the way back home

Danny MacAskill is essentially an entertainer. That’s how he earns his living. The combination of technicality, discipline & sheer joy of living he displays in this video leaves most popular fiction–100% a form of entertainment–looking sludgy & banal, even in its own terms. Why doesn’t popular fiction encourage writers as entertainingly skilful as this? Because we do not value the skillset itself, only the story it mediates. We long ago separated the skillset out and donated it to literary fiction. Danny MacAskill doesn’t tell a story. He just is. Indeed, by the look of it, he just is the skillset. As a result I cry every time I watch him perform, because the performance is so much more intense than anything I’ve ever made.

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Filed under lost & found, predicting the present

4 responses to “the way back home

  1. si0b

    Love MacAskill and the blue blue hills. The joy is in the practice of the craft even as storytelling becomes another way of selling, co-opted by brands in their pathetic attempts at perpetual growth. Thanks for this reminder to keep at it and perfect the skillset!

  2. Joe

    For me the stunts of MacAskill have the same impact as Matisse’s cut-outs – I’m not sure what they mean – but they are a great big affirmative of something…

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  4. I was first shown that by a then-13/14-year-old nephew. I remember being properly awestruck. Then, last summer, L and I took two other nephews – 10 and 12 – to the Olympic Park festival, where they had some guys doing stuff like this. The boys seemed a bit underwhelmed, but we couldn’t stop wowing. Yes, entertainment, like good circus or good fireworks, but it shouldn’t just be popular forms that aspire to this – whatever you make, you’d want it to have that visceral rush. Your stuff does that.