Tuesday, June 1, 2010
The grass so green, Skies so blue. Spectre is really great!
I am starting to get a little weirded out by the volume of random shoes dangling from various power lines. I don’t know if anyone else in the Salt Lake Valley has noticed, but the number of ownerless shoes strewn haphazardly on the power lines (or telephone cables) of Salt Lake City is on the rise. I guess I never recognized the cult ritual of ‘shoe slinging’ until Edward Bloom experienced the town Spectre in the movie Big Fish.
As quaint a tradition as it seemed in the movie, I can’t help being slightly annoyed by how ugly it is to see a pair of old sneakers hanging from power lines. Every street we drove on yesterday had at least one pair of shoes flying high from cables.
As I began writing this I did a small search online about shoe slinging and came across some very interesting articles, none offering a definitive explanation for such a spectacle. I quickly found out that I am unbelievably naïve. Apparently, popular beliefs attribute shoe slinging to gang activity, the announcement of the latest drug dealer, or a teen boy’s proclamation of becoming a man. Snopes.com suggests differently. Here I was, innocently thinking that people were dumb and liked abandoning their used shoes for all to see instead of donating them. My common reaction was to ‘tut, tut’ the former owners of the shoes for being wasteful individuals. Little did I know that the general public firmly believed that shoes from power lines were a beacon warning trouble for the neighborhood. Silly me.
Wikipedia tells us about “Shoefiti” which is prevalent all over the world with much of the same information Snopes.com has to offer. However, Wikipedia goes a step further to explain how a “Shoe Tree” is different from the act of shoe slinging—but fails to actually tell us explanations. Annoying.
Perhaps the most helpful site I found was straightdope.com which posted the question to the web and had readers answer the question.
So, this is what I have discovered today. I am more informed, less naïve, and still without a reason why people find it necessary to sling their dirty shoes up on the power lines. Thoughts?
For more information on 'Shoefiti' and how it might affect you, please follow this link: Shoefiti