Fashion trends often begin at the ramp, though they have even been known to spark off at obscure stores as well. But by and large, a fad is best propagated when media is involved. The social responsibility of the media to present news and views often leads to ideas no one had thought before.
Of late, a lot of shoes have taken over the media. And they are not classified according to the brands, but who they are targeted at. During my childhood, I knew of shoes being used as weapon of protest (or perhaps rotten tomatoes and eggs), but never thought that being used in such a major scale; event to the extent of being reported and discussed in the international media.
What started as an initiative by an Iraqi reporter (does anyone remember his name?), turned out to be a fad among the journalists across the world. And with General elections in India this year and politicians going all the way to attract votes, the shoe has now become an object of displeasure.
I remember having read somewhere that the shoes thrown at Bush became famous in the international collector’s market, fetching somewhere around $300. Suddenly the shoe-maker became rich, thanks to the journalist (was his name Muntazer al-Zaidi?). Indians have now taken the cue from there to protest against Chidambaram, and the large number of other speakers (political and not) are now facing the riot. It won’t be long before even business leaders will think twice before addressing the media.
To me, shoe throwing is an interesting way to grab attention. But when there are too many shoes being flung around, an extra shoe won’t help. And who knows, some one might actually be collecting all of them to sell in the gray market! What’s the next step? Rotten eggs and tomatoes?