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Burn In Hell

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Again, I want to reiterate I’m not too much into the party scene. Don’t get me wrong, meeting new people and being rambunctious is cool and all, but after a while I’m feeling like it’s just wasting my time. Going barhopping is the same deal too. I hear some people go and just blow cash on drinks every other night. To me, that’s money I need for useful items. I’ve literally stopped drinking a pricey beer every now to imagine that I’m drinking away inches of a fresh board or that I’m gulping down a few songs from that new CD I wanted. Maybe this is because I grew up around alcohol from a very young age and was taught how to handle everything that comes with it. Maybe I’m just setting my priorities straight for the things I really value. Maybe I’m just a downer. That might be it actually.

On that note, we hit up this other party later in the week. I vaguely knew this girl and some of my friends really wanted to go, so after some reluctance I agree to try it out. I gather my crew: Keith, Keegan (a.k.a. Kegstand), Special K, and Charles. This house was definitely not what I was expecting out of a few college kids. It was two stories and had two living rooms. One was a sitting room with this cool wood sculpture you pulled down to make it light up. The other was this massive dance floor with a bar adjacent to it. When you were tired of dancing, you could slip out to the huge back deck with all the smokers or go to the other screened in porch with a foosball table and couches. I made myself the designated driver for this event, so I mainly stuck to chatting with people in the first room and petting the house dog Scrap. By the time some NC SKATE homies came in I knew the night was going to improve. If you’ve ever seen the music video for “Fight For Your Right to Party”, where the punks and metalheads bash down the door and break stuff on top of the nerds, that’s sort of what it reminds me of when I see the people I skate with walking into a party with forties of Miller High Life.

Around the time homies like Diego and Tricia show, we make our way to the makeshift dance floor. Like I’ve said before, I’m not too into dancing, but I’m usually willing to give it a shot. The hostess had her own DJ at this thing and the beats were pretty cool (especially the remix of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”- being the grunge DJ for the radio station, I could really appreciate what he did with the song.) As I’m dancing in my own little world, this group of girls dances over towards me. One girl splits off and starts dancing towards me. After playing a sort of cat and mouse with each other, she seems to “approve” and begins dances with me. After several twirls and establishing how low she can go (it was impressively low), she grabs my hand and walks me outside. The girl’s name is Nicole and she’s doing design stuff at State. Our conversation is abruptly ended when I spot some squad cars parking below us. This seems a good time to go check on my friends in the first room, so we hastily walk inside. No cops show up, so I return to the first room to meet up and head out. Nicole is chatting with this guy on the couch, and my crew is pressuring me to get her number. I’m not so much interested in this girl as I want a design school kid to take me to all the art galleries I’ve heard about, so I reason it’s worth a shot. I walk over and start talking to her when the guy she’s next to becomes visibly perturbed. “And who are you again?” he asks, trying to sound intimidating. “Drew. Nice to meet…” I’m interrupted. “Cool, cool. Yeah, I’m Nicole’s boyfriend” he says. This becomes a little awkward, especially considering I snuck a kiss on this girl just a few minutes ago before she took me outside. “Well, you’re more than welcome to come with us, man!” Sensing this wasn’t the best thing to say at the moment, I mention I have to head out and wish the couple a good evening. I return to the couch and awkwardly pet the dog as my friends express their feelings toward this social gathering and the people present. As the dog begins to give me solace, the girl’s boyfriend turns around slowly in my direction with a knowing death stare. All I can think to do is smile really big and wave at him like a complete idiot, the dog still in my arms. Even the dog sensed this was nothing short of suicidal and jumped out of lap to scurry to safety. Luckily, right then, some girls who knew me stepped in front of my nemesis and chatted it up until my crew rallied back around me, crestfallen that they had no women to contribute to our company that evening. We drove back, yelling out the lyrics to N.W.A.’s “Gangsta Gangsta”, as it seemed to describe our situation perfectly.

My knee felt decent enough the past few days, so I tried skating again. All the tricks were still there during the early afternoon, so I called up Rachel to go skate in the evening. The plan was to scope out places for the coming weeks that really worked well for filming. I had this ledge in mind where I was thinking about filming the more difficult things I wanted to do, but it became apparent that the cracks in the ledge and the height were not going to make it conducive to what I had in mind. We decided to just skate it either way until this kid and his mom roll up. With out any pretext this kid half my size begins working the ledge I thought I was too cool for. His board was about the size of him! His mom began talking to us about how she encourages him in his hobby and how difficult it is for her son to grow up being a skateboarder. She had heard about our organization too- apparently word has gotten around about NC SKATE across Raleigh, and that stoked me out. The kid was itching to go to another spot with us, so he showed us this little concrete slant behind a shopping center. I got a weird feeling the first few ollies and 180’s I did over this thing, but figured I’d skate nonetheless. Sure enough, the first difficult thing I try ends up bad. Halfway through the spin, I lose my board and end up on the ground- pants ripped and knee freshly re-injured. The kid checks out soon afterwards, but Rachel and I decide to continue hunting. We check out another spot that didn’t require too much strain and basically just hung out until midnight scoping places out. I had to get back though, because the next morning I was going to be counter protesting.

The Westboro Baptist Church has gained notoriety in recent years for protesting at funerals. They mainly like to go to soldiers’ funerals, but also picket celebrities, political figures, and religious heads. Their main mission is to show that the death of marines or other people (Princess Diana, for example) is the wrath of God being poured out for our allowance of people like gays, Jews, and Catholics (good to know I’m still included.) The church had targeted Elizabeth Edward’s funeral this time. Some people in Raleigh decided to counter protest the WBC at the funeral so I decided to go. Let me reiterate, I don’t care much for politics. I’ve always said that “if all you do is go left or go right, you just walk in circles.” I just dislike a lot about the whole idea- the “politics” of things disrupts the “meaning” of politics, which is a fairly noble institution- but that’s a whole other blog. Anyways, I went not out of any kind of partisanship, but mainly out of Southern identity. I was born here in the South, and it is our custom to be hospitable and respectful, even to people you really don’t like. So that’s why I went honestly- to show that in North Carolina we show respect for the dead. That’s just nice manners.

The thing was, I was expecting this massive clash. I saw hundreds of people on one side of the street, but only four on the other. This organization is supposed to be terrorizing America, but they just had four people with some signs. I thought that was funny, sort of like the Wizard of Oz- it’s just some scared, little guy behind the curtain after all. Their signs were pretty intense- “Burn in Hell”, “Thank God for Breast Cancer”, “Fag Lover.” This bummed me out. Yet, it didn’t bother me too much when i thought about it. These signs didn’t seem accurate and they didn’t seem ethical either (I could hear my ethics teacher commenting on the whole situation- “What model would we like to apply to this see-na-rio, Mr. St.Claire? Utilitarianism? Maybe Kant? You always struck me as an Aristotelian!) Either way, the WBC left about ten minutes after I got there- they didn’t even stay the whole time. The real lesson I learned was this: I was looking around and there were all sorts of people here- hipsters, hippies, rednecks, white, black, Asian, Latino, Arabic, girls, guys, young, old- and it made me think that if people really put their mind to it, they can overcome their small differences to get something done. That almost made me cry. I’d like to see those kinds of politics before I die (and the WBC pickets my funeral.) That’s all for now, later!

Listen to This: James Brown- “Popcorn”, Ice Cube- “Today Was A Good Day”, Red Hot Chili Peppers- “Fortune Faded”

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Written by dstclaire

December 17, 2010 at 4:34 pm

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