James Meehan - Satan's Shoes, Round Two
- Get involved
James Meehan: Welcome to this week's episode of Culture Makers. I'm James Meehan and I'm here with the one, the only, Riley Savala.
Riley Savala: Hello.
James Meehan: And today we are talking about satanic Converse, the Olympics and back to school, baby. Come on. It's gonna be a good one. And we're so excited that you're joining with us. If you haven't yet, make sure you subscribe to the YouTube's channel, like the video, leave a comment down below of whatever topics you want us to tackle in the future so that we can be talking about the things that you want us to talk about. Topic number one, satanic Converse. Riley, what are your thoughts on the recent new pair of shoes that Converse released, designed by a man by the name of Rick Owens, who was trying to make a creative statement. His words, not mine.
Riley Savala: Yeah. I have a lot of thoughts. I would say this is kind of what I thought about Lil Nas X too. Like going back to that. Is I think...
James Meehan: Come on. The other Satan shoes.
Riley Savala: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think it's very much like a publicity stunt to make Christians mad. And I think it's...
James Meehan: Come on.
Riley Savala: It's proven to do that both times.
James Meehan: Right? And what's so fascinating is when Christians get really angry and talk about it on the internet, it actually promotes these shoes to other people.
Riley Savala: Well, because they always say bad publicity is good publicity.
James Meehan: Right. There's no such thing as bad publicity. It's all just publicity. And I think this is the thing that's so interesting to think about, is how do we, as followers of Jesus, respond to people that are not Christians doing things that we probably don't like.
Riley Savala: Right.
James Meehan: Do we respond with judgment, with hate and condemnation? Or do we respond with love, grace and empathy? This is one of the things that we've talked about a lot. And it's this idea that as followers of Jesus, our job is not to make the rest of the world more like us. Our job is to become more like Jesus. And when we follow Jesus closely, we become more like him. Then other people will see that love grace, empathy, truth, in us, and they'll want to be a part of it. But when all we do is throw stones to the people on the outside, they're never going to want to come inside. And one of things that I thought was really interesting is this designer, one of the things that he talked about, his reasoning for liking pentagrams and these shapes and things like that, is he said, that they are a culture's grasp for control. That this symbolism suggest the pursuit of pleasure and the pursuit of sensation. And the reason why that's so fascinating to me is because really the original sin in the garden was human beings trying to take control from God and put it in their own hands. What they were pursuing was pleasure, desire and sensation. Come on. What this individual is describing is they're looking for something that is more than what's currently in front of them. What they're looking for is the source of all satisfaction and goodness, and truth. And that source is Jesus. And if we don't represent Jesus well to somebody like that, then when the time comes, they're not gonna be open to hearing the truth of God's word.
Riley Savala: Right. Well, I think if we're, if we're arguing against the shoes and are, you know, saying I'm going to burn my Converse and I've literally seen, I've literally seen people say that, people I know, and I'm like, oh gosh. If we're gonna boycott Converse, and I get it, 'cause it comes from a place of like they're disrespecting, you know, our culture and our beliefs, and what we value. And I understand that. But at the same time, if we're doing that, then people like Rick Owens or Lil Nas X will never, ever want to be like a Christian or believe what we believe, because all they see is like, they're just hateful, you know? And that's the exact opposite of what our goal is as Christians. So I know it's like hard for us to, I guess like, quote, unquote, like tolerate something like that. But at the same time, it's like, what are we doing by showing hate and showing, and talking about rage and burning our Converse. Nobody's going to be like, oh yeah, I wanna, I wanna sign up for that.
James Meehan: Right, well, and I think that's the thing that's so interesting is our culture talks a lot about the importance of tolerance...
Riley Savala: Yeah.
James Meehan: But Jesus didn't. He talked about grace, what is grace? It's the unmerited, unearned, undeserved favor of God. And so I think that's the thing where we can get into this posture of us versus them. And if they disrespect us, then we need to make sure that we get back at them. But the posture that Jesus modeled, wasn't standing up for what you believe in it was actually laying down your life for the good of others. And I think that's the thing that we wanna model. Obviously use wisdom, use discernment. Don't be dumb. Like what I'm not saying. I want to make sure this is clear because some of y'all gonna misunderstand me.
Riley Savala: We are not for Converse Satan shoes.
— We are not promoting you to go out and purchase these shoes. I definitely would not do that. But here's also what we're not promoting, we're not promoting that you'd go out and bash on the people who designed them or the people who purchase these. What I'm asking you to do is to love them the same way that God through Christ has loved you. Because while all of us were still sinners. Jesus died for us.
— Grace is really easy to give when we wanna give it...
— ...ooh, come on. Let's go! And it feels really good when other people give it to us.
— Yeah. Dang. Wow, we came out strong.
— Coming out strong.
— How you guys doing? Do you guys need a break?
— Here's a quick break, Space Jam 2 recently released a while ago. We didn't talk about it though, because I think they were waiting for me to talk about it because I fallaciously claimed months ago that I had already seen it. Because for some reason I thought that I had. I hadn't.
— Let's roll that back. Let's roll that back. Let's see that. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
— Oh, is it not out yet?
— No, it's not out yet, man.
— Well, then last week I lied, 'cause I thought I've seen it. Space Jam 2, more like Space Jam poo.
— It's not even out yet, bro.
— I don't even know what I'm talking about.
— I had never seen it, still haven't. I did watch some video reviews and the consensus...
— The fact that you still haven't seen it.
— But listen, the consensus on the internet seems to be that Space Jam 2, Is really...
— Ah, you're supposed to say Space Jam poo. We'll try it again. That Space Jam 2 is really
— Space Jam poo.
— That was so lame.
— Moving on. Next one.
— Okay, next thing. The Olympics.
— Wait, wait, wait, actually, before you go Olympics, I just wanna make a statement really fast about Space Jam 2. I think it was bad. Listen, I didn't even watch, okay. I didn't watch it all the way because I actually thought it was so bad. It's like one of those things that's like...
— Wait, so you just started watching it?
— Yeah I think it was so bad because Michael Jordan is the goat. LeBron James just can't touch him, so.
— Wow, shots fired. In the comments below, who do you think is the greatest of all time? Is it Michael Jordan? Is it LeBron James or maybe just maybe is the future goat Giannis Adetokunbo?
— Or is it Bugs Bunny?
— Or Bugs Bunny?
— Who's the a real star of both movies.
— Okay. The Olympics!
— The Olympics!
— The Olympics!
— Another thing I didn't watch.
— So I didn't either, but I did watch a lot of highlights on YouTube after the fact.
— So like Lasha Talakhadze when he world record in the clean and snatch, breaking all the records that he had previously set, that was amazing. Lu Xiaojun also broke a bunch of world records. Then I did watch the highlights of the men's ping pong final...
— Oh my word.
— And it was incredible.
— You know what I did watch though? Olympic power walking. I watched that, yeah.
— I didn't even know that was a thing.
— It was just on like, I was like out eating dinner. It was on the TV and they're just like.
— I'm sorry, what?
— That's, how they, that's how they power walk. Like that. It's real. And the argument that me and my friend were like, going back and forth about is how do you, like, what is the discrepancy between power walking and running? So at what point are they like you're disqualified, you just started running, you know? Like how do they keep themselves restrainted whilst still being fast?
— Well, 'cause if your knees bend more than forty degrees.
— Right. Oh, that's it.
— Then you're out. So what's cool about the Olympics is, you know, for us, we live here in the United States, the USA took home more medals than anyone else. And we had more gold medals than anyone else. I think we only beat China by one. So it was a very, very close race and I'm that's exciting.
— Yeah. Go USA!
— I feel like, I feel like their medals are my medals.
— Because that's my team.
— Because we actually did a lot of the work.
— Yeah, I, like I said, I watched some of the highlights on YouTube.
— I can take full responsibility for our power walking medal. Yeah. I don't actually know if we got one in that one. But I watched that I was dedicated. It goes back to me. Everything's about me.
— So even though you and I did not compete in any of those Olympic events.
— As citizens of the United States of America, we see that as our team.
— We see that as our win. I think this is the thing that's so interesting about the faith that we all believe in, of Christianity. It's that it is not about me, myself and I. It is a communal effort. It's all of us in this together. The Jewish people, when they would look at the story of the Exodus, where God delivered the people of Israel from slavery in Egypt, they wouldn't say that God delivered our ancestors. They would take God delivered us. I think this is what's so important for us to recognize, is that even though, as Riley, so clearly demonstrated, we live in a very individualistic culture and society in our modern world.
— I was just doing that to set this up.
— No, it's so good. You did so well.
— Yeah yeah. The reality of the Christian faith is that it is always meant to be communal. It is always meant to be us together as the body of Christ, arm in arm, doing everything we can to love and serve others the same way that God through Christ has loved us.
— Did you think I was gonna get the Olympics.
— Yeah, yeah, yeah.
— Yeah, you know.
— I got it.
— You picked up.
— I've known you for a long enough. I knew where I was going.
— Next topic. Here's the thing, you got to know. Back to school is coming very soon. Some of you like in the next few days, others of you, in the next few weeks. So what we wanted to do was. Why you making that face?
— 'Cause I just remembered my favorite thing about back to school, when I was in school. It goes back to like kindergarten. Like I have some distinct memory that now like fueled every single year after that. Is back to school, always reminded me of the smell of Germ-X. And for some reason you just smell it in the air. So it's like, it's back to school season, you know?
— I'm so glad that you shared that with all of our people.
— That was a really vulnerable and intimate moment.
— Oh, that was vulnerability? Wow, we honor your vulnerability.
— Thank you.
— Okay. Back to school, coming soon. We wanna give you our top five tips.
— Say it with me. Top five tips. For how to make the most of this new year of school. Tip number one, this is coming at you from my third grade teachers' picture on the wall. Said fun, is an attitude, not an activity.
— So here's what that means.
— Can I tell you as somebody who loves fun, that actually doesn't sound fun.
— Okay, but here's the deal. Here's why this is so important. You have experienced this where you've gone into something thinking it would suck. And what was it? It's pretty sucky. Whereas you've gone into other things thinking it would be awesome. And it was awesome.
— Yeah. This is the same attitude that we need to take towards something that for many of us we're not looking forward to, which is school. But if we go into it hoping for the best, looking for the good, I'm telling you, we're gonna find it because fun, it's an attitude.
— Right. Not an activity
— Not an activity.
— Which reminds me. it reminds me.
— Go ahead.
— It reminded me...
— You're killing me.
— It reminds me of psychology. It's called confirmation bias. And it's whatever you're looking for, you will find.
— Oh yeah.
— It's exactly what you were saying
— Yeah, that totally. That's good.
— Yeah, so it's like, if you're going in thinking school's going to be really crappy.
— Come on.
— You're probably gonna find a really crappy time. Like, if you are like, I don't have friends and everybody around me hates me or whatever. You're gonna see all these things. Like, maybe you see two people whispering and you're just gonna assume they're whispering about you or you're gonna see like all of these things and be like, yep, that's true, everybody hates me. But if you're like, I'm actually a person that people love. And I love myself and I have good friends. Then you're going to see that too. So, confirmation bias.
— You're gonna find what you're looking for because fun is an attitude, not an activity. Tip number two. Riley, take it away.
— Have a cool pencil bag. I told him before the show started, I said, listen, my advice, next to your advice is gonna be really great.
— That was good. Like, when you say a cool pencil bag, What, what defines cool. Is that like, just like a sandwich baggy?
— That would be the actual opposite of cool.
— I just want, I wanna make sure what they know.
— Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
— Cool is so subjective.
— So James is a great example of what's not cool, often. Oh! I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding.
— Yeah, doesn't even hurt my feelings because I believe the best. You meant it as a compliment.
— Yup, I sure did. You're just a simple guy.
— Keep going.
— Anyways, I just bought a cool pencil bag. That is, it's pink, but it's clear. And so it's like, you can see every pencil inside, but it's pink. Everything's like pink tinted.
— Oh wow.
— Anyways. I like pencil bags that express who you are. So if you like Star Wars, get a fricking Yoda pencil bag. I don't know. I don't like Star Wars. I don't know why I chose Star Wars. I know nothing Star Wars.
— All right, so tip number one, fun is attitude, not an activity. Tip number two.
— Cool pencil bag.
— Tip number three. You ready for this? Learning to be disciplined, with things you don't care about makes it way easier to be disciplined with things you do. Here's what that means. So many of you have expressed; thought, said, proclaimed, similar things that I have when I was your age, which is, I'm never gonna use any of this later in my life. So why am I learning it now? And you're right about some things, you're wrong about other things. But here's the thing that I wish I would have been more intentional about when I was your age, recognizing that learning to be disciplined at working hard on things I don't care about; homework and schoolwork, would have made it so much easier for me to be disciplined in things that I now do care about. Where, like, I have seen it over and over again, that people who are disciplined and work hard in school tend to be better in their jobs because they've already learned how to work hard. Whereas people like me who didn't work very hard in school, then when I got to my job, I had to learn the hard way of how important hard work really is. And so this is the thing that I would say to you is even in the middle of what would be a really frustrating and difficult and not exciting project, know that you are developing the skill of discipline and that skill will be so valuable throughout the rest of your life. Whether it's in college, whether it's in a job, whether it's when you are a part of a family or a friend group, or even in your faith as you're following Jesus, discipline makes a big difference.
— Yeah, that's good.
— Tip Number one, fun is attitude, not an activity. Tip number two, get a cool pencil bag. Tip number three, discipline makes a difference. Tip number four, Riley go.
— Procrastination is actually giving you more work in the future.
— Oh. Come on. Come on, somebody.
— As the queen of procrastinating.
— Yes, the queen.
— I procrastinate all of the time and in high school, especially, I feel like it only made things worse because in the moment when you should just do it, you're worried about it. And you're thinking about it, but you're like, nah, I'm not gonna do it. I'm gonna do it later. I'm gonna to do it later. I'm gonna to it later. And then you do it later. And then it's like, you're cramming. 'Cause I was like, sometimes I did my homework for like second period and first period. So it's like, I'm cramming for second periods homework while also trying to pay attention to first period, because I have homework that comes out that. It's just like chaos and actually creates more frustration, more anxiety and more work for you. So just get it done when you think about it.
— I don't remember what the rest of the tips are. So we're just going to jump to tip number five.
— Yeah, yeah. Tip number five, your school is your mission field. Your school is your mission field. There are people in your school that God has specifically called you to be the hands and feet of Jesus for. We are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Everywhere we go, we're meant to love people to bring justice and to show the mercy of God to others. And your school is such a perfect place for you to get to do that. I so wish I would have known Jesus when I was in middle school and high school so that I could have shared this faith with others. Because when I was in middle school and high school, me and all my friends didn't really want anything to do with church or Christianity. And honestly I think back on that time, and I just wish that I would've had somebody that would have invited me into the family of God, showed me his love so that I could have felt, at a time where it seemed like everything in the world was going wrong and was miserable. That there were some sense of hope beyond that. And I think that's the thing that is so, so special about you. As you're watching this video is your somebody who is seeking after Jesus or somebody who's trying to do the best you can with the influence you have, right where you are. And so never forget that your school is your mission field. There's gonna be times where you're frustrated, you're fed up, all of those different things, but I believe that God has called you to where you are for a reason, to bring his hope and his good news to others. Riley, any last thoughts?
— I'm living proof of that, actually. My friend in middle school invited me to Switch.
— Come on, dude.
— And that's how I gave my life to Jesus.
— Come on, let's go!
— They gave me an invite to Switch. I came only because I thought Switch was cool. I literally...
— Oh, with the pencil bag...
— Yeah. I Came with my pencil bag and everything. I didn't even come cause I was interested in church. I was just like, ah, yeah, I heard it was cool. So I came and I like fell in love with it, fell in love with Jesus. And now I'm a fricking pastor so.
— Come on, she's a pastor. School's coming up soon. Make the most of it. Don't be lame. Be cool.
— Hmm. Word.
— All right, that is it for this episode of Culture Makers. Thank y'all so much for tuning in and make sure you like, comment, subscribe. If you've got questions or thoughts or suggestions on what should we should talk about in the future, type it down.
— Type it down.
— Type it down, in the place where, okay, bye.