Friday, July 12, 2013

Silhouettes: understanding special people

My favorite skateboarders these days are Rodney Mullen, Ben Raybourn, Chris Haslam, and Chris Cole. There is an interview of Rodney Mullen where he says he is looking for a special "silhouette" in skaters. In fact, he is saying the he is looking for skaters that have internalized their skating into their cognitive growth process. To give you a mental image of what I am saying:
We all need things we can lean on to grow. What I mean by "leaning on something", is that we use it to support us, we use it as dependable reference. When we are young we lean on our parents. Later, most of us lean on our social/economic "fabric". Yet others lean on their own selves. If you are unlucky, this self "leaning" may make you a unpleasant narcissistic person, yet if you are more lucky you do not lean on a "synthetic" self created social reference, like a narcissist person, but on a self created non-social reference. And for the people above, on a self created skateboard cognitive reference.
This all sounds complicated, yet in fact it is not, Rodney Mullen has already "said it all": look at the silhouette of these skaters, are they connecting to you like others, do you see them like others? In fact, neither: they are not connecting to you like others, and you do you see them like others. There are connecting to themeselves, and we perceive this as a combination of a unique "character" or style of skating, plus a slight social disconnect.
You probably need to have been a skateboarder to "see" what I mean when I talk about these people. But if I say: Steve Jobs, David Bowie, Cat Stevens, Stevie Wonder, Eric Schmidt, Bill Clinton, maybe you get a feeling of what I am talking about.
(Say thanks, or not, to Splat for having ask me to explain this)
All original content copyright James Litsios, 2013.

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