Skateboarding in America
Part 2 of “Skateboarding & White Identity”; Part 1 here
Skate Life: Re-Imagining White Masculinity is the right book written by the wrong person. It is a comprehensive ethnographic study of a community of Skateboarders, well contextualized with thorough historical research, and in these aspects represents a valuable bridge between the distinct worlds of social thought and Skateboarding as a sport. However, the entire piece is undercut by its authors’ glaring animosity towards White America, and the worthy contributions are only rendered in service of the books’ true purpose: not to celebrate or even properly showcase Skateboarding as a white pursuit, but to render it meaningless through assimilation into an academic game.
Written by one Emily Chivers (((Yochim))), an Assistant Professor in the Department of Communication Arts at Allegheny College, Skate Life offers an academic perspective collaborated upon, approved, and published by a liberal arts college. Through it, we can examine the way in which academia responds when confronted with a phenomenon that challenges academic and liberal presumptions about America with regards to sex differences, racial characteristics, cultural production, and so on. Their response is not to study the subject, but to “explain” the phenomena in Hasbarat fashion, using extremely misleading and prescriptive language to frame it as evidence of the chief evil that plagues America: “White Male Power.” Given the ridiculous ideological bent of Skate Life, composing this article almost feels like bullying a nerd; nonetheless, attending Allegheny College costs (after aid) around twenty-four thousand dollars a year, money used to fund Yochim and her complaints, and I have yet to take a cent for my own writing. In the spirit of Skating the Kali Yuga, I will examine the authors’ milieu, pick out choice ideological passages from Skate Life, and offer counterpoints. Perhaps this article will in some small way counterbalance the outrageous institutional power Yochim and her associates hold, even as they attack the very demographic that supports them.
The fish rots from the head down, and Skate Life is no different. The blurb states that “Skate Life examines how young male skateboarders use skate culture media in the production of their identities,” an eyebrow-raising statement given that an identity is something that exists firstly through social relations realized through life’s trials and tribulations; as we will touch on later, Skate Life contends in its title that both identity and masculinity can be made of the Willy Wonka stuff of Pure Imagination. The question of identity is perplexing and tantalizingly above the mundane, so to assert that it is almost purely a function of media consumption is extreme academic arrogance. In the words of Wizard, “A man takes a job, you know? That becomes what he is. It’s not Bertrand Russell. But what do you want? I’m a cabbie. What do I know?” In Yochim’s world, it is the imaginary world of self-conception that overrides all else.
Yochim holds adolescent Boarders are held responsible for “maintain[ing] the power that white heterosexual masculinity offers.” It is a power, conveniently, never properly described or explained, but held to exist as irrefutable fact regardless. The full blurb was written again by an academic wombat of high prestige: one Mimi Ito, a Research Scientist for the Department of Informatics, University of California.
Skate Life in its early sections references other texts for context, uncritically repeating the perspective that Skateboarding is “part of a white male backlash against the perceived slights of feminism, gay rights, and civil rights,” from a book by one Kyle Kusz, a numale of ambiguous hair color and Jewishness who has made an entire career from “Critical Whiteness Studies.” In his biography, Kusz states his “life was changed by a sport sociology class taught by Dr. Stephen (((Mosher))).” It’s as if an aspiring academic Jew saw the light shining from an entirely new avenue for bashing athletic white males he resented with a deep envy, and pursued it as far as it could possibly take him – one Amazon reviewer, presumably UnWoke on the JQ, is left scratching his head: “I was left wondering just what a white guy could possibly do that would not be seen as problematic by Kyle Kusz.”
And this is merely one atrocious reference in a pile. Associate Professor of Sports and Leisure Studies and hardcore moonbat Belinda Wheaton, Ph.D., weighs in on whether Skateboarding can promote transgenderism: “The central question lifestyle sport researchers have sought to answer is whether these newer non-traditional sports offer different and potentially more transformatory scripts for male and female physicality, than the hegemonic masculinities and femininities characteristic of traditional sports cultures and identities” (emphasis in original). As far as I can decrypt this sentence, Wheaton is asking whether Skateboarding can offer a “script,” a social performance for biologically gendered persons, but one that will impact, transform, or change said “physicality.” This rainbow stew of a statement shows how steeped in deceit the academic cargo-cult and all its institutions are. In a disturbing synchronicity, for those not aware of The Culture, a “script” is slang for a set of accepted responses to the psychologically probing questions state healthcare services ask wannabe transgenders; answering with the correctly scripted responses will unlock a lifetime supply of “titty skittles,” testosterone blockers, and estrogen pills, provided at taxpayer expense.
Having established this ideological endpoint, Yochim establishes Skateboarding as a “corresponding culture” to the mainstream: “Continuously in motion, a corresponding culture is a group organized around a particular lifestyle or activity that interacts with various levels of media – niche, mainstream, and local – and variously agrees or disagrees with those media’s espoused ideas,” but not without repeatedly criticizing Skateboarding for always being “in the process of developing critiques of dominant masculinities that never fully challenge the power of straight, white, middle-class American men,” and “skateboarders . . . frequently center these correspondences on nascent critiques of dominant masculinities that manage, at the same time, to maintain the power of white, middle-class, heterosexual American men.” Unasked is the obvious question of why Skateboarders, particularly white and straight skateboarders, should care to “challenge” the assumed “power” of their own demographic.
In her often autobiographical first chapter, Yochim launches into complaints about gender discrimination; it is correctly observed that despite Skateboarding’s “association with nonconformity and anti-mainstream values, it has been oddly traditional in its membership, dominated by boys and men,” and “that skateboard culture’s overvaluation of risk taking, paired with many male skaters’ belief that women seek to avoid pain and injury, places women on the outskirts of the culture.” Despite being married to a Skater, and having a younger sibling who “has turned an outbuilding on our family farm into an indoor BMX and skate park,” Yochim has chosen not to Skateboard, even as an undemanding leisure pastime. Yet she firmly believes that “[a]lthough I never defined myself as a skateboarder within this culture, my gender still pushed me to the sidelines.”
Outside of academia, Yochim is a laughable figure: two major male figures in her life are dedicated Skaters, yet instead of learning to Skate, she complains that she is “sidelined” for gender reasons, despite representing Skateboarding in no way whatsoever. The irony that she fulfills gender norms even whilst criticizing those who recognize those norms is totally overlooked.
Moving on through an examination of Skateboarding’s history, Yochim comes tantalizingly close to seeming sympathy with white Skateboarders. Even whilst misrepresenting Boarders as reliant on an us vs. them dichotomy with which to identify themselves – stating that “media representations of white male youths present alternative masculinities that rely on both dominant American values and the mockery of nonwhites, homosexuals, and women to maintain men’s power in this culture of cool” – she does reference other, saner texts: “Youth has become such a regulated, curfewed and controlled social group in the late twentieth century, that ‘the only legal activity . . . is to consume.’” At this point, Yochim has already established Skateboarders as media creators, and therefore complicit in this “mockery.” After a discursive discussion on subcultural interaction with the mainstream, she clarifies her position that:
. . . skateboarders’ particular expressions of masculinity serve as a nascent critique with what they perceive to be expected of their masculinity. This burgeoning critique relies on continued expressions of heterosexuality, dominance over nonwhite “others” and women.
There are multiple things to unpack in this statement.
Firstly is the idea that Skateboarders “express” their masculinity, when elsewhere they “perform alternative masculinities,” “reinscribe and redefine masculinity,” are involved in “production of multiple masculinities,” and “can perform any type of masculinity they wish as long as it is decidedly heterosexual.”
Secondly: Dominance over non-white “others” (scare quotes to imply the concept is invalid), is racist, yo!!! It’s shocking to think that a possibly Jewish academic would have a problem with white men thinking in racial terms.
This statement as a whole presents a false and accusatory narrative: white guys cannot simply love Skateboarding for its own sake; simply by existing and pursuing a different course from the deracinated norm, they are “constructing an identity” that is dependent on the non-white other for contrast.
This toxic brew of academese, rainbow sludge, and implicit hatred of whites can perhaps be explained with a formulation by Kyle Kusz, our “benefactor” in Whiteness Studies: Skateboarding is potentially “a racially and gender exclusive place” where white men “can un-apologetically perform an ideal masculinity . . . enduring the pain of participation.” A pain that presumably has prevented Yochim, a sneering academic, from participating, despite over a decade of close familial interaction with Skateboarders.
Then there’s that maliciously misrepresentative verb again: to “perform” a “masculinity”; a “masculinity” being a social “script” that is free-floating and devoid of biological foundations. This means to perform a masculinity in the sense that one performs a dance, or some kind of movement to signal social values. Physically, mentally, and emotionally stunted liberals are of course driven by a need for security that manifests itself as a desire to socially signal loudly and constantly, so it is in keeping with their deceitful nature that they would misrepresent authentic manliness as a “performance.”
But this ridiculous assertion is confounded by its own internal logic: If masculinity and femininity are mere performances, then they are by definition arbitrary and do not exist. To “redefine” and “reinscribe” a state of being, it has to exist in the first place. Thus is becomes apparent that the “re-imagined” masculinity that Yochim and her ilk want to peddle is simply a parody of the actual, biological masculinity of human sexual dimorphism, a “constructed identity” totally derivative of real masculinity and dependent on it for contrast; something purely academic, a philosophical spell, quasi-Talmudic gobbledygook designed to hoodwink Skater boys into “performing” progressively more as the opposite sex with the intent of ultimately hooking them on a lethal cocktail of tranny pills, ritalin, and Substance D. Anything, really, to stop them from expressing their inherent masculinity by becoming skilled in a sport that bars the less-able from entry and demonstrating in our deracinated culture the essential difference of whites from the darker-hued colonists swarming us.
I have to confess I never finished reading Skate Life. It was just too boring. Yochim lapses into farce, trying to formulate rationalizations for why masculinity does not exist; in describing Jackass, she quotes “Distinguished” Professor (((David Savran))):
[Jackass and similar shows] seem tacitly to acknowledge that masculinity is . . . the act of being subjected, abused, even tortured. It implies that masculinity is not an achieved state but a process, a trial through which one passes.
This is feigned idiocy – a claim that masculine traits do not exist and cannot be tested for; Savran claims the testing of manliness is masculinity itself. Even the ultra-Leftist “Good Men Project” agrees that masculinity is something inherent and to be proven. For if masculinity does not exist, then there is no way that one racial group can be more masculine than another.
Out of cloaked hatred, white masculinity is constantly pilloried. Whether redefined, reimagined or reinscribed, it can never be realized by those who lack it. Skate Life, whilst valuable for its descriptive passages of authentic Skater culture, is nonetheless the product of malice. Yochim, Wheaton, Ito, Kusz, and Savran are far too perceptive to be speaking from idiocy rather than guile. Through misrepresenting and slandering the cultural and athletic achievements of white Skateboarders, they hope to realize their fantasy skatepark in the sky: one where white men aren’t allowed to exist at all.
 A distinctly Jewish name if there ever was one, taken from her spouse, ironically a lifelong Skateboarder.
 Kyle Kusz, Revolt of the White Athlete: Race, Media, and the Emergence of Extreme Athletes in America (New York: Peter Lang, 2007), aptly reviewed by the renowned Kevin MacDonald at The Occidental Observer.
 Mike Davis, “On-line interview with Escape Velocity,” 1995, quoted in Neil Campbell, American Youth Cultures (New York: Routledge, 2004), p. 21.
 As part of “twirling, twirling towards freedom” of the Kumbaya Starbucks variety.
 A Hasidic dynasty name.