FTS is an apolitical blog inspired by both somthing a high school upperclassmate friend of mine DJ Nitro said to me in 1993 “you can’t hear the drama when facing the speakers” but I also wanted a sneaky way to acronym F***This S*** for double meme. Now that I cut myself on all that edge… I gotta say that due to both Isreals declaration of war and the gruesome horrors that led up to it overnight, I felt compelled to update this entry.
Geopolitical matters are obviously not my wheelhouse but wheels, particularly ones on skateboards kinda are and if I want to yell at the TV, I’d rather watch a game show.
I find skating is the purest, most accessible freedom, and for many, it’s the only freedom they will ever know. I feel like it saved my life personally, so I think it’s no coincidence that it thrives in some of the most oppressive environments. Kids in the bleakness of their less than ideal circumstances gravitate to it form their own communities and rise above together. Anywhere there’s oppression of all variants be it class, cultural, racial you can bet there’s judgment free skateboarding teeming among the otherwise thrown away and forgotten of society. There’s no other sports to my knowledge where individualism and developing ones unique style is encouraged and celebrated to the same extent.
The following is from Peter of CDM who happens to be Jewish and consistently pulls up for a lot of charity stuff of all kinds, even my tornado relief efforts, so credit to him. Again, this is solely about kids and skateboarding with me. Having done a lot of work with Raise The Roof Foundation and am currently planning a road trip with the wife to a reservation with some decks to donate, I consider this no different than any other skatepark effort. Just let the kids skate & up the punx, but most importantly, keep prayers up for peace for at this dire time. -z
Gaza children face real constant PTSD, worsened by ongoing violence. The skate park isn’t just an outlet; it’s a lifeline. The bad news is the Palestinian authorities in Gaza have just demolished the existing skate park. But that makes this compilation more urgent, not less: it’s a chance to support renovating a previous park for their use, alongside classes and equipment.
Odai Masri of Exist explains
Bint Mbareh shares this chilling reminder of how vital this support can be:
This sort of compilation only works if the music is meaningful, and as we’d expect from the Exist crew, it’s a scorcher, full of heavy broken beats and heartstring-tugging instrumentals alongside some fiery rhymes, ranging from rap to deconstructed rhythms.
From Palestine to Uganda, that includes highlights like Big Murk & Abul3ees‘s poignant “Mamzoo3,” the mind-bending glitched-out rhythmic complexity of Muqata’a’s Irbak, the urgent spaced-out groove of Yao Bobby & Simon Grab’s “Fagnan,” and MC Yallah and Debmaster knocking you on the floor with “Kabitutte.” Kujo will get you head-banging with some properly labeled “raw punk”; BLKM3TA has an absolute diesel-powered rapid-fire beat on “Wood Gun.” UmKuBu & Firas Shehade open this with utterly dreamy, moving melancholy on “01011” (lamenting ironically in passing not speaking English or Arabic), and Maltash closes it out with an electrified punk anthem.
These are accompanied by No Comply merch, including brilliant poppy-emblazoned skateboards, painted by Tala and Bader – in a variety of stages of blossom. “This flower is a symbol of resistance and resilience for Palestinians,” Exist says, “its strong hues of red can be spotted across the Levantine. Each skateboard features the poppy at a different stage of its lifespan, starting from the bud to a fully blossomed flower.”
As usual, you can count on musicians and DIY efforts more than you can count on governments. So you matter, whatever support (treasure or time and care) you can provide.
The skate park after demolition. Don’t give up hope yet, though – free classes continue, and fundraising efforts including this compilation benefit equipment, and most importantly, renovation work on the new park.
We got the boys in the pics, with the kids looking mega punk, but there is a girl-focused program, too.
Go check this reel of what the girls have been up to – as they attempt to practice on the streets. So clearly the funds are needed!
*bigups to Peter for passing this along