Timbre #25: Don’t Care Bears

Grrr. You read right.


Sure, I know better, but, “Frickin’ Grrr!” anyway.

So entrenched in not giving a shit after decades of self-taught apathy and counter-intuitive methods to everything from eating, drinking, making nice with the neighbors, and all the rest, that even though I can see myself doing it, and I know it’s not in my best interest, I still do the dumbest shit I can come up with in the name of claiming to be a skateboarder.
Steve Olson. Double-yellow hand down. Photo: Ted Terrebonne

It’s universal, really. And expected. And the smart, caring, considerate, common sense skaters are the fools. Purposefully and repeatedly fall on your face, though, make giant terrorist threats, tangle yourself in flamboyant domestic disputes, or dig deep into over-the-top recreational chemistry and you’re fucking DFL!

Grrr, dude.
Grant Taylor. Photo: Ryan Flynn

This must be what rock stars go through. Kinda. They know better but they still shoot the heroin, they know better but the whole band still gets on sketchy airplanes, they know better but they still break up and release solo albums and appear on The View. Astronauts hide their mistakes. Lawyers and doctors argue and insure against theirs. Politicians just don’t make them and instead re-direct you to the mistakes of others. Sports heroes have bad nights. Skateboarders, though, do all that, do it better, and couldn’t give two shits about it.
Jeff Grosso. Channel invert at Lopes’. Photo: Grant Brittain

We’re amazing, but so what? We’re terrible … and? Therein lies our pre-eminence, and it’s all common knowledge among those who really don’t care. We unhealthily obsess and then brag about it, get injured and grab a sixer, sweat right through dehydration and step outside for a smoke. We live in poverty, somehow become millionaires, and then forget to pay our water bills. Hunger makes us hungrier. Obesity makes us fatter. Stupidity makes us dumber.

And still, we’re hamstrung by nothing. And you know why. No, that’s not a question. You do know why.

You’ve skateboarded.

It’s the most difficult thing and you’ve done it.

You’ve been to the valley of the shadow of death. You’ve worn crazy skin-tight and fat-ass XL and all yesterday’s boxers, and none of it mattered, did it?
Grosso at the forefront.


And I’m not supposed to swear, “There’s no truth and who cares,” and still type it like I’m right because it demonstrates that I really do care—we all really do care—about the stuff we ignore, blow off, and stumble upon.

Yeah. Well, I still don’t care.

The world’s other professional athletes can’t cross over because all skateboarder’s nights are all bad. The lawyers and doctors shrug at the empty and looted pot of gold at the end of our gray-scale rainbows. Students shy away for fear of the curriculum’s difficulty. As rough a life as it can present, it makes rock stars straighten up and fly right. Politicians and astronauts and astronaut politicians and all their inbred kin just start speaking the truth and wetting their pants, exactly in that order.
Chris Russell. Frontside channel plant at WSVT. Photo: Joe Hammeke

And us, we’re the idiots.

Scream at us in anger and we’ll smile.

Smile at us and we’ll fight.

Give us medicine and we’ll forget to take it.

Hurt us and we’ll religiously self-medicate.

Ask us, “What’s up?” and we’ll say, “Nothing.”

And it’s real and it’s contrary to popular belief and it’s completely stupid.

Raney Beres bombs Arvada. Photo: Gabe Morford

I saw a photo signed by Duane Peters—the shouldn’t be alive, self-abused, proud papa, physical freak, and flawed cultural front-running idol whom skateboarding has alternately embraced, shunned, and embraced again—as it sat on a table at an auction waiting for a bunch of dudes who couldn’t care less to silently bid on it. After lingering in an hours-long line for the privilege, some skate signature hound dropped hundreds of dollars he didn’t care about, so he could show it to his friends who don’t care, and walked away with a Sharpie marked piece of pressed wood pulp and ink that Duane Peters didn’t care about, either.
DP. Bert at Big O. Photo: Glen E. Freidman

The signature said, “Fuck off and die.”

Who cares less, now?

We do.