December 20th …and everything after.

Tony Alva- in Uplands 'Pipeline'

Ritz Carlton by 'ground zero' , December 20, 2002

Ritz Carlton Hotel- across the street from 'ground zero'.

tributes around World Trade Center area.

'Missing' posters on wall around 'ground zero'.

NYC-It's not ever going to be the same.

On December 20, 1978, Tony Alva was photographed deep in the blowhole of Uplands ‘Pipeline’ skatepark. Everything after, has been a roller coaster ride of vertical & over-vertical mayhem, for us skateboarders. Meanwhile, on December 20, 1990, the Pentagon warned Saddam Hussein that U.S. air power was ready to strike; starting the Gulf War.  On December 20, 1991, Osama Bin Laden was -reportedly-in  Dubai…he was taking notes & excessively unhappy with American involvement in the Persian Gulf. He banded with others in a small dusty hut, and bent their heads together over a darksome plot. Everything after, has been a nightmare of death, bloodshed & destruction. All of that ignorance & calamity led up to the current debacle in the Middle East.

9-11, was a direct result of American meddling in the Holy Lands. According to them, we are ‘infidels’ & don’t belong there. In the Koran, I found it written, that we-infidels- should be killed. From the Koran-(Qur’an: 9:5) “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them, take them captive, harass them, lie in wait and ambush them using every stratagem of war.” Interesting, I would think. However, such thoughts should remain inside the empty head they originated from, lest someone decide to act upon them.

But—as they say, “Live & let live”. I read a book recently about the 9-11 hijackers, called, ‘Perfect Soldiers’. I recommend it highly. I went to New York City in December 2001. I met & interviewed the iconic photographer, Glenn E. Friedman, and while there, I stayed in the area around ‘Ground Zero’. I walked around all night & cried openly. New York City groaned under its burden of grief. Among the unending towers of concrete, glass, chrome & hubris, I saw tributes on the fences…numbering in the thousands. The dirty sidewalks were drowning in crowds of saddened onlookers & the disbelieving. The overpowering smell of flowers left for the dead, was cloying & heavy. Gaunt trees waved their branches in the wind; seemingly in a sad farewell to the deceased below.

I noticed pictures, childrens messages to their missing parents, abject sorrow. I saw a question repeatedly asked in huge letters. WHY?! I know of no polite response. I love my country, but am scared of my government. Please remember where we came from as skateboarders, yet -more importantly-as human beings. I don’t know the answer to the situation, but I do know that what we are doing, isn’t working well. Lets not be a part of the problem. Lets be a part of the solution. We can start by being  much nicer, right now. Thank you to Jim Goodrich for the image & the inspiration. Skate Long/Hate Less.- Ozzie

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9 thoughts on “December 20th …and everything after.

  1. Interesting, this post has some of the longer, more passionate comments. You’ve hit a nerve.
    Edward Abbey too, loved his country but feared his government – and Ronald Reagan rode that pretense into the White House and it has clouded and haunted our democracy ever since. A damn shame. Kinda like Nike and Blackberry using John Lennon songs to sell us cheap plastic shit at Christmas time. The anti-message has become THE message. It’s cool to be uncool! And, to bring it all home, isn’t that the irony with what skateboarding has grown into?

  2. Yeah, that and the fact that Santa and Satan are the same person. From a young age we’re indoctrinated to worship one and dispize the other. At some point it flips when you realize you’ve been had. Fuck!

  3. Vote with a bullet; Bullet 66 that is! Frontside grind on the doorsteps of the elitests, tear their concrete gods down under the weight of our Indy’s, & restore peace to the earth with the good wood. Peace on earth, & to the Osama’s, & GW’s of the world: next time you feel the need to blow your egos up to god-like proportions, check yourselves in the mirror naked. Your no more, or less than what your eyes can see, & all the murder, wealth, perceved power, & sexual exploit you can cram into your short tenure won’t do fuck all to change that immutable truth…Fill your days with generosity instead, THAT you can take with you to eternity…

  4. I LOVE the way you write and convey things!

    True humility would not be a bad thing either. True humility lies in the knowledge that one doesn’t have all the knowledge and can’t force their own onto another. And that leads back to kindness you mentioned…one cannot have true kindness without acceptance and humility.

    I love this country too…founded on the principals of freedom of religion…unless of course you are Native American, live in another country with opposite beliefs, or are of an earth based religion.

    (I’m rambling…I have many many thoughts on this and deeply held emotion)…there is sadness…and to a larger degree, sadness that a powerful societal lesson has not been learned. All I can do is ensure that I hold my responsibility to be who I am…that I practice the lessons taught in it all…it’s a personal mission, a personal journey of my soul.

  5. It’s become more and more apparent lately that our country is being run by a dictator. We do have a 2 party government that pretends to go through the motions of democracy, all the while vilifying the ideologies of the other side. But in reality our country is run by a dictator known as american capitalism. The corporations, who are given more rights than our countries own people, have bought and paid for the politicians that we in turn voted for to elect change. I don’t mean to rant but I seem to be feeling rather disenfranchised with our government lately. And I don’t see things getting any better until we wake up from our complacency. Skate on.

    • on that, I have to agree…it’s something I’ve written on before…
      Govt run by the lobbyists, of the big companies, for the money…But perhaps as more and more individuals refuse to buy the great lie, play that game; things will shift.

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