You don’t exactly need and extensive background in anthropology or psychology to understand that uncertainty is frightening, and uncertainty that we don’t understand the circumstances of is even more frightening. The more uncertain something is, the more powerless people feel. People simply prefer to feel like they have a say in their own destiny.
Whether you’re talking about amulets, talismans, and charms meant to ward off curses and evil spirits, or four leaf clovers, sevens, horseshoes, and a lucky rabbit’s foot. The notion that people can exert some small level of influence over the unseen hand of fate is universal human experience.
There are some areas where the charms and spells were put to the test more often than others. Warding off the evil eye was, hopefully, not a matter of day-to-day necessity. On the other hand, there is an activity, around for as long as humans have organized themselves into groups, that places a lot of demands on the whims of fortune: gambling.
Ever since society packed in the barter system and began assigning value to certain kinds of metals and, later, printed paper with a numerical denomination, the human desire to rearrange the capricious randomness of cosmic events in way that would fatten their own pockets.
Fast-forward a couple of millennia, and despite being condemned as vice and censured by law, games of chance have never missed a step. Neither has the quest for luck.
The portrayals of gambling as life’s losers grasping for a shortcut out in seedy parlors and back alleys and the portrayals of gambling as sophisticated amusement have the same, underlying message running through them. Everything is randomness. The straightest of straight arrows could be ruined by one ill-advised roll of the dice. A hot hand could take the last rat in the back of the dumpster all the way up to the penthouse. If the difference between the two is a stroke of luck, who’s to say it doesn’t work like that out the real world too? When it’s laid that bare, some people might get to thinking the real sucker’s game is punching a clock every day for 40 years. No wonder the people in charge are always so keen to make gambling illegal.
We’ve all got places to be now, so we need our games to be faster than ever. The scratch ticket is gambling stripped down to the essentials. Random chance, win or lose, no dress-up, no atmosphere, no shrimp cocktails. You don’t even have to work up the nerve anymore. Buy a dollar scratch off, and everything could change in an instant. All it takes is good luck.
The Bodega x Vans Vault Sk8-Hi LX invites you to try your luck. As a rule, beware of anyone who claims to have a sure thing, but with a classic gum sole, dice details, branded, leather insole, and premium suede/canvas construction, your odds of coming up green have never been better. Also, each pair comes packaged with a scratch ticket, giving all a chance at some Bodega-centric winnings.
The Bodega x Vans Vault Sk8-Hi LX ‘Instant Winner’ releases on Saturday, November 5th. Retail is set at $150 and the shoe will be available from the Bodega ComplexCon booth at 10:00am PST, from shop.bdgastore.com at 10:00am EST, and in-store at 10:00am EST.
Photography | Eric Zeller & Tommy Boudreau
Talent | Dave Lewis
Words | Dan Alvarez