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63763Re: Kiteboarding Mag Attitude Problem

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  • kiteterminator <Terminator@windjunky.com>
    Jan 1, 2003
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      -> free speech. If you dont like it, dont buy it.

      --- In kitesurf@yahoogroups.com, "jimhartnett45 <jimhartnett45@y...>"
      <jimhartnett45@y...> wrote:
      > Kiteboarding Magazine and its editor, Ryan Riccitelli, seem to
      > have an attitude problem. The "in your face" attempts to be super
      > cool give kitesurfing a bad name and contribute to negative
      > public perceptions of our sport.
      > Case 1: Ryan seems obsessed by pornography. He feels
      > compelled to ask almost every one of the "youth brigade"
      > interviewees about pornography. eg Q to Garfield King (age 14):
      > [Which do you prefer] "Stuff or Penthouse?" Funny huh? Pretty
      > cool? Does implicit (even attempted humourous) endorsement
      > of pornography to minors cross a legal boundary? Similar
      > questions abound in previous issues. Do questions like this
      > help to make the female readership feel comfortable? Does it
      > help to dispel the macho image of Kitesurfing and attract women
      > kitesurfers?
      > Case 2: A recent issue of Kiteboarding Mag featured a picture of
      > an obese kitesurfer wearing a helmet with a large caption:"Don't
      > Be a Helmet." The juxtaposition was clearly disparaging the man
      > featured in the photograph in particular and the wearing of a
      > helmet in general. All other photos in the magazine showed
      > muscled athletic kitesurfers generally wearing no safety
      > precautions (helmets, leashes, impact vests). It was no
      > coincidence that only one photo displayed an obese, unfit
      > middle-aged man in an unflattering pose wearing a HELMET.
      > "Kiteboarding Mag" tried desperately to backtrack in its Jan 2003
      > edition by describing the poor man featured as a "cool guy that I
      > met in Texas who was learning to kite." Maybe the mag decided
      > to call the poor man "cool" because he was threatening to sue
      > their pants off. The editorial attempts at justification were sad
      > and bordered on the ridiculous. Ryan admits he was equating
      > the word "helmet" with "dick" (as in dickhead) but then tries to
      > say he wasn't making fun of helmets.... Go figure.
      > Case 3: In its attempts to be super cool, KB Mag places little
      > emphasis on safety. Few articles focus specifically on safety.
      > Virtually no riders are shown wearing safety leashes or helmets.
      > Case 4: Ryan slams the kiteboarding "underworld" that exists in
      > internet e-groups and chat rooms. He may have a point when he
      > says "many of these cyber-kite-boarders spend their spare time
      > dissecting and analyzing our sport while the rest of us are on the
      > water progressing....oftentimes the people who answer the qs
      > are not qualified to respond." Yeh, these things may be true. But
      > these e-groups can be helpful (eg the Airush forum- does have a
      > few kooks, but is generally helpful). They also enable issues like
      > the attitude problem of Kiteboarding Mag to be aired without
      > editorial censorship or a ridiculous spin being put on the letters.
      > There is a perception that many kiteboarders have a bad attitude.
      > Contributing to this perception are irresponsible safety practices,
      > injuries to innocent bystanders, countless rider injuries and an
      > escalating death toll. There is a distinct subculture in
      > which espouses an "in your face" two-fingered-saluting,
      > trash-talking, board-short over wetsuit and penis obsessed
      > macho dickhead mentality. Kiteboarding Mag is in the vanguard.
      > It is the irresponsible, selfish, in-your-face kitesurfer who is
      > contributing to kitesurfing being banned from beaches around
      > the world.
      > In a larger geopolitical climate, there is a perception in some
      > parts of the world that the Western World is decadent, insensitive
      > to other cultures, and culturally imperialistic. It is the in-your-
      > aggressive macho/porno better-than-you image promoted by
      > organisations like Kiteboarding Mag which may help reinforce
      > this misconception.
      > Having said all of that, I'll still be buying the Mag. There is
      > enough good stuff (eg location and gear reviews, trick
      > sequences) to keep me coming back for more. Nevertheless,
      > let's get real. We kitesurf because we love it; we love the wind,
      > the water, the sensation of surging through the air and water
      > carried on a wind borne wing. I listen to JS Bach and wear a
      > helmet and leash; I try to be careful of and respectful of other
      > water users. I don't need to read pornography, trash talk, 2-finger
      > salute and disparage others to have fun on the water.
      > Let's not let KB Mag or Ryan Riccitelli off the hook. There are
      > problems which should be addressed:
      > 1] Ryan's pornocentric interviews to minors.
      > 2] Ryan's general obsession with pornography eg Continual
      > references to Penthouse
      > 3] Sexism and objectification of women eg Cyber Cindy photos. A
      > posting on www.kiteforum.com indicates women DO feel
      > uncomfortable about KB Mag's soft porn sexism.
      > 4] Please tell me the "Cyber Cindy" photo in the Jan 2003 issue
      > shows a girl over the age of 18. She certainly looks younger; it
      > would be sick and legally dubious if, as I suspect, Ryan has
      > published a picture of a teenager in a suggestive pose for the
      > average 30yo readership to ogle.
      > 5] There is a distinct "better than you" in your face attitude
      > promoted by KB Mag and Ryan. The "Don't be a Helmet" article
      > was clearly disparaging the obese man in the photo and the
      > wearing of helmets in general. Ryan's attempts at justification
      > WERE sad and bordered on the ridiculous. Subsequently
      > describing the poor guy featured as "some cool guy" was a
      > virtual admission of guilt. What makes a guy "cool?" "Coolness"
      > implies trendiness and acceptance by the clique. We don't know
      > anything about the poor man featured other than the fact that he
      > is obese, middle-aged, and DOESN'T fit KB's prevailing image of
      > "cool" because he is wearing a helmet, impact vest, seat
      > harness, and is striking an unflattering pose.
      > 6] There is a brown-nosing side to the Mag which is regrettable.
      > eg The "readers' poll" of favourite kitesurfers which simply
      > seemed like Ryan's attempts to suck up to a certain clique of
      > American riders. Why wasn't Mark Shinn featured? Surely
      > Americans are not so insular as to exclude a rider of Shinn's
      > calibre simply because he is not American? The top 10 thing
      > seemed symptomatic of Ryan's immaturiy and KB's attempts at
      > ingratiation and a reflection of insularity.
      > 7] There is minimal focus on safety. There is a subtle
      > encouragement of unsafe practices in the photos. eg No
      > leashes, no helmets, generally no impact vests.
      > 8] There IS a distinct subculture in Kitesurfing which thrives on
      > trash-talking, arrogant, in-your-face, and antisocial behaviour.
      > This subset is overly represented in injuries to themselves,
      > bystanders, and damage to property. This subset is helping to
      > bring kitesurfing into disrepute and contributing to bans. This
      > drunken redneck trash-talking two-finger saluting attitude is
      > encouraged by KB Mag in its syntax ("Dude" "Cool" "Don't be a
      > helmet" "Penthouse" "Sick"), articles, attitude, and soft-porn
      > focus.
      > 9] In a larger geopolitical context, we as kitesurfers, have a
      > responsibility to our sport and our countries. Aggression,
      > redneck sexism, poking fun at people who don't fit the image (eg
      > obesity) is a bad reflection on Kitesurfing and the Western
      > lifestyle. We probably should try to be sensitive to other people
      > and cultures in this era; KB Mag's aggro macho porno insular
      > attitude encourages misconceptions about the West and
      > encourages immitation in an impressionable immature
      > readership. I get angry with this arrogant
      > in-your-face-better-than-you attitude, and I'm a Westerner who
      > loves kitesurfing. Imagine the effect on a non-kitesurfer from
      > another culture and country.
      > 10] For those who say we should "get a life" and stop
      > complaining, that we should be kitesurfing rather than sitting at
      > our computers... Fair point. But it doesn't blow all the time and
      > is possible to bring attention to issues like KB Mag's attitude
      > which DO impact on our sport.
      > Kiteboarding Mag and Ryan Riccitelli DO have a bad attitude.
      > Some of the articles, gear and location reviews, even the ads,
      > will keep me coming back for more. It is still possible to like the
      > photos, ads, reviews etc, and be repulsed by the editorial
      > shortcomings. I won't be voting with my wallet, I will be continue
      > to buy the Mag, despite the sad editorial line. It is fair to say
      > there is considerable antagonism towards KB Mag because of
      > its editorial line and attitude; it is probably fair to assume that
      > significant number of kitesurfers have vetoed the mag. It may be
      > worthwhile informing the Mag's owners [World Publications] that
      > their bottom line could be improved by a change of editor or
      > editorial attitude. Similarly, it may be worth informing some of
      > the advertisers (Naish, Wipika, Slingshot, North, Liquid Force,
      > Pryde, Cabrinha, Flexifoil, Honda, JoJo, Flysurfer, NSI, Airush)
      > that the redneck in-your-face aggro macho porno attitude
      > espoused in the Mag reflects poorly on their product.
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