Vol. 1 / Issue 3 Spring 2010
Transient Brendan Kingsley
Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
“Materialism is ultimately predicated upon a series of harsh illusions. We are victims of desire and have a difficult time imagining an existence with very few possessions. This photo is a part of a series titled, ‘What Is...’ Posed with the concept of materialism I sought not to replicate what already exists but instead create a fantasy of what could be. I take the opposite approach from showing the influx of objects, I show a bleak and minimal landscape that presents many tense emotions with a minimum of material.”
KATELAN CUNNINGHAM editor-in-chief
MYRRIAH GOSSETT assistant editor
BEN WRIGHT copy editor
GILLIAN GRAWEY art director
photo by: Jessi Gilbert
CAILA BROWN assistant art director
DEANNE REVEL publisher
ALLISON BENNETT DYCHE adviser
GLEN OSTERBERGER adviser
KIM HERRINGTON ad manager
Adeshola Adigun Andrew Anderson Bridgette Blanton Alexander Bushnell Amy Carter Matthew Demarko Jana Garberg Cleonique Hilsaca Brendan Kingsley Brianna Leonard Krisna MacDonald Lauren O’Connell Jahanvi Patel Beth Post Lizzeth Huerta Priego Ezra Salkin Rachael Schultz Melissa Sixma Gabriel Stiritz Travis Walters
In the spirit of materialism, the District Quarterly staff played dress-up, wearing business clothes and sporting a little red convertible. It’s not every day that college students get the pick of the lot. Thanks to Critz BMW on Stephenson Avenue for letting us use the car for a photo shoot.
Let me start by saying that I am thrilled to be the new editor-in-chief of this young publication, and if this quarter’s submissions are any sign of the future, we have some promising issues to come. While going through the submissions for the theme of materialism, I found a wide range of interpretations, all of which had me questioning myself. I’ve always hated the deserted island scenario, but here it goes: If I were stuck on a deserted island for the rest of my life, what three things would I bring? Beyond my qualm with hypothetical situations, how can you begin to narrow down everything you want and need into three things? Do you take the realistic approach or the idealistic approach? Is there any sort of edible vegetation on this island? Is there a possibility of flagging down a boat? Can you bring three people whose company you enjoy? But at the heart of the hypothetical is the question, “What do I really care about?” While I’m sure some people already know their three things, only the actual imminent threat of life on an abandoned island could get me to choose. I think what we need to live and enjoy life is built on years of reliance and reinforcement. When that stability is shaken or collapses (i.e. the state of the nation’s economy and the struggling job market), we are left to find a new base and possibly reroot ourselves to what defined us before the material things did. Here’s to re-rooting. Here’s to finding yourself on a metaphorical island with just what you need; to indulgences in moderation and happiness in excess; to knowing what you need and acknowledging what you have; to the fancy, the frivolous and the fundamental. This magazine acknowledges all of the things that we own and the things that own us in what I hope is an inspiring representation of all things material. Enjoy,
DISTRICT QUARTERLY KEYS HALL, ROOM 116 516 ABERCORN ST. SAVANNAH, GA 31401 OFFICE : (912) 525-4713 FAX : (912) 525-5509 QUARTERLY@SCADDISTRICT.COM WWW.SCADDISTRICT.COM/QUARTERLY
Transient / 3 Letter from the editor / 4 Contents / 5 Love in the Fast Lane: The cult behind BMW 2002s / 6 It’s so much more than just a car
Recycle This! / 10 The writer/director of the film talks about his crew and vision
Madonna, Pop Princess / 12 Steak on a Porno Mag / 13 Stop Calling Me Lazy / 14 Generation M: spoiled or efficient?
Hoard / 16 It’s Just Business / 18
What is District Quarterly?
District Quarterly is an award-winning, student-produced magazine published through Student Media at SCAD. Each quarter, students submit work that falls under the selected theme. The magazine features original work by SCAD students from any medium including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, sequential art, illustration, painting, photography and more. The theme and the submissions dictate the final product each quarter. For more information, e-mail District Quarterly editor-in-chief Katelan Cunningham at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sole Expressions / 21 The life of a self-admitted sneakerhead
What Matters Most / 25 What if it all blew away?
Katrina / 29 Tuscaloosa Superbird / 31 A humble man’s quest to impress
Call for Entries / 32
COVER ILLUSTRATION: How do I get involved?
To get your work published in District Quarterly e-mail email@example.com, or attend our weekly District meeting held every Friday at 4 p.m. in Keys Hall at 516 Abercorn St.
Material Girl Cleonique Hilsaca Tegucigalpa, Honduras
Love in the Fast Lane: the Cult Behind BMW 2002s
Rachael Schultz Roswell, Ga.
I once had a teacher who talked about how prairie dogs always blend into their surroundings. You never notice them as they sit perfectly still, their fur the same color as the desert. Once you spot one in the sand though, you start to see them everywhere. There’s so many of them you have no idea how you ever had trouble spotting one. BMW 2002s are like prairie dogs. They zip by too fast for you to notice, hidden as they weave into crowds of cars. However, once you catch a glimpse of one, you start to see them everywhere. If you have any interest in cars, you begin to wonder, “What are those 6
weird little boxy things?” Then you have to look them up. The urge to know, and identify, will consume you as you see them cruising around town. Whatever you do though, after you figure out what they are, don’t test-drive one, because that’ll be the beginning of the end. As soon as you press that gas pedal down, you’re done for. The car will take over your mind. You’ll have to buy one and once you buy one, there’s really no going back. You’re officially initiated into the 2002 club with nods of approval and shouts of admiration everywhere you go. You’re never going to sell that thing. In fact, you’ll do the exact opposite and
That’s the magic of a 2002. You’re not entirely sure why you love it, but you know that there’s no doubt that you do.
photos by: Rachael Schultz
research what accessories and modifications you can add to it and how you can personalize it. You can’t imagine ever selling it. It’s a part of your family without you even noticing and you don’t know what you’d do without it. That’s the magic of a 2002. You’re not entirely sure why you love it, but you know there’s no doubt that you do. Originally marketed as a small family sedan at its debut in 1968, speed demons and car lovers alike quickly realized it was anything but a typical family car. Its superior handling and durability, not to mention the odd but distinct square body shape that drew looks on
every street, quickly attracted a following still strong 30 years later, making the 2002 often referred to as “the car that started the cult.” Rob Parker, owner of Savannah’s German Auto Service and two 2002s, attributes the lure to the mechanics of the car. “Originally, if you went and drove the Ford Pinto that they made at the time and a 2002, it’s pretty apparent [what made it so special]. The quality, the soundness of the car, how solid they are and the drivability, it just far surpasses what those other cars ever were,” he said. With untamed waves of sand colored hair and grease permanently trapped under his nails, as he unfalteringly talks about ’02s, you can tell that 40-year-old Parker has had a lifelong love for cars. He grew up around his dad’s German auto shop in Atlanta, where 2002s were “all there were around.” For Parker and many others who were there when ’02s were the newborns that put BMW on the map in America, owning one is now a way of remembering the past. Parker explains, “It must have something to do with it recalling the memory, the way you can remember them from parents or friends who had them.” ’02s also draw an entirely new generation who are just as enthusiastic and obsessed with them as their parents were. 21-yearold Justin Wood grew up around his uncle’s ’02. “I knew nothing about them at the time, only that they looked awesome and were so basic,” he beamed, a dreamy smile stretching across his face. Despite knowing little about them, he was hooked after driving one. “Not only do they handle like a dream, very tight with an instant response, but added to that was the fact that they are known as the cult car — it makes them a bit devious and more desirable.” The unmistakable boxy frame of 2002s look like the car your aviator sporting, shaggy haired, beach bum boyfriend would take you out in, cruising long straightaways with the windows down and sun shining in. It’s the car that’s your dad’s pride and joy and you do nothing but beg him to borrow it when you turn 16 so you can impress the ladies as you pull up to school in it. Slightly goofy looking — they’ve always reminded me of gophers with their buckteeth-esque center grill — they are asking to not be taken too seriously, and are therefore reminding you not to take yourself too seriously. They look out of place sitting in a parking lot, anxious, like they’re just waiting for their owner to come back out and play. They’re begging to be driven, to show you a good time. 2002 owners are in a relationship much deeper than simply car and driver. They have a mutual, relentless love for one another. The owner complies with the car's every desire to be driven with compassion, to be treated as more than just a car. In return, the ’02 reminds the driver to take everything in stride. “The 2002 has become more than a car. It’s a symbol of so much more,” Wood said. “Every time I get near my car to go somewhere, I get butterflies, even after a year and a half. It’s still as fun to drive as the day I got it.” Their playful attitude, quirky look and indescribable allure are why people from all generations are drawn to it. Wood says he’s counted seven or eight ’02s in Savannah. Owners of any age view their 2002 as something more than a way of getting around. Owning a 2002 almost defines who they are. Admirers of the car BMW 2002s | essay
range in age even more. Wood said, “I have everyone from tenyear-old girls to sixty-five year old men compliment it and give me thumbs up.” The first 2002 I ever rode in was my boyfriend’s and I immediately noticed how much attention it got. For the first couple of weeks, I thought everyone was looking at me. We cruised through town and heads turned in my direction, pedestrians stared unabashedly on the crosswalks and guys on the sidewalk would shoot a thumbs up. After a thin haired, stout man yelled, “I had one of those when they first came out,” I quickly realized he was not talking about me. Two years later, I’m still surprised by the amount of attention it gets from strangers as we whiz through town. The allure to the driver is not only the constant attention this tiny German machine draws, but also the idea that they are part of a community. The best thing that can happen to a ’02 driver is finding another ’02er. The conversation always starts, “What year is yours?” Even though the model was only made for eight years (1968-1976), the most minute differences are the most exciting, such as whether the taillights are round or square. With only 325,917 models ever produced, owning a 2002 automatically initiates you into an exclusive brotherhood where it’s assumed, often accurately, that others are just as obsessed with their car as you. When I ride in my boyfriend’s 2002 and he sees another one slip by, whatever conversation we were having ceases to exist. “Did you see that? We have to catch him!” he’ll shout. His eyes glaze over as catching up with the other ’02 consumes his thoughts. Nothing I say can snap him out of it. I know that I’m no longer the favorite. I take a backseat to his love for that car. The thing about 2002s is that while everyone who owns one is addicted to it, no owner can place one universal reason why they attract a cult following. They can’t pinpoint that unexplainable attraction every owner feels. Parker, whose two 2002s include one for shooting down the racetrack and one for zipping down streets, has a hard time pinpointing the allure even though he’s been around them his entire life. “It is a bit of a mystery as to why the 2002 really stuck. The ugly, boxy little thing that people just can’t resist,” he laughs, adding that you have to drive one to understand the attraction. “They’re addictive the way they drive. You’re so in touch with the road and you can feel everything and you can drive them aggressively or sedately around town.” A relationship as deep as that between an ’02 and their owner is hard to break off. Just like every romance story where one lover can’t live without the other, Parker speculates, “I’ve thought about selling my street car, but I’d just end up with another one if I did.” While no one knows exactly why 2002s are the ultimate cult car, they’re not asking questions. They’re just sliding behind the wheel and happily taking their lover for a drive.
They look out of place sitting in a parking lot, anxious, like theyâ€™re just waiting for their owner to come back out and play.
BMW 2002s | essay
@SCAD: Eco - Bandit Just Your Everyday
Katelan Cunningham Arlington, Texas
When people think of recycling, the first thing that comes to mind is not usually college parties, but the idea of so many recyclables in one place had third-year film major Matthew Demarko seeing green. “We wanted to do something big. I wanted a big production,” Demarko said. This big production is “Recycle This!” a short film written and directed by Demarko. While the idea came about in his Intro to Dramatic Writing class, his script became reality as a project for his Directing the Narrative class. The film follows Davy the “eco-bandit” and his unusually bizarre way of funding his college tuition. Davy takes cans and bottles from various college parties and recycles them. Instead of holding onto things, Davy is a Robin Hood of the green movement— stealing from the inebriated and giving back to the environment, all while getting some cash. “Recycling and materialism — it’s a tricky line in between them, but I think they can both coexist,” said Demarko. “I think one of the hardest parts about the green movement is that it makes people “I think recycling and the eco movement fly in the face of materialism. If people…feed themselves materialism over and over again then they learn not to be a packrat and hold onto things, but to hold something new in higher esteem.”
rethink [the idea] that they don’t have to hold onto things. That it might be more valuable recycling it and regiving it.” With ten weeks to do the project, he gathered a reliable team. One of the biggest challenges in making the film was finding a way to recruit 50 extras. Luckily, popular take-out restaurant, Zunzi’s, caters one 10
Eco - Bandit | interview
production per month for free. Demarko and his team were the second to ask that month, but Zunzi’s still donated to the project. “I don’t know anything that will get people to a place like Zunzi’s,” Demarko said. “You say Zunzi’s and people come running. That was really amazing that first morning.” It took many people collecting their own recyclables and a 55 gallon bag from Pratt Industries to make Davy’s conquest look like a financial success in the film. When the filming was done, Demarko said, “It was just nice to recycle them all and then just not see them again.” Demarko’s mom got him into recycling when he came college, and the idea for the movie sprang from there. “The movies that do best are the most unique and craziest ideas so you can get away with anything and I wanted to write a movie that wasn’t preachy. [That] had recycling in it, but it had an eco-bandit.” The eco-bandit is played by Andrew Champlin. “I knew who the guy was the entire time I was writing it," Demarko said. "I wouldn’t say he’s my muse [laughs], but Andrew Champlin has been in every movie I’ve ever done. He is a perfect fit for this role.” Some say to write with famous actors in mind for the characters but Demarko said, “Instead of doing that, I associated it with all my friends.” “I was in the character a lot. A lot of my friends were in the character, and then I used a lot of stereotypes to their fullest.” Besides Andrew, the speaking roles are played by Filipe Medeiros, Chase Arrington and Jana Barros. Arrington and Medeiros play the frat-like guys who are the villains to Davy’s plan. “[Mederios] did very well. He drives a lot of it.” Demarko said, “I had struggled between casting someone who was a true-to-life frat boy or someone with acting experience and so I guess I went with both. So, Chase has
acting experience.” Barros is the only performing arts major. “After I saw her, she impressed me and she was really tall and confident and kind of fit that femme fatale persona.” To get this big production done, Demarko had a lot of people to help make it happen. “But the problem is, once you get it and the chase is over, then what you’ve got isn’t what you thought it was anymore. The unattainable is attained and that’s materialism’s fault. So you want something else, something more, not realizing what you have.”
“Pieter Ribbons is only a sophomore, but he is going to be an amazing director of photography. When he agreed to help me with it before the quarter even started over the winter break, I felt really confident in the project,” Demarko said. “Lauren Adams was our assistant director and was very aggressive in getting things done. If you’ve got professional people like that who can adhere to deadlines and kind of put your creative focus on a time schedule, then that’s when you can get things done.” Since the film’s production, Demarko is still doing work to finish up the project. “I think that if I could go back, I’d change some shots. I don’t know who said it, but they said, ‘A project is never finished, it’s just abandoned,’ and I believe that.” Still, Demarko said the film was “a wild ride.” The film is registered on Withoutabox for exposure to film festivals, and from there Demarko hopes it will gain some attention and be entered into film competitions. Look for the film on our site: scaddistrict.com/quarterly
Recycle This! Amy Carter Charleston, S.C. next page: left
Madonna, Pop Princess Lizzeth Huerta Priego Villhermosa, Mexico next page: right
Steak on a Porno Mag Alexander Bushnell
Silver Spring, Md.
Eco - Bandit | interview
no less valid. Are our minds empty? No. They are filled with other things, things not to be discounted because they did not exist 20, 10, five or even two years ago. The technology that Generation M buys in droves is our grand enabler. I’m told it has made us lazy. “Why do you need a smart phone when you have a regular phone? I don’t need all that extra stuff,” some say with a certain derogatory tone. Well, I wonder, why did you get a mobile phone to begin with? Perhaps the lack of a physical tether made your life easier? Which leads to the next charge against us. Ease is all that matters. We don’t take the time to figure things out or have the attention span for them. We skim when we read and we write short bursts of text because that’s all we want. Every time I hear someone say we like everything to be easy I think of that old adage, “In my day we marched to school uphill in the snow with bare feet!” Good for you. In my day, I don’t have to. I may not have the finite details of significant people, events or ideas ingrained in my mind through tedious repetition from school, but I have the knowledge to find them. And, for that matter, anything else I’d like. I carry in my pocket the entirety of human knowledge. Who in the past could have said that? For that I am labeled materialistic and even wasteful because I spent hundreds of dollars on an “iThing.” Clearly, I could have just stopped whatever I was doing and driven to the library or book store and bought a book to get my answer. Because I didn’t read the book, am I less intelligent, less willing to learn, unwilling to spend time on something? No. I got my answer in 30 seconds and moved on to my next question while my detractors were stuck in traffic.
At the start of the Industrial Revolution, there were no widespread public education systems. If industrialism were to succeed, it needed a knowledgeable workforce. The leaders of the time created public education to prepare people to work in that environment. Industrialism is over, but we’re still educating people for it. The system I went through attempted to mold and condition me, and for that purpose I was taught a very limited and strict set of knowledge that was pre-determined for me as worth knowing. I used my ability to multitask that was conditioned into me and sat at my computer in class looking up things that I found interesting. Does Generation M use the Internet instead of going to the library or reading a book to learn? Yes, but what does that matter? There are whole libraries on the Internet. Digital information is
Despite the fact that we’re all taught the same, we’re also charged with being the same. We all buy the same brands, the same phones, we watch the same TV and the same movies. Little actually differentiates us because we’ve bought into the advertising that we’re too simple to figure out due to how lazy we are, right? The idea is that if only we were to set this stuff aside and spend more time in school, reading books and socializing with humans face-to-face, everything would be better — that’s the most laughably absurd response I hear. I think to myself, “If only we stopped using everything industrialism brought us and went back to an isolated agrarian society everything would be better!” It’s not going to happen. We embraced industrialism and it lead to new heights of discovery, and
My generation, the Millennials, or Generation M, as we’re commonly referred to, are often labeled as highly narcissistic and materialistic. While I am obliged to agree with the charges made against us, I am simultaneously offended. It is true that my peers impulsively display their emotions and opinions for the whole world to see. I cannot deny that, but I’m not being dramatic when I say the whole world, and that’s the key. When in human history could any person anywhere create something every person everywhere could view? This narcissistic behavior is a side effect of the digital revolution engulfing the planet. I think it’s not only wrong, but fundamentally dangerous to judge the entirety of a technological and societal evolution on one facet alone. We must see the whole, and that, I will explain after dealing with a few of the more specific charges levied against us. Our detractors say we’re vain and care chiefly about ourselves. Status updates, texting, TV and the brands we buy are all signs of this. We care, so I’m told, about letting others know that we identify with these brands, this political party or that one, or like one type of food but not another. Knowledge of the world is second to our tangential awareness of each other. Generation M is not without knowledge or cares of and in the world. We have plenty of both. It is simply acquired differently and applied to different things. We do not all need to fill our minds with the same knowledge. When I say “we” here I mean everyone on earth. Year after year we are taught to be individuals, to pursue our passions and dreams, but we are all brought up through the same educational system. We are all taught the same subjects in the same way. We are all taught to be different the same way.
Broken Gadgets Brianna Leonard
inadvertently began the process that lead us to this revolution. It is still in its infancy. One of the growing pains is the narcissism thatâ€™s so often derided as a symptom of the technology and not the people using it. We see that this is beginning to change as we develop meaningful uses for it. Just as industrialism allowed companies to bring products to the masses quickly and cheaply, the digital revolution brings speech and ideas to the masses quickly, cheaply and, for the first time, by anyone who wants to speak or has an idea. When the first weaving machine simplified the handmade process, Ned Ludd smashed it and a whole group of people, Luddites, assembled to oppose these machines taking their jobs. Yet look at the expanse of human growth that came from the Industrial Revo-
lution and machines taking our jobs. Humanity adapted and built new industries, new sciences and new ways to employ its creativity. â€¨This revolution promises the same for my generation. We learn and interact with the world differently, instantly and globally. Our creativity can reach a global audience because countless hours of hard work were spent researching and developing tools to make this process easy. Our task is to do what is next, what is hard, not what has been done. We must not be afraid to see the future for what it is. We are no less intelligent, no less resourceful and no less committed because we can get something in 30 seconds. Our first step must be to cast aside the material label. It is of no use to us. Travis Walters, Beaufort, S.C.
Lazy | essay
Hoard Ben Wright
By the time the sun reaches over the mountain of my life, itâ€™s past noon and I am looking for that one thing that will transubstantiate you completely. I have chosen to pour myself into cracked glasses and broken picture frames, empty juice boxes, ripped stuffed animals and decaying furniture so in the event of a fire or accidental burial the most important part of me will be somewhere else, an octopus of light. When I was six I smashed my motherâ€™s music box. I have kept the bones of those notes, the skull of that song and buried it inside a book which is inside a box that contains bank statements inherited from my father. Inside these lattices, stacked on top of the bodies of all my memories, I live again and again.
My Pet Fish Melissa Sixma Ponco Inlet, Fla. opposite:
What is she without it all? Bridgette Blanton Shelby, N.C.
“My photographs are snapshots from life. They touch on ideas of materialism, the love of money, ideas of the expectations we have about money and things that we obtain throughout life. The image relates to the idea that money somehow provides a shelter to protect us from the uncertainties of life, yet it’s nothing more than a tent made of paper.” It’s Just Business Gabriel Striritz Russellville, Ark.
322 WE ST B R OU G H TON STR E ET
S AVA N N A H
w w w. m a r c j a c o b s . c o m
ja m i e b o c h e r t p h o t o g r a p h e d by j u e r g e n t e l l e r
ExPressiOns A sneakerhead of southwest Florida gets to the heart of the lifestyle. written by: Adeshola Adigun Cape Coral, Fla.
Sneaker Freakers Lauren Oâ€™Connell
Rockville Centre, N.Y.
Kicks — sneakers Coppin’ — purchasing Dope — cool, nice, etc. Gwap — money, cash Colorway — a color scheme Heat — rare or expensive sneakers Rocking kicks — wearing sneakers Jays — Jordan brand sneakers Nike SB — Nike skateboarding sneakers DXC — Dunkxchange - a sneaker convention D.S. — deadstock - brand new sneakers that haven’t been worn O.G. — the original model or colorway of a Jordan brand sneaker Retro — the remake of a previously released Jordan brand sneaker Hypebeast — one who buys sneakers just because everyone else is
DevotioN Mania When I was living in New York City, I looked up to my older cousins because they had an assortment of sneakers at their disposal. Although I longed to have the same style as them, I couldn’t convince my mother to spend hundreds of dollars on high-end footwear. Every so often, my father would purchase a pair of Nike brand sneakers for my brother and me on our occasional weekend visits with him in Brooklyn. But since I wasn’t as fortunate as my cousins and the “cool kids” in school, I rarely had an acceptable pair of sneakers. After high school, when I started working and making my own money, I decided it was my opportunity to indulge in buying pricey, stylish sneakers. But every sneakerhead has a unique story–different sneakerheads collect for different reasons. For some, it’s because of their childhood or
¨ All we think about is
kicks and chicks. ¨ 22
Sole Expressions | essay
a change in financial status, while others start collecting because of changes in personal style. Adam “Chin Chin” Nguyen, Florida Gulf Coast University student and aspiring business owner, started collecting sneakers when he got his financial aid check his first semester at Edison State College. Once he took care of his educational finances, he “started buying kicks like crazy!” Chin Chin’s brother, Brian “Chino,” known as a local sneaker aficionado, started collecting about four years ago when he fell in love with the Jordan Green Bean Vs. “I was always into looking fresh, and I saw my boys rocking Jays,” he said. “I was always around them and they were always talking about sneakers. I did my homework, checked out what Jays were coming out next, and the rest is history.” According to Chin Chin, “we stop at nothing to get the shoes we want; that is what makes us sneakerheads. All we think about is kicks and chicks. We buy, sell and trade sneakers, and that is how we collect.” Sneakerheads are known to blow all their money on sneakers. For the most part, the sneakers that tend to cost the most money are the O.G., or limited edition pairs. I think the most I ever spent on kicks was $200, and that was for the Old Love
New Love package — a retro version of the Jordan I sneaker, which came with two pairs. As far as a single pair goes, I bought my Dinosaur Jr. Nike SB Dunk for $170 at the Dunkxchange. But, there are sneakerheads who are willing to blow up to $1,000 on a single pair of shoes. One of the most common sneakerhead habits is camping out for the release of a sneaker. Jordan release dates are usually on a Saturday morning, but if the sneaker being released is high in demand but low in supply, some sneakerheads will wait outside the store for days to guarantee them a pair in their size. Although it can guarantee you a pair of sneakers, sometimes walking away with your life can be the real test Chino recalled a lifethreatening sneaker experience: “I was with my brother Chin (who is also a sneakerhead — runs in the family) and a couple of our friends were camping out for the CDP XI/XII. We started camping out at 11 p.m. the night before. Around 3 or 4 a.m., some dudes came running up to us with guns trying to rob us for money. I was literally lying on the floor with a gun to my head. The robbers walked away with my homeboy’s chain and money. I was able to walk away with my life.”
SNeakErHeAd KnowleDge When you first develop an interest in something, your knowledge of it is limited, but the more you learn, the wiser your decisions. In my early years of collecting sneakers, I would buy any kicks I thought looked cool. As I began to learn more about the culture and what I was spending my money on, my taste became more refined. I wasn’t buying pairs of sneakers just to buy them, I started buying the ones that had an interesting story and an unusual colorway. Chin Chin recalled, “When I first started collecting, I bought every pair of retro Jordans I could get my hands on. But as time progressed, I realized it’s quality over quantity. So it’s more about the history and the rarity of the sneakers. Basically, it’s the shoe that you have to discover, not the one
you just go to the mall and pick up.” “I learned from various Web sites, online forums (Niketalk, etc.), and friends,” said Chino. “You gotta do research because sneakers have a different story underneath each sole.” The Internet has created many ways for sneakerheads to develop knowledge on sneakers, find the sneakers they’re looking for, and find buyers interested in the sneakers they’re selling. Online forums such as Niketalk have provided sneaker lovers worldwide with a network to post photos of their footwear in order for sneaker heads looking to buy, sell or trade.
THE dxc There was a time Chino spent $400 on the 2001 Jordan Olympic VIs at the Dunkxchange, and I was there. It was quite the sight when he approached me after making his purchase — Saran-wrapped sneakers in hand — from a seller from the Miami area. “They’re one of my all-time holy grails,” said Chino. “’Til this day, I never regret buying those shoes.” Deadstock and O.G. sneakers are often time capsuled or put on ice. Meaning that if they’re a rare sneaker, placing them in a sealed Ziploc bag or Saran wrap and refraining from wearing them keep them in good condition for years. The sealed Ziploc helps prevent the leather from yellowing or falling apart from years of sitting in the closet or attic. The Dunkxchange started in 2005. Gary Hughes — a sneakerhead who was tired of worrying about purchasing rare shoes on the Internet only to find out they were fake — created it. The name Dunkxchange (also referred to as the DXC) stems from one of Nike’s most celebrated and respected sneakers, the Nike Dunk, which started as a basketball sneaker then became a popular skateboarding sneaker. The Jordan I model — my favorite Jordan brand sneaker — was actually adapted from the Nike Dunk. Although titled the Dunkxchange, all types of sneakers can be found at this sneaker convention. The DXC travels to several of
the larger U.S. cities and has been known to have guest appearances from rap artists like Fat Joe alongside Mi Gente Clothing. The DXC allows sneakerheads to engage in business with others in a safe, peer-oriented environment. Attended by sneakerheads of all ages, everyone has a respect for the sneakerhead culture, so it’s rare for things to get out of hand. In previous years, people had been stabbed, shot and even killed for their pricey sneakers because there wasn’t a safe place for them to conduct business, which is one of the other reasons Gary Hughes put the convention together. With so much traffic in the venue where the event is held, sneakerheads usually hold their sneakers in the air so anyone interested can notice them and flag the seller down — that is why the event is considered the “sneaker stock market.” Sneakerheads walk through crowds, sneakers in hand, with their arms held high like Christians during worship.
Fakes Versions of expensive sneakers can be purchased at various gas stations and flea markets. Sneakerheads can be seen calling people out on their fake sneakers. If someone is spotted wearing fakes at the DXC, it’s tradition for everyone to scorn the owner of the fakes. Then the hosts usually confiscate and burn the fake sneakers in a trash can and provide the owner with a pair of real sneakers to replace the fakes. “I used to put people on blast just because I knew they were wearing fakes,” said Chin Chin, “but I try to chill out now. I just think of a funny name for the fakes
they’re wearing, and chuckle about it with the people I’m with at the time.” While Chino sympathized with the fake-wearers saying, “Half of the people who rock fake kicks don’t even know their shoes are fakes (or don’t believe they are). They don’t know the shoe game like the real sneakerheads. If you know your sneakers and you’re rocking a fake pair of shoes, you should be ashamed to call yourself a sneakerhead.” A couple years ago, when I was more involved in the sneakerhead lifestyle, I would give up meals and hitch rides with friends just so I could spend less money and have more to buy kicks. It didn’t seem like a big deal to me then, but in retrospect, that was pretty irrational. When you start giving up meals for material things, you may want to seek help. Some resort to less extreme measures like scurrying through the house for change to cash in. Everyone has a way of expressing themselves. For some, it’s an assortment of designer handbags at their disposal; some keep their eyes glued to the television playing video games. As sneakerheads, the soles we wear are a piece of our souls.
¨ Sneakerheads walk through crowds, sneakers in hand, with their arms held high like
Christians during worship.¨ Sole Expressions | essay
Junk Girl Jana Garberg
Frankfurt Main, Germany
Most? Ezra Salkin
I awoke to a cacophony of chimes and bells from my Dr. Dre, West Coast gangsta rap ring tone. The startling wakeup call filled my historic Savannah bedroom. I looked over at my platinum Spiderman alarm clock. It was 10:50 a.m. I tossed off my white satin covers and stumbled past the carved mahogany fireplace, over to the drafting table where my iPhone charged next to my iPod and MacBook Pro. I hadn’t gotten to bed until 4:30 a.m. the night before, because my roommate Jesse and I got into a fierce debate over which trilogy was better: “Star Wars” or “Lord of the Rings,” and which was worthy of the Blue-ray upgrade when each of us already had the special edition DVDs of both. It lasted hours. Eventually we took an early morning drive to Walmart. We purchased both. “Hello,” I said groggily. “Ez, there’s a tornado warning for downtown Savannah!” my mom yelped from the other end. “What?” “There’s a tornado warning for downtown Savannah,” she repeated, her voice rising. I could tell from the rapidity and edginess of her speech that she must be on at least her third cup of coffee from her new espresso machine — an early holiday present to herself. I rubbed my eyes and looked out my third-story window. The double spirals of St. John the Baptist rose up out of a canopy of wet leaves and branches. They were cast in a dense haze, making the green skeletal lining that ran up the massive black towers more muted than usual, nearly concealing the gold-plated crucifixes that perched on the twin apexes, piercing the cloud cover like bright tinsel. It was as if the heavens had taken it upon themselves to devour all those within the lavish, holy walls, in a premature Rapture. I was able to make out the form of a homeless man begging for change outside the massive church doors. “Don’t the meek come first?” I thought to myself. The sign about social justice was obscured in the fog. “It’s not even raining,” I said, annoyed. Then a
droplet plopped and exploded on my chipped windowsill. “Do you hear sirens? It said in the report that sirens were being sounded in downtown Savannah,” Mom said. “Nope,” I replied, somewhat disappointed. I always wanted to see a real-life, honest-to-God twister. Who wouldn’t want to experience that—something that cool and exciting that you didn’t have to buy? “Maybe there’s a different downtown Savannah, other than the Historic District?” She seemed relieved, now that she believed there might not be a reason to be alarmed. “What’s Dad got to say about all this?” “Oh, he’s off bowling with his new ball,” she said. “What about his old ball?” “I don’t know. He decided he wanted a new ball.” It sounded like the Great Flood was cascading against our blue stucco roof — washing away the wicked and drowning out our conversation at the same time. A second later, sirens wailed from downtown. “Uh oh, I hear it!” I exclaimed. “The tornado?” “No, the sirens!” I said. “Can you even hear a tornado? I need to get dressed.” “Don’t get dressed, just get out of there!” she screamed into my ear. I quickly explained to her, that if this storm blew down our Southern Victorian house, I wasn’t about to be caught outside in my underwear, although part of me did want the world to see my Diesel boxers that had been so expensive, but, then again, it wasn’t worth exposing my chicken legs. I slipped into a modest pair of royal blue Ralph Lauren pajamas. They were decorated with little silver polo players. Then, without looking, I picked up a small bottle of men’s cologne and gave myself a quick spray. “OK, dear, warn your roommates — I’m sure their mommies will appreciate that.” “OK, Mom.” “And don’t get flattened by the tornado. And don’t go outside and get drenched and catch pneumonia. And don’t go and get hit by lightning!” “OK, Mom.” I said again, “but what do I do now?” “Cover yourself in pillows,” she said. I forgot I was talking to the same woman, who, when I moved off campus, sent me a rope fireescape ladder for a house warming gift. “I got to go. I’ll call back later. OK. Bye,” I said as I punched end call, cutting her off. I grabbed my PSP, so at least I’d have something to do while I waited for the visage of the ominous, dark, whirling titan to show itself. Also on the shelf was a late Nexflix movie that a friend had left by accident, called “Capitalism: A Love Story.” In passing, I took one look at the fat man in the baseball cap on the cover and thought, “Wow, that looks boring.” My only two roommates who were home were Jesse and Kevin. Zander and Kat were both at their respective girlfriend’s and boyfriend’s places. What Matters Most | essay
I burst into Jesse’s room, past his 40-inch flat screen, double monitor for his PC, Panasonic Speakers, La-Z-Boy and his Xbox 360. Everyone in this house but me had their own Xbox 360, and they’d all play against one another online in their own separate rooms, yelling and cursing into their headsets all night. Kat’s dog Topher, a purebred Jack Russell terrier — who she often dressed in frilly children’s clothes — lay stretched lazily in the center of the bed. Under a ripped Bob Dylan poster, Jesse lay tucked in a little ball, fast asleep at the far end of the mattress. All that could be seen of him was a bushy black tuft Jew-fro curling from under his comforter, his snoring in sonorous rhythm to the droning fan. “Jesse — Yo Jesse!” I called, first softly, then louder. I moved past a massive shelf of dusty DVDs. Nothing. “Jesse, wake up, there’s a tornado warning. There are sirens going off!” His eyes opened just enough to be noticeable. Sure, Jesse was lazy, but I was surprised that even the news of a potentially imminent natural disaster befalling the historic city that General Sherman resolved to burn to the ground, but didn’t because of its beauty and charm, could register a reaction from him. He yawned. “There’s no tornado,” he said sleepily. His eyes were sewn shut, but he slipped on a pair of Armani glasses. “There are sirens going off!” I protested. “There’s no tornado,” he said again, smacking his lips. “They’re just talking crap.”
Well, I thought,
he gave me no choice.
I kicked his door in. Rain sputtered bombastically against the panes of the abutting sun/laundry room that Zander had turned into his Warhammer gallery/tournament room. I looked through the window separating Jesse’s room from the sun room at the multitude of small tattooed figurines with guns, blades and tanks that Zander had spent so much time meticulously painting. They looked fierce all right, but were they ready for the foe potentially ready to land on our doorstep? They had cost enough. They’d better be ready! “Alright, so you’re just going to lie there, while the big bad wolf blows our freaking house down?” He nodded his head slowly, his eyes still shut, a dumb closedmouth smsile on his face. I saw that no winsome charm, not even the Gestapo, could succeed in getting him out of bed, or for that matter, getting Topher out of bed. I left as Jesse made a snide remark about global warming, another topic of vitriolic debate between us, he being the skeptic. “I hope your Xbox 360, computer, monitor, guitar and Rock Band set all get blown to smithereens,” I yelled back. Then I remembered my own PlayStation 3 directly above. Oh. Kevin’s room was right next to Jesse’s. With some of the noises 26
What Matters Most | essay
I’ve heard in there when Kevin’s girlfriend visits, I didn’t feel comfortable just barging in — even now, when she’s a state away and he’s spending the night alone. So I phoned him. After a moment, I heard, from the other side of the wall, the “House” theme, his ringtone. His phone rang twice. There was a groan, then silence. Well, I thought, he gave me no choice. I kicked his door in. He was rolled up in a tangled mess of covers. Above his bed was a giant framed poster of “Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones.” Under that was an old-fashioned aluminum sign that read, “Beware: Poker Players and Loose Women often frequent this establishment.” To the left of his bed, between a pair of closed green curtains and another mahogany fireplace, was his desk. Sitting atop that were his laptop and a varied display of empty and expensive alcohol bottles and a little stuffed Yoda. Behind his desk was a brick wall and a poster of a cocky-looking Brad Pitt and a stupefied, beat-up Ed Norton, with a list of the rules one must abide by, to be part of fight club. “You have to lose everything before you’re free to do anything.” “Kevin! Kevin, wake up! There’s a tornado coming,” I said in my most serious voice. His head shot up, a look of bewilderment in his bloodshot eyes. “What?” he said. “Close my door!” I heard Jesse yell from down the hall. I ignored him. “There’s a tornado coming,” I repeated. “Dude, I just got back from the animation building an hour ago!” “Damn!” “Yeah,” he said, “Damn is right. Now leave me alone.” He spun around, diving face-first into his pillow as if he were trying to suffocate himself. “There are sirens going off,” I said. He didn’t say anything. Dejectedly, I left, and as I did, I heard a muffled, “I ain’t scared of no tornado.” Now that I had let down my roommates’ mommies, I wondered what I should do next. If the tornado was coming from behind us, the ideal place to see it would be the sunroom. After contemplating that thought more thoroughly, the idea of standing in a room essentially encased entirely by glass probably wasn’t the best move. Apparently, I wasn’t as brave as Zander’s “Warhammer” figures. Not knowing what else to do, I took out one of my new bowls that Mom had bought me at IKEA and fixed myself a bowl of Frosted Mini Wheats. I sat down in the living room. About an hour later, Jesse lumbered down the stairs in his pajamas. His mouth widened into a gaping yawn as he stretched his arms behind his head and pushed out his chest like a cantankerous ape. “Yo, did you know there were sirens going off this morning? There was a tornado or something.” He squinted at me, his expression one of tired confusion. “Why are you covered in pillows?” he asked. I just looked at him, then went back to playing “Grand Theft Auto” on my PSP.
Jahanavi Patal Bombay, India
Katrina “‘I don’t owe anybody, and I’m — Anthony Valentino.’ These images [in the Wilson Ward Woods series]define a group of individuals with strong intrinsic values; meaning that their sustainable existence although has very few positive outcomes, is morally more stable and held in a higher regard than the lifestyle someone would live in society. Materialism is the idea that the only thing that exists is matter, and these images depict a reality that is in direct opposition to those exact ideals.” Alexander Bushnell
Silver Spring, Md.
Cut the Fat Beth Post
Porta-John Krisna MacDonald Indianapolis, Ind.
Andrew Anderson Gainesville, Ga.
Dale was a crazy sum’bitch. I knew this from the first time he shot a bottle rocket from his teeth and the way he wrestled gators down in the bayou. I knew he was crazy, but he was also the smartest guy I knew here in Tuscaloosa. Hell, he’s the only feller I knew who made it into community
college. I reckon Dale had things figured out; he was learning to be an asphalt technician. He figured that would impress Jenna-Beth. She was the diamond of Dixieland, winning all them beauty pageants and what not. Jenna-Beth had other plans. She met
some long-haired city-slicker from Metter, Ga. and wasn’t that impressed with Dale and his asphalt technician pursuits. The county fair was coming to town, so Dale figured that would be the time and place to impress Jenna-Beth. He got the county fair commissioner to let him jump his 1970 Plymouth Superbird over 15 porta-johns. This was the best damn idea I ever heard. Women were crazy about that rusty lime green Plymouth with its footprint gas pedal, chain link steering wheel, and the shiniest pair of chrome TruckNutz I ever did see. He called her The Wild Boar. He even painted it on the doors, but if you ask me he shoulda named her The Panty Melter. She was a beauty, and he looked like he coulda been Burt Reynolds' stepbrother when he was sittin’ behind the wheel. The day of the big event was a wild one. They had the world’s smallest horse, pig races, a STYX cover band and behind the stage were 15 porta-johns with dirt ramps built up on either side. While we was all havin’ a good ol’ time, Dale was in the parking lot kickin’ his tires and checkin’ his car over real nice. It looked like Dale had even polished his TruckNutz up real pretty the night before. While the STYX cover band was playing “Renegade,” Dale drove his car up the launch ramp a couple of times. He designed the launch ramp himself. The band finished their gig and everyone started making their way around back for the grand finale, JennaBeth included. The sky was clear, the car sounded mean and the women were looking for any excuse to remove their tops. He revved the car, the crowd cheered and the ladies removed their tops. Dale floored her, slinging mud all over the Superbird before it started haulin’ ass up the ramp. He flew into the air like a jet, except this wasn’t a jet, this was a car. Then he fell from the sky, like a car would. He landed short by about 20-something feet. The car plowed through porta-john after porta-john before crashing into the landing ramp. The car looked like a damn lime green chili dog. Tops were put back on, Dale was heartbroken the car was wrecked and Jenna-Beth went home with the boy from Metter. Tuscaloosa | short story
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