10 January 2010

a manifesto against the practice of wearing socks

I find my feet to be rather cold at last. Winter has finally breathed into form. Which means I must decide whether to cloak my toes in cloth and have need of such rags to venture out into the snow. Since I find shoes to be a tremendous waste and expense of time in most daily endeavors, it leaves me to ask why they're deemed so important to start with that we must have them for work and such things. And without the need for shoes, it sort of becomes a question why you'd need a strip of cloth in between your foot and the sweat absorbing shoes (that are no longer needed). I gather that we need warmth to protect our extremities and precious digits in colder climates and I think I can accept that. I gather that in some environments, it would be useful to armor one's foot against hostile creatures (such as the probability that someone else with a shoe might step on your unprotected foot). But do we really need them the rest of the time? All it does is generate more laundry and waste a considerable amount of time putting on and taking off shoes, relative to putting on and taking off a sandal or flip-flop. Socks are not quite as wasteful as ties, essentially a scarf tied too tightly around the neck, but not everyone is expected to wear ties in the first place. And not everyone washes them either (which is another problem for doctors since for some reason we expect doctors to wear ties and cart around all our germs all day). But almost everyone is expected to wear socks and shoes at most occasions and then keep at least their socks roughly clean, if not their shoes polished in some occasions.

What does this signal? I'm not sure it signals anything of worth other than that people like to waste time on appearances. To rebel against this, it is at least enough to wear socks, when needed, inside out, to signal the lack of importance of this mere appearance. Since nobody will notice.
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