Gettin' to bed at a reasonable hour tonight | Simply Ranked

Plus: Simply capped, "former" pros, Corgan vs. Thomas, and more.

The definitive weekly ranking and analysis of all the skateboarding and other online things that I cannot stop consuming and how they make me feel, personally.

Cap the world

Rank: Hrmph
Mood: 🚫

From lowly parking curbs to head-height ledges to three-stair handrails to quadruple-kink hubbas to wheelchair ramps to twenty-stair sets to waterpark slides to the surging Columbia River to the sprawling Rocky Mountains to a sense of community and belonging—anything can be capped if it interferes with commerce.

While walking home in the rain, I came across a pair of curbs perched atop a small asphalt embankment, each outfitted with eight steel skate-stoppers apiece. This spot is on the outer edge of a small parking lot, the sidewalk you approach it on an awkward downhill slope that eventually empties into heavy Broadway traffic. I doubt it saw much attention from skateboarders, yet the risk couldn’t be taken. The mere thought of a commercial mixed-use space being reinterpreted in brief, occasional spurts too painful. A zoning violation.

As the wind picked up, threatening to turn my umbrella inside out, I poked at the curb with my foot. A tailslide, hell, maybe even a noseblunt would be fun here. A small flutter caught my eye and I turned to see a window blind held open by finger. Through the slit there was nothing but darkness. I steadied my umbrella and kept moving.

Baker Baker Baker on Baker

Rank: 3
Mood: 🤕🔨

Last week, while being collapsed and regurgitated through various internet wormholes, I’d stumbled across Baker 3 on YouTube and noticed it had 6.2 million views. That is a staggering number for a nearly 17-year-old skateboarding video. I wondered how many times I’d watched it in my youth. Close to a hundred, at least. Considering how many skateboarders exist out there in this vast and complicated world, those stats seem to add up.

This YouTube version of Baker 3 lived on the RIDE Channel’s channel when I found it but was set to private when I returned. Within a few short moments, the internet brought us together again, as a found Baker 3 on Baker Skateboards’ official YouTube channel. What happened there? Did they have some sort of licensing deal with the now-defunct RIDE Channel? Had The Boss finally decided it was time to bring the whole catalogue under the Baker Boys’ digital roof and sent a DM? Or maybe there was a deeper reason at play. In the new upload, the past seems to have been learned from and filtered through the present, as some commenters noticed.

This self-censoring would seem to reflect the growth of a group of professional skateboarders who want to leave healthier legacies and influences than the troubled ones that serve as their foundations. Does this edit mean skaters will stop shouting getting fucked up tonight after landing a hard-fought trick? No, but I’d wager at least some of those post-skate beverages are likely to be cool, frosty La Croix.

A most cursed sentence

Rank: lol
Mood: Also, lol

“Tomorrow, I’m dropping my first solo NFT project titled: Diamond Crypto Dunks.”

The report of my death was an exaggeration

Rank: 4
Mood: 🐍

The New York Times has yet to issue an update, but Chris Cole’s career seems to be still chugging along, even after the paper of record deemed it otherwise. “As you all know, I’m a professional skateboarder. That’s what I primarily do.” Cole even clarified earlier this month. That unintended obit is in step with how professional skateboarding seems to function, though—a career can be there and gone in an instant.

With no protections from unions, guilds, or associations in an industry as hard on the body as professional skating, just the inherent risks of your job can take away your livelihood. And if you live in the United States without healthcare coverage, the best you’ll get is your boss sharing your gofundme.

American Zero exceptionalism

Rank: 0
Mood: 🎃

“Yes, it was my design. I saw it in my brain. I came up with it long before anyone else did.” Billy Corgan says directly to Jamie Thomas from the official Smashing Pumpkins TikTok account. Corgan is selling a shirt that is “97% like [the] original” he popularized by wearing around for a while in the ’90s, about the same time Thomas started Zero Skateboards and released a t-shirt with a similar logo (that he likely ripped off from Corgan).

If you were quick on the draw, you could’ve bought yourself Corgan’s $75 long sleeve in “4 interest-free payments of $18.75” before it sold out. Too bad. However, once iconic, this version looks a little cheaply put together, like a memory struggling to hold onto its form. It’s certainly not what it once was, likely quite uncomfortable now, bound to split at the seams before too long.

All ball

Rank: 6
Mood: 🏀🏀🏀

This clip of Theotis Beasley denying an opposing player so hard they both crash to hardwood briefly merged my fandoms of skateboarding and basketball. It also reminded me of how nice it is to have the NBA back. The Raptors even won a game the other day. Scottie Barnes, baby.

Something to consider: The City of Vancouver keeps tearing out our covered skate spots. Live in the city? Let ‘em know we’d like somewhere to skate during the 171 days it rains here annually.

Good things: Close to a year after its release, this Silver Jews cover by Bill Callahan, Bonnie Prince Billy, and Cassie Berman still gets me.

Until next week… go check out your local library. Lots of good stuff happening there.