Shoes For Christmas

by Paul Z. Myers

Lots of people complained that throwing shoes at the president was an act of violence, and therefore beyond the pale of what should be allowed. I think they’re wrong, that it’s a harmless expression of naked contempt, and that there ought to be more contempt expressed towards this president, but let’s compromise. No throwing shoes. How about politely handing them to him?

The Rude Pundit had a brilliant and obvious idea.

This morning, the Rude Pundit decided to honor the efforts of Muntader al-Zaidi, the Iraqi shoe-tosser, by taking out a raggedy old pair of sneakers, putting them in a Priority Mail shipping box, helpfully provided by the United States Post Office, and shipping them to President George W. Bush at the White House. He included a note that read, “This is a farewell kiss from the American people, you dog.”

Since throwing objects at the president is generally considered a crime, the Rude Pundit figures sending shoes to Bush is a small, good thing, a gesture of contempt that has context. Sweet Christ, at this point, there should be giant sacks of shoes heading to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC, 20500, like letters to Santa.

None of you can have any objections in principle to that, I should hope. Let us all make our own small protest and send George W Bush a little Christmas present, a polite version of an upraised middle finger, and box up some old shoes and send him a deluge of metaphorical and symbolic disgust.

It would also be nice if the shoes were at least serviceable, so maybe the White House could follow up with one last decent act by donating them to the needy.

Since the shoes won’t actually be seen Bush and will probably be thrown out, cut out the middleman and do this:

Donate a pair of shoes to the local charity of your choice.

Send Bush a postcard, stating, “A pair of shoes has been donated to the needy in your name. This is a farewell kiss from the American people, you dog.”

Simple, cheap, and it gets the message across just as well, while also doing something good.

Paul Z Myers is an associate professor at the University of Minnesota Division of Science and Math

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