Friday 7 January 2011


There was a recent outrage splashed across the newspapers in the States. It wasn’t about unemployment rates rising; or a convicted killer being released early; or another church molestation scandal. No, this time it was about sandals. Yes, you heard me. President Obama was photographed wearing flip flop sandals. They even came up with a title for this latest supposed scandal: ‘Sandalgate’ of course. That is America for you. They need a catchphrase for just about everything and they're not afraid to reuse phrases unto the point of tedium (thanks a lot Nixon). And graphics. Oh how they love their graphics. When I’m on U.S shores and have to witness the media going off on one of their ridiculous tangents, as they love to do, it makes me want to pack up my suitcase and head back to England. Fast. (Not that their media is any better).

So, according to the media (which I never take as the people’s voice, mind you) when you’re President of this country you’re not allowed to show your feet. Even though he was photographed wearing these wicked sinful planks of rubber whilst he was in Hawaii. Yes, he dared to wear sandals while vacationing in a hot tropical climate. It’s not as if he was conducting a summit meeting with Putin in the middle of Moscow wearing Jesus sandals. In fact, as far as I’m concerned, Obama should have been given praise for making an appropriate shoe choice for the environment in which he found himself. That’s just intelligence and pragmatism. I think we should’ve been more worried if Obama rocked up to the beach in wingtips, a speedo and a bolero. Now that would’ve been a look.

I suppose the more alarming thing about all of this is that the media finds such utterly pointless things like this appropriate to fixate on. Talk about a slow news day. What about focusing on the real issues of the day, the ills of society, the national disasters, the economy; or here's a novel concept, what if they reported on the positive stories, the accomplishments, the things Obama has succeeded at (cynics pipe down, merely maintaining that job is an accomplishment). Let’s get past how thin he is, or what shoes he’s wearing. Next thing you know we’ll be judging politicians on their haircuts, how well maintained their cuticles are, and if they eat an appropriate breakfast in the morning. You think I’m joking but just you wait for "FruitLoopGate." It’s just around the corner, I’m telling you.
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