I love shoes. Women love shoes. Manolo, the shoeblogger blogs for women who love shoes. He wrote a philosophical tractatus: The consolation of the shoes:
"“O, Mistress of All Virtues,” asked the Manolo, the tears welling in his eyes, “why have you come down from the Fashion Heaven to visit this lonely place of banishment and sorrow?”
“I have come to bring solace,” She said, “to you who have begun to toil in my name.”
And with that, Lady Fashion then opened one of her books and pointed to the picture of the most beautiful shoes the Manolo had ever seen. At first glance, the Manolo was suffused with the intense feeling of well-being and happiness, as if the top of his head were being opened and pure grace poured in, filling him to the brim with contentment and joy."
***Great men are associated with shoe idiosyncrasies. The world's most recent great-man-to-be has already been immortalized on camera as wearing threadbare shoes . What does it mean? Is he making a statement, his feet on the desk, and those feet in shoes whose insolent soles seem to
say to the viewer: take that, you punk!
As you can see from the picture above, President Bush (another great man yet to be recognized as such by the angel of history) has no fashion sense and has provoked outraged, near-choking disbelief by his choice of footwear. Manolo implacably passed his judgment, for which the only punishment befitting the sheer audacity of the man would have to be: "Impeach Him!!!"
At the time I thought that caro Manolo's reaction was way over the top and hysterical. But it appears that other persons harbored similar incontinent indignation and were not to be appeased by merely writing... As we witnessed just yesterday. Bush ducked the hurled shoes with a boxer's dexterity. Nice reflex, there, from the president who has been pelted with any sort of insult you can think of.
There is no wisdom to be learned from this story, except to muse at the eternal paradox of the human mind. Here is a thinking man of letters, throwing shoes at a foreign dignitary during that most polite of cutthroat tea-parties, the press conference, for liberating Iraq from the brutal yoke of a mafioso dictator. If that liberation had not taken place, the only recourse possible for that very shournalist to redeem his behaviour would be to kiss his leader's shoes or be kicked by them, while the leader's feet are still inside those shoes.
Normblog recalls some great shoe moments in history, here.
A footnote to the shoe story:
Many on the Arab street reportedly erupted into a triumphal celebration, thronging the streets, rapidly moving from worshipping the new hero to burning American flags, etc etc.
I watched the massive demonstrations in favour of the shournalist, and wondered why such admiration poured over the shoe-thrower, someone who cannot even hit with a shoe a target just a few meters away and quite standing in one spot and not going anywhere.
How symbolic --and typical -- of the Arab street to turn a shameful vulgar gesture, which ultimately failed, into a cause for triumphal celebration. It underpins the culture of failure that characterizes the Arab world, a culture that misses out, again and again, on great opportunities and great lessons, it is offered. Never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, as the great Abba Eban once said..