Get Hurt: It will make you feel better.

A late night skate-session on the UCLA campus led the Crash Site stunt team into a restricted area, and soon enough we found ourselves up a wall and climbing into a big radar dish (if you have to ask why, read this ). Satisfied with the novelty of having sat inside a giant radar dish, we soon remembered the effects of intense radio waves and jumped out before our heads started sprouting malignant tumors like zits on your sister's face.

Safely out of the cancer-iffic path, we made our way back to the wall. Bad for him, the infamous Cool Duk Seven jumped first. His right foot landed on an upright pipe buried in the ground, turning his ankle over on impact. He fell to the ground and started screaming very not-nice things and noises for us to hear. Put out with a severely sprained ankle, Duk skated back as best he could and we drove home for the night. Mission over. A bad day in the Land of Plenty.

Getting hurt sucks. There is nothing fun, or cool, or macho, about it. Getting hurt means pain, wasted time, and wasted money. This is enough to make some people run and hide from it as best they can. Tucked safely away, they risk nothing. Tucked safely away, they forget who they are.

The body is flesh; a big sack of tubes and fluids and tendons. Smash it enough, cut enough tubes, and the big sack stops working. This used to be an daily problem for man: getting eaten by bears, freezing in the snow, coughing up your lungs from bubonic plague. But thanks to guns and cities and hospitals and slaughterhouses we don't have to worry about that shit anymore. Survival now has little to do with avoiding physical danger. Think about it: you don't have to get hurt. You can sit at home and watch TV and order food and you will live a long and stupid life. Hello safe and easy living!

Nevertheless, some of us still go out and risk bodily injury and death on a regular basis, for no good reason at all. Is skateboarding worth losing all the skin on your arms? Is a motorcycle jump worth a broken back? Of course not, but without taking the chance you might as well not exist. If there is nothing at risk, what is there? Don't fool yourself with 'virtual' fun. Play enough video games and golf and you will slowly lose any sense of meaning in your life. Only by risking pain can we embrace our physical reality. Only by embracing our physical reality can we truly enjoy the Land of Plenty.

I have had my share of crash landings, most of which could have been avoided if I never left the house. Skateboarding, bikes, stunts, fights, car crashes; cuts, bruises, broken bones, surgery, convulsions, unconsciousness. Whee. While I won't say I enjoyed any of it, at least it has let me know I am alive. I know what it means to function, I know what it means to break, and I know that someday I will break so much that I will die. I am comfortable with my tendency to fall apart, and thus my mortality. I don't hide from reality, I like to let it smack me around a little bit and remind me that it's there.

We are all big sacks of shit in the Land of Plenty. Learn to like it. Go out and do something risky. If you emerge unscathed, good for you. If you fall and get hurt, at least you tried, and at least you know what you really are.

Stunt Men: Mike Maldonado, Sean Sheffey, Jackie Chan,Mark Gonzales, Seth Enslow, a couple of guys I don't know.
Music: Tom Waits: A Sight for Sore Eyes
download 4.3MB quicktime file if you don't have ViewMovie plug-in

-- slap maxwell

-- slap maxwell