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Nike: the antithesis of Dischord

I still don't trust Nike, even though it gets a (very tiny) cookie for its...
 
 
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I still don't trust Nike, even though it gets a (very tiny) cookie for its recent pledge to "end child labor, follow U.S. occupational health and safety standards, and allow non-governmental organizations to participate in the monitoring of its Asian factories."

The company still scares me for what it represents: the caterwauling King Kong of Big Business, the macho Tarzan-ian monster beating on its chest and bleating "ohhhh oh oh oh ohhhhh!" as it swoosh-es its smaller, gentler athletic-wear competitors into submission.

And now there's another reason to loathe Nike. Indie-rock music news site Pitchfork (and other in-the-know peeps around the blogosphere) has reported that Nike stole cover art from legendary punk band Minor Threat's classic 1984 release. Nike appropriated the record's cover image and band logo for its "Major Threat" East Coast skateboarding tour.

This really pisses me off -- not only because I'm from DC, Minor Threat's hometown, but because it's not like Nike is stealing from a fellow Massive Corporate Asshole, e.g. Atlantic or Columbia or Island Records. Noooo -- instead they're stealing from much-loved but totally not-loaded independent Dischord Records, which probably doesn't have the funds, lawyers, or PR power to squash Nike's grabbiness.

Indeed, Dischord is "disgusted": "They stole it and we're not happy...Nike is a giant corporation which is attempting to manipulate the alternative skate culture to create an even wider demand for their already ubiquitous brand. Nike represents just about the antithesis of what Dischord stands for and it makes me sick to my stomach to think they are using this explicit imagery to fool kids into thinking that the general ethos of this label, and Minor Threat in particular, can somehow be linked to Nike's mission." OUCH.

Laura Barcella is an Associate Editor at AlterNet.