Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Swimming With the Sharks

Way back in the early months of Zephyr (March 2005) I wrote a scathing post on windsurfing magnate Neil Pryde. The title - Sailor Neil Pryde’s swollen ego gobbles China, beats down the working man - was designed to elicit a response...and it did! I just had a comment come in (defending Neil over a year later) from a reader who worked for Pryde running his Windsurfing North America division from 1992-96. Though I stand by an admittedly incendiary post, if anyone would know about Neil-as-a-person rather than Neil-as-a-capitalist...it's not me.

So I have to take this recent leap to defend Neil at face value and, though I can't vouch for every sentiment expressed by an anonymous defender who, "...spent many weekends with Neil putting to practice both his and my work ethics," I'm also not going to take issue with the claim that, "...he was the best mentor a lower class kid could ask for." Maybe he was.

Looking back to March '05, I'd also responded to "Jerry" - yet another defender of Neil Pryde - in a subsequent post that made some good counter points but failed to advance the discussion much (in my humble opinion).

So I wonder aloud and invite comment, why does trashing Neil evoke such strong emotion? Could I have picked the wrong target for my anti-capitalist bluster? Or am I hitting too close to home?

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