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Thursday, February 5, 2009

To Return or Not Return

John McCreary reports in his "Night Watch" for 4 February:
A woman threw a shoe at the Israeli ambassador to Sweden as he was giving a lecture on Israel's forthcoming elections. The shoe hit the ambassador in the chest during a seminar held at the University of Stockholm on Wednesday, a local police official said. The Swedish woman is the first shoe thrower to hit the target. She asked for her red Nike to be returned by the police as they escorted her out. Another person threw two books at the ambassador but missed.
It would seem to me that once you throw your shoe at someone, you should expect that such person would feel free to keep the shoe. I would say that this falls under the general rule:  "There is no free lunch."

What is the etiquette here?

Regards  --  Cliff

PS:  Throwing "books"? Books are not to be thrown, but preserved and cherished. I find throwing books offensive to the idea of literacy.

6 comments:

kad barma said...

A thrown shoe, symbolic or not, constitutes an assault. If it hits its target, it's battery. Either way, I'd opine that it's evidence and rightfully confiscated by the police responsible for investigation and handover to the proper authorities for potential prosecution. Not saying such civil disobedience isn't always unjustified depending on the situation, but that's the essence of CIVIL disobedience. You disobey, and then you take the civil consequences proudly. I'd say, asking for your shoe back kinda undermines the whole principle. (I always bring a cheap cap to hockey games in case I'll feel compelled to toss it on the ice in celebration of a hat trick, and I figure a cheap sneaker under my coat would be the proper preparation in case I feel compelled to be civilly disobedient).

C R Krieger said...

Fully agree with Kad Barma's analysis of Civil Disobedience. If you aren't prepared to stand up and take the consequences, you are just another vandal.

Regards  --  Cliff

The New Englander said...

Cliff and Kad,

I second the motion. If you're going to do the crime...

..and on top of that, this woman's chutzpah is totally over-the-top. If I were writing for Leno, I'm thinking this would make its way into the monologue for sure -- just retelling it is funny without even adding anything witty. I actually had to read Cliff's original post twice to make I sure I had read it right.

Every time I try to imagine the discussion between the lady and the police, I laugh..

-gp

C R Krieger said...

It only gets better. Now we go to Ithaca, NY, where the Ithaca Journal talks about a protestor throwing a shoe at the mayor.

Turns out (here is a Blog Post on it) that the protester, a former member of the Weather Underground, was protesting the Socialist Mayor of Ithaca and the decision of the City to declare itself a Community of Sanctuary for protestors against the war in Iraq.

War being what it is, it impacts each participating society in some way. But, it would help the economy if we still made shoes here in the Good Old USA.

Regards  --  Cliff

Elisha Bartlett said...

I think you are all reacting to this negatively. I say "If the shoe fits, wear it." If it's not your size, donate it to the transitional living center.

C R Krieger said...

Elisha, I loved it.

Regards  --  Cliff