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Pre-fabulous.

Every American has a right to earn a living in a manner he or she sees fit within the boundaries of law. Skaters whose companies deem appropriate to serve as spokespersons for certain products are certainly free to endorse any such product, however ridiculous. The question of endorsement savvy is not one of law but something subtler. It's called tact.

Andy Macdonald is a skater of inarguable tenacity and skill, I will never match his lines, lake most readers, I am among the mass of nameless, faceless skaters who continue to ride, in part, because of the inspiration derived from guys just like Andy. We are the people whose passion for skating keeps his checks coming and keeps the industry afloat. I fully defend Andy's right to represent himself as a skater in any situation he deems appropriate. But it is time to have a little word with Andy and his ilk.

Every time that you guys endorse a product it reflects on the revered way of life we all share as skateboarders. Andy, you guys are so good you make a living at it, a damn good living, actually. When I say "damn good" I do not mean to imply a certain sum of money. Any amount of money earned through pursuit of passion, like skating, is damn good. If you need a lesson, you can trade places with me any day; I sit behind a desk for 40 hours/week. So, now, what's up with endorsing pathetic product that we all know works against the long-term interests of our revered way of life? Let's just focus on one such product: prefabricated skatepark set-ups generated by playground companies. Andy, you guys know the session ain't on at some bogus plastic setup. Is it just a paycheck to you?

I appreciate your desire to earn a living through skating. It is, of course, an incredible opportunity, and yes, you should make the most of it. But it's not just about you. You need to understand here you're ruining out" session--the sacred altar, the only thing that matters in skateboarding. When you guys endorse this stuff, a lot of duped city officials buy it. They distrust and disrespect the experience of guys like me who have been skating for 25 years, imploring them to hire some sort of design/construction team comprised of people that do skate.

While you travel the globe getting paid to skate with friends, experiencing what we can only dream, we are slugging it out here at home with the bureaucrats who know nothing about skating. We are just everyday inconsequential skaters; they don't trust us like they endorse a pro skater-endorsed sales pitch/tom a bankrolled playground equipment company who recognizes profit to be seized in the current surge of city skateparks. Your paycheck sells out the session for all of us. You run off to the next stop on the celebrity skate parade, while we get stuck with the four-foot prefab nonsense.

If you weren't jet setting and had only your local prefab park to skate you too would curse the name of the pro skater who had endorsed it. Hard feelings, then, are inevitable, but I'd rather be productive about this. I write this humble plea asking for mutual respect, foresight, and yes, even tact. Andy--and all of you--think about the repercussions of what you endorse before you go and scoop up a check. We're spending literally years of our lives begging for some real skateparks. We need your support. You are out there rolling the high life in a serious way--thanks to US. Show some respect and ditch these profiteers who care not at all about the quality of our session. Are you guys cool enough to respect that?

Tom Miller

Portland, Oregon
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Title Annotation:Mail Drop
Author:Miller, Tom
Publication:Thrasher
Date:Dec 1, 2003
Words:630
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