Friday, September 24, 2010
Old Farts and Player Hating in Silver Spring
Since pro skater Darren Harper and I did The Kojo Nnamdi Show last Thursday, and a bunch of skaters and I participated in Kojo in Your Community in Silver Spring everywhere I go the reaction has been unbelievably, incredibly, extremely positive. People thank me, and tell me we did a great job, and encourage me to continue my efforts to advocate for Silver Spring's skaters.
That's the power of the press, and I started seeing that immediately after former Gazette writer Jason Tomassini first wrote about us in May. People smiled at me wherever I went -- in the grocery store, on the street, on buses, people approached me asking if I was Sk8ter Mom, and giving me all kinds of props for speaking up for the kids.
With continued coverage from the Gazette's Jeremy Arias, TBD.com's Elahe Izadi, ABC 7, University of Maryland Television, and The Kojo Nnamdi Show, we keep getting more support and more supporters from our community.
But this being Silver Spring, there will always be the Old Farts, also known as Professinal Player Haters, who get REALLY riled up by a bunch of mostly-minority, mostly poor kids actually demanding to be heard in their community.
The Old Fart Brigade are easily recognizable by their half-dead appearance (zombies maybe?), and by their antics in the comments sections of local blogs, whenever they get wind of someone, anyone in Silver Spring (gasp!) actually having fun in their lives!
The Old Fart Brigade swore off fun long ago, as it's prohibited in the bylaws of their homeowners associations.
Not every Old Fart actually is old, well not in biological age anyway, but the yungins among them are working REAL hard to get old fast, so they can outdo others in their hood in cantankerousness.
The organizational structure of the OFB is a tightly-kept secret, but my money's on Jon Lourie, President of Silver Spring Town Center, Inc. as being their head poobah.
That's the guy who showed up out of the blue at the exact time and in the exact location that I was set to meet with Reemberto Rodriguez a while back. Grand Poobah Lourie (aka Mephistopheles), before even introducing himself, immediately launched into a cantankerous tirade against skateboarders. His eyes turned bright red and started glowing, and I'm not entirely sure (hey, I was scared), but I do think I saw a couple of protrusions emerging from the top front area of his head, and he looked like he was about to explode when he started ranting about how angry and destructive those little critters are, and how much those whippersnappers just LOVE to destroy things.
This was before the Civic Building opened, and just before he started shooting lazers from his eyes, he looked directly at me and said "you had BETTER NOT let them skate at Veterans Plaza!" I was deeply traumatized. I had scary dreams for a week, thinking Mephistopheles was going to find me and incinerate me on the spot. Or at the very least, eat my face.
But it's all good. I'm all about embracing diversity, and the OFB, even Mephistopheles, need a place to live too.