There's this new fad of Western demonstrators throwing shoes as a token of their fury. It all started when that Arab fellow threw his shoes at George Bush and became an instant hero in the Arab and Guardianista worlds. Until last month hardly anyone in the West had ever heard that shoes can be a sign of disrespect among Arabs, just as most Westerners generally know almost nothing about Arabs and don't care, but now some people display their solidarity with the downtrodden Arabs by expressing their own emotions with what they perceive is this noble Arab custom.
If I were an educated and worldly Arab I'd be peeved that my culture and heritage were to be summarized by such a minor and unimportant item. More significant, to my mind, is what this new and wildly popular gesture has to say about the relationship of the Western demonstrators to their own heritage. Rather than taking pride in a tradition of intellectual reasoning and rational investigation of facts and priorities, these demonstrators throw it all out and parade their embrace of a minor Arab symbol of rudeness.
Ah, and they're too rich. Look at the picture, and notice how most of the shoes are in fine condition, and think of all the poor of this world who don't have any shoes as good as the ones these witless demonstrators discard so as to prove their solidarity with the Arabs.