I don’t celebrate the New Year. I don’t make resolutions or entertain ambitions about “renewal” or, “new beginnings” or, “dry January”—fuck off. To me it’s “just another day,” as the Oingo Boingo song goes. There’s really no difference between December 31 and January 1 except that we begin our arbitrary human calendar again. New Year’s Day could be any one of the 365 days we’ve decided make a year. If it were up to me, I would choose December 21, the Winter Solstice, to be New Year’s Day because something cosmic actually occurs on that day that does in fact signal renewal: our planet’s northern pole reaches its maximum tilt away from the sun making 12/21 the shortest day and longest night of the year. Thus the next day, 12/22, marks the rebirth of the sun and daylight hours grow longer thereafter. My mother always loved the Winter Solstice because, as she would say, “The days start getting longer again.” I rejoiced with her because that meant we could skate the ramp longer every day. Hooray.
Huzzah! If I had a glass in my hand I'd surely huck it against the wall in a fantastic smash, because it's nigh closing time for 2021 and, well, we're not leaving. I mean, yes, we are leaving 2021—don't really have a choice in the linear sense of time—but the thing is we're still standing despite all the curveballs of the year. So yes, huh-fucking-zah indeed]. To celebrate the happy fact, let's take our annual look back at the wood that was in 2021.
No, I am not hell bent for leather. Nor am I screaming for vengeance. Instead I'm referring to a now surprisingly if not shockingly old maxim once held near and dear to the black hearts of the Big Brother magazine staff: Do not write about skateboarding. In other words, let the photos speak for the skating while the story deal with anything but (butt!), because our two main "competitors" of the '90s time, TransWorld and Thrasher, both already did the other in two polar opposite and occasionally baffling manners —the former waxing poetic while the latter gnashed the gnar. So naturally we had to fill the void betwixt the seriousness of the two with nonsense, turds, and silly business. But today... fuck it, today I'm tossing that credo aside for a sentimental sap smear following an unexpected afternoon spent wandering around my old haunts in Madison, Wisconsin.
I was standing in the beer aisle at the grocery store when I was approached by an old, wiry hessian in a denim jacket. He placed his hands on my shoulders and squared me off so he could better read my shirt. I didn’t resist because I had never been molested in the beer aisle before so I was interested in seeing where this was going to go. The old hessian then proceeded to read my shirt. My shirt said, “Listen To Black Sabbath.” After he finished reading, which I felt took longer than four words required, he stepped back and laughed a maniacal laugh and asked, “IS THAT A COMMAND? HAHA!” When I got home, I put 11 beers in the fridge and opened one for myself. After a long sip of cool, refreshing alcohol, I put the can on the counter, pulled off my “Listen To Black Sabbath” shirt, and threw it in the trash.