Celebrity Lil Nas X caused a “flavor of the weekend” stir Friday, with the release of his music video “Montero (Call Me by Your Name),” a charming little production in which the openly gay man descends on a stripper pole to Hell and engages in simulated sodomy with Lucifer before breaking the Devil’s neck and taking his “throne.”
And now, he’s trying to gain more notoriety, with the release of a limited line of “Nike” sneakers dubbed the “Satan Shoes.”
… Shoes that, despite Lil Nas X and his Brooklyn-based fashion conspirator MSCHF placing the “Nike Swoosh” on the side, the Nike corporation claims it has nothing to do with creating.
Reports Giovanna Osterman, for Input:
’We do not have a relationship with Lil Nas X or MSCHF,’ a Nike spokesperson said in a statement sent to Input. ‘Nike did not design or release these shoes and we do not endorse them.’ The company did not say whether it plans to send a cease and desist to Lil Nas X and MSCFH, though if that were to happen, the rapper and the brand could make the argument that the shoes are simply an art project — which could offer some legal shielding. Of course, this isn’t the first time MSCHF, a creative label based out of Brooklyn, has worked on a religion-themed sneaker, following the drop of its ‘Jesus Shoes’ back in 2019 — which came with holy water inside the Nike Air bubble.
And, while the “Jesus Shoes” did not create the tornado of outrage and publicity MSCHF might have desired, the Lil Nas X “Satan Shoes” are doing so with great efficiency.
Not only is the line “limited” to 666 pairs that will go on the market March 29, each pair is purported to contain human blood in the “air pocket” of the soul – a gimmick that might, along with the seeming unlicensed use of the Nike logo, run afoul of various federal and state statutes (the constitutionality and ethics of which can be discussed separately).
But that’s just the start. Dig a little deeper and there’s the cultural/theological side of the controversy, which sees the “Satan Shoes” sporting a shiny Satanic pentagram charm, the number of the beast, “666,” and a reference to Luke 10:18, a Bible verse reading, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”
Osterman also notes that the shoes come in “…a packaging full of artwork that includes a drawing of Satan walking up to Jesus, according to product photos acquired by Saint.”
And for those interested in numerology the “Satan Shoes” price and sale date also are notable. The shoes sell for $1,018, a reference to the aforementioned Bible verse, the last two digits of which stand for 3 times 6, or “666.” And, of course, the shoes debut on March 29, digits that, when multiplied, also come to 18, repeating the 3 times 6 pattern.
Some might see all of this as mere gimmickry, glitz, and pop blather. Some might see Lil Nas X’s video and the release of the shoes as a secular, “artistic” statement. After all, Billboard’s Gil Kaufman writes about the vid:
The CGI-heavy clip was co-directed by Lil Nas and Tanu Muino and based on a concept developed by the rapper that bounces from the biblical to Greek mythological eras, while offering ‘his own personal story of temptation, judgment and standing in the full power of his sexuality,’ according to a statement.
So here are a few questions… With respect to those who struggle with personal problems of all kinds, why do the pop media promote the discussion of private, personal sexual preferences as central to the functioning of the outside world?
Why is the pop world so obsessed with hyper-sexuality, with “shattering taboos” that are no longer taboo in U.S. society, with creating controversy and beating the same “sexual liberation” drums that leftists have sounded since the Marquis de Sade and his scions in Postmodernism did their own PR stunts to promote their personal fetishes?
And why attack Christianity or use Biblical themes to “stand with the full power” of one’s sexuality, when Christians believe in loving the sinner even as they recognize God’s prohibitions against the acts of sin?
The term “living rent-free in your head” comes to mind.
It remains to be seen what Nike will do about the unethical use of its logo on such a product. It remains to be seen whether Lil Nas X and the folks at MSCHF will embrace humility and recognize that Christians aren’t their adversaries and aren’t persecuting them.
But, hopefully, even non-Christians can see that this kind of prodding and mockery don’t lift up the attackers. They reduce the attackers. They reflect weakness and unnecessary fear. They reflect anger, not love.
And love for one’s fellow man always overcomes gimmicks, conceit, and animosity, even when those negatives are promoted with the full force of popular Western media.