Hi! I’m Neville, the treasurer of Timor Skate. I’m auctioning off the rights to give me whatever haircut(s) you want for a week. All the money raised will go towards our efforts to build a skate park in Dili, Timor-Leste.
After roughly 2 years of no haircuts since shaving my head, my hair currently looks like this:
There’s plenty to work with! Imagine how satisfying it’ll be to have some poor sap (me) walking around with some ridiculous haircut you’ve cruelly chosen to maximise my lack of dignity. Or, if you’re my Mum, imagine how nice it’ll be to have a son with a sensible short-back-and-sides. Yes, you’ll be bidding against my Mum, and she is a motivated bidder.
I’ve actually done this once before, many years ago. I ended up with some incredible and attention-grabbing haircuts: the nice ladies at the bakery I frequent were very worried about me. If you bid, alongside the feeling of helping build a skatepark for a community that would really benefit from it and the official evidence that you’re both cool and hot, you’ll also get to see the videos of those haircuts being done, as a bit of inspiration for this round (and as only the first bonus available in the bidders’ circle online group).
- Every donation is a bid (until midnight on Saturday, then it’s just a donation, but donating will still make you awesome).
- It’s a silent auction: donate/bid your maximum because there’s no back-and-forth.
- Every bidder is allowed (and encouraged!) to make a suggestion about what haircut to give me. All suggestions will be collated and given to the winner of the auction to help them make the most of it. If you are the winner, you’ll have the pick of the best ideas from the entire bidding community.
- Every bid is invited to a special online group where I’ll share photos, videos, and updates.
- Auction closes at midnight on Saturday the 12th of August, 2023 (donations very happily received after this, you just don’t qualify for the auction).
- Person, or group, with the highest bid at this time has won the rights to give me whatever haircut(s) they want for a week.
- I will not wear hats/otherwise cover my hair for the week, excepting obvious stuff like wearing a helmet when riding my bike.
- I’ll play it straight: I will not volunteer that it’s a fundraising thing, though I’ll answer honestly if asked.
- I’ll live my normal life, social events, gym, etc. No hiding at home.
- At the end of 1 week, I regain the rights to my hair, and will try to salvage something from whatever hair I’ve been left with.
Bid (donate) now!
We have lots of ways to donate, all of them count as a bid until Saturday night.
We accept bank transfer:
Account Name: TIMOR SKATE INC.
Account Number: 165187063
BSB: 633 000
Or you can visit our GoFundMe page and donate there.
If your donation is part of a group/voting bloc, please let us know either by email (email@example.com) or as a note alongside the payment. If you have a suggestion for the haircut you’d like added to the list, please include that too (descriptions, photos, artful drawings etc).
^ That’s the normal pitch, I hope you donate! This bit below is because I’m the boss of this web page and I can. You don’t have to read it.
The main Timor Skate website has all the normal stuff about why we’re trying to build a skate park, if you haven’t already, feel free to head over to the main page and have a read. One thing we don’t have on the main page but that I’ve thought about a bit and that I find interesting is the positive impact skateboarding has in a more… philosophical sense? Skateboarding is a great thing to do for a bunch of reasons that most sports* can boast: it’s fun, it’s physically demanding, it requires learning and practice, there’s a sense of accomplishment and community etc. That’s all great but it’s where skateboarding differs from the standard that it gets interesting: creativity is prized more highly than in some sports which I like because it shortens the distance between skateboarding and other creative pursuits (art of all sorts but particularly visual art, music, and fashion – all of which directly intersect with skateboarding for most skaters). Closely linked, style is really important too: what you’re doing only matters as much as how you look like while you’re doing it. Landing your first kickflip is extremely rewarding but every skater understands that’s just the beginning: you have to make it your own: give it your own style.
Beyond all that is my main point: one of skateboarding’s largest, yet rarely talked about, impacts is in the way it demonstrates a model of the world that’s not zero-sum. In, say, tennis, for someone to win someone needs to lose. In soccer, your team has to beat their team. These are great sports and plenty of people get huge benefits from them but they frame the world as something where for you to succeed, others must fail. Skateboarding offers a different way of thinking: for you to succeed, you must achieve goals you’ve set for yourself not beat someone. Nobody loses: it’s not zero-sum. If you’re skating with a friend and they get a trick they’ve been trying for a while: that’s awesome! You can purely celebrate their success because you haven’t lost anything – quite the opposite – you’ve gained the joy of seeing a friend succeed, and the inspiration to succeed yourself. It reads kind of trite but having available a view of the world where someone else succeeding is a pure good, and that your own success should be measured intrinsically is sneakily powerful. The world is very big and there are vanishingly few situations that are truly zero-sum, learning to recognise that is worthwhile!
It’s not something people talk about but anytime you can see it any time you visit a skatepark: total strangers, with greatly differing skill levels, cheer when that person who’s been trying the same trick over and over finally rolls away clean: nobody needs to fail for someone to succeed, and recognising others’ success is fun and costs you nothing.
I think it’s cool, and being able to share that additional way of looking at the world with the folks in Dili is something good that I’m happy to help with (even at the risk of my hair-related dignity!).
* I think skateboarding is better classed as a form of dance, not sport, for reasons that I hope are evident above.
** Yes, there are skateboarding competitions (we’ve even run one!) but the reality is that almost nobody cares for the final result: everyone just wants to see cool people do rad tricks and have fun.