In case you haven’t heard, there is a war going on at this very moment in the world of fashion. It is centered around a type of rubber shoes that have become very popular called “Crocs“. There seem to be strong opinions about whether these unfashionable, but comfortable (so Croc-wearers claim), shoes should even be legal, much less worn in public. I personally don’t have such strong opinons. Yes, I think they are dorky. No I haven’t ever worn any and don’t care to try. I have size 13 feet and already get teased for all of my shoes looking like clown shoes. If I wore Crocs, there would be no reason why I shouldn’t just go the distance and get a clown suit with a red, rubber nose. With that being said, it is safe for you to assume that I will never try a pair on.
For you to appreciate the rage for and against these shoes, you must check out two Newsweek stories that Steve Tuttle wrote. In the first article, published August 1st, he wrote against the shoes and their dorkish qualities. Soon thousands of (mostly) angry readers (all Croc–wearers, no doubt) wrote to insult and criticize Tuttle for having the audacity to bash the shoes. To answer their outrage, Tuttle came out with a rebuttal article on August 20th that was absolutely brilliant. Both of these articles are definitely worth reading because they are so funny and are written so cleverly. I will post the links at the end of this blog, along with a great YouTube video about the shoes. I actually think the whole controversy is really funny and speaks loudly about where we are at as a culture when things like this become huge issues.
The Croc revolution reminds me of the story, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. In this story, a marketing genius convinced the emperor to wear some “invisible clothes”, which were really, no clothes at all. After the initial shock to the general public upon seeing the emperor with no clothes on, everyone soon started wearing these “invisible clothes”. Because someone started doing something that shouldn’t be done, everyone else followed along without asking the question: “Why are we doing this?”
Everytime I see something in our culture that seems to serve no purpose or looks completely ridiculous, I usually think: “Boy, there is a marketing genius out there behind all of this because who would ever choose to pay money for that thing!” And I think of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”.
As we stand at this crucial juncture, it is up to you, the reader, to decide where we go from here. Will we be a part of the fad that will be looked upon with scorn by later generations? Or will we avoid being made to look like clowns because someone marketed these shoes and wants to make some money? You make the choice.