Frank Stoner / May 16th, 2012 / Blogs
Second Place: Clips, or you didn’t do it

Since we know that your challenger probably believes that you, in fact, did do the trick you say you did, we have to look for another reason motivating his challenge. As I just said, what he really means has more to do with whether or not the trick “counts.” And whether something “counts” is a great deal more subjective than whether or not something happened.

In that case, the worldview really isn’t empirical at all. It’s a constructed worldview—or, put academically, it’s motivated by the tenets of Social Constructivism. Social Constructivism usually suggests that things like knowledge don’t exist independently of people, which is to say that all knowledge is somehow manufactured. In other words, if you want knowledge of something, you always have to learn about something else first. Really, it’s an infinite regression that only ends when you decide you’ve had enough.

So, when you film yourself doing a topside soul down a rail and show the footage to your rollerblading hommie, he accepts the trick as having happened, but he’s also already been educated as to what a “topside soul” is in the first place. You show that same clip to Uncle Bob and he can’t confirm that you did a “topside” anything.

But it gets more complicated than that because we already know that proof of your trick isn’t the only thing your challenger is after. Since you didn’t film or photograph your trick, what your challenger is really doing is accusing you of not participating in rollerblading the way he wants you to—or rather, in a way that he thinks is normal.

In fact, he’s suggesting that you aren’t doing your share to be part of the spectacle. He wants you to do what “everyone else” is doing because it causes social cohesion within our community.

Now, there isn’t anything inherently bad or malevolent about that. And I’m not saying that you should or should not film yourself. Social cohesion is great for rollerblading because it creates unity in our culture. On the other hand, it forces us to value certain things above others—and the things that you find yourself wanting to do probably aren’t things you thought up on your own.

So, in a way, rollerblading is both empiricist and socially constructed at the same time. There must be an external reality independent of people, but rollerblading can’t exist without knowledge. Whether you think one is more important than the other is entirely up to you.

Thanks for reading.


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Discussion / Second Place: Clips, or you didn’t do it

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  • josip - May 17th, 2012

    This one is a lot less hermetical that your first entry. A fun read, indeed.

  • Frank Stoner - May 17th, 2012

    Thanks for giving me another shot, man! I’m glad you liked it.

  • Jesse Meyers - June 6th, 2012

    Makes me think back to all the shit I did before the filming culture was as pervasive as it is now. Lost of stuff that I wouldn’t even think of trying now, haha.

    P.S. And just giving you shit but isn’t it farside soul? 😉

    P.P.S. What’s a hommie?

  • Frank Stoner - June 6th, 2012

    Hey Jesse! I’m glad you brought that up about filming culture. It’s a topic I’d like to address soon but I haven’t quite figured out what I want to say about it just yet.

    To your “PS”, do you mean that it’s two words not one?
    To your “PP”, “hommie” is my spelling of “homeboy” because I haven’t seen it canonized yet. Some people write “homie” and others I’ve seen–though perhaps illiterate–spell it “homey” or “homy”. Thanks for reading, man! and thanks for the comments!

  • Jesse Meyers - June 7th, 2012

    What do you think about how the filming culture affects people trying big tricks? I mean, you used to just go for it because you wanted it but do you think people who are attached to filming will hold off if they can’t film it?

    RE: PS I was just kidding around about you saying, “So, when you film yourself doing a topside soul down a rail” and trying to keep the farside name going.

    RE: PPS LOL!

  • Frank Stoner - June 7th, 2012

    It’s hard to say. People have always summoned what Matt Mantz used to call Kodak courage — either in skating or in stuff like ‘America’s Funniest Videos’ — when it comes to big tricks or stunts. I’ve known lots of guys over the years who wouldn’t try stuff unless there was a camera rolling, and that’s as true today as it was in the mid 90s. Not everyone is like that, obviously. But it’s definitely been “out there in the ether” for a very long time.

    As for the farsides… man. whew! I don’t even know what to say anymore! I skate with some younger guys every week, along with some OGs and I find myself code-switching between the old terms and the new depending on who I’m talking to. “Savanna” is another stumbling block for me that I have to pay attention to depending on who I’m talking to.

    As for the correct spelling of “hommie” vs. “homie” I’m not sure I trust Urban Dictionary to be the final word, but I definitely will accept that I don’t know as much as I should about rap and hip hop culture!

    Thanks for your comments, Jesse!

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