Hardcopy

Magazines and DVD’s(and VHS), they mean so much, even in the digital age, they don’t die within skateboarding for a reason.  I’m twenty-two years deep into the knowledge of all things skateboard, Thrasher Magazine Day is still a celebration in my household, the free shirts/DVD’s/posters/stickers that come with the subscriptions every now and then.

– Quick side note, stickers… any true skateboarder can’t deny the child-like innocence of life that skateboarding protects from everything the world and universe can throw at us.  If you want to argue with that, name one other place where grown-ass men and women get stoked and excited about stickers… –

So many skaters are down for magazines and videos, but don’t really have an opinion on the matter of digital verse print, as long as the screen is big enough.  But when one side is passionate, it’ll bring out enough thought from another skater to give explore the idea or provoke a, who cares?

Arguments vary from, everybody has a laptop or phone with internet or data and YouTube exists, or digital download, why buy an actual physical copy of anything?  You can even get down to the business side, claim it’s more cost-effective to just go digital, anything print is an unnecessary cost, or a special commodity, especially on top of the cost it takes to produce a video these days, allegedly, and at a certain level, truthfully.  Also, financial access, think of the incredible magazines that exist solely online for startup and reach reasons, but now are thriving with quality content, hell, these posts/articles/blog wouldn’t exist without the digital age, I don’t have the funds to print this shit.

The counter claim is, choice should exist, ’cause, fine, I want to buy a print copy, you want to watch a tiny video you downloaded or stole, go for it, but you’re robbing yourself of a worthwhile experience.   Like watching a film with grand and epic cinematography on your phone instead of the big screen, it just isn’t worth it, think of juicing a dry fruit.  You can make arguments of health, your vision is going to be a lot better off watching these videos on a large screen a few to handfuls of feet away, which also brings you out into the environment you’re existing in.  People will pay for the printed copies, so how is it not cost-effective?  Hell, people are out there paying fifty to hundreds of dollars for old videos and DVD’s because they aren’t being produced, re-issued in the volumes the buyers demand.

There is so much to the physical/tangible world.  Why go out and actually skate when you can play a skateboard video game, has the same answer for why you buy the video, why you subscribe to the print version of the magazines.

That positive-anxiety of knowing the video is coming, getting up and going to the shop to buy it.  My friend, Alex and I, as teenagers, would split videos, call shops for arrival dates, go in and have a premiere pizza party before attacking an evening and night of endless skating.

We don’t forget about the magazines, about the DVD’s and VHS’s, but we glance and move on from everything on a screen, we retain so little from the endless feeds of social media, making us all so desperate and anxious when approached from any attached level.

Maybe you don’t care either, give a shit less about what others do and just look at everything from that superficial level, nothing wrong with it, that’s true life.  Nothing wrong with being interested, all videos and magazines are in the skateboard world(outside ads and even within ads) is real life happening that isn’t yours.

But, the internet doesn’t stack on the floor or some table like magazines, you don’t forget about what’s been done with the magazines, you revisit/explore deeper.  These moments, all important enough to print, still or live-action, hold a power they deserve in print, not on strictly downloaded onto a screen.  Skaters understand tangibility, they may not experience, but you give a skater with no television, some old school tv/vcr/dvd combo and a short stack of videos, they’ll hold onto them until it creates too much anxiety.  They hold a power, they have truer meaning, print in all forms is so crucial to the world we’ve built around us, psychologically, literally, metaphorically, like art, the world can and has existed without physical art created by humans, but take it away and we will quickly start to create again.

Even if you only make ten copies of a twenty page magazine, buy a pack of writable DVDs from CVS and make a homey video, DO IT!  That’s what skateboarding is as much as it’s being completely void of anything involving a recording device.  But having that proof, building and creating videos, printing and caring about capturing a photograph, there’s a reason skateboarding, our key to understanding this world, makes us want to do this.

DVDs and print magazines need to always exist in skateboarding.  If Thrasher went down, someone else would step up and be the print mag, companies will always put out a DVD, not all, but the core companies, in some form, these prints exist, we won’t lose them, too many of us understand.

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