Monday, July 26, 2010

Introspection Ripe for an Exercise in Redundantly Too-Talky Blog Posting

Snagged from Shawn Stussy's Blog

In New York at least, you can't throw a stone without being, as some would say, tainted. Many of us either work in fashion, or for fashion, in finance or for finance, as artists or for artists. And, truth be told, even if we don't, our paychecks say otherwise. Someone buying your art? Probably payed with stock market coin. Someone gave you a big tip? Probably some banker in from Connecticut. The order on that brass work in the new local bar? Frequented by fashionistas. The custom cabinets in that loft? Inhabited by ad execs. That new surfboard? Oh, you know, just plastered with the name of a menswear designer who happened to commission a few ten footers for the runway.
The whole gig is to be at the right place at the right time and few come here to ignore the hopeful glance in the direction of that lucrative moment.
The internal struggle this represents, this battle for authenticity in a place so dependent on the whims of other's systems, is a spiritual self-immoloation that seems to last as long as you're here.
But the concept of authenticity is tricky anywhere. It is a mantle placed by one on another; you can't say you're authentic anymore than you can claim humility.
This brings us to the sacred cows, the holy horses, the cultural recognition of the sublime. Surfing arouses an extra-extroverted sense of propriety in terms of authenticity. And there the question is begged. Where do we get this idea of authenticity? Who lays the thing on whose head? Why? When? At some point it seems there was some tacit acceptance that what goes into surfing, the culture, the design, the mores, the tropes, is as much a part of surfing as surfing itself. But surfing has never had anything added on. It is still just and only riding a wave. Sure, might as well ride stylish and creative, but ridden, and that's essentially all. Everything else is window-dressing necessarily left back there.
In this way, most things we've ever been told about surfing through our own surfing media, most things we've read in the magazines or seen in the movies, is either bunk or art (appreciable bunk) part of some big act put on by the savvy few who've seen an opportunity to either support their lifestyle of surfing by selling the idea of surfing, or the creative few who want to celebrate their lifestyle of surfing, inviting others to celebrate it too. Surfing has nothing to do with a t-shirt, but sell a t-shirt and maybe you'll buy some time to go surfing.
The great western hero-anti-hero himself, Dora, knew just how far he could use the system to get what he wanted before he took off to do something different, returning every now and then to replenish the stores. All the while surfing.

1 comment:

Rebecca Olive said...

I heart, heart, heart Endless Bummer.

Your blog absolutely rocks you know. I never know what I will find when I swing over here, but I am never disappointed. So thoughtful, so pretty, so real, so surfy.

So rad.