Wednesday, December 17, 2008


If the shoe hits...

I’ve been very much amused at the Great Shoe Incident. There’s plenty of coverage in the New York Times, of course, but this is something that really has to be seen on video. I find it funny that we feel the need to say things like this, from the second NYT link above: “Hitting someone with a shoe is a strong insult in Iraq.” Right, as opposed to in the U.S., where it’s a gesture of great affection and praise.

The best part, though, is Bush’s response:

It’s like driving down the street, and having people not gesture with all five fingers.
That’s a good comparison. And it’s a gesture he’s quite used to seeing, I should imagine.


Meanwhile, New York’s Governor David Paterson has sent out bad vibes about his depiction on Saturday Night Live. I have to say, I, too, find much of the sketch very un-funny. It is loaded with cheap “jokes” about disabilities and implications that upstate New York is full of nothing by hayseeds. That said, it’s a bad idea to take aim at SNL that way — hey, even John McCain and Sarah Palin were able to laugh at “themselves” up there. A better approach would be to go the milder route: rather than strong criticism, just blow it off. “Yes,” he might have said, “I often like SNL, but that sketch... not one of their best, I’m afraid. Quite a dud, in fact. Oh, well.”

Maybe he could even make a gesture about it that involves fewer than five fingers.


Finally, there’s an update in the case of the Critical Mass cyclist who was knocked down by a NY City police officer. A grand jury has handed down an indictment against the officer, Patrick Pogan. Of course, “My client denies any wrongdoing in this matter,” said Officer Pogan’s lawyer. “I would have people withhold judgment until all the evidence comes out about the bicyclist’s actions prior to my client taking action.”

Indeed. On the other hand, I’ll point out that we have it on video, and there is no excuse for a law officer to behave as Mr Pogan does in the video, no matter what prior actions there were.

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