Somewhere between snapchats of your drunk friend ollieing the Kenny Hughes gap and $12.99 iTunes downloads of Dwindle distribution full lengths rests the ‘Release-to-Thrasher’ video part. In terms of visibility and reach, the Thrasher part gives the skater the prime-time spot, and to have one of these nowadays is almost like being a contestant on America’s Got Talent that made it to the next round. Everyone gets to see your part for that day, but next week there’s a whole other round of contestants to replace you. I think the first straight to Thrasher part I remember seeing was Torey Pudwill’s Big Bang, released in 2011. Back then, four insanely long years ago, this was a much more distinct, elite honor. Not everyone was getting one...until actually everyone was getting one. There was a short-lived level of excitement that came with these weekly releases. Micro-hype, you could call it. Naturally however, it all became a bit overwhelming, oversaturated, and down right discouraging.
Allow us to elaborate.
First of all, these parts regularly have intros and credits sections. INTROS, and CREDITS for a 3 minute video part. And don’t worry, you better believe this includes a thank-you’s section, too...Sort of like those things we used to call skate videos. Anyhow, I’d like to make it perfectly clear that under no circumstances should a 3-minute video part warrant it’s own thank you’s, as well as language leading you to believe that the filmer did anything besides just that, i.e. directing or ‘producing’. Unless you’re trying to lie on a resume by claiming you’ve done directing work, there’s no point in putting that out there.
None of the above mentioned atrocities soiling skate media’s current state of affairs can even hold a candle to this article’s major pain-point, however. I’m talking, of course, about the actual titles given to these god damn video parts. This essential ingredient is by far the most appalling, cringeworthy, and shameful piece of the recipe.
After much internal dialogue and many sleepless nights spent pondering all that has become of our beloved pastime, we here at SMLtalk have decided there was only one necessary course of action to try and prevent this from ever happening again: publicly shaming these bastards.
Sean Conover’s “Thin Lips and Ginger Snaps” part
This was the inspiration for all that you see before you today. The straw that broke the camel’s back. The acid tab that ruined GG Allin’s life. You'll notice a recurring theme for these parts is that they all seem to reference some sort of inside joke between the subject at hand and their five or so cronies. Guess what though? Not a single other person in the country got the memo.
Kyle Frederick’s “12 O Clock Karl” part
What’s going on here? Are we on lunch break? Is this Thrasher trying to say high noon is the perfect viewing time for this piece of media on their site? I hope I receive answers to none of these questions because I don’t want the type of closure that comes with knowing how Thrasher part titles are devised.
Denny Pham’s “It’s a Phamtastic World” part
I really do feel bad for him on this one. I suppose it could have been worse - the overlords at Thrasher could have suggested a Denny’s themed title. Though come to think of it, that would have been a much better option. Okay, I take it back, they did in fact pick the worst possible option for his video title...
Here's how I pictured it going down:
“Phamtastic??? You really gonna do me like that, Thrasher???” - Denny Pham
“Lmao you betcha!” - Thrasher Magazine
“:’-(“ - DP
“:-)” - TM
Ben Raybourn, “The Raybourn Identity” Part
Get it? It’s like the Matt Damon movies where he’s a spy but he forgets a bunch of stuff? He kills a dude with a piece of paper? See the connection now? No? Oh, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with the movie besides the sort of similar names in the title (RayBOURN, BOURNE)? I wonder how many people this title ran through before being approved and posted on the site. “OH MY GOD, DID YOU SEE TODD’S TITLE FOR RAYBOURN’S NEW PART? SHIT IS FUEGO, BRO! NAH, NAH IT DOESN’T HAVE ANYTHING TO DO WITH THE MOVIE, IT’S JUST LIKE THE NAMES ARE SIMILAR. YA, HE’S GETTING PROMOTED, FOR SURE!”
Jaws, “Criddler on the Roof” Part
It took me a while to write anything for this because I was way too busy chuckling at how fricken clever this title is. Have you guys ever heard of this book? It’s called the Fiddler on the Roof. Well, it’s actually a play. At least I think it is, I’ve never read it (books are for virgins, duh). Anyway, Thrasher did this super crazy thing: they took all of Jaw’s roof footage, and they made it into like one video, and then they named it after the play/book/thing I’ve never read, but they changed the word “Fiddler” to “Criddler” because Jaws is like a small animal or a “critter”. Funny, right? No? Guys? Hello?? :(
Rob/Bert Wooten, “Name Changer” Part
Up there with athletes like Chad Johnson and Ron Artest, we have the skateboarder formerly known as Bert Wooton. From what I understand, this dude got fed up with being called Bert and decided a video part was the only way to finally set the record straight that he preferred the simpler, less Sesame-Street-esque iteration of his given name, Robert. To be perfectly honest though, Bert Yary is the only name change that could have ever justified its own video part title.
Eli Williams “MALLGRABTOMONGO” Part
Please don’t make me explain this any further. Do you see the point here? The fact of the matter is that they're all awful titles. Just take a look at the link below and see for yourself. We could have just as easily farted out an entirely different list with 100+ other video part titles pulled from this YouTube channel. But we didn't, because no one should have to experience pain like that at any point in their lifetime.
Besides a good laugh, what can we take away from all this? Honestly, being jaded about modern/online-only video parts is a very tired subject. For the mid twenty somethings and up it is a non-stop bitch, cry, and moan festival about the way things used to be. That being said, (sorry Larry David) videos like Tincan Folklore, Photosynthesis, Second Hand Smoke, and even Mouse may seem like silly titles for a 30 minute video of “skateboarding stunts set to music”, but those who have been invested in our culture for a long time know better than that. Even for something as abstract as Barbarians at the Gate, the meaning seems to reveal itself only after the whole piece has been explored...something that would be impossible to achieve in only 2-4 minutes.
It’s hard to look at skate videos with an artistic lens when they’ve been condensed to short, single parts, only to appear on the Thrasher site for a few days (which is literally minutes in skateboard industry time). Somehow the abstract content in a skate video means less when the video is sponsored by Monster Energy Drink and Whey Protein, while also forcing you to watch a terribly produced commercial about a new product gimmick. Thrasher’s not stupid, they need to make money and skateboard companies benefit from this flash advertising too. Your basic Thrasher video part promotion trajectory is thus: Man of the Week gets a Hall of Meat, Firing Line, you get “The Part”, (if you can afford it, you can pay for a banner on the side of the site for a couple days) and then you are immediately pushed to the “Older” page. But maybe, just maybe, if you name your part something lame enough, you’ll be forever immortalized here, with us. :)