Sun Dec. 21, 2008
Bagdad, Iraq (Krapsody) - How about some good ol' shoe tossing for the whole family?
Shoe tossing for me, shoe tossing for you, shoe tossing for all!
I'm of course referring to those shoes that came flying at George W. Bush during his Baghdad press conference on Sunday Dec. 14, 2008.
Bush was regurgitating his usual drivel about why he stopped golfing, and the multi-billion dollar success of the war in Iraq, when a TV journalist from Egypt named Muntadhar al-Zeidi threw his shoes at President Bush.
Bush displayed terrific athleticism in dodging both shoes, don't you think? He was like a fierce jungle cat! An agile ninja!
He exhibited remarkable composure, and he calmly resumed the press conference without skipping a beat. "This is your farewell kiss, you dog!" al-Zeidi shouted in Arabic before he was tackled by Iraqi reporters.
When the Secret Service "body man" finally appeared and made a move to wrap the president in a human shield -- as if it had just dawned on the Secret Service that they were in the middle of Iraq (new Secret Service motto: "We said we'd take a bullet; nobody ever said anything about a shoe!") -- Bush subtly waved him away. No way was he leaving Iraq cowed and covered.
"OK, everybody calm down for a minute," the president said. "And if you want some -- if you want the facts, it's a size 10 shoe that he threw."
Then as he assessed a room full of nervous laughter and building embarrassment, he added, "Thank you for your concern, do not worry about it. So what if a guy threw a shoe at me?" Bush laughed off the incident with a pun, saying: "I don't know what the guy said, but I saw his sole."
Who would have thought that such an ugly, unpleasant incident would turn into Bush's finest hour? He was calm, collected, and composed. How unusual is that?
Totally unscripted, nobody had been prepped. It was Bush's best conference, or speech in his presidency, ever. A sea of calm in the country of his discontent.
Of course within hours of the reported shoe-throwing, the memes began appearing all over internet land. "Shoegate" is a monumental viral video event, that includes animated images and at least two games: The Flying Babush and Bush's Boot Camp.
You can watch a video of shoe-throwing mashups below.
Bush was certainly not humiliated the way al-Zeidi expected, or the way al-Zeidi turned out himself. He just needed a better pair of shoes. Maybe a pair of steel-toed exploding sandals to fling next time. Let's see what GW thinks about this!
Hey, all this attention and subsequent lampooning could have been worse. It's not the first time and certainly won't be the last time that public figures will be mercilessly mocked and ridiculed.
The acutely embarrassing photograph of Senator John McCain (on the right) caught with his tongue hanging out after the third and final presidential debate on October 15, 2008 also became a subject of pitiless ridicule on the internet, with its many Photoshopped, remastered, and creatively exploited spoofs and spin-offs, such as the few seen on the left.
This resulted in a cascade of hilarity, the likes of which have not been seen since Tom Cruise made an ass of himself on the infamous Scientology video. Cruise is still taking hits for that and his glib appearance on that Today Show Interview with Matt Lauer so many years ago. It seems like aeons now.
And tomorrow we'll have another event to make fun of. So let the LULZ commence.