Kill the Engine

Beggars Can't Be Bitching

By Michael Sieben


I skipped writing this column last week because I was busy doing other stuff. What kind of other stuff? Oh, you know, just making a skateboard video kind of other stuff.

We had a premiere for the Roger Skateboards video, Secondhand Stoke, here in Austin last Monday at the Alamo Drafthouse (South Lamar location). The Alamo Drafthouse is a theater that serves food and beer during your movie. You might have something like it in your town unless your town is crappy. I grew up in a crappy town so I ain't hatin'.

It felt really awesome to walk into a theater and see our skate video on the marquee beneath Batman and The Dude. Even if it was on a Monday night at 10:45, which I'm guessing is the least desirable time to have a premiere at a theater. Beggars can't be bitching. I didn't even bitch about them getting the title of the video wrong… I was just stokes that it was up there.

Like, totally stok.

The theater gave me a microphone in case I wanted to get up in front of the kids and give some sort of a speech before the video started. That sounded like one of the things in life that I'd least like to do, so I just parked the mic next to my beer and let that dude chill. If Shortbus had gotten there early I would have given the mic to him, but he showed up causally late. Could've been twice as entertaining for everybody in attendance.  

Regardless of the noticeable lack of an introductory speech, it seemed like all of the kids in attendance had a good time and were sufficiently impressed with the level of skateboarding athleticism the video exhibited. Many thanks to everybody who made the video possible. Mainly the riders and the filmers, but also the buddies and the backbones (dudes with cars, shop owners, etc.) We couldn't do this stuff without y'all.

We've been premiering the video in segments exclusively on Thrasher magazine's website. If you want to check out the first two parts, click here and here. Part III will launch this Saturday, August 25. I'm planning on doing a complete review of the video next Monday for people who like to read about skateboarding videos Vs. watching them. All four of you.

OK, so that's some information about the Roger Video. What else have I been busy doing? Well, if you subscribe to VICE you might have seen this double page Volcom ad in the newest issue. I couldn't help but see it because my name is printed on it. Don't give me no gruff about that, either. If there was a double page ad in VICE with your name on it you'd probably notice it too. I'm not trying to ego out here, I'm just trying to segue into the next part of this article. How am I doing?

Volcom invited me to NYC to release a new zine in their Soho store to celebrate the release of my most recent featured artist shirt. And much to my surprise, people actually gave a crap.

My buddy Mike Aho helped me screen print the covers of the zine on site.


Photo by Steve Rodriguez

After the zine release, everybody was invited into the basement for skating and beverages. Not a Roger board in the bunch… insert sad face icon here.

All of the florescent bulbs in the basement had been replaced with red tubes. Not sure why, but it looked kinda cool. Kinda like a Nine Inch Nails video with skateboarding.

Tons of kids lined up to skate a…


Devin Colon, photo by Sheyla Grullon

Six-foot wide quarterpipe. Some dudes need a mega-ramp to get excited These kids just needed 40 dollars worth of wood and some free beers to achieve maximum stoke levels. Keep it simple. (PS, he pulled it.)

I had one free day (non-work day in NYC) and I spent it at Central Park. I may come across as a total tourist by saying this, but if you visit NYC and don't spend at least half a day just relaxing in Central Park then you're missing something. It's such a beautifully realized space within a massive metropolis. Calms, storms, etc.

I took my son to the Central Park Zoo and saw some Red Pandas, which is my favorite animal ever, besides my son. Good times. Well, besides the fact that I think zoos feel like prisons with gift shops. Besides that, good times.

We also saw some fish. And if I'm going to go down this zoo/prison road I guess I should say that every fish tank is like a prison too.

Which makes my house a cat prison. Which also makes my house a toddler prison. Because in all honesty if I opened my door and let my cat and my kid free I'd probably never see either of them again. So maybe it's OK to have spaces set aside to take care of animals and fish and kids and stuff like that.

What the hell are we talking about? Oh yeah, t-shirts. Yes, t-shirts are good. Not as good as Red Pandas and sons, but good.

Previously - Should Skateboarding Be in the Olympics?

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