Monday, May 17, 2004

I Don’t Skate, But…

I just found this website that almost made me wanna learn how.

What a cool site. It got me thinking. Lately (I mean within the last few years), there’s been a lot of products introduced for “The LDS Market”. I mean, above and beyond music and books, there’s jewelry, action figures, games, T-Shirts, everything. Our cups runneth over!

Some people get upset about it, thinking that somehow, it’s cheapening the gospel, or even like it’s priestcraft, trying to get rich of the church.

I think it’s exciting to me that there are people trying to create a popular culture for ourselves. It helps us create an identity in our own minds, and it also helps us to declare our identities to others.

An example: Years ago, I was very active in the Salt Lake City recording scene. I was doing sessions in lots of different studios, and in lots of different situations, for lots of different bands. Many of the bands I recorded were hard-core death metal or punk bands. As I reflect back, I remember the musicians quite fondly, even though their messages were ones that I didn’t fully agree with. One, I did agree with at the time, was a straight-edge band. They were fun. Years later, as I was seeing news reports about straight-edgers getting into fights and getting violent, I became very sad, because they guys I knew and recorded were nothing like that.

But I digress…

During all this time, I always wore my CTR ring. Many times, the musicians I was working with started conversations with me. All of them knew what it meant, They’d all grown up in Utah, so even if they weren’t members of the church (most were, in record, anyway), they knew what the CTR stood for. So, they saw the ring on my finger, and never offered me a cigarette, a beer, or anything else. Often, I heard them swear, and then they’d smile, embarrassed, and apologize.

And all without me having to say a word. The ring spoke loudly enough, without shouting.

So, here’s this skateboard company, making longboards named the Sword of Laban, and the Liahona! As I looked over their site, these guys obviously love to have a healthy and clean good time, and are not ashamed of their religion. They’re showing that “cool” and “righteous” are not necessarily mutually exclusive.

And I REALLY like to see that.

Mark Hansen

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