‘My Soul To The Highest Bidder’ or ‘The Art Of Selling Out’.
Before we get into anything, I would like to publicly clear up an issue which I didn’t think would be one until Simon commented about it on Friday.
Regarding that particular post’s embedded New Belgium video, he made the following observation;
“It wouldn’t be so bad if new belgium had mentioned Bilenky Cycle Works just once, or supported the race in the past, or even done one thing in Philadelphia, but no, they just ripped them off completely. Recreating a ‘junk yard race’ in LA with paid ‘actors’ is just bullshit corporate co-opting. Interesting that the post is next to their sponsored add on your blog, Stevil calling out the bicycle industry for their bullshit, unless its bullshit that he is getting paid for?”
Of course, ‘the race’ to which Simon is referring is Stephen Bilenky’s infamous Junkyard Tetanus-Fest that occurs every year, which generally looks something like this;
Perhaps I should have included a footnote that New Belgium didn’t actually rip off this landmark event, but rather paid it a tribute in the form of the ad spot with not only the blessing of the Bilenky crew, but with their assistance, and even some additional Fred Sanford-esque treasures from the original parts yard in question.
I addressed Simon’s perspective in Friday’s comment field but it stuck so deeply in my craw that I feel the need to do so here as well. As I replied to him, I genuinely appreciate being called out and held accountable for what I post here, (though at this point, I think we’ve virtually hugged it out). However, what frustrated me most especially is that in my nearly eight years being at the helm of various incarnations of this electronic pulpit, my intentions aren’t completely clear, and in a blink of an eye, I’m considered by anyone at all to suddenly be an unscrupulous corporate shill.
As I’ve said from the very beginning, the companies who advertise on this site are:
A) Run by people for whom I have a grand affinity.
B) Produce a product which I have, or do freely use or endorse anyway.
C) Operate a business built on a foundation of integrity.
D) Any or all of the above.
The fact of the matter is, I can only go so far selling dollar stickers with bad words on them. I rely on the companies who advertise, as I hope, in some way those companies rely on me.
I’ve always said that if Nike or Specialized came along and said “Stevil- we want to offer you $100,000.00 a year to continue doing what you do, but we’d like to you to dump all of the existing advertisers, and just exclusively promote us“, I would be super bummed, because the reality of it is, I need to make a living, but I also know that any integrity anyone previously may have thought I had would be down the crapper faster than you can say “any integrity I previously thought you had, is down the crapper“.
In the long run, if that were to happen, nobody would be picking up what I was laying down and I’d ultimately be out of a job anyway.
Clearly New Belgium is big money, and they have their fingers in a lot of pies, but even still, I trust that they are committed to doing right by the people with whom they are either involved professionally, or invested in personally. Secondly, even though it’s no secret that I am a life-long lover of cheap (and often noted crappy) mass produced American pilsners, fortunately they still believe in me, and I them.
I hope that this clears up any misconceptions about their intentions, or those of my own.
I want to always, always do right by the people who advertise on this site, but even more so, I want to do right by the people who come here to read it.
Now, speaking of whoring for The Man, in just two week’s time (I think… Like showering, spelling, riding bikes, or sleeping in, numbers aren’t really my strong suit), the aforementioned brewery, Swobo, One On One Bicycle Studio, Nutcase Helmets, and I are conspiring to bring Minneapolis, their second ever official Folsom Fist Fight;
It was just a few weeks ago when we hosted one of these freakouts in Ft. Collins, and I’ll be damned if it wasn’t one of the funnest times ever.
I expect the Minneapolis edition to be filled with just as many laughs, fuzzy memories, and bloody palms. Certainly, if you are lucky enough to reside in or around Minneapolis, please mark your calendars and swing by to get in on the action.
Moving on- It was a month or so ago when a compatriot of mine, and an individual who has occasionally been featured on this site called Jason told me that at some point or another he could potentially be darkening my door way.
At the butt of last week, I finally got word that he would be landing on Friday, and as he rang my doorbell, I quickly turned off the porn, removed my clown suit and welcomed him in with open arms.
As we unpacked his truck, he offered me a parcel wrapped in a black jacket, and the instruction to open it inside.
Once in the safe confines of my basement, I removed the jacket to find the ultimate gift;
That sound you just made was probably something like “whaaaaaa?” which was pretty much the same one I made.
With quickness, I put it where it was supposed to go;
Regardless of whatever open carry law California happens to have, I most likely wouldn’t spend too much time in the general population riding around with this adornment, but once safely in the woods with a few empty beer cans to exact my vengeance upon, I will gladly do so.
His imprint is called Limberlost, at which he is the Director of Getting Rad.
Do you ever occasionally make a friend who you kinda feel as if you’ve known all along? Jason is like that, and if ever there was a gift that acted as they key to my heart- He offered it in spades.
Anyway, during his stay, we adjourned upon an early morning hesh sesh in my backyard trails and set the dirt ablaze;
As well as added to the arsenal of treasure with which to extinguish the flames;
Eventually came the time for us to part ways and for him to continue his journey northward. He loaded up in his truck, and before he was even a speck on the horizon, I was back in my basement drawing quickly and killing cans;
To today’s post’s opening point- I still generally stand by my perspective, but if Limberlost wanted to buy me out, I’d do so in a heartbeat.
New Belgium is a 100% employee owned company that has always promoted bikes. While I was ancillary aware of their tribute to the Bilenkey Cross, I also knew guys that helped run the real race were involved. Even if they weren’t who freakin’ cares. They are promoting cycling and beer!? How is that wrong? Some people just look to piss on anything. Seriously there are tons of companies that aren’t awesome. But New Belgium, while large, seems to be trying to do things right way. They are awesome. They make beer, 100% employee owned, working toward sustainability and they like bikes. They give employees bikes, send them to Belgium for a beer tour.. How is this wrong? So by all means piss all over them. For the love of freakin’ god. And no, I don’t work for New Belgium, but I would be lucky if I did… freaking good god…
Here, here, fatmarc! It baffles me how some feel the need to “own” things like this, and get an ego stroke whenever something similar is done. We are talking about hack bicycle racing here, not curing polio.
Wait… Isn’t this whole shooting match just a device to remind people of the continuing influence and excellence of Archers of Loaf? Cross-marketing makes my head hurt.
Everything I do is motivated by Archers Of Loaf.
I haven’t been on the site in a while and was all engrossed in the age old indie sellout debate (in this case involving Stevil and a semi-heavyweight beer company) when I caught this….I missed a AoL reference?!?! Now I’ve got to waste more time….
It’s the name of the site, yo.
Every correspondence I have with you from now on shall contain the word “sellout” at least three and a half times.
Better rest up for the next few weeks before all hell breaks loose in the OOOBS alley. Just another Saturday night… sellout.
Just Keep Living The Dream and FU@K the Rest,, Just like a back alley fist fight,,
I was once told by a sage elder to, “Shut the fuck up and go ride some bikes.” Its worked so far.
I would sell out in a heartbeat. When that Hollywood Lady contacted me about working my booger into the new Roseanne Barr/John Goodman TV series that never happened, I was ready to settle for a box of chocolates and a new pair of pants to replace the ones I just crapped in when I found out I was gonna be rich and famous and finally able to afford to buy some dollar stickers with bad words on them…
I don’t have advertising at my place because I’m too stupid to figure out how to do it and also because nobody would want to be associated with my booger anyway. But I like your new gun and how much for the Integrity? Those are some kind of pills, right? I don’t get out much…
Duuuuuuuuuuude……. I must have the gun and holster! Can I buy one? Hook for one? show my dudes boobs? trade art like stuff? Come back 10-4
We are having some new models made and will be making them available for sale in August. Thanks for the great times Stevil!
Have you heard of (or seen) the new Hunter Cycles Slingshot? finally people are getting what riding bikes is all about: shootin’ shit.
“Suck Satan’s Cock” – Bill Hicks
“You think you know it all, don’t you? You’re 25 years old. You’re a baby. You don’t know s–t. Look, I can appreciate this. I was young too, I felt just like you. Hated authority, hated all my bosses, thought they were full of shit. Look, it’s like they say, ‘If you’re not a rebel by the age of 20, you got no heart, but if you haven’t turned establishment by 30, you’ve got no brains.’ Because there are no story-book romances, no fairy-tale endings. So before you run out and change the world, ask yourself, ‘What do you really want?’ You were getting complacent, ungrateful, complete and total job burnout, and don’t think I didn’t notice. You just didn’t give a shit anymore. Draggin’ your feet everywhere, telling everybody you were doing my job. That you were running the show. That without you, I was nothing. Yeah, people tell me things.
So don’t come preaching to me about your ideas of what’s fair. You’re no martyr here. You’re no hero. You’re just a fuckin’ hypocrite. You’re just like any other punk kid out there, lookin’ for a way in, any way in, and you need me…” – Buddy Ackerman
I’ve been thinking that there needs to be some sort of Red Ryder bicycle biathalon and I now think that you have found an essential piece of equipment.
Seattle’s own Back Alley Bikes did this for their birthday earlier this year. “Birfday Biathalon”. Much riding was done. Many beer cans took a pellet to the dome. Mr. Rainbow was ridiculous. We at IrieOutdoors consumed much cannabis and participated in the debauchery.
Well I did a coaster brake, slingshot pukeathalon, does that count?
To be fair, Simon did lose his BIG toe building the junkyard race course a few years back (the same course that broke and dislocated my thumb…) If anyone has a right to take issue over the New Belgium it is him (and maybe me, why wasn’t I invted dammit?!)
New Belgium may be a workers’ collective (I doubt it) but they make terrible beer. If you’re going the corporate (or wannabe-corporate) route, get in touch with the PBR rep in your city. They have deep pockets (like Scion) and little oversight–they’ll sponsor anything.
No thanks. The new owners sound like total dicks. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2011-06-04/business/ct-biz-0605-pabst-divorce-20110604_1_pabst-brands-beer-brands-pabst-brewing