How to Read a Flying Shoe? Duck and Shrug.

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Footwear – viewed in the Middle East as low and unclean – was hurled at his head, but a seemingly oblivious George W. Bush just ducked and shrugged.

December 14, 2008 was a memorable day in the histrionics of polished shoes and politics. But, there was one question left for journalists to ponder in this saga.

           What does it take to actually offend George W. Bush?

If not the greatest insult an Arab can muster – the hurling of footwear at a man’s head – then what?Is it that the photographic moment ricochets globally and stays, replaying in an endless loop for the ages?Or maybe that the Iraqi shoe-hurler himself is all but deified, replete with offers of marriage?

No, not even those humiliations managed to penetrate the willfully oblivious presidential bubble, after Bush so deftly ducked and just as quickly shrugged off the leather projectiles at a that Baghdad news conference.

“Whether or not Bush gets it – and he is famous for not getting international etiquette – this was a monumental offence,” says Mark McCrum, whose book ‘Going Dutch In Beijing’ chronicles faux pas in many cultures.

“The thrower didn’t just use shoes, which are the lowest, most unclean thing in his world, he called Bush a dog. The combination of the two, it just doesn’t get worse than that.”

In fairness to Bush, it is easy to miss the sheer magnitude of shoe symbolism in the Middle East. But think back and you might recall that shoes played a starring role at the beginning of the Bush’s Iraq ordeal five years ago, when, just as the old regime collapsed, Iraqis spontaneously began removing their shoes and beating them against anything bearing the likeness of Saddam Hussein.

“Whatever George Bush makes of it, the throwing of the shoes comes from a place embedded deep in the culture of the Middle East. This was a cultural message. And the worst one available.”

 

Excerpts from article by Mitch Potter:

http://www.thestar.com/news/2008/12/20/the_greatest_insult_of_all.html

 

Photo Source:

https://www.google.ca/search?q=shoe+throwing+at+bush+images&es_sm=93&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=XaxNU7z7KqjN8wHsqYHQCQ&ved=0CCoQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=643

 

Simple Steps to Selling a Brand

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AXA EQUITABLE, a French-based insurance company, is taking an axe to its name, trimming it to AXA in the USA.

After studying consumer needs in the complex financial marketplace, their publicity company (Publicis Kaplan Thaler) has devised a sharp new campaign.  Consumers can contemplate a simple message as they climb stairs in public places such as Grand Central Station in New York.

          “Reach your financial destination one small step at a time. AXA redefining standards.”

The staircase is both the medium and the message.

 

Adapted from and photo from:

Urban Nomads Follow the Cloud

Today’s technology has spawned cyber-nomads. Like ancient nomads, they are mobile, social, tribal, and seek oases to supply what they cannot carry. Unlike the ancients, the moderns are in step with the future, not the past.

 Are you an urban nomad? Do you recognize yourself or others through these questions?

Do you work or study in a non-traditional Wi-Fi setting?

  • Bookstore
  • Café
  • Communal office
  • Distance / on-line education programs
  • Home office
  • Library
  • Shared desk

 How do you manage your social relations?

  • Seek places where other people are present
  • Maintain psychological distance from those present
  • Connect with colleagues, friends or family through brief messages
  • Check often for responses
  • Use various social media and technology to communicate (text, instant message, email, voice, photo, video)

 As you work or study, do you value?

  • Ad hoc decisions
  • Autonomy
  • Independence
  • Flexibility
  • Freedom
  • Instant communication
  • Light loads
  • Mobility
  • Multi-tasking
  • Staying connected
  • Virtual experiences

 “As in the desert, so in the city: nomadism promises the heaven of new freedom, but it also threatens the hell of constant surveillance by the tribe.”

 The Economist Magazine’s “special report on mobility” (April 12, 2008) needs updating.  It claims that “the underlying technologies of genuine and everyday nomadism did not exist even as recently as a decade ago”. Five or six years on, we have even smarter phones, more multi-purpose tablets and advancing Cloud technology.  Where will the future take us? And how will we move through life?  

http://www.economist.com/node/10950394

http://www.economist.com/node/11016402