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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
LOSTATSEA.NET > FEATURES >

May 25, 2006
Things must get rough with a name like Donnie Gay. I'd imagine that a kid's life must become a living hell sometime around the fifth grade when some asshole finds out that gay isn't just a synonym for happy and proceeds to share the word's alternate meaning with the rest of the playground. Possibly because of years of relentless taunting, Donnie Gay overcompensated and sought out the most masculine profession short of becoming a Navy SEAL. While his former tormentors are now spending forty hours a week in some stale office and taking the kids to soccer practice on the weekends, Mr. Gay is jumping on a thousand pounds of pissed off bull in front of a crowd of hundreds.

I would never accuse a bull rider of being soft, but would not hesitate to call them stupid. It is beyond me why someone would willingly see how long they can stay on an animal whose sole motivation is to get them off and keep them off. Holy shit, do these guys have balls of steel, but dauntlessness seems to be the only necessary requirement for rodeo. I can't really pick out the skill set involved other than closing your eyes and mentally repeating, "Hang on!" And don't get me started on those insanely ballsy, yet also incredibly dumb motherfuckers, Rodeo Clowns. I can't imagine there is much money in a sport sponsored by Skoal, so therefore these guys are risking life and limb for the adoration of a crowd that, like NASCAR, is simply sitting through the tedium while awaiting a grisly "mishap."

Which brings us to the Ultimate Bullriding DVD. I do not want to know you if you actively sought this out and enjoyed it. The section of the film highlighting the exceptionally gruesome falls is truly cringe-inducing and goes on way longer than it needs to. The parts showing successful rides is just boring and inane. And as if all of this weren't bad enough, Ronald Reagan even makes a guest appearance!

The portions of Ultimate Bullriding that are not dedicated to horrifically unintentional dismounts or 8-second rides focuses on champion bull riders past and present. God help us, but there are probably people out there who actually have an all-time favorite rider and fondly remember some of this footage - you know, the same kind of people who would probably call me a fag for going to the library. To be honest, I couldn't even finish the film, as it ultimately became monotonous in the same way that an extended viewing of pornography does; sure there are different people, but they really don't seem to be doing much different than anything that was being done in the preceding twenty minutes.

As with anything, there are probably intricacies of form and skill involved in bull riding that the casual observer misses. Yeah right. I might stay on a few seconds less than the pros, but I'm pretty sure I could jump on a bull, get tossed off, dislocate my shoulder, and possibly get gored while lying unconscious on the ground just like a lot of the dudes in this video.

--
Kevin Alfoldy
An aspiring global adventurer who cut his teeth on the sandy beaches and dirty bitches of Southern California, Kevin Alfoldy now spends his non-vacation days in Brooklyn, New York, where he occasionally finds the time to rub the crust out of his eyes long enough to contribute reviews and feature articles for LAS. A longtime staff member, Kevin also captains the tattered, often half-sunk raft of EPmd, our irregular column of EP reviews.

See other articles by Kevin Alfoldy.

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