Common Tongue : The Right Direction

“What the f**k is the right direction? And who is anyone to say that their direction is even the right one?”

‘It’s just good to see the sport being pushed in the right direction.’ ‘You know, I’m just going to keep riding and trying to push the sport in the right direction.’ ‘They are really pushing the sport in the right direction.’ Push, push, push, direction, direction, direction. Stay with me.
Who knows here what the term rhetoric means? Who knows what the term hollow means? What the f**k is the right direction? And who is anyone to say that their direction is even the right one? This is something that’s been bugging me a lot lately. Too many times I hear this hollow rhetoric, (You like that? Makes me sound smart…) and it’s worse yet when it comes from someone nobody has heard of and who also happens to be like fifteen. Maybe I’ll give a leave pass to the kids… Maybe they’re only mimicking what they’ve seen and heard before, but it’s still an over-used term, and it annoys me. The fact is this: everyone in history was just as dumb as you—just as clueless. In the very same way that I have no idea what I am doing but I keep trying to move forward, so have all of the other people throughout history. Some got lucky and navigated well, and others fell. But we are all as clueless as each other; bumbling through life; trying to find someone who is at least on par with us in terms of looks so we can procreate, watch football and die. So let’s all do each other a favor and drop this ‘right direction’, huh? Here’s what we think you should say: ‘I am going to keep riding and take inspiration from those around me, and together we can portray the sport in a way that we feel is worthy of admiration.’ Really? That’s what you meant to say? Then we all agree with each other anyway! But oh no! Now you’ve decided on the direction we’re all taking. ‘Jump on my back all-of-wakeboarding-past-present-and-future as I drag you along into my prophetic vision! I have foreseen the way and the light! Come on!’ Right, so, now you’re going to re-read this issue combing through to see if my words can be contradicted… then you’ll head to the website in order to find something that we’ve posted which mentions the phrase ‘the right direction’. Maybe there is something there. I don’t know. Maybe we use the term all the time and I’m actually bipolar. Yes/no. Maybe one of my personalities is never going to use this term again and the rest will be left to the eternal struggle that will eventually see me in a psychiatric ward shrieking ‘THE RIGHT DIRECTIOO—OOOOOWN!’ (Those last few OOOs were me falling down the stairs. Mental note: the nurses are trying to kill me.) Or maybe there is something in the ramble. Maybe. But I do know one thing: that until there is some sort of ‘Right Direction Committee’; your ‘right direction’ is going different to Steve’s next door. It’ll be different to ‘the Scuds’, it’ll be different to Randall’s, and it’ll be different to mine. But that’s ok. There is no right direction. Just like there is no center of the universe. There is, at best, an understanding (and a general one at that) of what looks good and what doesn’t. Look at Tindys, or Zeaching, or Slapping—but these are just opinions, and in the interest of being coherent I guess they can’t be considered ‘wrong’, just a little…stinky, is all. But I’m off topic. There is no right direction. There are only two things: what you think is the right direction, and what other people think is the right direction. Sometimes they are one and the same; most times they are similar enough that they won’t cause any headaches. But I will finish by reiterating—there is a big difference between someone saying ‘I am going to push the sport in the right direction,’ and saying ‘I am going to push the sport in what I believe is the right direction’. Capish?

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