". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Jeremiad -- Contemporary Footbinding

Snow-flower and the Secret Fan (2011), adapted for the screen from a novel by Lisa See, has had adverts up everywhere for days and days, particularly in the New York Times, particularly in the Style section. This makes sense since footbinding is a focus in the novel and the movie, and the Style section publishes articles like "Dress Codes in New York Clubs -- What Will Get You In." Ladies, what gets you into the most exclusive venues is foot binding. You don't wear six inch stilettos that cost at least $500 a pair, don't even bother trying.

"For women, shoes are key. “Minimum five-inch heel,” he said. “Christians are our favorite,” he added, referring not to the faithful but to Christian Louboutin, the designer known for his red soles. Jimmy Choo and Christian Dior are also welcome. If the crowd in Provocateur on any given night is a gauge, being European, gorgeous and at least 5-foot-10 is good, too."
Every season I say to myself that the footgear for women cannot get any higher or any more ridiculous, and every season I am wrong. Why are women doing this to themselves? I watch these girls hobbling on the sidewalks wearing these 5-plus inch heels, and often soles too that are inches thick. Their bodies are hunched and clumpy as they try to move along, not lithe and graceful. I love beautiful shoes as much as any woman. I even still wear stilettos when I can, with my back condition -- meaning I'm feeling damned better than usual for a while, not walking, and not standing -- dinner parties will be an occasion when I feel I can do this, for instance -- otherwise these days I stick to a variety of boots mostly in the cold weather. But never ever will you see me wearing anything like you see here. Not only can you not walk in these, they are ugly.
Here endeth ye jeremiad.

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