You guys watch the debate between scientist Billy Nye and creationist Ken Ham? Did you sit back with an open mind? Did you honestly think, “Well, I’m rooted in my beliefs, but I’m interested in what the other side has to offer?”
No, no you didn’t.
Beliefs, and morals as well, are often deeply rooted in childhood experiences and you don’t need to be Sigmund Freud to get that.
But the debate was probably the same as every State of the Union address: an endless sea of eye-rolling waves slowing deteriorating a solid rock foundation.
Just like a beach isn’t made in a day, the debate created little to no conversion. Few die-hard believers will be missing a Sunday service because of what Bill Nye said (if they’re pastor even permitted them watch), nor will archeologist believe the bones they dug up were put there by God to test their faith.
It may, however, change a few younger and impressionable minds. It is, after all, when guys selling Jesus door-to-door can snag the most donations and the hardest convictions are formed.
Because, and I’m not sure how much you paid attention in history or finance class, but beliefs make fucking money. Here in good ol’ separation-of-church-and-state U.S.A., our churches don’t pay taxes, so they have plenty of money to build huge churches funded by their faithful. (At least some of them make for good skate spots.)
But unshakable beliefs and morals are good things, right?
Yes and no.
If you do something negatively to another person because of beliefs, you’re a dick. If you stick to your morals and do what you believe is right—so long as it doesn’t harm another human being—then you’re one of the good guys. Or so I believe it goes.
But that isn’t always the case, which is where “hating”—as the kids call it—can sometimes be a good thing.
For example, any comments from Bill Nye the Science Guy could be seen as an attack on religion and persecuting people for their beliefs. While I doubt that’s what happened, you can be damn sure some pulpits in front of registered voters will spin it that way.
Whether it be debating how we came to be—from a higher power or years of fighting and fucking to carry on our genes—there should always be a devil’s advocate in the room. Someone should always be asking questions, but when people start stooping to antics to get reactions then that’s when even Satan himself throws his arms up in disgust.
Because if you let certain people rise to power and fame unchecked, then they’re going to influence too many people with their narrow mindset.
I mean, I hate to do it, but when many want to see the ills of religion, they need to look no further than the Westboro Baptist Church. Then again, for science, we have guys like Andrew Wakefield, the asshole who manipulated data to falsely make people believe that vaccines cause autism.
Is everyone of any group—whether religion, race, gender, ethnicity, or any other divisible sect including wheeled recreation—just as bad as their worst members? No, of course not. Basic statistics say it’s impossible, and I got a B+ in that shit.
But, yes, debates should always happen. Anytime you get too many people with the same ideals, morals, or beliefs to sit stagnant and unchallenged for long enough, you’re going to get some bullshit out of it. Like some seriously heinous bullshit.
(See: wars, genocide, oppression, hate-mongering, etc.) Then again, if you’re the ruling class, these things are often in your favor, so it’s all a matter of perspective, both in the present and the past.
And yes, this is leading to a frank discussion about Shaun White and his beliefs. He was, after all, linked up with them since he was 10, as is evident in this MTV Sports clip posted on ONE Magazine’s site.
The above video is actually a greater piece of evidence in Shaun’s favor than anything else I can see. It shows that he’s been sharing skate parks with all types, including when skate parks were mobbed by rollerbladers, especially when we were the sport with kids who sat around and got in the way more than they actually skated.
Rollerbladers, for a brief period in history, were the ruling class in action sports. It’s still the fastest-growing recreation sport America has ever seen.
That gives more than enough probability that Shaun encountered enough dickbags who wouldn’t think twice about cussing out out a little kid for doing what he loves. That, according to classical and modern psychology, can leave some baggage on a kid.
That might explain why the now 27-year-old, two Olympic gold medal-, 10 ESPY-, and highest X-Games gold medal-winning professional athlete and millionaire businessman Shaun White stated to Snowboarder Magazine, he has “moral”obligations against manufacturing rollerblades with his name on it.
Psychological effects of previous blader sins might have something to do with it, but then again, if someone of his stature has ethical reservations about shilling our wares at Target means we’re still a threat. Why would such a prominent and profitable action sports super star even say he’s “morally” against producing rollerblades?
One could argue—and I will—that by saying that he’ll sell more skateboards. It’s “edgy” to say you’re against blading because most people hear rollerblading and still believe every Spandex-wrapped stereotype that was going on when Shaun White was 10 years old and on MTV.
Don’t you get it? Man, the Flying Tomato said he’ll put his name on skateboards and scooters (profitable), but not on rollerblades (not-profitable), so it has to be about morals?
It’s a shame though. I was looking forward to Shaun White rollerblades, which, I’m sure, would be right on par in terms of quality, with, oh, I don’t know, possibly Airwalks?
Could you imagine what would happen if Shaun White made skates, which made them cool for little kids, which increased rollerbladers at the skate park?
Oh, Jesus Hector Cheerios he would lose so much money!
Skateboarder cred out the window, next he’d be ask on the slopes if he’s down with Sled Dogs!
Who would chew his gum then?
It’s simple, kids: skateboarding sells because it’s edgy and cool, which will always be the most popular way to market something. And that’s what Shaun White is all about. Oh, and snowboarding, but according to popular skateboarder logic, that’s lame too because it’s attached to your feet. That’s how it works, right? Anyone care to fill me in on that?
Please don’t let any of this serve as some bullshit cry against skateboarders. I’ve done that enough to make myself look stupid. You don’t have to repeat my mistakes.
This is, however, about the skateboarding industry and businessmen like Shaun White who cry morals when they mean money. For example, let’s take a look at his direct quote from Snowboarder Magazine, but, let’s give it the church treatment—we’ll sub in financial motives if morality clouds the issue.
“…I did say no to rollerblades because I just had to [financially] draw a line. I have never really been a big fan of rollerblades. They were like, ‘Rollerblades are huge in Europe!’ I’m like, ‘I really don’t care. We’ll let the scooters slide, but I’m not [funding] rollerblades.’”
Then again, maybe it’s just as simple of a fact that Shaun White just doesn’t like rollerblading. Maybe too many old skaters fucked with him, snaked him, or crashed into him that left such a bad taste in his mouth that even the gum can’t scrub out.
And that’s entirely his right, but to call it a moral issue? Because, as I’m sure, the kids wearing his cargo shorts from Target AREN’T the same age as the kids who made them.
And just like Ken Ham, Shaun White ain’t convincing me of shit. White’s a hell of a talented athlete just as I’m sure Ham is a heaven of a preacher, but that doesn’t mean their talks on morality have any kind of actual truth to them.
White’s yet another white kid on MTV who started earning money too early and didn’t have enough free time to develop the necessary personality traits required to not be a douche.
But fuck it. White’s in Russia competing for America, so go him.
Because if 80s pro-American action and suspense films told me anything, it’s about clomping through Russian snow to beat some Commie ass.
But just because Shaun White is representing America, it doesn’t mean we all agree with him, just as we all know his opinions don’t reflect the majority of skateboarders. He’s just another celebrity who said something and I’m just another idiot writing shit on the internet about it.
Either way, I’m glad what I do morally upsets people like White and Ham.
Blade or Die,
— Brian Krans
P.S.—If you want to hear more trash I can write about celebrities (although all these are fictional), I’d appreciate any and all support to help fund my next novel, Assault Rifles & Pedophiles: An American Love Story on Kickstarter.
The cover was designed by blader Kyler Martz, designed by blader Brandon Ballog, and the video below was created by blader Ivan Narez.