AGAINST EMPTY HISTORY: Steve Berra on the current crisis in skateboarding

What Steve Berra is talking about applies to other essential cultural sites/practices as well. Bookshops. Record shops. Coffeehouses. Magazine publishers. Book publishers. Record labels. And so on…


“I receive emails almost every single day telling me about another skate shop or skatepark that’s going, or has gone, out of business. I get asked if there’s anything I can do to keep them from closing their doors or if maybe I can build a Berrics to take its place. With the U.S. unemployment the worst it’s been in 26 years, I get job inquiries from all over the country.

“And I want to give them a job. I want to build skateparks for you; I want to help skateshops open. I want skateboarding to survive the way baseball, and football, and basketball do here in America—but without it having to turn into them. Without it losing its autonomy to a board of directors inside big corporations who think the letter X was a label any of us liked because they didn’t understand the principles it was founded upon: principles that drew me to it, and have been carried forth through the years by skateshops and skateparks that existed long before television and mass retailers saw an upside to it.

There’s a war being waged on small businesses. They’re being taxed on both the state and federal levels. They’re over-regulated, outspent and out-advertised by mall stores with deep pockets and empty history. And in the current economic climate, they don’t stand a chance without your support. Without the foundation of these kinds of skate shops, or skateparks, the skateboarding culture slowly dies in your area, and with it, so does skateboarding…

“A system can always estimate how close it is to being revolted against by counting how many smart and willing people it is excluding from participation. And [right now] there are quite a few smart and willing people being excluded from participation. So the Berrics Unified can be considered a revolt, of sorts…”

Berrics Unified:
Steve Berra:

hipped to this by Jesse Locks

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

About Jay Babcock

I am an independent writer and editor based in Tucson, Arizona. In 2023: I publish an email newsletter called LANDLINE = Previously: I co-founded and edited Arthur Magazine (2002-2008, 2012-13) and curated the three Arthur music festival events (Arthurfest, ArthurBall, and Arthur Nights) (2005-6). Prior to that I was a district office staffer for Congressman Henry A. Waxman, a DJ at Silver Lake pirate radio station KBLT, a copy editor at Larry Flynt Publications, an editor at Mean magazine, and a freelance journalist contributing work to LAWeekly, Mojo, Los Angeles Times, Washington Post, Vibe, Rap Pages, Grand Royal and many other print and online outlets. An extended piece I wrote on Fela Kuti was selected for the Da Capo Best Music Writing 2000 anthology. In 2006, I was somehow listed in the Music section of Los Angeles Magazine's annual "Power" issue. In 2007-8, I produced a blog called "Nature Trumps," about the L.A. River. From 2010 to 2021, I lived in rural wilderness in Joshua Tree, Ca.

2 thoughts on “AGAINST EMPTY HISTORY: Steve Berra on the current crisis in skateboarding

  1. Pingback: More on Berrics Unified - ARTHUR MAGAZINE – WE FOUND THE OTHERS

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