Daddy Thoughts 11- First pair of Jordan’s?

Daddy Thoughts 11- First pair of Jordan’s?

Ok before I talk about the Jordan’s let me just say that
ads, advertisements and the idea that a product brings you value, status, or
worth is still very prevalent. I mean, you can hear it in the rhymes of young
people. When they (male
rappers) brag about what it is or
what makes them cool its often one or all of three things ; money, objects, and
women (as if women were an object too, no?). Violent attitude too, but thats for another discussion.
The reason I bring this up is because my son came to me the
other day talking about “what are those” . Parents if you’re not up on the
lingo, Vine videos are viral comedy skits, dance, or phrases that kids envelop
into their daily vernacular or speech. “What are those” refers to shoes mostly.
Its an old thing, transformed to a new generation. Basically are your shoes a
part of the normal or fashionable cannon of shoes( Don’t be an outcast)? Or are they very expensive
and highly sought after? NOT, are they unique (Be a Sheep!)? NOT are they made by you or someone
in your extended family? And that folks, frustrates me.
I get Capitalism, I get Consumerism, I understand Imperialism, and all of that. But, I was surprised when my son basically said
they make jokes on each other about each others shoes. Like, damn! That’s what
I was doing at his age, lol. I should not be surprised, I should not have been
caught off guard. But I was. Imagine them saying my shoes cost more than your whole outfit argument.
I sat my son down and reiterated the idea of “propaganda”.
Whenever we have watched television together, I have muttered or shouted the
word propaganda when a commercial comes on. Why? I wanted him to associate the
word with commercials. I want him to question what they are selling him. I want
him to think!! I do not want him to be a blind consumer, a cow being lead to
the slaughter, or a child who feels his worth is tied into his sneakers. But
damn, there it is again, generation after generation we (boys, girls,
transgender kids) are sold the idea that we are less than. We are told we are
poor. We are told that if we want to achieve status in this society, we must
purchase. Could be a Lamborgini, a chain of diamonds and gold, the most
expensive I-phone whatever (Coltan-Congo), or a pair of Michael Jordan shoes.
I’m pissed that kids still cap, diss, bag, or talk shit to
each other this way, so I also told my son that his worth does not come from
his shoes, it comes from inside. His morals, his actions, how he treats himself and others. I also told him that whether a person’s parent
paid $150 for a pair of shoes or $20 they did the best they could and that they
aren’t any less important in this world. He of course said “Daddy, were just
joking!” But on the real, that is how doubt, self worth, and depression cured
by American Dream gets started in an 11 year old. I should know, I thought the
same about guess jeans, owning records, toys, cars, guns, etc.
Now back to the Jordan’s. He tells me, “Daddy, I think I
know what I want for Christmas” . Christmas, as in “buy 3rd world
manufactured shit that the corporations turn a 300% profit on” day. So I said
in Spanish, “Ok, pues dime. Que quieres mijo?” And he says Jordan’s!! I had to
smile because I started wanted certain types of shoes at 9 years old. My dilemma is that those shoes were designed by talented people such as
Tinker Hatfield and damn they are fly. But you know I had to break down the
numbers for him by telling him that those shoes cost $6 or $7 to make, and they
sell them for $100-$200 depending on which number you get. I was proud in a sense
though, because as twisted as it sounds it is part of Black Culture (being sold
over priced shoes) , and scared at the same time.  Think of Buggin Out and Police Brutality in “Do the RightThing”.
So, I said NO! He said “ I thought you might say that”. He
knows his dad. Then , he went on to ell me he wanted Run DMC shoes, to which
his mom asked “do you know what he’s talking about?”. I explained of course.
But all my old school hip hop fans know right? What do you think? Shell toes
cost $60-70 now (also a rip off). But what would you say to your child? What
would you allow or not allow? In terms of fighting the good fight,
revolutionary change, how does that fit in? Leave a comment. Did you ever have
a parent or political activist break down shoes and how much they charge? Who?
-Rob (Dad)

Comments: 2
  • Berto July 25, 2017 7:47 pm

    Never had it broken down for me as a kid, just a strong "no" from my mom. I have 3 pairs of shell-toes because Run DMC were my first big hip hop obsession as a kid. Lucky for me, my kids aren't there yet in terms of clothes/shoes being thing at school. But they have all three had multiple pairs of shell-toes, usually bought second hand when they were little and you could still find used shoes that weren't worn out. Right now we go get the best we can at DSW for whatever feels like a reasonable price.

  • Robert Trujillo/Tres July 25, 2017 7:52 pm

    I hear you Berto. I really thought there would be more home grown and new shoe companies based here in the US that young people are a the helm of, but I guess it means I need to make stories about that.

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