I might be an adult, but I’m a minor at heart

June 29th, 2005  |  Tags: ,  |  11 Comments

I grew up just outside of D.C. and spent several of my adolescent years listening to ear-perforating punk rock, so I have a soft spot for the following ridiculous story.

Nike Skateboarding has angered D.C. area independent record label Dischord Records, according to the Washington Post. Their crime? Advertising their “Major Threat” skateboarding tour with a parody of (or homage to) the cover art for legendary D.C. punk rock act Minor Threat’s 1981 self-titled album.

How bad is it? You be the judge:

Minor Threat album cover

Nike "Major threat" poster

Note especially the shoes and the Nike logo on the fellow’s knee. (The Nike poster also features other not-particularly-subtle allusions that D.C. counterculture trainspotters can identify for bonus points.)

Of course, the fact that Nike — a company that generally appears to punk-rock types as wearing a bullseye — replicated such an iconic image with their branding conspicuously inserted is offensive to some people. Personally, I have a difficult time sharing in the umbrage of iconoclasts whose own icons are being profaned, so I’ll simply point out the following issues raised by this story that I found amusing:

  1. Nike has a skateboarding division? How’s that working out?
  2. What percentage of the people in the target audience for this skateboarding tour were actually alive when Minor Threat were still actively recording?
  3. The spokesman for Dischord is named Alex Bourgeois — an unfortunate name indeed in the anarchosyndicalist world of the punk-rock business. (One wonders if M. Bourgeois has something to lose in addition to his chains.)
  4. Minor Threat bassist Brian Baker is actually wearing Nikes in this famous photo. With no photoshopping required, couldn’t Nike just have licensed that picture?

By the way: the bald fellow in the Minor Threat photos is Ian MacKaye, who is currently half of The Evens. (Click the link for my brief thoughts on their self-titled album.)