Monday, February 25, 2013

There is a smelly key attached to our ankles

My left foot
Look at them, more sectarian than the fascist, classist, racist people they feel they are so different from, as a result of self-proclamation rather than their actual way of life. They look down on you because you don't wear the same fluttering rags they do, they snob you because you don't take part in their rituals, maybe they even despise you for the fragments of your conversations they manage to overhear. If you only dare include them in the varied "tourist category" that you feel every westerner passing by a tropical island belongs to they will interrupt you, indignant, and they will point out with arrogance and conceit that "I will never be a despicable tourist!" Not even a budget tourist? "No! I am a traveler!"
They manage to give the worst of themselves when they walk, actually glide over the world barefoot, with the air of a modern Jesus who finally learned to walk on water, free from that bourgeois burden which is a pair of shoes, receiving the light of an ultimate answer to an existential question each time they step on a thorn, a dog shit or some city sewage.
Try to ask them why they do it. "I feel so much better when I walk barefoot, more in touch with nature, less burdened by the frills of a sophisticated, western, globalized society that I abhor." Burdened? Frills? Abhor? What the fuck! No, man. We used to walk barefoot in the west as well many years ago.  We haven't invented shoes just to make Ferragamo a rich man, we did it for practical and noble reasons such as protecting our feet from excessive cold and heat, animals, parasites, fungi, sharp objects and infections.
Funny though, you take off your shoes and you don't even know why you do it. Actually I think you know why it is useful for you to do it, what you can't explain is the historical-logical sequence that caused you to do it. I only take off my shoes at home and at the beach (not always by the way) but I think I have an idea of what that sequence is.
Where are you from, white (and slow) version of Abebe Bikila? Sweden? Australia? Germany? Argentina? Well, what you are doing doesn't have anything to do with the place you come from. The sequence that has managed to take off your shoes at its final step began many years ago in the United States. Funny, right? That country indeed, the source of the evil you pretend you are fighting with showy gestures and pompous bullshit.
Between the end of the '40s and the beginning of the '50s America was getting out of a difficult period that started with a devastating financial crisis, continued with a harsh economic depression and reached its peak with a bloody world war. The country decides it's finally time to look forward to a brighter future and dives into a soft world painted in pastel colors and enlivened by tunes with moronic lyrics, a pink velvet upholstered cocoon, made of money, television, advertising, shopping, fashion, vices and neurosis.
However, towards the end of the 60s some guys, who were born too late to experience the hard times, don't feel at ease in a fat and exaggerated system that should compensate them for wrongs and straits they haven't suffered. In California they start to put forward different ways of life, values and objectives. Someone goes to Asia, India in particular, looking for examples to follow, besides very pure and inexpensive drugs. He comes across sadhus, bearded and long-haired mystics dressed in saffron loincloths who lead a very simple life and...walk barefoot! He gets back to his country and sets his unclad feet on the disinfected floor of LAX, after having thrown his shoes away at Bombay departure terminal and having suffocated his neighbors on the Boeing he was flying on. We can make fun of them the New York way, like Woody Allen did in "Annie Hall". The initial intention, though, was a noble one.
Later on some silly girl in Oakland, Berkley or San Francisco thinks that, besides saying difficult and soooo beautiful things, this guy is also very cool. And ends up fucking him. As it's often the case, he who invents or imports the key that can open the legs of the ladies will manage to sell a million copies of the device in just a few hours. And guess many years have passed and they still sell quite a lot of them. You, of all people, have just bought one for example. You did it because you understand very well what its side effect is and don't give a damn if its original meaning, that you totally ignore, was altogether different.
Don't worry about it though. It's not such a bad thing, or original for that matter: you can just keep forcing chastity belts open with your blackened toenail and don't necessarily have to feel bad about it.

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