A Slice of Life
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commentary on issues in politics, culture, environment and technology
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04 Oct 11 Mac vs PC: are you as free-thinking as you think?

The two characters from the ads who personify ...

Image via Wikipedia

The image of ‘Mac’ and ‘PC’ have become one of the most recognisable dichotomies imaginable; PC is unfashionable, old fashioned, straight-laced etc. while Mac is of course creative , cool and free-thinking.  This advertising campaign has been so successful that many involved in creative fields think it impossible to edit images or audio on a PC.  This is of course garbage and has been debated ad nauseam for longer than most of us care to remember.  An operating system is an operating system and most software will work on most systems, regardless of the platform.  If you want to pay twice the price for your system, go for a Mac; it may actually be marginally more reliable and you will of course have the added bonus of thinking how creative , cool and free-thinking you are.  It is of course possible that you are a good less free-thinking than you imagine.

Long before the advent of the iconic Mac vs PC ads, over 90% of the world’s population took to wearing a uniform very similar to the guy on the right.  Running shoes, jeans and T-shirts have become  obligatory for almost everyone.  This kind of outfit makes an undeniably bold fashion statement; I’m not trying too hard, I’m relaxed, I’m being myself, I’m not conforming to outmoded fashion trends.

The problem is of course that most of us are conforming very closely to a fashion trend which may not be outmoded but is undeniably highly unimaginative, non creative and really very boring.

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14 Feb 10 Shoes on a Wire: Love is the Drug?

shoe on a wireIn a previous post entitled ‘The postmodern dilema‘ I posted a similar photo of some high heel shoes hanging from power lines.  In the article I posed the question (rather naively as it turns out) “do people create such spectacles out of an innate need to produce art?”.  A reader subsequently informed me that shoes hanging from a wire is a clandestine indication that drugs are available nearby.  I have never been able to look at a pair of shoes hanging from the wires again in the same way; you can’t help but wonder, okay, where are the drug dealers hanging out?  Usually, of course, the shoes are a grubby old pair of trainers.

More than a year later, who ever strung up the stylish ladies shoe (featured left) continues to maintain this piece of post modern installation art.  What then is the cryptic significance of ladies heels hanging from the wires?  Is a better class of drug available in this location, or is something quite different available, ‘love for sale’ perhaps?

Since reaching the dreaded ‘middle aged’ milestone, I seem to have developed something of an obsession with shoes.  Scuffed old trainers will no longer do; shoes need to be carefully chosen and colour coordinated with a range of different styles of outfit.  The usual stereotype is women being shoe obsessed while men pay very little attention to this all important detail of any outfit.  Perhaps this is less the case with older men, or perhaps it’s just me.  Either way, I’m starting to develop such a shoe collection my friends are starting to call me ‘Imelda’.  It certainly seems a shame to me that otherwise well dressed men often resort to wearing an ugly pair of modern trainers as some kind of misguided concession to looking casual.  Modern trainers have all the style of a rocket launcher and don’t look good with anything, despite the delusion that many labour under.  Look down; you really never have seen anything more incongruous and UGLY!

Perhaps I would prefer not to be enlightened on the significance of ladies shoes hanging from wires.  I really would rather hold on to the delicious mysteries they conjure up.  Perhaps if more dealers advertised with a better class of shoes, they might increase their sales while setting an excellent example and performing a much needed public service:  grubby old trainers should never be seen, not even hanging from the power lines!

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17 Oct 09 Shoes are The Window to the Sole

pointy_shoesI have always believed in the idea that you can tell a great deal about a person by looking at their shoes.  I don’t mean this in a pervy, fetish obsessed kind of way (really, I don’t).  When you think about it, the shoes people people wear possibly make more of a statement about the way they wish to be perceived than any other item of clothing.  Our choice of footwear may be much more a revelation of our subconscious selves than we realise.  When we decide to wear the well worn and holey sneakers we keep in the back of the wardrobe we are saying more about ourselves than simple ‘I want to be comfortable’.  When we make such choices our manner in general is likely to be just as casual our footwear.  If this is the case, just what statement are men trying to make when they don the new fashion in shoes?  Pointed toes which curve upwards have become ubiquitous; in fact, it is getting very difficult to buy a pair of shoes which have not been influenced by this fashion.

Women of course, have subjected themselves to extreme fashions in footwear for many years.  Foot binding was practiced on women for approximately one thousand years in China, beginning in the 10th century and ending in the early 20th century. The Chinese custom of foot-binding is commonly cited by sociologists and anthropologists as an example of how an extreme deformity by contemporary western standards could be viewed as a source of pleasure in other cultures and of how immense suffering can be inflicted on women and girls in the pursuit of so-called beauty. Source: Wikipedia

high-heel-xray-comparison

xray comparison of a high heeled foot and a foot deformed by binding

The trend has continued to the present day in the form of ever more extreme high heels.  While high heels elicit a powerful response the damage they do to women’s feet is undeniable.

“When a woman wears a high heeled shoe, the anatomy is changed and the pressure is put on the heads of the metatarsals rather than the base where it is designed to be (shown in the picture). This creates a slew of problems that I treat regularly.  Bunions and hammertoes are some of the more well known ones.  But most women will share the story of how “their heels killed them” after that night out, or how “I danced all night, but my feet paid for it the next day cause of my heels”.  This common problem is usually treated by most foot specialists by recommending better shoes.  Those same women, keep wearing their heels.”  Source: Beverly Hills Aesthetic Foot Surgery

foot-xray01Women’s high heels may have become indispensable for many modern women.  No matter how much pain and injury they may cause, the fashion shows no signs of dying out.  Stilettos are now as tall and popular as ever.  Perhaps it is only just that men are now forced to endure fashion trends equally as bizarre.  If the trend in upward pointedness continues the potential for similar deformation to male feet becomes a distinct possibility.

Most of us had not planned on turning up our toes quite so soon.

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