The Satan Shoes drama appears to have come to a close.
A Brooklyn-based company that sold modified sneakers containing human blood has agreed to recall the shoes as part of a settlement with Nike. The Satan-themed footgear had triggered outrage and confusion on social media.
Nike announced on Thursday that it had reached an agreement with MSCHF Product Studio, which collaborated with rapper Lil Nas X to create the limited-edition Satan Shoes – customized black Nike Air Max 97s. Decorated with pentagrams and inscribed with a Bible verse, the shoe’s midsole is filled with a mix of red ink and human blood. With a price tag of $1,018, only 666 pairs of the sneakers were made.
The gimmick went viral, but also caught the attention of Nike’s lawyers. MSCHF had kept Nike’s iconic ‘swoosh’ logo on the shoes, prompting the company to file a trademark infringement lawsuit.
Nike argued in its lawsuit that the provocatively themed sneakers were likely to “cause confusion and dilution and create an erroneous association” between MSCHF’s products and the footwear company.
Under the newly reached settlement, MSCHF will conduct a voluntary recall and offer full refunds to customers.
There’s some comfort to take in seeing the way this unfolded: Nike at first didn’t say anything about the Satan Shoes, then they said that they weren’t selling them, then eventually they filed a lawsuit.
Nike was clearly waiting to see whether the Satan branding would be good or bad for them. It turned out it was bad, and that’s good. It shows that people are still bothered by the idea of open – if vaguely ironic – satanism.
In some ways, it seems there is more pushback against this, in 2021, than there was against Marilyn Manson in the 1990s. Big companies were comfortable associating with Manson throughout his career (until it turned out he was a sexist-racist).
Marilyn Manson is almost a one to one comparison with Satan Shoes, as he was openly satanic and also pretty ironic about it.
Christian groups did complain about Manson, but nothing really happened. He was hit with a few lawsuits, but no corporation distanced themselves from him.
Honestly, the implications of the Satan Shoes backlash are not clear. Nike was clearly not bothered by offending right-wingers, as they were very out at the front of the Black Lives Matter thing, endorsing Colin Kaepernick all the way back in the ancient period of 2018.
They were challenged on that, and refused to back down.
There was no reason for them to associate themselves with radical black aggression against America. Blacks already loved Nike. I don’t think Nike sold a single extra pair of shoes based on the Kaepernick ads, and I know they lost some – I used to use AirMax 90s as my default sneakers (I have a wide foot and either have to wear running shoes or boots), and would buy a pair whenever I could get them on sale (at least once every 18 months or so), and I won’t buy them anymore. I’m not really a boycott type guy, but that Kaepernick thing was too much.
The only other major company I’m on a permanent boycott of is Gillette.
That ad they released about “toxic masculinity” that had the black man protecting a white woman from being flirted with by a white man was just too much.
This was another example of a situation where one had to ask: “how is the company benefitting from this?” After all, all the hipster faggots who endorse these sorts of values have beards now.
I was already boycotting Coca-Cola because I’m not a fat slob that drinks chemical sugar water. There are maybe some other things I’m boycotting, I can’t remember. Donald Trump’s recent boycott list was good, I guess, but I already didn’t use any of those products.
Probably, the right would have been a lot better off if we’d been doing the boycott thing for a while.
Anyway: these companies have been on this “values” path for a while now. The obvious explanation for it – which may or may not be correct – is that these multinational corporations are trying to avoid scrutiny from the left as regards their business dealings. Non-woke leftist journalist Matt Taibbi calls this “woke washing.”
Woke leftists are capitalists. Jamie Dimon kneeling and Nancy Pelosi in a Kente cloth scarf are perfect symbols of the union. https://t.co/ZlDJuUKjNV
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) February 17, 2021
Robin DiAngelo is to woke capitalism what Thomas Friedman was to globalization. Two prolific evangelists. https://t.co/Lpnx9w8Wh3
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) February 27, 2021
The ultimate example of woke-washing. Man who oversaw torture, surveillance, and drone assassination programs says what embarrasses him is… this? https://t.co/H1iJO16jtI
— Matt Taibbi (@mtaibbi) March 2, 2021
(Like Glenn Greenwald and Jimmy Dore, Taibbi has faced a lot of attacks for criticizing wokeism and is basically only followed by right-wingers at this point.)
If you’re Nike, and you’ve gone all the way balls to the wall on Black Lives Matter and effectively endorsed riots and aggressive anti-white violence, why would you stop at satanism?
I really don’t understand.
But I do think it’s encouraging that even ironic satanism is something that a multinational corporation is still afraid of being linked to.
I would like to use the Marilyn Manson comparison to assert that younger Christians are more aggressive than boomer Christians. But I think that would be quite a jump. I do think polarization is happening, with right-wingers being more likely to boycott, and maybe Nike is regretting the BLM thing, and realizing that it can’t sacrifice half the United States as potential customers.
But also: in a post-coronavirus world, is anyone other than black people going to be buying the super-overpriced sneakers that have become the backbone of Nike’s profit strategy?
As I’m already just rambling at this point, here’s another angle: maybe the Satan Shoes played badly with the blacks?
This is a garbage filler article, which I hadn’t really thought through before I started it, but now I’m thinking that is the case: they focus-grouped it with the blacks, and found that blacks didn’t like the Satan Shoes, probably because blacks are afraid of evil spirts and think they can live in shoes, and also because the advertiser of the shoes, Lil Nas X, is a black homosexual.
Blacks would also be the ones who wouldn’t understand that Nike didn’t actually produce these shoes.
I should really go back and edit this article now that I think I’ve obviously figured it out, but I’m not going to. Maybe it is an interesting artifact of my thought process that future historians might find interesting.
Speaking of future historians: people who know how should keep full and regularly updated backups of this website. I know I say that regularly, but probably not enough. Also, as we’ve already veered this far, I will remind people that they are allowed to repost these articles, in full or in part, with or without attribution, wherever. Also note that I do not endorse any repostings that you find anywhere, and I am not soliciting any reposts. I’m just saying it’s free to do. It’s also free to print and distribute and so on, with or without attribution. I’d rather if people didn’t make money off of it. I heard someone mention to me “my book available on Amazon” and found that offensive (I have never published any books for sale anywhere). If someone did collect my writing into a book and sold it, I would hope they were only selling it at a cost that covered printing costs, and also not pretending like I was getting money from it.
Also: please give me money.
I heard someone the other day say they weren’t going to give me money because I said I made money when bitcoin blew up. But listen: that also happened in 2017, and then the site was running at a loss for like two years, and then I had to fire everyone. So please do send money. I am not the site and my personal money is not mixed with the site for obvious reasons. Also, if I ever had extra money, the only thing I would ever do with it is support other activists. You’re not going to catch me in $500 black people shoes.