I bought a new pair of shoes last week—an event so momentous that my colleagues at Circle insisted I write a post about this (admittedly, I rarely buy shoes—in fact, the last pair I bought was in Chicago, four years ago to the day [I was there giving a talk as part of FITC Chicago]). I’m a tall guy, and I have big feet… size 14 (48-1/2), 320mm long to be precise (12.6″ for those who still measure in inches). Frankly, it’s damn hard to find footware of any kind, never mind anything stylish…
Well, “The Keith,” as the Fluevog footware that I now own is called (first time I’ve ever bought a shoe with its own name) is described as a “knuckledustin’, swaggerin’ shoe that is the perfect attitude accompaniment for all rockin’ rebels and outlaws. Featuring a stitched leather sole with a rubber topy and heel lift, 1.25″ stacked leather Cuban heels, and a strong shark-nose silhouette, the Keith shoe might be the actual epitome of cool… it will take wild horses to drag you away from The Keith Shoe! All you need is a silk scarf and a Telecaster, and the rest is history (mullet and black eyeliner not included).”
Fluevog shoes are designed by the Vancouver-based firm’s founder, John Fluevog, who creates and produces shoes using traditional methods and eco-friendly materials. My “Keiths” are made in a small family-owned factory in Portugal. Due to the fact that they’re made in a traditional method, any cobbler is able to work with them in the future to fix up everything from stitching and resoling to heel lifts. Something tells me that “The Keith” and I will walk a long and winding road together…
For nearly 50 years now… whenever anyone has “accused” me of (or praised me for) being a Socialist, I have taken that to be a compliment. Just sayin’…
(image source : Pulitzer Prize-winner Joel Pett)
“I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate (the) grave evils (of capitalism), namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals. In such an economy, the means of production are owned by society itself and are utilized in a planned fashion. A planned economy, which adjusts production to the needs of the community, would distribute the work to be done among all those able to work and would guarantee a livelihood to every man, woman, and child. The education of the individual, in addition to promoting his own innate abilities, would attempt to develop in him a sense of responsibility for his fellow-men in place of the glorification of power and success in our present society.”
— Albert Einstein, Why Socialism?, 1949
Royal College of Art graduate Gaspard Tiné-Berès has designed slippers made from just one piece of felt and a shoelace. “The shapes are die-cut from sheets of 5mm thick felt with minimal, simple and affordable tooling – making this product very suitable for small-scale local production. The slippers are delivered flat-packed and come with coloured laces that the user has to thread along the seam, which curls around the edge of the sole and over one side of the upper. The act of self-assembling the slippers increases the sense of ownership and emotional connection with them and allows for personalisation through the choice of laces used.”
“Anyone strolling through Canonbury Square in Islington recently might have noticed this interesting graffiti around some particularly pubic foliage. T’was rather a lovely bush. Sadly it was painted over and now remains only in ghostly shadow of its former glory…”
Thanks to my friend Matt Warburton… (source).
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
In concert with the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) a large outdoor installation of fish made of discarded plastic bottles appeared on Botafogo beach. The sculptures are illuminated from the inside at night creating a spectacular light show… see more images here.
(from almost anywhere in the Incarcerated States of America)
I’ve blogged about this before, so please forgive me if this sounds like a broken record (those over 50 may actually “get” that reference). I find it incredible (literally) that the nation that wraps itself in the flag of “Land of the free, Home of the brave.” imprisons more of its citizens by far than any other nation on earth. With only 5% of the world’s population the U.S. boasts 25% of the world’s incarcerated population…
Thanks to Linda at the Online Criminal Justice Degree who provided me with the very effective info-graphic shown above. Click on it for access to a larger version, and please feel free to share this more broadly.
[My father was a pacifist pulpiter, so I rant about things like this quite naturally—is that a valid excuse? He taught me maxims such as “if you live by the sword, expect to die by the sword,” and “you can tell a tree by its fruit…” Geez, that sounds self-righteous!]