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ESPN Filming BASE FJC

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Tom A’s FJC on national tv… unbelievable.

Last year I took Miles D’s FJC and was very excited (as a noob) to share some of the footage I got from the course. So, I edited a little video, uploaded it on youtube (I know, I’m lame) and posted a link in an appropriate thread about Miles.

I felt, at the time, there was nothing wrong with doing this and there could be no possible negative affects with sharing my experience.

Tom A. sent me several private messages questioning my motives in publishing this material and gave me his strong opinion why this wasn’t good for the sport. I thought long and hard about his reasons and after several weeks decided to leave the link and the video, stand as is.

I did agree with him on a lot of his points and realize if every student posted “their” video, it wouldn’t be a good thing. BUT, I also felt like there was a lot of hypocrisy on his part for obvious reasons.

Tom, you should give this some serious thought and then answer this question. Not for me, or anyone else, because I already know the answer. Dig deep and be honest with yourself when answering…

Would you have made a big deal about my video if it was YOUR FJC?
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." - Goethe

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Tom, if you want people to like you,....



What makes you think that Tom's goal in life is to make people like him?



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...the instructor walks back from the bridge.



He's doing his job. Him jumping after the students would just complicate things. The ONLY thing the instructor should be paying attention to is the safety and education of the students, in that order.



***...household word....[url]

If you want/need your own private sport/activity, go invent one and keep it a secret. The BASE cat's been out of the bag for a long time. Good or bad, there's nothing to be done about it.

"Once we got to the point where twenty/something's needed a place on the corner that changed the oil in their cars we were doomed . . ."
-NickDG

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Tom A. sent me several private messages questioning my motives in publishing this material and gave me his strong opinion why this wasn’t good for the sport. I thought long and hard about his reasons and after several weeks decided to leave the link and the video, stand as is.



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Would you have made a big deal about my video if it was YOUR FJC?



[disclaimer: Tom's effort might blow up. we will not know until we see the finished product. and I'm less than excited about it...]

do you not see a qualitative difference between ESPN's abilities and yours?

do you not see that Tom has a more developed sense of what is appropriate and how things should be handled? (his experience ought to count for something).

if either are the case, it seems a case of sour grapes. of you thinking you (a newbie) have the right to run with the big dogs and being rebuffed. (can anyone say 100 jump wonder?)

or

do you realize you can claim victory? heck, maybe YOU educated Tom! he's just following YOUR lead! you showed him he was wrong and is playing catch-up with you! :P
DON'T PANIC
The lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
sloppy habits -> sloppy jumps -> injury or worse

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do you not see that Tom has a more developed sense of what is appropriate and how things should be handled? (his experience ought to count for something).

if either are the case, it seems a case of sour grapes. of you thinking you (a newbie) have the right to run with the big dogs and being rebuffed. (can anyone say 100 jump wonder?)




I’m not trying to run with the big dogs. I’ve made it very clear that I am, and will be, a noob for many years. My video is a bit cheesy and very low quality, not even close to being in the same league as most videographer’s at the dz’s, much less ESPN. You have missed my point, which is…

Tom’s hypocrisy!
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." - Goethe

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I’m not trying to run with the big dogs. I’ve made it very clear that I am, and will be, a noob for many years. My video is a bit cheesy and very low quality, not even close to being in the same league as most videographer’s at the dz’s, much less ESPN. You have missed my point, which is…

Tom’s hypocrisy!



I could be standing at an exit point. a more experienced jumper advises me to walk down, but then jumps themselves. I'd rather say "thank you Milles." than call Miles a hypocrite!

situations differ. what might be appropriate for some is not appropriate for others. you seem to think your effort/abilities are the same as Tom's. if so, your charge is valid. but you say you are NOT trying to run with the big dogs?!? which one is it?

Tom has chosen a high risk game. let's see if he can pull it off before being harsh.
DON'T PANIC
The lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
sloppy habits -> sloppy jumps -> injury or worse

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Any positive spin that can be put on BASE is good nowadays. Tom is good at positive spin and the public needs to see how serious some of the training is. This is not the kind of coverage that hurts us. So long as the "slant" of the story is positive, it's great. Good Luck Tom.
Rick
Rick Harrison

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you seem to think your effort/abilities are the same as Tom's. if so, your charge is valid.



Not even close! You’re all over the board with your arguments; I’m not talking about effort or abilities, but one specific thing.

Tom gave me a handful of reasons why “we” should NEVER post video about our sport. I’m just questioning his recent actions, which seems like a HUGE contradiction to our correspondence last year.

I guess you would have had to read his messages to see where I’m coming from, but I would never disclose private info, sorry.

Tom, I have nothing against you personally. Just wondering why/how your views changed since last year. C Ya!
"Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it." - Goethe

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I was one of the students on Tom's course, from what I saw this article will be a positive thing for BASE and Tom is dead right there are plenty of videos out there giving BASE a bad name and making jumpers look irresponsible.

I spoke to the writer and the film crew quite often and I believe the piece will be not only positive but portray jumpers as responsible human beings. This can only help for legal access issues etc

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I'm wondering if all the people so opposed to
mediatisation of BASE (which i understand) ever think
that one day we could have good mediatisation,
in the sense that it would actually help base and not
go against ?
Seems that Tom took all the precautions possible to
make it a good thing, wait and see but don't judge
without knowing !

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I guess you would have had to read his messages to see where I’m coming from, but I would never disclose private info, sorry.



therein lies my confusion. it leaves me guessing and apparently, I'm not close... that is why I can't understand your view. that is why your opinion appears to lack any basis.

it's honorable to keep things shared in a PM private.

but why then not ask Tom in a PM? why ask in a public forum and then keep key information private? isn't that just inviting confusion and mis-interpretation?

I respect the efforts of many to improve BASE jumping and the raw talent of others. people like Rick & Joy, Jason, NickDG, Jason, Miles, Jimmy/Marta/Todd, etc. all have areas of expertise that I would be well advised to follow. in their area of expertise, I choose to give them the benefit of doubt. I may not know enough to understand their rational. (just as I don't understand yours.)
DON'T PANIC
The lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
sloppy habits -> sloppy jumps -> injury or worse

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...the instructor walks back from the bridge.



He's doing his job. Him jumping after the students would just complicate things. The ONLY thing the instructor should be paying attention to is the safety and education of the students, in that order.



Tom might have his reasons for walking off.. My FJC instructor jumped after the students every time. I watched very closely every time to see a properly executed BASE jump was made. It really helped me realize some of my mistakes and how a pro does it. Its correct and more important a SAFE example for me to follow.

Other than that I have to agree with the few other brave souls on the forum who disagree with an FJC on ESPN regardless of who is the instructor. Maybe by next time this year their can be a long line of FJC prospects to throw off the bridge... then the year after a bunch of mass produced students standing on top of objects all over the world. Then.......... what is the point of involving the media? I have always believed BASE should be on the dl. BASE is not for everyone..... though everyone does seem to watch ESPN.
Maybe some have forgotten how many illegal jumps are made in this world. Less BASE in the media = less paranoia from security at objects.
Dan
HISPA 72 ----- "Muff Brother" 3733

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Ammon,

I’d love to talk with you about this in person. I sent you my phone number last night, if you’re willing to chat. Alternately, drop me a line with your phone number and a good time, and I’ll call you.

An even better way to discuss this would be in person, so I’d like to re-extend my offer from several months ago. My next FJC is scheduled for June 22-25. I’d love to have you come out and sit through it.



To generally respond to your accusations of hypocrisy on my part:

Please re-read this part of my initial post in this thread:

*** I have observed many BASE jumpers who have an absolute repugnance for media coverage and completely refuse to interact with the press. While I find this laudable, and tend to believe that if we all followed this course, BASE as a whole would be better off, I think that the real world situation may call for a different approach.

No matter if I, personally, or any other particular jumper, refuse to interact with the media, there are quite clearly many jumpers who are eager to do so. Few of these jumpers share my particular views of BASE, or my desires for its future direction.

Given this situation, I have two choices:

1) Have no contact with the media, and accept that the public perception of BASE will be formed by others, in the manner they prefer, for the ends they wish, or;

2) Be willing to engage in contact with the media, and try to act as a spokesman to present BASE in a manner that I am more comfortable with, in line with my personal views of BASE.

It’s a dilemma, because I’m clearly having to choose between two options that will have less than optimal results in my view (my personal optimal result would be that there was no media coverage of BASE whatsoever, but that’s not something that’s possible in the real world).



Now consider this scenario, and think about where you (and your actions) might fit into my motivations.

A leading member of the big wall climbing community, at the top of his game, wants to try something new. He meets a BASE jumper who offers to chuck him off a bridge with a parachute. He assures the climber that no previous experience or training is necessary.

The climber agrees, and has a great time. Everything goes right, and he figures he wants to try some more. His new friend refers him to another jumper who can teach him all about BASE jumping.

But the climber is no dummy. He’s familiar with the internet, and knows that there are probably lots of sides to every story. He hops on Google, reads up on BASE jumping, and tries to meet some other jumpers. He finds a guy who builds some of the gear the jumpers are using. The gear builder seems much more cautious than the first BASE jumper he met, and advises him to make some skydives out of an airplane before diving into BASE jumping.

The climber thinks about it, talks to more people, reads some more stuff, and decides to head out to the nearest dropzone to learn to skydive. He does that fairly well, but he’s pretty impatient to get back to what he’s really interested in—the BASE jumping. When he has around 40 skydives, he contacts the friend he was referred to and heads back out to learn all about BASE jumping.

This particular BASE instructor doesn’t believe that background checks are necessary, and hates it when other jumping instructors get all stingy. He just wants to share the love, and he’d love to teach anyone to BASE jump.

The climber meets up with his new instructor, they spend a great couple of days together, and the climber makes several jumps off the bridge.

Energized and excited, he edits up a video of his experience, and throws it up on the internet, showing it to all of his climbing friends. This, understandably, gets them all pumped about BASE jumping, and they want to start.

Having learned from their role model, this new group of climbers heads out to the dropzone before making their first BASE jumps. They work hard, and 20 or 30 skydives later, they all feel that they’re ready to head out to the bridge. The original climber takes them out and throws them off. Everyone heads home energized to start into this new game they’ve found.

One of the new climbers wants to do more BASE jumping. He asks his friend, and gets referred to the same instructor.

He comes back out to the bridge, and he, too, has a great time. Energized and excited, he edits up a video of his weekend, and throws it up on Youtube, sending messages out to hundreds of his climbing friends, all over the world, to share the joy he’s found.


I don’t think it takes a crystal ball to see where this story is going. What do those hundreds of climbing friends do? They’ve got some great examples, from climbers they know and respect, of the path to follow. If they want to BASE jump, they can make a couple skydives (but that’s not strictly necessary), and then off they go.




What’s my reaction to this proliferation of a view of BASE, and progression into it, that I personally disagree with? Let’s look back at my initial post. I can either:

1) Do nothing, and watch this happen, or;
2) Try to present an alternative, and share it with those same people, hoping to sway them to a different path into the sport.



Ammon, when I present an alternative to your vision, it doesn’t make me a hypocrite. It makes me someone who disagrees with the path that you are actively espousing and recruiting people to follow, and is forced into a difficult choice to offer those people an alternative.

Remember that my primary goal was to offer a vision of BASE training and progression that was thoughtful, cautious, prepared, and considerate of the risks.

Understand that our previous interaction was a major component in my decision to publicly display this course. There were other factors (I’ve had similar interactions with many other people), but you were one of the big ones.

I don’t hold any animosity toward you. My offer to come to my course is sincere, and I would genuinely appreciate the chance to meet and get to know you.
-- Tom Aiello

[email protected]
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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Tom A’s FJC on national tv…



A lot of people are missing a point that I made early on.

This project is primarily a written story, to be presented on ESPN.com. Check my first post for examples of other stories carried in this format.


I think that a written story (and especially one like this, which due to it's appearance on-line, as opposed to in a print publication, has no word or page limit) presents a significantly more in-depth view than a video. While that is obviously my personal bias (I find most written communication both more thoughtful and more in-depth than most video productions), it's one that I do hold, and one that has helped guide me.
-- Tom Aiello

[email protected]
SnakeRiverBASE.com

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I'm just glad they weren't there to film those fucking retards I almost came to blows with this morning in the hippie-homeless rainbow trailer from CA.

If Maggot feels compelled to tell some poor old tourists that those fuck-sticks weren't with him...you KNOW they're idiots.

Those morons were here to film BASE as well apparently - so if the choices are some cheese-dick Matt Hoffman wannabes, or ESPN...

Guess what fuckos...I'll take ESPN. At least they won't get the bridge shut down for letting their unleashed pit-bull scare blue haired tourists. And then shoving a camera in their face telling them it's a free country. It takes a lot to piss me off. That did.

Locals should not have to explain "Sorry ma'am, but I promise - they're NOT BASE jumpers" to the sweet old gals running the visitors center.

Someone from the BASE community invited those societal rejects. Why don't you hunt them down and bust their ass instead of Tom's? If I find out who it was, I'm going to shove a pilot chute up their ass.

Tom...see if the ESPN guys will get me a copy of the mach 3 tuck and roll I nailed. It was a training tool...yeah, that's it...a training tool.

Edit to Add - Oh, almost forgot - I'm almost sure the ESPN guys weren't tow-roping around the visitor's center on a skateboard behind a truck at about 30 MPH. Brilliant shit.
- Harvey, BASE 1232
TAN-I, IAD-I, S&TA

BLiNC Magazine Team Member

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It still surprises me how many people, who've never flown a parachute, know about BASE. They don't know much, but they do know it's a bunch of retards jumping off stuff. While that may not be far from the truth, I don't have any problem with some real BASE knowledge getting out there. Who knows, maybe it'll show a few people out there we're not all hooker fuckin, coke snortin, suicidal maniacs... or maybe that's just wishful thinking.

Those who do, can't explain. Those who don't, can't understand.

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but we... are... hooker snortin, coke fuckin, suicidal maniacs... ... ... ... aren't we? or at least... one of us...?
Web Design
Cleveland Skydiving
"Hey, these cookies don't taste anything like girl scouts..."

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Tom made a very long post simply to avoid the obvious motivations behind his hypocrisy; his grudge against Miles D. He spews on and on about it whenever he can. The hypocrisy is clear and hardly disputable. His absurd distinctions between his ESPN show and other glory hounds is completely disingenuous. His degradations of Miles D and his students are not supported by fact. His own safety record is much worse. His self righteousness is appalling IMO. Everyone wants recognition for their work. It's only natural. But when others do it its self promotion, and when he does it its for the betterment of mankind. Give me a break.

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hybrid moments...that is a good song.

all of shit bullshit drives me nutts. who cares if tom a is on espn for this. i am not saying it is wrong or right. but hey, if espn was there with a camera in your face you really wouldnt mind being on tv would you? oh thats right you would ratherpost all your illegal base on youtube for everyone to see. this is a legal bridge they are filming, you tube has objects that arent as legal as the potato. so what the fuck is all the same isnt it? type BASE jumping in on youtube and see what comes up, you dont think that attracts more stupid ignorant whuffos to the sport?

alright i'm done.

by the way i do agree that abbie is a gigantic homo.

Dont die!

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His degradations of Miles D and his students are not supported by fact.



and where are your facts?
you posted numerous allegations, but no facts!
uh pot, meet kettle...

what is with the "Cult of Miles?" Miles has obvious skills and talents few possess, but his followers seem to be a bunch of mal-contents. you can identify them by their regular trashing of the moderator. they NEVER supply any facts. they just complain of ill treatment. (by now, one would expect they have collected a ton of evidence...)

every time I've met Miles, he exudes a positive energy. it's almost freakishly positive. but these posts from his cult lack any of that energy. they tend to be freakishly negative...

if I were Miles and had his skills/knowledge/abilities, I'd be downright embarrassed by these posts "supporting" me.
DON'T PANIC
The lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
sloppy habits -> sloppy jumps -> injury or worse

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My opinion is mine alone. And, IMO, my post was not "freakishly negative." I think it is wrong that Tom uses his role as moderator to attack is FJC competitor. Holy conflict of interest! Other than that I think it is arrogant that Tom considers himself the arbiter of who should talk to the media. So I agree with the poster who thinks Tom is being hypocritical. Is there no validity to that opinion whatsoever? Anyway, just one mans opinion. I wouldn't let it ruin your idolatry of Tom. I realize how silly it all is but sometimes I am a hypocrite too. I will not beat this horse any longer.( I promise!) If your questions are anything but rheorical feel free to pm me. BSBD

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I think it is wrong that Tom uses his role as moderator to attack is FJC competitor. Holy conflict of interest!


I agree with your concept. please supply evidence to show that it applies!

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Other than that I think it is arrogant that Tom considers himself the arbiter of who should talk to the media.


again got evidence? I might agree with you!

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I wouldn't let it ruin your idolatry of Tom.


again, got evidence?
how about my critical posts already in this thread!

feel free to PM.
DON'T PANIC
The lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.
sloppy habits -> sloppy jumps -> injury or worse

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hey WWarped.. you want to see some crystal clear evidence of the hypocrisy mentioned in this thread.
well here it is man:
http://www.egwingsuits.com/forum/index.php?topic=31.0

read it then you can comment on the hypocrisy. This is Utah's personal experience. If you want Miles' you just have to look for it but I guarantee you will find it because it is the utter truth. Or better yet give the man a call.
HISPA 72 ----- "Muff Brother" 3733

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