Editor’s Note: Here’s what I wrote to introduce you to Issue 18. Click here if you wanna see how it looks on the page and in the mag — where it looks best. —Travis
“I am having a hallucination now, I don’t need drugs for that.” —Thomas Pynchon
I don’t even think we meant for this to happen. In fact, I know we didn’t, because we weren’t that organized the past few months. The world has become one seemingly hallucinatory joke and the closest we got to a creative meeting was a two-day sit in at our favorite bar in San Francisco called Vesuvio. But we all lost our note pads from those nights…and I don’t think any of us had much confidence that the world would make it this long anyhow. (I now blame the political resurgence of Twitter and the advent of Insta-stories for this lack of organization), but anyway, sweet serendipity stepped in and made this happen for us. We made a fucking theme issue!
Now before we get to the theme, let’s discuss the surreal reality of the world for a second: Holy shit, you guys, it’s about time we call for a page one rewrite! And we’re the lucky people who have outlets like surfing, skating and music for mental salvation. But as of late, even those are risky when the water is full of fucking sharks and Donald Trump sits shotgun in Air Force One. Not to mention how being a venerable youth on the run has become a nightmare. It’s a crap shoot on what might be waiting for you upon arrival at the immigration desk these days, no matter where you’re going. We’ve resorted to claiming Canada, or anything but the reds, whites or blues (because there’s no way we’re going to stop running). And we have no choice but to be glued to the news like it’s a reality show where getting a rose could lead to WWIII. But before I go too far on a rant about anything political, sociological, philosophical or industry related: I need to know a few things before we go any further: I want to know if you’re willing to bet on yourself? Like, when the world corners you like those poor rage-filled rats that Bill Corgan shouted about on “Bullet with Butterfly Wings,” and you have no one but yourself to count on, are you prepared to hiss back? Are you willing to keep pushing? Or pulling? Or running?
I ask this because at one point recently I had a dozen plus friends or acquaintances threatening daily to “quit their job.” Pinned by the corporate labyrinth, asshole bosses or procedures, they all spoke of gasping for air and the dream of breaking free into greener pastures (which there are none btw, but there are other options.) They complained of how their attempts at breaking free were blocked by what we can simply call life logistics. But after putting this new issue together, and reading what people inside are doing, and taking the “long hard stupid way” to get there (which is the only way btw), just to do what they feel is right, to create the world they want — well, it led me to no longer have sympathy for those worried about logistics. Fucking quit already. Put it all on black. And back yourself. We did. And just about everyone in this issue did too.
There’s Dane Reynolds, who’s gone from “little shit grom” to everyone’s favorite surfer and free thinker and millionaire and left that on the table to play another hand. Now he’s adding husband to Courtney, dad to Sammy (with twin girls on the way), artist, entrepreneur and gambler — betting on himself. You’ll meet Tolia Titaev, a Russian skateboarder who spent two years working with Gosha Rubchinskiy to perfect the meaning behind the insanely rad brand they’ve launched out of Russia called PACCBET. There is Ryan Spencer who sold every camera he had to be a pro skater. And Rhyan Santos who lied his way into a photography gig and never looked back. There’s Thomas Campbell who leads with art, always and forever, with an unabashed passion and his new film. There is Kai Neville, our very own Kai, who went back to basics for a new film for his own start up eyewear brand and did a surf trip, with his friends, and called it productive. And then there are The Murder City Devils, who’s front man Spencer Moody you see on page 1, literally fighting in a pit for what he believes in, refusing to work for fucking scum [The opening track for their latest album is called “I Don’t Wanna Work for Scum Anymore”], or take shit from anyone. Even if it’s a so-called fan. Repercussions and logistics be damned. We aren’t fucking Subway. Quit your job, and be you. Place the bet and be present, focused and if you’re going to struggle, at least struggle for something you believe in. It’s the biggest payout you’ll ever cash in.
Enjoy our abstract “theme” issue. It wasn’t easy, and it never will be. —What Youth