Tag Archives: Shoes

Who has the famous al-Zaidi Bush shoes

Everyone’s clamoring for the shoe heard around the world. The several
Muntadhar al-Zaidimanufacturers who claim to have cobbled the offending black oxfords are deluged in orders. A Saudi man has offered ten million dollars for Muntadhar al-Zaidi’s original pair. But the NYT reports: “Explosives tests by investigators destroyed the offending footwear.” Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?!

I don’t believe that shit for a minute. If airport security can verify footwear inertness in a few seconds…

Not that a pair of worn leather shoes matters a whit. But there is more than shoe fetish at foot here. And I find something about the fate of this pair of shoes that’s awfully unlike a Skull and Bones man.

Idolatry
The Saudi who offered the king’s ransom for the “Medal of Freedom” shoes, may have been enraptured by idolatry, but he knows the magical allure which those shoes will always possess. How can any of us deny the mystical energy we attribute to baseballs marked by having been hit to home runs? All Americans take, or aspire to take, a pilgrimage to the Smithsonian to see the actual, for real, objects of their common heritage.

Museums of art and natural history, glean an idolatry all their own, but historical collections like the Smithsonian and the British Imperial War Museum, peddle in pure talisman mysticism.

The crown jewels come to mind, or any ordinary person’s diamond. Stones, crystals, runes, coins, fetishes, heirlooms, antiques, personal designer accessories, safety blankets. We swim in stuff which have meaning greater than their utility. Even poor Diogenes had his lantern.

Who are we kidding that mere objects don’t have enormous power over us? I myself keep everything. I frequently feel I’m drowning in remembrances and chanced-upon objects for which I aspire sentiment. Would that I could focus on strength-building empowering articles.

I’m reminded of last year’s sale of a copy of the Magna Carta, was it, to a modern Wall Street robber baron. I was not alone to surmise that he paid 21 million for the now-transgressed compact, probably to wipe his ass with it. As the great white hunters paid their safari guides in hope of being the last to personally vanquish whatever late species was next to be rendered extinct.

The al-Zaidi Shoes
This famous pair of shoes were thrown by Muntadhar al-Zaidi at President Bush, al-Zaidi being the first man to dare show defiance to the US Nero. Although, certain intellectuals do come to mind, for having voiced their discontent with his policies. I remember too, a certain brave Indonesian witch doctor who cast a magic curse on the universally despised Bush. Ki Gendeng Pamungkas placed a jinx to shorten Bush’s stay in Indonesia, it wasn’t a fatal voodoo spell, for that would have been just as illegal as making threats is in the US. I will always believe there must have been countless more who’ve cursed Bush to his face, if prudently under their breath.

But journalist al-Zaidi did the one act above all others. He showed open, physical defiance. At the bottom line, against an imperial oligarchy which dominates the world by military force, it’s the only defiance that really matters. And George Bush knows it.

Once subdued, was it necessary to bludgeon al-Zaidi? He had disarmed himself, and was now completely out of ammo. Was the rough apprehension in any manner appropriate? Everyone in the room had already been checked by security. What was the purpose of beating al-Zaidi in the next room? Or of the torture later?

Regicide
Would-be assassins of kings, in the times of kings, were drawn and quartered, made to suffer excruciating deaths, but their body parts desecrated as well. It wasn’t to insure their mortality.

From a historical perspective, I believe al-Zaidi’s projectile footwear represent an enormously momentous act, even more by being common objects. We all have shoes. And see, shoes have provide a ready aeronautic diversion from the path most taken. A significant number of common citizens can get close enough to our leader to lambast him with their shoes.

Do we approve of him or not? Does he listen to our protestations, or does he laugh them off as our America-given freedoms to disagree?

Is it a mere disagreement we have with Bush over his regime’s genocide, high crimes and theft from the American People?

I’m convinced that al-Zaidi’s shoes had to be drawn and quartered, lest they inspire further acts of bravery from the ranks of Bush’s subjects.

Is it time to throw our shoes? In this divide and conquer feudal age, by design an anti-social world which celebrates the individual lest a community spirit trounce the narcissism imperative to thwart organizing into collectives, a next shoe-thrower would be mocked for being a copy-cat. I can hope that we recognize the humility of extremely diminutive stature. We want to be voracious proponents of social justice, but have tragically impoverished resources, . The struggle against capitalist imperialism will require many foot soldiers. We can’t all be Che and al-Zaidi. We didn’t think to throw our shoes, we won’t be improvisers of the next gesture. For the better part of us, the most effective we can be is follow their lead.

Let’s imagine, for the populist courage they might ignite, that the al-Zaidi shoes were effaced from man’s heritage. Bush has done worse, he’s razed Iraq, cradle of civilization, the untold undiscovered archeological sites, the historic library, I can’t even go on, the losses were unthinkable.

Occult Talisman
Except, this is a man who like his father, and strangely like an odd many in his cabal, came out of the secret “Skull and Bones” club at Yale. The exclusive order was originated by a forefather, who amassed the Bush fortune with help from Hitler by the way, named for the club’s alleged possession of the remains of Sitting Bull. What, was Sitting Bull a famous Yalie? A forefather of modern empire building? Was he a banking/usury supremacist?

Sitting Bull was but one of the fiercest American indian leader to have defied the white man’s global conquest. Of course, it’s not uncommon for warring cannibals to feel that they gather strength from their opponents, even as they’ve defeated them.

The Bushes and their cadre of global elites are also members of Bohemian Grove. As occultist as blue-blood better-than-thous can get. I’ll not assert they celebrate witchcraft, but it’s more pagan than average churchgoers could comfortably countenance. Traditional religions hold it as false idolatry, academia dismisses it as mysticism.

Which brings me to the Lance of Longinus, allegedly the weapon which pierced Jesus’s side to deal the Coup de Grace. Though scholars have traced its existence to only 900 AD, the “Spear of Destiny” retains a tremendous occult allure, in particular the Nazi Third Reich. Other such talisman weapons have been sought by warrior leaders throughout history, as bestowing upon whoever possessed them, divine powers over challengers to their throne.

Let’s face it, since the success of the American industrial and banking driven democracy, in rising to dominate over all its WWII adversaries and allies, our elected leader has become absolute ruler of the known world. It wasn’t our intent, but it’s human nature.

Absolute Power Corrupts
We live again in a world of kings. Of moats, of food tasters, of royal jesters, of showing not just deference but fealty. We live in a world of a leisured class, where right to wealth and privilege is considered hereditary. A birthright to nobility is reinforced even by what we understand of genetics. Men are not created equal. Man at his highest is preordained. It’s no great leap to expect these men will search the firmament for signs to affirm that their supremacy is granted by divinity.

I expect earthly objects which defy a monarch’s impregnability have irresistible personal allure to kings for whom nothing remains but to divine their life’s purpose.

It’s not uncharted territory, there have been global empires before, except the world known to earlier supreme leaders had horizons closer in. Alexander ruled his whole known world. The Roman Emperors did, with the unconquered bits being just so much backwoods. Such leaders had no rivals in trade, power, or wealth. Charlemagne, Ghengis Khan, Shaka Zulu, ruled their entire known realms. While these leaders were empire builders, the related personages less lauded, were their progeny who succumbed to proving Lord Acton’s Dictum that “absolute power corrupts–” Each it seems resolved to challenge the last part “–absolutely.”

Now John Dalberg-Acton’s Essays on Freedom and Power is a scrap of paper I’d be surprised to find enshrined in a megalomaniac’s personal collection of power-emitting talisman keepsake chatchkes.

Papieren Bitte? Just your shoes please

mens shoesMost people can easily conjure the cinematic image of Gestapo officers blocking train passengers, demanding “Your papers please.” That such a scene could ever develop in America, haunts citizens opposed to national identity cards or embedded microchips. But with modern surveillance methods as pervasive as cellphones, perhaps today’s state security services have less need to verify who we are. I’ll assert the US Department of Homeland Security is charged more with making Americans feel the heavy boot print of authoritarianism.

I think that in the wake of 9/11, this nation has indeed mobilized a “papers please” law enforcement policy.

The proof is there in black and white in the Patriot Act; you can see it in the Civil Liberties-free zone which immigration officers have been empowered to enforce to 100 miles inland from our borders; and you can see it at our airports. Last night’s 60-Minutes questioned the punitive aspects of the TSA measures to which today’s airline passengers are subjected. Less surprisingly, CBS also suggested their probable ineffectiveness.

Having just paid a holiday visit to DIA, I was inclined to see more. Yes, this is another holiday post.

Credit where credit is due? It’s no coincidence this is about shoes.

Papieren Bitte
First, I’d like to deconstruct the film mythology, which originated in wartime, from Hollywood Home Front propaganda meant to demonize the Hun. Certainly the trench-coated SS officer, or leather-jacketed Gestapo detective, asking for your documents, cut a villainous figure. But they were, in reality, as out of the ordinary as today’s FBI or CIA agents. Have you ever happened upon a one of those?

More often by far, during WWII, the job of asking for a traveler’s “Legitimacion” was assigned to the gendarmes of the occupied countries, or to the collaborators who’d been deputized. These were ordinary constables and men who otherwise were unfit to serve in combat. Old frumps, maligned and bitter. If you can picture the run-of-the-mill TSA troll, you see where I’m going.

Public Transportation
Where travelers a half-century ago were taking trains, today the public city-to-city lattice is airborne. Today we queue for planes, not trains. And instead of producing our “papers” –I should say, IN ADDITION to producing our papers– we are required to remove our shoes, all sorts of articles, submit to searches, and refrain from carrying certain items, in order to thread the needle that allows us access to public travel. I’m not sure if today’s security screening isn’t the equivalent of the depiction of the 40s silver-screen.

Before you argue that I’m being alarmist, please consider that most Germans during the war, indeed the overwhelming majority of citizens of occupied Europe, had little to fear by being asked for their documents. You or I are not insurgents on the lam, nor aspiring bomb-throwers. We do not fear being sent to Guantanamo.

Indeed, you might remember, the movie heroes who sweated the Nazi checkpoints were always resistance fighters, saboteurs, or escaped Allied prisoners. Today, ask yourself how an enemy of the USA would fare trying to use an airport. If you have become aware now that our US Homeland does not show reticence to torture, or disappear, persons of interest, would modern airport security be any less a terrifying prospect for people who may not be in lockstep with the ever rogue-ideology of the current global administrators?

And so, what was the main purpose of policemen monitoring the trains of occupied Europe? To prevent illegal travel, or to deter the thought of sedition? Both. But those were the days of imperfect intelligence.

Today, we know that even the 9/11 hijackers were tracked well in advance of their boarding at Boston Airport. Since then, we know that intelligence agency Fusion Centers also parse the surveillance data of persons of mere tangential interest. We know that the NSA records all phone calls. We know the telecoms are doing something for which they are very insistent about receiving preemptory immunity.

Potential terrorists/hijackers have everybody on their tail.

The TSA fat bastards are for the rest of us.

Airport Fear-mongering
Do you remember the days when you could linger as you dropped off your loved ones at the airport? You could wait with them, or you could meet them as they walked off the plane. Now you are greeted by concrete barriers at the curb, you can’t help anyone with their bags. America’s airports have become high security zones, unwelcoming to all.

Permit me to interject the observation that there has not been a single domestic airport attack to justify the draconian measures which have impacted American tranquility. We abide being yelled at, for absolutely no reason except the scare-phrase “Remember 9/11.” Remember the Maine? Remember Pearl Harbor? Japanese Internment Camps anyone?

If you are the traveler, you have to strip yourself of dignity before a thick-necked tin-pot. Now airports are even replacing the metal detectors with X-ray gateways. You are required to raise your arms for a virtual strip search, where digital images of your nakedness are reviewed by the airport security. Official TSA statements explain that these digital records go no further than their desks.

You can choose to believe that, or believe that all our faces are being blurred, or that our corresponding identities are not matched with the images.

(A digression on the subject of intelligence files:
Meanwhile, consider that the NSA is recording ALL satellite borne phone calls. International and domestic. They get around the “wire-tapping” restrictions by addressing it as “packet collecting.” To their devices, it’s an altogether new technology, thereby unencumbered by civil right legislation protection.

Our imaginations cannot fathom how spooks can listen to all the world’s satellite calls, but their imaginations know that someday the software will be developed to accomplish that task. Won’t they be kicking themselves later if they hadn’t stored as much as they could of our conversations BEFORE anyone suspected all telephones were eavesdropped upon?

-By the way, did you miss the memo that every cellphone is capable of being an eavesdropping device, even when it’s not engaged in a phone call? Would it be beyond the pale to imagine that if a near infinite number of calls are recorded, another near infinite amount of off-line talk is being aggregated in addition? If you can store more on your iPod than you can read in 100 lifetimes, supercomputer storage can probably lap your imagination by 100 to the 100th, I’m just thinking.)

Respect Authority
Well look at me, I’m only underlining where the DHS is happy to have us all place emphasis. FEAR. The security at today’s airports won’t keep box cutters off of airplanes, but it will keep a citizenry from daydreams of dissent.

So much ado,
And not enough DO? You already know what to do. Respect authority? Disrespect false authority! Take a lead from Comrade al-Zairi, you too can make it about the shoes.

We’ve all of us, you know it, mouthed to ourselves the defiant retort, rehearsed for if and when that imaginary Nazi hits us up for our papers: “Papers? I don’t need to show you no stinkin’ papers!”

From LA, I remember a variant which Hispanics directed at La Migra. They wished.

Anyone WITH papers can defy authority with the full confidence that comes from “I am an American” impunity. But can undocumented immigrants say it? Can Middle-Eastern-looking gentlemen say it? Not hardly.

YOU CAN.

My brave little fantasy insurgent, why not offer that rebel yell to the TSA? Tell them you don’t need to remove your stinkin’ shoes! (Double- entendre unintended.) They won’t let you on the plane, but that’s where beloved Capitalism provides your audience.

Put your courage where your mouth is
Let the airlines hear your rebel yell. “We don’t need your stinkin’ airplane!” If they don’t remove the Beirut decor concrete barriers, if they don’t send the TSA mini tyrants packing, if they don’t let you travel with toiletries of your damn choosing, you’re not going to take their stinkin’ flights.

If they’re not going to let you park up close to the terminal, where you used to be able to park but now those spaces are let out to valet parking outfits, you’re not going to visit their airport. Period.

Is there anywhere that you need to go in a hurry, besides out of the country for a long, long spell?

Drive, it’s still free
If you’re going to stick around, boycott the airlines. Use your car.

As has been demonstrated at Arizona checkpoints –as seen on YouTube– a car and a video camera can get you anywhere unmolested. If you are stopped at an DHS “immigration” checkpoint, you hold the upper hand. You can persist in being let to pass without answering a single question. If they detain you, you have a lawsuit. In your car, you can say with impunity still “I don’t need to show you no stinkin’ papers!”

US media takes shoe, makes lemonade

Dana Perino black eyeMuntadha al-Zaidi’s shoe may have missed George Bush, but it left a figurative black eye on the warrior emperor,
and, a literal shiner on White House spokes- gidget Dana Perino. She was hit by a microphone as secret service agents rushed to protect the president. Which could not have worked out better for the US media.

If the injured staffer had been a man, do you imagine the news photos of facial bruises would be so intimate? While the world media is focused on demonstrations to urge the release of al-Zaidi, the US media is zooming in close on Perino’s black eye. I’m thinking, you don’t have to be a wife-beater to admit to the provocative element in these pictures of a battered blond, about as tall as a child, female.

You need quite a distraction from the embarrassing imagery of world citizenry eager to kick Bush in the ass as he leaves office.

Perino was already familiar with USO Playboy Bunny cheesecake.
Playboy bunny visiting the troops