Tuesday, December 18, 2012

STD/Clay Porter/grow your own

This groundbreaking journalism is absolutely the best thing you will read all day. Definitely one of those "wish I'd thought of it first," million dollar idea kind of breakthroughs.

STD innovation


"We’ve seen what we thought were some fairly major steps forward in mountain bike technology over the past few years, but this new STD Suspension system makes everything else that has come before it seem positively prehistoric.

"But what is STD Suspension? Well to be honest it’s not really fair to call it just a suspension system (Ivor named it that purely because he didn’t want to come across as too big headed and he knows that riders are familiar with the term suspension) as it has been designed with a holistic approach and encompasses the entire bike."

The three settings allow you to instantly select in three custom modes: Style, Trail, and Descend. "

It's so innovative, but now that it's here and it's so good, you almost have to wonder how no one ever thought to do this before. Like sticky rubber shoes or wide bars, STD is sure to be the new normal.

In other news, I read this today: 

"Clay Porter's final film takes the Atherton's back home for some next level riding in North Wales." 

Needless to say, I got pretty excited when I read "Clay Porter's final film," but this is just his final installment of these Four by Three videos for the Athertons. For a second there I started to think that all TEAM ROBOT's hard work had started to pay off, and maybe all our constant hating had maybe gotten Clay to see the error of his ways. Maybe he was going to mercifully gift the sport of mountain biking with no more of his films. Well, obviously I thought wrong.

Click the link to watch: http://www.redbull.com/en/bike/stories/1331579866389/four-by-three-the-family-film

But whatever, I thought, might as well watch the video. Maybe Clay Porter movies are getting a little less, you know, Clay Porter-ish? Might as well give it a try.
I turned it off after two minutes of the three siblings talking over B-roll contextual shots. And calling them contextual shots is generous, too. Whatever, I guess I'll accept that 2 minutes of trees and hills and dales is "necessary" context, but can anyone tell me how a six second fixed shot on this telephone booth informs me, the viewer, about bike riding in Wales? I'm dying to know:

Clay, this isn't your portfolio. These shots are actually supposed to be motivated by a central idea.

Apparently everyone else on the interweb thinks the riding in the video is pretty rad. Well, that's sweet, I couldn't hang in there long enough to watch it. And don't give me that "your generation has such short attention spans now, you don't have time to experience true art." That's BS and you know it. Pfunk and I watched that DMX reading rainbow thing, like, twenty times yesterday.

No, it's not that I'm too impatient to let Clay develop his story. I just didn't like the story he was developing. The interviews with the Athertons in the first minute were so over the top, it was a straight up gong show to see who could convince you how absolutely unbelievably mind blowing England's red neck backyard is. "Wales is so epic," "paradise," "unbounded""crazy""untouched" "so many possibilities" "miles and miles" "keeps you humble""get back to your roots" "nothing to hide behind." We cannot confirm this report at this point in time, but sources close to the Athertons indicate that their script for this web edit was written by Paul Lacava.

The clincher:

The long, tortured intro ends with Rach saying "if you want something, you have to make it yourself." This is the ender quote before he pans over the Atherton house and cuts to the title of the movie, and I think it's supposed to put the whole film in context, to serve as the culminating insight, the denouement if you will. I think this idea that "you have to make it yourself" is supposed to be profound, and represents some higher level of achievement or something.

"If you want something, you have to make it yourself." "Back to your roots." As if washing your dishes by hand, driving farther to buy groceries, and walking all the way down a long gravel drive to get your mail from the mailbox is somehow more real and authentic than living in a city and just having shit nearby. And there's this underlying suggestion implicit in all of this shit that says that if you don't physically craft something with your own two hands you didn't really work for it and you can't appreciate it.

I see this attitude all the time at hippy school and in Portland in general. "Oh, we have our own chickens and Anna sows all our clothing, it keeps us in touch with the land and our roots and with blah, blah, whatever hippy bullshit."

I could sew my own shitty clothing like you and stay "real," but let me walk you through how I make my clothing:

I work to make stuff, ideas, or things. This output is valued by consumers and companies.

A company or consumer trades wages for my output.

Another company produces clothing.

I pay that company for their output with my wages from my output.

I have clothing now.

Except instead of doing all that work and only having my own shitty clothing to show for it, I now have a shirt and that company has the product of my output. We have produced twice as much stuff as we would have. If you assume that the company I work for has stuff on hand that allows me to work more efficiently than I could on my own, we might have produced four times as much stuff as I could have alone.

As a bonus, I get to work on what I'm good at and enjoy, instead of spending hours sewing shitty, uncomfortable clothing just so I can have the privilege of not styling around town in a fig leaf.

Sure, there are several race and class issues that present themselves in my short narrative, and you might be uncomfortable with those. That's fine, and I understand why modern, globalized capitalism gives you pause. That's a wholly different discussion.

But please, please, whatever you do, don't try to feed me this line of bullshit that the only way to "be real" is to cobble your own uncomfortable shoes and grow your own butternut squash.


I know the REAL Chaz. said...

You don't produce a service in exchange for monetary compensation. You live at home with your parents. How Chaz gets clothing is more like "Hey Mom, want to go to the mall and buy me some clothes?" "Sure Charlie, my 24 year old who lives at home. I'm so proud of you. Now go online and make fun of those who have to work."

TEAM.ROBOT said...

That story you laid out would be really sad and pathetic if it was true, but it's not.

I'm 23 years old. TOTALLY DIFFERENT.

John said...

Terrific topic. I like it..............
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