Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Muntadhar al Zaidi منتظر الزيدي - Man Of The Decade

For fearlessly speaking the naked truth by way of two lustily thrown shoes; for his whisker-close accuracy; for gallantry above and beyond the rock hard certainty of his torture; for the succinct, spot-on beauty of his prose; for showing that there is such a thing as a journalist who isn't a whore; and for getting it so marvellously right with an idea whose time was long past due, there's nothing for it but to declare Muntadhar al Zaidi, not just man of the year, but Man Of The Decade.

Seriously folks. Who can remember the last time we saw a single individual get it so exactly right? And let's not quibble over the fact that he missed. Given the now-or-never situation he was in, he got in two cracking throws. Not forgetting that what's truly great about this, what sets it apart, it that this is just the beginning. There will be plenty more shoes shied at plenty more heads in the days to come. Muntadhar al Zaidi will go down in history as that greatest of things, the fellow who came up with an idea so simple, and so obvious, that everyone else then fell about wondering how come they never thought of it.

And shoe throwing eh? There's a subtle genius in this. For instance, how do you guard against it? Make everyone take their shoes off? Really? As security precautions go, it sounds like the kind of final-straw that could break a fascist camel's back. And what did his protest cost? Half of bugger all? Oh all right, maybe you have shoes that cost a hundred dollars. But seriously, bounce one of those suckers off John Bolton's head (just for starters you understand) and it's money well spent. The other beauty of this is that it's beyond the control of all those bullshit gate-keeping protest movements. These being the movements that are currently busy ensuring the protests starting to sweep Europe are just what the NWO doctor ordered (more on this soon).

Muntadhar al Zaidi - I salute you! You've single-handedly restored the pride of the people of Iraq, the Arabic speaking people, and Muslims everywhere. We in the West can only look on in admiration. May God bring you peace, prosperity, and health.


notamobster said...

Man of the Year indeed! I so wish my brain functioned on that level with yours.

To realize that this will be the single act which sets ablaze, the world of individual protestation all while us lesser beings were 'waiting for the other shoe to drop'!


I get the reference to the protests... Almost seems as if they greeks are fanning the flames in the hope of angry mobs sweeping across Europe, doesn't it?

Anonymous said...

A true Olympian.

the Silverfish said...

I was at the others house and watching the news such as it is when this little snippet came forth.

The first thing I said was OH WOW. My other asked what was Oh wow and I told her that what she had just seen happen was without a doubt the single most important statement that any Muslim could have launched against the American genocide in the middle east. She said" but it was only a pair of shoes, it would have been nice if he would have connected but it was still just a pair of shoes". I then explained to her just what the significance of an Arab or any Muslim for that matter was in showing one the sole of his or her shoe much less chucking it at ones head.

I also told her that this man had set alight a candle that would in the Arab world at the very least burn very brightly indeed and for a very long time.

I'm so glad to see the groundswell growing so rapidly in the west, always keeping in mind that from the smallest of acorns mighty oak tree grow.

nobody said...

To be honest mate, I have a feeling that is going to be bigger than the Arab world. I already said over at Nina's that I voted him man mostly like to be emulated by the American population. Americans don't attach quite the same stigma to shoes, but it seems they get it.

And between the smirks that perpetually appear on on Condi's (or whomever's) face as some placard-waving protestor is hauled away, and actually having to duck a hurled projectile, I know which one will have them wondering if they should ever go out in public again. Hint - it ain't the former.

kikz said...

i am really torn about this..

one the one foot, the situation gave me the first hardy laff i've had since i can't remb when. it was cathartic!

on the other, such a shame that 'my' country so once respected around the world...even called a 'light' unto the world, is now reduced to such an object of hate thru its actions, it's a sad thing. deserved, but sad.

the man showed
such the face of certain imprisonment and possible torture.

the frustration that drove him to do it....

i sincerely hope to see the front lawn of the whitehouse and the steps of congress knee deep in the shoes of americans...if for no other reason, than i think it would give w. a snit fit, and send an undeniable signal to TPTB. hey guys, ya just never know when we might lose it...and lob something more than shoes at you.

i also hope for the rest of his life, w is pursued w/shoes in the same manner.

the Silverfish said...

I was just thinking that this fellow was not the first to make a statement of this kind to a US official.

I remember a time when the US congress or senate was about to pass a bill or by dint a law that the people found to be completely unpalatable they would mail their congressmen and senators TEA BAGS and if enough teabags were sent these bills and laws were never passed. This was a message that was received loud and clear, as if to say "Remember our last tea party?We did it once and we can damn well do it again".

Perhaps Americans should start sending shoes in the mail, Yuh know as Nike says "JUST DO IT". Hey it's worth a shot don't yuh think!?!

Oh and I know you won't believe this but the word verification was Gbsduck.Really.

su said...

I think it symbolizes so much to so many.
Now, I have a particularly heavy pair of boots that could go Mugabe's way.
Soleful protest.

Penny said...

Nobody: this guy is my hero, well, after my hubby.

You done good by him.

and this journalist deserves every bit of our praise.

what courage, what heart!!!!

and not bad looking either

Anonymous said...

Hats off to Muntadhar al Zaidi, I hope he's okay. In some ways Bush was lucky that time that it was just shoes. Maybe more alert security for him.

nobody said...

Very good. Er... I think I'm with everyone on this one. And 'gbsduck'? A Shavian Anatidae? I don't get it. Oh wait, now I do. Actually that is pretty spooky.

Otherwise I was thinking about shoes. Imagine if two weeks ago (and somewhat madly) I had suggested that everyone send their shoes to whomever - the response would have been 'why'? Well Muntadhar al Zaidi has established a 'why'. Shoes now mean something. They are an expression of, I don't know - contempt, disrespect, disdain, rejection. Some variation of that.

He's established a symbol. And it's a brilliant symbol. Everyone gets it. It's universal. Everyone has one. Several actually. And now that it has been given this status it no longer even has to be flung. Just waving it about is good enough.

Hmm.. on that thought, it just occurred to me that it possesses a really useful ambiguity. Imagine people waving shoes at Obama's inauguration. Would they be saying 'We're with you and we wave our shoes as a farewell to the idiot son'? Or would they be saying 'Here's what in store for villains'. How would the media play this?

I have a feeling that this would fall in the too-hard basket. It can't be controlled from the top down. Portraying it as attempted assault or sympathising with terrorists will frankly look silly. Opposition to leadership must be portrayed as violent, dangerous, absurd, or objectionable. Waving a shoe doesn't quite fit any of these moulds.

Subsequently I suspect it will be avoided like the plague. It will live in the internet and be scrupulously avoided in the media.

To those who have an opportunity, some spare shoes, and a big bottle of moxie, the trick will be to force the media's hand. That will be their gateway, their only means of control. Good luck with your mission.

nobody said...

Further thoughts - I'm thinking the shoe is specifically a war protest. If they were to be thrown at Ben Bernanke (say) no one would get it. But I think that that could be remedied. 'Here's a last kiss for destroying the US economy, you dog!' That'd work wouldn't it?

The logic here by the way, is merely that of turning a single successful ad into a campaign. Whilst it's easier said than done, people in the ad industry do it all the time. And this idea, with this universal symbol, is perfect for it.

Imagine a dump truck full of shoes crashing through the white house fence. It has no bomb or anything, just a truckload of shoes sprayed all over the whitehouse lawn. No one is harmed. The message is delivered and the footage is stunning.

Imagine a 'shoe trabuchet' (a little alliteration there) built from 3x2 and ocky straps. Imagine raining shoes from hundreds of metres away.

How about a light plane tipping hundreds of pairs of shoes over a big (but aerially undefended) public event. How about a Bilderberg or CFR meeting?

But always with the crucial variation of the campaign slogan - Here's the final kiss for (insert villainy here), you dog!

Would that work?

nobody said...

Statcounter curiosities -

Do you think John Bolton is the kind of fellow who'd google himself? Is he the kind of fellow to hang out at Loews Regency Hotel in New York? (New York Lowes Regency Hotel) [Label IP Address]

New York, New York, United States, 0 returning visit

17th December 2008 20:27:46 Bolton%22&sa=N&start=20

Whether it was Bolton or some lickspittle, the quote he got was -

"Bounce one of those suckers off John Bolton's head (actually pick a head, any head) and it's money well spent."

Penny said...

"Further thoughts - I'm thinking the shoe is specifically a war protest."

I hope your not quitting smoking right now? LOL,,,,

I got to disagree, the shoe is not a war protest.

The shoe says, it is an anti-imperial power protest.
It is bigger then the war.

It is defiance!

The shoe says, you can do what you do, destroy the country through war, or (financial means) but you cannot destroy the spirit of the people of freedom and of resistance.

The shoe is basically a big f-you
that's my opinion, anyway

Anonymous said...

Very brave man - I hope he isn't being too badly beaten.

Most Americans have seen this behavior before. Too bad they will associate it with (those silly "trailer trash" or "hood-rat") folks doing battle on Jerry Springer and fail to understand the cultural significance of it.

I hope all of you are doing well. Thanks for providing a safe haven when needed. Peace and love to all.


nobody said...

Thanks folks. And no not quitting cigs - just wondering. Will this thing have legs (groan) and kick off (double groan) a wider series of protests?

I wonder through these ideas but all of it's moot. If the media grabbed it, it could be huge. If an idiot phrase like 'Where's the beef?' can become ubiquitous then there's nothing to stop this doing the same. Except for the media. And the media will, as sure as eggs is eggs, make sure this goes nowhere. Except into comedy land. I'll bet the house that shoe-throwing becomes a by-word for idiocy and impotence.

nobody said...

Further statcounter curiosities -

Not infrequently people hit my site via a link sent to them by email. Clearly they've been sent an email saying 'Go read this' or somesuch. I know nothing beyond this. All I know is that somebody emailed a link to somebody who clicked it.

Sorry, let me add a note of specificity. These email links seem never to direct the recipient to the blog generally. They are always article specific. None of the arrivals from email has ever wandered around the blog looking at other stuff. They just read the single article they were directed to and that's it. And nor do they ever comment. (Well, best as I can tell, that is. With the ever climbing hit count, it's now become a near impossibility to link hits to comments)

Okay, so perhaps that's not that interesting, except to bears of little brain like me. But the going gets curiouser when these email hits come in waves. A thing I wrote way back when about Mugabe lit a fire under about twenty people in Adelaide, South Australia. They all arrived in a few short hours and all from 'go-read-this' emails. In the daily flow of hits, it stuck out like dogs balls. What was that all about? No idea.

But it's been topped! The piece before last, the Open Letter To The World's Villains, has had so many hits via email that I lost count. But unlike the Adelaide thing, there seems to be no geographic connection. Except for the fact that they all came from email, they're spread all over.

And this ties in with another curiosity. Regulars drop in to the church from 'no referring link'. That makes sense. It's what I do when I pop into Les's, or Pen's, or Nina's (say). 'No referring link' = bookmark.

But not always. There's also the 'no referring link' that drops into a specific article. This is not a regular's bookmark. It's a one-time visitor who somehow already knows the specific address they want to pop in on. In attempting to explain this, I figure they've googled something, or been emailed the precise address, and rather than click on it, have cut-and-pasted it into the address bar, or just dragged it there.

And? And the Open Letter To Villains piece has maxed out this means of arrival also. Between the email arrivals and the one-time 'no referring link' drop-ins this article is leaving everything else I've done in the dust.

And the meaning is...? Hell if I know. I do know that they're not fans of my writing. None of them has looked around. Ever. In, out, gone. That's it.

It may mean something, it may mean nothing. Let's just describe it as 'spooky'.

Anonymous said...

hello good post !! Indeed, most people in this world should imitate that reporter. I am sorry that most people in USA have to be so conformist, so quiet, so shy, so apathetic, so weak, so abulic. With a population like americans who are so divorced from politics, it is real hard to do a revolution in America.

Anonymous said...

i will keep my old shoes