Horse kicks tree, farts on dogs then runs away | Simply Ranked

Plus: Living in the ad-space, Zach Allen in full view, beyond "Fadinha do Skate" 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.

Living in the ad-space, Pt. 1

Rank: $
Mood: 🏘

We cannot help but be exposed to products and/or services. Wherever we go, there they are. In the sky, our phones, the logos stitched into the breast pockets of our clothes. We are subjected to their advertisements; we become their advertisements. They hijack our persons and personalities. Surveillance capitalism snitches your searches and now the internet is awash in all-natural facial cleansers that you’ll probably be interested in. You voluntarily leverage your life experience as a skateboarder to promote your real estate venture at a local skate park. This new life slapped onto the stage of the old. The one you’ve lived and the one you now carry clasped in an Epic Handshake, a celebration of the self, marketing and a future where every part of you can become targeted ad-copy.

The other side of viral

Rank: 2
Mood: 🧚

As far as origin stories go, Rayssa Leal’s is pretty good, with the then seven-year-old heelflipping fairy going viral in 2015. Six years later, she’d be an Olympic medalist, amassing nearly 7 million Instagram followers and a grip of endorsements, including Nike SB, who recently gave Leal a shoe colourway. That’s quite a trajectory. But despite how far she’s come, and even after voicing her preference to no longer be dubbed the “Fadinha do Skate,” she can’t escape that inciting moment. The marketing potential appears too good to ignore, with Nike even adding a “Skate Fairy” to the insole of Leal’s shoe.

It’s a fate she appears resigned to, “…I really want to be called by Rayssa Leal, which is my name, but now there’s no way anymore, Skate Fairy will stick with [me for the] rest of my life,” Leal said on the Brazillian talk show Atlas Horas. Perhaps this association will fade over time, drowned out by Olympic medal after pro shoe after Olympic medal. Unfortunately, there isn’t any metric to judge the distance one has made from their online virality, no silver bullet to sever a person from it.

But if there was, wouldn’t it just make sense that if your current self one-ups your past self, the present should win out?

Zach Allen in full view

Rank: 1
Mood: 🖼️

Zach Allen has been very good at skateboarding for a very long time. We’ve watched him grow up through the screens of our various devices. Each subsequent video part showed a bit more power, creativity, technicality, and disregard for personal well-being—glimpses at the potential of something not quite complete. That maturation period takes time and happens at different speeds for different people. Allen’s contemporaries on Baker, like Kader Sylla and Tristan Funkhouser, grew into themselves somewhat quickly. Their silhouettes are instantly recognizable, marketable.

In “BAKER VIDEO WITH, ANDREW ZACH AND ROWAN,” we see an Allen whose skateboarding is fully formed. His style, which lives on the thin flowing line between control and chaos, is complemented by a striking selection of tricks and spots, all of it tied together with a tight edit and mournful John Lennon track. It’s his first video part as a professional skateboarder, and it truly feels like it. What we’d seen in just glimpses is now on full display.

Horse kicks tree, farts on dogs then runs away

Rank: 3
Mood: 🐎💨

If you’ve ever “Cast” a YouTube video from your laptop to your smart television, once that video is finished, what appears on the TV screen is an algorithmically decided page of popular YouTube videos that you may or may not have interest in. This algorithm does not appear connected to your own viewing history, so you often see the same suggestions across users and households, like “Time To Cool Off with Mr Bean | Classic Mr Bean,” which has over 120 million views, or “Horse kicks tree, farts on dogs then runs away.” that has nearly 25 million.

It can be difficult to parse the various histories and personalities and technological jimmying that combine to make a compilation of three-decade-old Mr. Bean episodes reach such heights.

The same cannot be said for “Horse kicks tree, farts on dogs then runs away.” This video has all of the hallmarks of virality baked into its title: animals, slapstick, flatulence. It’s a cut-and-dry hit. If there is one question that remains, though, it’s how does this perfectly constructed and captured moment in time pale in viewership numbers when compared to a pedestrian Mr. Bean compilation? Expertly synthesized into 24 seconds, it’s a raw dose of bodily humour that Rowan Atkinson takes tens of minutes to accomplish, delivered without airs.

It’s everything we’ve been working towards since the dawn of the internet. Entertainment delivered like a suppository, taken and effective in the immediate. It’s flawless. It deserves more.

Living in the ad-space, Pt. 2

Rank: -$
Mood: 💸💸💸

Eventually, if you hustle hard enough, pay your daily respects to the grind, and your personal brand or your brand-brand gets successful in a way that is meaningful financially and, at least at one point, culturally, then you have earned the opportunity to do whatever asinine shit you want, carte blanche. Put the logo of your skateboarding-cum-billion dollar streetwear brand on a cast iron pan, spend the decades worth of goodwill you’ve built up on the mere seconds you’re featured in a crypto Super Bowl ad, change your name and try your damndest to sell us on a world that doesn’t exist but you promise is much better than our own.

The downside to doing all of that, of course, is that you look like a jackass. You make the people who follow you and buy what you’re selling into smaller, more gullible jackasses. Ones who believe in the power of your past in hopes of making their futures, if not better, at least cooler. Even if those futures don’t look anything like what they’re being promised.

Something to consider: I was just looking at new shelving units

Good things: A great video from some good Scottish lads.

Until next week… there’s never a wrong time to get yourself some flowers.