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Cut The Ground From Under Our Feet

from Start From Scratch! (2010) by Antillectual

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I wrote these lyrics inspired by the series of commercials Nike made for their "What if we treated all athletes the way we treat skateboarders" campaign (Youtube!) and the real life soaps around current skateboard superstars Bam Margera, Ryan Sheckler, Rob Dyrdek. These days, "extreme" sports like skateboarding and snowboarding are completely wrapped up by mainstream brands and media. This goes not only for underground sports, but also for more and more forms of underground cultures like punk and hardcore. When mainstream media and corporations see there is enough interest for these sports or cultures they will try to "upgrade" them and conform them into mainstream sports and cultures and accompanying commodities.
You can ask whether this is bad or good. Sure, the attention and appreciation is nice. But it also takes away all the edges and atypical aspects of these phenomenons. There is a reason why these sports and art forms find refuge in underground subcultures. They weren't accepted or welcome in the mainstream. Now the edge has worn of, they are welcome to produce a nice profit and make a brand look young, fresh and hip.
As for skateboarding, there is a group of organizations called the "Don't Do It Army" that tries to keep it an underground culture, away from mainstream media and commercialism. The Dutch brand Severe skate and snow gear is affiliated with the Don't Do It Army. "Support your local skate shop!" But the mechanism works the other way around as well. When subcultures are unable to generate some extra money or simply resist to cooperate or fit in, mainstream media, companies and other institutions try to "downgrade" those subcultures so they can not be of any harm. The best example of this mechanism is the current anti-squatting law the dutch government is trying to implement in the constitution. Since squatting is a threat to the economy, healthy living conditions and simply stealing people's property (not my words!) it should be forbidden. Since squatting is one of the most effective ways to create a fertile home for underground culture, affordable living and working space for students and artists and to recycle ugly empty office spaces (my words!) it is not a crime!


Nike commercials telling me that skateboarding is not a crime
Maybe not anymore since they bailed it out
From independent and resistant to contracts, million dollar cars
Upgrading culture, conformed to cruise on the main stream

Graffiti in the galleries, studded belts at the H&M
Tattoos on the playing field, counterculture fully enclosed

Upgrade underground culture if you cannot forbid their domain
Or push them out of the market. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em

They try to cut the ground from under our feet and steal our thunder
How are we supposed to dissociate us from them?
And resist against the mainstream if that mainstream keeps on chasing us
Before you know it, you will hear this, on your radio


from Start From Scratch! (2010), released November 1, 2010
Guest vocals by Chris Hannah of Propagandhi




Antillectual Nijmegen, Netherlands

Antillectual from Nijmegen, the Netherlands plays a socially conscious, melodic blend of music, ranging from ‘90’s skate punk to ‘00’s emo and ‘10’s orgcore. Creating their own unique blend of stolen riffs and borrowed song titles, while carrying the torch of European punkrock. ... more


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