Friday, August 16, 2013

'Big Brother' Didn't Help Me Kill Myself

By: Christopher Forsley
Illustrated by: Cameron Forsley

In 1992 the skateboard magazine, Big Brother, published an article called "How to Kill Yourself." I didn't have any use for the article because I had yet to fall in love. I loved Ren & Stimpy. I loved Super Nintendo. I loved backward jeans. Most of all, I loved skateboarding. I sucked at skateboarding, but I had yet to fall in love with any girls besides Murphy Brown and had no reason to kill myself.  

Back then even pro skateboarders sucked at skateboarding. It wasn't about what you could or couldn't do. It was about imagination. Anything was possible, especially since everyone was high on crack.  And now what were once possibilities have become realities: Both Harmony Korine and Spike Jonze make blockbuster movies, Mark Gonzalez is a world-renowned artist, Jason Lee is an A-list actor, Mike Carroll is a business tycoon, and Rob Dyrdek is a famous television clown.  

More recently, Dyrdek went from being a clown to the ringleader of a skateboard circus called Street League. Corporations like Monster and Nike sponsor it, and ESPN broadcasts it across the world. The young skateboarding clowns starring in this circus are produced on assembly lines and trained in private skateparks. They get pro-models before they get pubes because they can do anything and everything, like robots.

Skateboarding used to be about uniqueness. Everyone had their own style. It was like Hemingway said about writing: "All mistakes and awkwardness are easy to see, and they call it style." These new skateboarding robot clowns never make mistakes and are never awkward. They are perfect. They have no style. And without style, you can't have soul. And skateboarding without soul isn't skateboarding.  It's just a reason to kill yourself.  

I watched Nyjah Huston win Street League this summer, and I tried to kill myself for the first time this summer. What else could I do? You can't expect me to sit in a bar and watch someone not old enough to get into a bar skateboard on TV in an arena full of masturbating teenagers, and land tricks on the first try that took me weeks to land even when I was in my Tony Hawk's Pro Skateboarding prime. 

I know whether to kill myself or not is one of the most important decisions a teenager can make, but I'm no fucking teenager. In the world of skateboarding, I'm an old man, and I still can't ollie more than four stairs, and can only land treflips consistently on my fingerboard. But skateboarding isn't the only thing I suck at. I also suck at killing myself.  

I thought I'd die for sure when I tried to frontside blunt the eighteen stair handrail in Carlsbad like Nyjah Huston. . . but I couldn't ollie high enough to die. My forehead hit the rail, and I went home with a concussion. I think the concussion made me stupid because my following attempts, and failures, to kill myself were equally embarrassing:  

I tried to party poolside like the late and great Keenan Milton, but drinking makes me bloat, and bloat makes me float. I tried to talk my girlfriend into leaving me for Guy Mariano -- like the girlfriend of that suicidal kid, Justin Pierce, left him -- but she said garlic sweat turns her off. Then I tried to co-found Thrasher Magazine and buy a gun, but Thrasher Magazine is already co-founded, and guns are impossible to buy in San Francisco. In my last attempt, I tried to get Ali Boulala drunk and have him take me for a ride on his motorsickle, but I was wearing sweatpants, and he said I was too excited.  

When Big Brother told me how to kill myself in the 1992 article, "How to Kill Yourself," I ignored it.  And because Big Brother itself has since committed suicide by letting Earl Parker go, Larry Flynt pimp it out, and the rest of the staff turn into MTV Jackasses, I can't back-order the issue in which that article appeared. 

So here I am.