Here’s a very basic thought, that I, as a white, middle class male am constantly thinking about.
Now, I know I’m not a genius, but to me, it seems basic, that unregulated, uncapped, free market capitalism needs to be more socially responsible.
How can a company like, let’s just say for the sake of argument, because I’m a skater, Red Bull, make over a billion dollars a year in sales and not once, EVER, feel the need or desire to chime in on the worlds lopsided economic, or political situations?
In my opinion, if some of these horrible conditions people fled from were fixed, perhaps we wouldn’t have a refugee problem?
I know “it’s complex and complicated” or whatever WAG THE DOG complex you’ll pull out, but seriously, why shouldn’t we at least TRY to do something to effect it now, and step by step, work towards a solution?
At the very least, can’t we pretend to care?
Red Bull spends millions on culture and extreme sports, claiming, I’m sure, to be ambassadors for great artists, and great art and music, and skateboarding and so on and so on, which, of course is wonderful.
But, do they REALLY feel that?
Does Red Bull seriously feel the need to bring these cultures to the world, in a truly revolutionary way, or is it yet another commercial disguise to sell their drink to anyone with three dollars in their pocket?
Couldn’t Red Bull be bringing these events to poor countries and along the way building bridges, schools and clean water systems as well as skateparks, bmx parks and mountain bike tracks for these people?
Is that so much more than the millions they’re already spending on this stuff in the first world?
Is it too much to ask?
Is it too much to ask that on the BILLION they make, they put aside a small percent for a selfless, helpful, YET STILL PROMOTIONAL type of event that could actually effect people?
The Red Bull School, or the Red Bull clean water well?
They won’t do it on their own. Let’s face it, they wouldn’t even do it for us in the first world if it wasn’t a chance to have their logo tattooed on our foreheads. We need to present these things and it starts at the top with the artists and skaters and riders for these companies.
Get serious about spreading culture. Get serious about bringing people joy.
Of course they won’t do it on their own either, because who would risk their own comfort for the joy of some poor souls in some shit hole 3rd world hell?
We’ve become soft and way too paid in skateboarding and even more comfortable in our own lives. It makes me sick to see people discussing the best ice coffee in town when some people don’t even have clean water. Shame on you, you fuckin soft, exclusive sneaker buying bitches.
I’m nothing like you.
I, for one, am an ambassador for skateboarding, not as a sport, or as some fuckin fashion show, but as a revolutionary tool, to free kids minds from the pains of life and the struggles. Skateboarding saved me from potential suicide, or even worse, my slave labor life, by giving me something to focus on instead of my pimply little four eyed fat face that couldn’t even talk to girls. It taught me discipline, dedication. Triumph. Overcoming my fears. Showed me patience. Gave me a reason to try and introduced me to a tribe of people that to this day I’m still connected to regardless of age, color, sex, sexual preference, and especially regardless of class. I met Stevie Williams in 1989 and even though he was the ghettos of North Philadelphia and I was from the suburbs we still both cheered and found joy in the sights of a decent backside tailslide. Skateboarding, and all art can transcend the worldly problems and bring people into a common space, at the very least, for that particular moment in time.
Of course, it can also be a great tool to sell your shitty product.
Power to the people.