetry and Phish and the Dead, or if you really just don’t give a shit about my philosophies on scootering, you should probably not read the rest of this. I really just intend to explore my love of scootering and what it makes me think about, as well as possibly make you think about scootering in a different way as well. I think Wentz describes Loren Eiseley's style very well here, which is one that has been influencing me greatly lately and I think it is a good way to start.
“For Loren Eiseley, writing itself becomes a form of contemplation. Contemplation is a kind of human activity in which the mind, spirit and body are directed in solitude toward some other. Scholars and critics have not yet taken the full measure of contemplation as an art that is related to the purpose of all scholarly activity – to see things as they really are... Using narrative, parable and exposition, Eiseley has the uncanny ability to make us feel that we are accompanying him on a journey into the very heart of the universe. Whether he is explicating history or commenting on the ideas of a philosopher, a scientist or a theologian, he takes us with him on a personal visit."
- Richard E. Wentz (http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=1391 )
( If you wish to read any of Eiseley’s writings, this website has a few of his books for free http://www.american-buddha.com/immense.journey.htm )
I think a lot of people don’t like to think about riding scooters in the same way me and some of my friends do. I think a lot of people think scootering is great because it gets them away from the complications of life, and lets them just live in the moment. I enjoy that the same as anyone else, but I think everyone has different systematic, subconscious approaches to how they do things, and mine, as well as a lot of other rider’s, thinks about riding outside of riding and let the perceptual changes that occur on our scooter to vibrate through the rest of our life and our impact on the outside world. I think as that happens you also open a door to allow things outside of scootering to impact your scootering. Whether it be music, poetry, skateboarding, nature, the city, your carpet, drugs, painting, religion, food, sex, philosophy, whatever, things can influence your scootering outside of scootering and thats when I think people diverge from the general recreational aspect of scootering. I respect that not everyone wants to talk about scootering as much as I do, and not everyone wants their scootering to be art, but I think everyone is, whether they know it or not, expressing themselves and their life through scootering and making a kind of art. You are channeling what has happened before in your life through into this moment every time you draw upon a past experience; which is always when you are doing a trick. You’re constantly building upon old skills and learns, and applying them to your current surroundings and riding environment. What happened the morning you landed that new trick, what song you listened to, what you talked about in english class, that trick didn’t stand alone in that sequence of events, and that is the constant flow of your life. The sequence of events in scootering continues through your life as much as anything else does. If you can apply scootering's rules elsewhere, you may find great growth.
Scootering involves a lot of falling, commitment, and dedication, especially if you’re filming a video part. All the aspects of scootering are great and fun and enjoyable, but I urge you to do something: try to scooter without scootering. Of course you’ll still be scootering, but I think if you apply the same logistics and reason to other aspects of your life as you do to scootering, it can help you in a lot of ways. The idea of constant failure through falling, or patience through a video part, or maybe the responsibility of representing a company you’ve admired since you were young; these are things that a lot of average aspects of life don’t really teach you, and don’t really demand such commitment. I don’t think scootering is serious, every day riding and filming is filled with laughs and buffoonery, enjoyment and bliss, but at the same time it takes a lot of hard work to get to a place where you can show up to a gnarly street spot nine times out of ten and get a good clip on it or have fun and shred at the worst or gnarliest skatepark. Its not easy to get to the point where you can have fun and love your life riding a tiny curb in a shovelled out driveway when its 20 degrees outside. It isn’t easy to get to the point where you can push down a city street and grind or hop over anything you see. All of these activities are in practice just having fun, but really take a lot of practice, dedication, and pain that most activities today don’t. Don't just waste this ever so strange and dangerous addiction you have, let it rule you, let it teach you. Let scootering become a catalyst for change inside of yourself.
With all this intermingling of life and scootering, we have the opportunity to think about our surroundings very differently, and this is something many people have contemplated over the years. We see all these stairs, rails, transitions, and ledges as pathways for enjoyment. This secondary use of an object is very much transformational of your thinking. Once you see one thing (ie a handrail) in such a different light, maybe you will shift the way you view the rest of the world similarly. Maybe you will be able to make use of the way modern industrial, consumeristic society is set up in the same way you take a rail and push through it the whole of your past and future in different aspects of life. Maybe you can make scootering a way of communicating with yourself and with the world. You can learn so much about yourself. Every time you fall, what makes you get back up? What else can you apply that drive to get back up to? For me, the conversation doesn't stop there. Scootering has been a gateway for me to love all kinds of art. I never enjoyed painting, literature, poetry, sculpture, film, as much as I did after I observed the possibility of a counterculture being expressed through those means. I experienced the idea of that counterculture through skateboarding, scootering, and snowboarding. There is a normal way to do these things, and that is fine, but then there are people who break the rules and create new realms of wonder and joy and expression through scootering.
The power of an artistic culture is strong, and the necessity of art in our society is great. The real reason I wrote this is because I think more people need to understand the true impact scootering has the potential to make on society. We are in a very young state and every rider can make a change to the scene. Scootering is such a powerful art form that most people don't even think of it as art. There is very little outside gratitude from scootering especially, other than the pure personal love. Of course one gets respect from others, but this is short lived and stimulates the ego for a short time. There are few appraisals of riders as being extremely influential and artistic, but just a lot of "rads" and "gnars" getting thrown around. I think the more value and contemplation we apply to scootering, the more we can get from it. The more art grows, the more chance it has of changing the way a person views the world. We need people to change their viewpoints because right now everyone thinks its okay to take all the resources on our planet and use them however we see fit with no foresight on the effects that may have on other life and major ecosystems. And even though we do so much land-raping to sustain a high standard of living, most of our people live in horrid conditions in spite of the few who live in lavish, surreal paradises. We support this with our dollar, you vote in this society by buying because corporations buy out the government. This, like your expressing yourself through riding, is something you can't change whether you like to believe it or not. We need to change a lot of things in this society, and changing the way people view the world is the first step. We CAN do that through scootering and if you don't think so then thats fine with me but you aren't gonna stop anyone. Much love to all who are lost, all who are scared, all who are fighting, and just all in general. Thanks for giving my thoughts your time, the train gets off here so don't forget what you came with.
"Art is a collaboration between the infinite universal power and the artist, and the less the artist does the better"
- Larry Carlson(You can check out Larry Carlson's work and website, and maybe even support him here)