43 Is What a Skate Magazine Should Look Like
As skateboarding has grown in popularity and seeped into the lives of an ever-increasing number of households, the industry—and I’m painting with a broad stroke here—has morphed into a more family-friendly, watered-down version of what it once was, like MTV or domesticated animals. Which is why 43, a New York-based magazine that debuted last year from photographer Allen Ying, is a much-needed breath of clogged city air. A large-format quarterly that’s heavy on excellent photography and light on ads, 43 combines stories of late-night New York City skate missions with photos that wouldn’t be out of place on gallery walls anywhere in the city. Which is fitting, because on Tuesday night, in celebration of its third issue, 43 hosted a photo show at Temp Gallery in Tribeca.
While its previous issues have drawn praise within the skateboarding world, it’s probably safe to assume that this issue has received the most attention of any 43 so far, thanks to one of its photos body-jarring the internet a couple of weeks ago. The image above, of a gentleman by the name of Koki, ollie-ing a subway platform was spread far and wide not only on skate sites, but regular-people blogs like NYMag’s and Gothamist, among others.
I caught up with Allen to talk about his new issue and the pretty things inside of it.
VICE: Let’s cut right to it. Who is Koki, the guy sailing over the 143 Street subway gap, and what is wrong with him?
Allen Ying: Koki is an MIA local, and he’s a beast! I only got to meet him that night. It was all pretty surreal, but he’s rad. Koki was the only one in our crew who thought he could do it.
I’ve heard some whispers around the ole water cooler that Gonz ollied that gap, or one like it, way back when. What do you know about that?
I heard that rumor recently too, but I haven’t heard someone definitively say, “Oh, he def did that.” It was just someone saying they heard he might have done it. I’d love to hear about it if he did; that’d be amazing.
A Sweatshop of Our Own - An Exploration of Post-Slave-Labor American Fashion
Monday’s shower-curtain dress. Photos by Jill Thompson and Courtney Turnball.
I’m Canadian, but if there’s one thing I know about Americans, it’s that they love buying products manufactured by impoverished foreign people. Hardly any of the clothing sold in the United States is made there; everybody knows it and no one really has a problem with it except for a few uptight weirdos who dress either really well or, more likely, like an incontinent grandmother’s shitstains. But what if, one day, the crap-manufacturing industry collapses, and all of the indentured servants the US employs there are no longer able to produce an endless supply of cheaply manufactured flashy garments? What sorts of atrocities would Americans be forced to wear?
To illustrate this hypothetical predicament, I committed to hand-making my own wardrobe from scratch and wearing a different outfit each day of the week. Like most Americans, I know very little about fashion design or sewing, so this process was overwhelmingly tedious and took approximately 5,000 times longer to complete than it would have taken anyone who works in an actual sweatshop (that’s why the system exists, duh). I did attempt to make decent-looking garments so that I had a chance of passing as a sane person. If one of the Olsen twins can walk around in a furry trash bag, what did I have to lose? So I pressed on and am happy to present to you a rough approximation of how shittily Americans and other spoiled Westerners will be dressing in a future where sweatshops don’t exist and we are forced to improvise our own clothing.
MONDAY: SHOWER-CURTAIN DRESS
I thought it was important to use as many recycled fabrics as possible in this experiment, so the shower curtain I selected to make my first outfit with had been hanging in the bathroom of my parents’ house for several years. This explains why the inside of the dress was coated with furry black mold, but I just pretended it was lined with rabbit fur so it wasn’t a big deal.
It took a lot of cutting and sewing (which, again, I had no idea how to do), but I’d say the end product was quite a success, especially if you happen to be into the whole Sears-maternitysadness type of look.
Speaking of maternity sadness, my mother invited me out to dinner the night I finished the dress, and when I walked in the door she insisted that I change. I told her that it wasn’t a possibility because it was “my job, Mom.” A family friend dined with us and told me that my shower-curtain couture reminded her of when she was pregnant. My mother, of course, chirped in and said that I looked like I was on welfare and that she was embarrassed to be sitting across from me.
TUESDAY: TURTLENECK/OWL VAGINA
I know people are divided about wearing realistic pictures of animals and animal prints on their bodies, but fuck those toilet bugs. To me, wearing animal-themed clothing is the same thing as wearing a band shirt, because I’m a big fan of animals—I want to be around them, I want them on me, and I want them inside me, all the time, forever. This owl-print pillowcase was also unearthed at my parents’ house, where it had been banished to the back of a closet. My grandmother bragged about how she had bought it before there was a Walmart in the city, which seemed appropriate considering Walmart goes with sweatshops like owls go with my vagina.
The combination of the turtleneck and the owl skirt worked really well and made me feel more confident than anyone probably ever should, although I did catch myself in a mirror and for a second thought I had a pillow resting on my lap. I wore the outfit to a nursing home, where I felt extremely sexually attractive (if you’ve never felt like you’re hot stuff around a bunch of old people, you’re really missing out).
Anyone with enough brains and balls can build their own rocket and fly it to space. Or at least that’s what the non-profit, open source space project Copenhagen Suborbitals wants the world to realize.
Last September, we scuttled out to Denmark to meet the pioneers behind this new wave in do-it-yourself space exploration to find out how these backyard space rockets are made. Founded in 2008 by Kristian von Bengston and Peter Madsen, Copenhagen Suborbitals is now comprised of a coterie of 20-plus specialists determined to create the first homemade, manned spacecraft to go into suborbital flight.
If successful—a manned launch is projected for sometime in the next few years—Denmark would be the fourth country in the world, after China, to successfully launch a manned rocket into space. What’s exceptional about such a feat, if completed, will be Kristian and Peter’s ability to do so on a shoestring budget of a few hundreds of thousands of dollars, versus the tens of millions of dollars it costs government-funded agencies and the rising tide of private companies like SpaceX, Virgin Galactic, or Bigelow.
Watch the video
I Learned How to Make Artisinal Blow in Colombia
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Colombia is the world’s biggest producer of cocaine, providing around 80 percent of the whole planet’s supply. In true entrepreneurial spirit, mom and pop coke shops, or “kitchens,” pepper the countryside, churning out 345 tons of the white stuff last year alone. As a commercially-minded fellow who understands the pitfalls of a consumer-driven culture and the importance of production, I decided to spend a day as an apprentice with a cook in the Colombian village of San Agustin.
Although San Agustin is only 200 miles from where I was staying in Ecuador, getting there took me two full days. In true South American tradition, my journey was colored with confusion and mishaps, including rain, mudslides, three-hour immigration lines, lack of tickets, unpaved mountain roads, and chicken buses with no suspension that came very close to cracking my tailbone.
When I arrived at my destination, however, all of those inconveniences seemed trivial. I was about to make some artisanal blow.
Some of the wildlife on Pedro’s property.
The proprietor of the cocaine factory’s name was Pedro. He greeted me warmly on a portion of his property that served as a coffee farm, and told me our class would last about two hours.
After a perfunctory glance at Pedro’s coffee field, I was led up to his ramshackle house, and into his cocina.
A heap of fresh green leaves sat atop a canvas bag on the table. They were so fresh that the fields they were picked from must have been very close. Not wasting any time, Pedro put a razor sharp machete in my hand and told me to start chopping.
Over vigorous hacking, Pedro’s story was revealed. He had learned his trade during eight years of service in a cocaine kitchen—a kitchen once visited by Pablo Escobar himself during a casual pickup of 70 kilos of pure cocaine, fresh off Pedro’s production line.
After the leaves were sufficiently minced, I was told it was time to add a binding agent. If he had asked me to guess what this agent would be, I would have said an egg, or something equally benign. I would have been wrong. Pedro pulled out a bag of cement, sprinkled it all over our wonderfully chopped leaves, and began to knead the dough by hand.
Can Any of These DIY Sex Toys Make Me Orgasm?
Sex toys are really great, but with our bank accounts still weeping from the sucky recession we’ve just stumbled out of, we need to get our priorities right. Which means spending our hard-earned/borrowed cash on boring necessities, like food, energy bills, and crank pipes. If it means I don’t have to compromise my hefty meth addiction, I’m always going to pick my brother’s dowdy old Rampant Rabbit over one of those bespoke sex toys that women like Barbara Walters probably own. In these days of hardship, we must make do. We aren’t all Walters.
A book I stole from a hospital waiting room the other day called Make Your Own Sex Toys: A Practical Guide to a Better Love Life instructs you on how to make the moist out of average household items like cucumbers, elastic, and curtain rings. Obviously, because the majority of people don’t tend to masturbate with these items, they describe you pleasuring yourself in ways you’d never thought possible. Well, you might have thought about it, but I’m willing to bet “thinking about it” didn’t result in you shoving it up your vagina.
The guidebook also has some boring stuff about the history of sex toys, which nearly killed my horn. In order to revive it, I decided to try out a few of my favorite ideas “For Her.”
1. THE “WILLY CANDLE”
Requires: Candle, knife, lube, condom, vagina/asshole. (Mouth?)
Step 1: Work up a rage at the tweeness of the phrase “Willy Candle.” Use anger to carve a candle into the shape of a penis. Use a knife and your own imagination/previous experience to fashion life-like ridges, veins, pee-hole, etc.
Step 2: Cover it with a condom and shit loads of lube and you’re ready to know what it feels like to fuck something at Madame Tussauds, if you don’t already. (Guilty.)
Result: This one really puts your creative skills to work. I opted for a life-like tip and a smooth shaft—minimal, yet effective. I also decided to leave the wick sticking out of the top for texture and heightened sensation. Use a thick candle and trim it down to size as you go. You can’t put back what you’ve already taken off!
As you can see, mine was a little thick but I was up for a challenge. Unfortunately, despite my efforts to personalize and personify the candle to make it seem more friendly, the wax was too hard and actually hurt me. I also completely over-estimated myself and forgot that I’m basically a virgin (don’t be jealz), so some last-minute trimming was needed.
If you think waiting for a guy to strap up kills the vibe, wait until you’ve picked up a knife and hacked centimeter-thick layers off a “penis.”
DIY Halloween Costume: Torso in a Suitcase
Back in the day when Halloween was way cooler, Celts would dress up in scary costumes to frighten away demons. I like my costumes to follow the same notion because it’s badass and because we’ve accumulated a lot of frightening shit over the past five centuries. One of the scarier stories that I’ve heard is of more recent history: The Tale of the Troubled Man-Boy Who Wanted to Become Famous by Dismembering Kittens and People.) That’s why this year I decided to dress up as the infamous torso in a suitcase. Maybe I’ll be able to rid the impulse-to-produce-snuff kinds of demons.
STEP 1: FIND A VICTIM
You’re going to have to cut up a suitcase, so find one that you don’t really care about. I found mine at a second-hand store for eight dollars. At the same time, you can’t just pick any old suitcase, so this might be a bit of a scavenger hunt. You have to make sure that whatever you choose will be big enough for the core of your body to fit inside of, and sturdy enough to hold up its structure. You’re essentially just making a dress out of a suitcase, so choose something you’re going to feel excited about.
STEP 2: CHOSE YOUR WEAPON
What I didn’t realize before starting the project is that it would require the use of power tools, which in this context made me feel sort of nauseous. If you don’t trust yourself to use power tools without accidentally cutting off your own arms, get a friend to help! We used a Dremel mini-grinder. If you don’t have one of these at home already, I would suggest buying one because they’re awesome. That would bring the total cost of this costume up to 40 dollars, which is still considerably less than a shitty packaged costume you would find at a Halloween story. Plus you’ll be the proud owner of a tiny, electric-powered death-bringer.
Is it still murder if you trap it, skin it, and sew it yourself? Read more: here
Electric Independence - Ceephax Acid Crew
There’s no one quite like our mate Andy Jenkinson, aka Ceephax, aka Ceephax Acid Crew. He’s one of the last great D.I.Y masters working in electronic music and he’s a full-on modern day renaissance man, who still uses the same old school tools (remember Amigas? Me neither) to ply his many trades.