Claes Oldenburg Does a 180 *Updated


In light of recent events, I felt com­pelled to write the fol­low­ing, “Claes Oldenburg Does a 180″ — a top­i­cal state­ment address­ing skate­board­ing in the city of Philadelphia. I hope you enjoy and encour­age you to for­ward it to any­one who you think would be inter­ested or could help support.

Thank you,

Submitted by Jason Rusnock

Photo via Philly​.com

Update: Philebrity picked up the link. The com­ments are not surprising.

9 thoughts on “Claes Oldenburg Does a 180 *Updated

  1. Yeah, sorry, not feel­ing you. When urban design­ers build soul suck­ing con­crete war­rens that dehu­man­ize the land­scape I’m all for skat­ing that shit and bring­ing vital­ity to an urban desert. When you put a hole in someone’s art (ie. their attemp to enliven the land­scape) or shralp up a 200 year old church, etc., you’re a dick.

  2. I ten­ta­tively agree with com­men­tor Andy. We should be smart enough to police our­selves. Is it wrong to shred the ledges at Love? No, who cares? Those things are per­fect and it hurts/​offends no one. That shit is ridicu­lous. But, is it ok to skate the ledges at the Vietnam Vet memo­r­ial? No, that’s prob­a­bly not cool. Is there any­thing cov­ered in this law that is truly ridicu­lous and a bum­mer? Honestly what spots are lost to a legit fine with this? Let’s choose our bat­tles a lit­tle more wisely. I think it would ben­e­fit us all in the long run. We really aren’t enti­tled to just skate what­ever we want when­ever we want. If you don’t agree, run faster.

  3. I think the real issue is the degree of the pun­ish­ment. Sure there should be some leg­is­la­tion on things like this, but $2,000 and 90 days in jail is a lit­tle egre­gious. People die in jail, lives are destroyed by jail, and peo­ple do not come back the same from jail. I’m not say­ing let’s skate any­thing and every­thing and have a free-​​for-​​all, but let’s tone down the pun­ish­ment a lit­tle bit. Right now, if you get caught down­town they can fine you $300, which is a lot. They can even legally detain you for 72 hours and that would really suck, but.…90 days in prison? Trust me, if you have that on your record you are not get­ting a job when you get out; not to men­tion the fact that you will prob­a­bly lose what­ever job you cur­rently have when you get arrested. People think skate­board­ers want to do what­ever they want, but that is not true. We just think it is a lit­tle crazy that this poten­tial leg­is­la­tion makes skate­board­ing more of a crime then real crimes. Throwing around jail sen­tences like it isn’t that seri­ous is wrong, because it is very seri­ous and to me this law was sim­ply cre­ated to attack and hurt one demo­graphic of our city. Also, peo­ple should real­ize that this poten­tial leg­is­la­tion is actu­ally more encom­pass­ing then they may first real­ize. If it includes mon­u­ments, his­toric sites, and pub­lic art then take a step back and real­ize we live in Philadelphia. Almost every park is tech­ni­cally “his­toric” or some kind of monument/​remembrance of some­one or some­thing. There is also a ton of pub­lic art here so the ques­tion with that is will some­one get pun­ished for skat­ing a park that has pub­lic art instal­la­tions even if they are not skat­ing the art instal­la­tion itself? A lot of this law could be up to the dis­cre­tion of the arrest­ing offi­cer and judg­ing by the past rela­tion­ship between skaters and police offi­cers it isn’t going to go well for us skate­board­ers. When I say skate­board­ers let’s also include BMXers and Inliners into the equa­tion, because they too are affected by this law. That means there are thou­sands upon thou­sands of kids and adults that could have major prob­lems on their hands for the rest of their lives if this law gets passed. It gets voted on in the Fall so please con­tact your local coun­cil­man or coun­cil­woman and express your con­cern. I’m not sug­gest­ing the city elim­i­nate leg­is­la­tion on skat­ing com­pletely so we can skate what­ever we want when­ever we want. I under­stand there needs to be some law and order in the world; how­ever, cur­rently the out­ra­geous pun­ish­ment does not fit the “crime.”

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  5. Don’t get me wrong: I think this and any skate spe­cific fine is bull­shit. The law itself is ques­tion­able because how do they even prove that you caused any dam­age? (answer: they don’t, they just give you a ticket for being in the vicin­ity and hope you don’t bother to fight it) I think the city is try­ing to drum up cash from low hang­ing fruit. They fig­ure skaters are oth­er­wise law abid­ing and will duti­fully pay their fines. You know, why stand on north Broad, Grays Ferry, etc. for 20 min­utes and pull over a pack of mad max ATV youths endan­ger­ing and har­rass­ing peo­ple when they won’t bother to pay their fines any­way? Skaters are eas­ier pickins.

    My point was putting a hole in someone’s brand new sculp­ture makes us all look like ass­holes and makes peo­ple hate us. Don’t do shit like that.

  6. Andy, I couldn’t agree with you more. I seri­ously think they are doing it in an attempt to make money, because the city is strapped for cash. For years the cops have gone after skaters to make it seem like they are doing work, because it is way eas­ier to go after skaters then say drug deal­ers or those ATV crews. I can under­stand it in a way, but they signed up for a job to serve and pro­tect with the under­stand­ing that you have to be in harms way. So they should at least try to go after real crim­i­nals, not skate­board­ers. I’m glad you men­tioned this fine in rela­tion to earn­ing money, because I’m sure they have cre­ated other stu­pid laws effect­ing other demo­graph­ics all in an attempt to make up lost $$$$. They know laws like this don’t improve soci­ety, so the only moti­va­tion I can see is either mon­e­tary or it is fueled by hate from some­one higher-​​up in the city gov­ern­ment that has a grudge against skate­board­ers. City offi­cials are ter­ri­ble at effec­tively spend­ing money. What they are good at appar­ently is tax­ing their own cit­i­zens into the ground and mak­ing laws that keep this city from being pro­gres­sive and on the fore­front of mod­ern society.

  7. I think we need to state our case in a nice, neat pack­age, which can be eas­ily pre­sented to the pub­lic and to city offi­cials. I don’t know much about this sort of thing, but I do know that orga­ni­za­tion is essen­tial. We did it with SOPA, and we can do it with this, too!

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