This came to me while I was at Dunkin Donuts the other day.
I was thinking a lot about movies and in particular, romantic comedies. I’m not ashamed to say I enjoy a rom-com or two every so often, but the problem with these movies is that the endings tend to create a dissonance between the viewer and the characters in the movie. Throughout most of the movie you relate to the struggles and qualms of the main characters: you laugh with them, you cry with them, and you see some of your relationship in theirs. But then comes the ending, the big, stupid, cliche ending. The ending you kind of always knew was going to happen, but the ending nonetheless. He gets the girl. They make out (maybe bone if you’re up on your R-rated shit). They ride off into the sunset. Hurray for them.
Meanwhile, back in the REAL WORLD, you found out your girl cheated on you with a huge, sexy homie named Sylvester (I literally don’t know a single person with that name) and they ride off into the sunset and, presumably, bone until they forgot that you even existed. You shared your deepest secrets with that girl, you met that chick’s parents…dude, you went to Jared. Doesn’t that mean anything to her?
Romantic comedies lack a true sense of reality…we love them, but we can only aspire to be them.
Enter the world of skate videos: our window into the lives of our talented idols. They inspire others to inspire themselves™, both on and off our boards, (if we’re being real here, just on our boards) and especially around Jenkem and SMLTalk HQ, our favorite skateboarding is skateboarding we can relate to.
Hence, why many skate videos, and in particular many skate videos of today’s internet era, are like romantic comedies to me: I’m connected for most of a dude’s part but we all know how this is going to end. The ender’s a make. His boys pop bottles on his ride away. There’s hugs all around. Maybe the sexy homie Sylvester gives him a kiss (that dude seriously needs to chill). Yes, the trick we saw on last month’s cover, the screen shot of the thumbnail that we clicked on, the trick we all knew he was going to land…he landed it.
I’ve never done my big trick. I’ve made many a claim, after many a beer, only to find myself pussing out the next day after arriving at said spot, to fulfill said claim. I never got to ride off into the sunset, never got to hug my boys…never got to kiss Sylvester (you’re recognizing a pattern here, I’m sure.)
But you know what…neither has Ali Boulala.
Ali Boulala’s Sorry part, literally ends with his destruction and failure. Now, a 25 stair ollie is a very tall order, but how amazing and refreshing is it to see a man not succeed as a way to close out his career’s greatest achievement? You see, that’s a skate video I can relate to. It doesn’t make his part any worse, it makes it real. Us commoners don’t normally get our big trick, most of us don’t even try. For those that do, sometimes the slam is the clip. I can’t relate to a guy rolling away from a 25 stair front feeble, but I can relate to a dude rolling around on the ground in agony probably wondering why he even still skates. Ryan Sheckler experienced a similar moment at the famed, El Toro, yet Plan B thought they would do him a solid and put that clip in the ending credits. Well how dare you, Plan B. In the spirit of Ali Boulala, make that his damn ender. Bail or make it’s still gnarly. It’s just that the make is what separates professionals from amateurs (but not like paid ams, I’m thinking more like dude’s who write for this site and our friends. Guys who aren’t good at skating.)
Ali Boulala’s Sorry part is the realest account of skateboarding ever produced by a professional skateboarder. He gets drunk, he pukes, his dog humps his leg, he throws meat at a window, he does absolutely absurd things on a skateboard, and best of all? He bails. He gets hurt. He gets really hurt. And he doesn’t win…he’s just like us. He is our champion.
The people’s champion.