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mat

I think both you and Jason miss (or make too little of) an important point: Minor Threat / Fugazi / is important to people not only musically, but also philosophically. In fact I'd argue that for most MT fans, the band's philosophy was equally as important as the music. You can't set that philosophy aside any more than you could set it aside from a Church just to focus on the hymns.

The very premise upon which the band was founded was based on operating completely apart from a corporate system. Moreover, the early community it fostered was one in which band and audience were all part of the same corporeal body. It wasn't Van Halen way up high on a stage. It was you. It was more intimate. Personal. There was an intense connection between the two. Our band could be your life, and all that.

Thus many of those same fans took the band's cause to be their own. And continued to do so for many long years after Minor Threat broke up. It wasn't just music. It was a movement. For many people (and I do not count myself among them) it still is.

Jason suggests that Dischord "lighten up," and in agreeing with him I gather that you do too. For Dischord or Ian MacKaye to "lighten up" would be paramount to it turning its back on everything it has stood for for the past twenty years, both to itself and its fans. If the people at Nike who came up with this ad didn't know that Dischord/MacKaye would be upset then they either didn't know very much about the cover they were aping, or they were f*cking idiots.

The cynical attitude that people should just get over it--worse that they are hypocrites for caring--denotes a failure of belief. You can't understand belief from a base of cynicism. But belief systems--be they philosophical, political, religious, artistic, intellectual--have defined the world we live in again and again through violence and blood. For many people, beliefs are worth dying and killing for.

Nike used Minor Threat's imagery not to make an artistic statement, but to make a few bucks. Nothing is more crass. Not only that, but Nike is the epitome of what Minor Threat was reacting against; what Dischord reacts against today still.

Now here's the point in the rant were I bring up Hitler. Because no half-cocked ravings are complete without comparing your opponents to blood-lusting murderers.

Because it's iconic is WHY it should be appropriated.

That's just preposterous. Should swastikas be appropriated by Nike to make a few bucks just because they are iconic? Maybe so. It seemed to work for Skrewdriver. But that doesn't make it any less outrageous. If you want to do something outrageous, you should be prepared for people to be outraged.

People should be free to say what they want. This extends to advertisers, companies, individuals, everyone. But when you mock a person's deeply held beliefs (or worse, violate them) don't try and claim any moral high ground afterwards. You should instead expect the believer to react. As Dischord has. It isn't hypocrisy; it's the very opposite. It is consistency.

FWIW, I would have posted this on Kottke, but there wasn't a section for comments. So I pooped in your lunchbox instead. Sorry.


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