Throwing Shoes at the President


I can’t help it. I feel a little sorry for the President. I know he doesn’t deserve it, after being a puppet of corporate interests for 8 years, and messing shit up horribly for the next generation, but I’m moronically soft-hearted toward an underdog, and this guy is such an object of ridicule now, I feel sorta bad.

Nonetheless, I watched the video of him getting shoes thrown at his head with much glee, over and over. If you can say nothing else for Senor Bush, it must be admitted that his reflexes aren’t too shabby for a washed out old monkey.

It appeals to my sense of the ridiculous that a journalist lobbed his shoes at the president’s head, during his ultra-grave, super-secret mission to Iraq (a last ditch effort to look like he’s actually done something from the oval office). I mean, haven’t we all kinda wanted to throw something at this guy from time to time? What I particularly enjoyed is that, though the S.S. jumped him and brought the Cairo journalist down, he managed to get both shoes launched off as projectiles before anyone interfered. And there was a pretty lengthy pause in between, too. Deep down, subconsciously, I think everyone at the proceeding was leaning toward seeing if the dude could nail Mr. B with the second loafer, since the first one sailed over. 

Not to say everyone gathered had hostile intentions toward the big buffoon we elected to office, twice; I’m just saying there may have been an entertainment factor in play. You know, the same sort of observational impulse that overtakes onlookers at a shooting gallery. Whatever the case, here’s what the fella said to our president as he launched the tootsie missiles at his bulbous target: 

“This is a farewell kiss, you dog!”

And here is President Bush’s carefully considered, concise response to questions about the incident.

“Uh, it is one way to gain attention. Uh, it’s like going to a political rally and having people yell at you. It’s like driving down the street and having people not gesturing with all five fingers…”

(i can’t stop laughing at that last little gem)

That Whole Topsy Turvy Day Thing

This post is by Imtay, the sometimes silent sometimes not other writer/editor of Stop and Wander. For more info, see here.

I thought I’d go for something a little lighter this time, because:

It’s Leap Day!

That special day that comes along every four years or so; a day that causes many people to decide to do something different, something extraordinary, to simply forget all the crap that usually holds them back and leap.

Some call it Topsy Turvy Day. But we’ll withhold comment on people who say “Topsy Turvy.” Well, unless, of course, they say it on Topsy Turvy Day, which may make it reasonably cool.

Anyway, this is the kind of thing that helps me keep faith in humanity—the fact that, deep down inside, many of us are looking for an excuse to stop always living within the normal modes of behavior and be who we really want to be: a bunch of bemused, smirking goofballs, taking a leap of faith. OK, so I’m the one who likes to be a bemused, smirking goofball, but I do that anyway. But, see, the analyst side of me has to wonder why we seem to have become such robots in our daily lives and adopted society norms that we evidently find rather limiting, when we really want to break out of it and be ourselves.

I mean, really, do any of us want to be seen as one of the multitude of anonymous, blank-staring faces of normalcy?

Take elevators, for instance. Yes, ok, when I’m in an elevator with other people, I’m usually fairly quiet, stand straight and wait for the doors to open on my floor, too. But when no one else is in there, I’m a goof. I’ll do an odd sort of dance, make funny faces, talk to myself in odd accents or just think of something and break out in laughter. And, yes, I know many elevators have cameras, but I figure whoever’s watching them will get to see someone doing something other than adjusting their underwear. (OK, I’ll do that, too). I’m thinking this is why cell phones don’t work in most elevators. Oh, sure, you can give all kinds of reasons about RF signals and all, but no, it could be the fear that the people we become when we’re alone in an elevator may get leaked.

By the way, ever jumped up just as an ascending elevator began to stop?

Maybe this is also why our society has such a fascination with having sex on elevators. It’s a way to defile that otherwise infuriatingly persistent little box of normalcy.

The same holds true with a lot of places, like a lobby of an office building. Just a couple of days ago, I was walking through the one in which I work, talking to someone who always makes me smile. Now, I was probably already standing out as, among all the serious looking people scuttling about or pacing while talking on their phones, I’m smiling like a Muppet. And this person asked me to really belt out “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road,” while I was there.

I sang it, but I didn’t belt it out, although I clearly imagined my truly frightening singing voice echoing through the lobby, pulling stunned stares of disapproval towards me and, just maybe, seeing a couple of people in uniform approaching to ask me to step this way.

But at least I sang it. (And I tried to make up for it the next day).

But, would I do it today? On Leap Day? OK, probably not.

But I did see someone do something like that once, a few years ago, and the image has never left me.

On what was just another gray day, I was driving along in a parking lot and saw a moderately short, slightly plump woman pushing out a cart loaded down with bags out of a grocery store. She was probably in her mid to late 30s, had blonde, unnaturally curly hair chemically frozen into to perfect form, and she wore the corporate after-work women’s uniform: a gray business skirt & blazer with white tennis shoes. Judging by the loaded shopping cart, she was buying food for a lot of people.

I stopped the car to let her pass. She looked at me, lifted her hand and mouthed “Thank you.” She then turned her face away and fixed her gaze steadily into the parking lot. After a second, she began running, bursting into a full sprint as the shopping cart jangled and rattled in high pitched protest as she picked up speed. She then she jumped up on the back rail of the cart and rode it toward the end of the parking lot, kicking it along like a skateboard, her gray blazer fluttering behind. I didn’t begin to move the car again until she reached her minivan at the end of the parking lot, but I don’t remember anyone behind me becoming impatient. They had to be watching, too.

For me, it was one of those tiny instances of everyday heroism. No, she may not have saved anyone’s life, but sometimes just dropping a façade and being yourself can be a little heroic. And I don’t even think it was a Leap Day.

So, now I guess I have to wonder what I’ll do for Topsy Turvy Day. (Yeah, I said it). I don’t grocery shop for enough people to balance a cart with my weight; besides, that’s been done. I did kind of make up for the “Why Don’t We Do It in the Road” thing (which was probably rather horrifying, truth be told). I could let someone know how I really feel about her, but I kind of already did that, too. And I’m already wearing mismatched socks.

I’ll think of something.

Student tasered for asking too many questions

Andrew Meyer, 21, apparently stepped out of bounds at a public forum with Senator John Kerry in Gainesville, Florida on Monday. His unwillingness to stop speaking lead him to be overpowered and then tasered.

The video can be viewed here.

While it’s true that Meyer did resist arrest, at the time of the tasing he was being held on the floor by 4 police officers. He had offered to walk out on his own two feet and was told he had no choice. Apparently his unwillingness to stop shouting was the offense that lead to the use of the taser.

Interestingly, Senator John Kerry did not seem to take offense to the question, and droned on in the background, trying to get the audience’s attention to answer the question posed by Mr. Meyer.

Some students grew anxious and told the police officers to stop when the taser was used.

Do you think his actions merited the use of brute force? And if not, why do you think everyone sat back and made no waves? Fear of authority? Fear of being arrested themselves?

The question posed to Kerry that seemed to invigorate the police was this: “Were you a member of skull and bones in college… as Bush. Were you a member of the same secret society?”