Hanging markers of humiliation

By Lorenzo

One of the less pleasant sights of Melbourne is sneakers tied together and hanging from overhead wires.

These are trophies of some kid being jumped on, his or her sneakers removed and tossed where they cannot get them back. The hanging trophies of persecution can remain for weeks or even months, an enduring reminder of humiliation.

Kids can be horrid.

This is the Saturday chit-chat post.


  1. stackja
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Story I have heard: sneakers on wires are message “drugs are here.”

  2. Posted October 13, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Just followed your link, LE – some of that strikes me as borderline religious ritual, akin to what I discussed here: http://skepticlawyer.com.au/2011/09/18/hatches-matches-and-despatches/

    stackja: I have also heard the ‘drug house’ version too. Fascinating.

  3. Susan Wong
    Posted October 13, 2012 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Haven’t heard that explanation for it.

    Shoes on powerlines has been fully investigated at Snopes:


  4. Mel
    Posted October 14, 2012 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    I’ve been reading Guardian articles about the enormous number of sexual assaults perpetrated by Jimmy Savile. Police now say they have open 340 lines of inquiry. WTF!! This guy even assaulted mental patients and immobile patients in spinal units. How the hell could this happen for so long? Could it still happen today?

    The other story that really disturbed me this week is the Taliban in Pakistan shooting a 14 year old girl on a school bus because she spoke out for a girl’s right to a decent education.

    This really is depressing and I can’t hear about this stuff without feeling a degree of vicarious guilt for being male. C’mon chaps, stop being such fucking arseholes.

  5. kvd
    Posted October 14, 2012 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    My thoughts exactly Mel. Just when you think you can’t hear of anything more inhumane, along comes another couple of foul examples.

  6. Posted October 14, 2012 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    MeL @5, was talking about Savile with colleagues the other day; he always seemed pervy to me as well. I even remember thinking when I watched him, ‘mate, you carry on like a pervert’, a sentiment I then slapped down on the grounds that it wasn’t fair. It came back to me when I trained in martial arts, where a great deal of advice boils down to ‘trust your instincts: if he seems like a creepy perv, he probably is’.

    I suppose the only way for men to change that stereotype is for decent guys to call out the arseholes.

  7. kvd
    Posted October 14, 2012 at 12:26 pm | Permalink

    As this is a chit-chat post I’m wondering if anyone else watched the US Vice Presidential debate, and thought there was any significance in it?

    To be fair, I guess I should lead off with my own impression that I thought it was quite significant, and will give President Obama several points with which to engage Governor Romney when next they meet. I thought (to use the superficial memes floating around) that the guffawing, grinning Biden easily beat off the water-drinking, earnest policy-wonkishness of Ryan. I thought there were four significant things coming out of that debate:

    1) Libya assassination: VP Biden’s “we were not told” line was not picked up and pursued by Ryan, and it should have been.

    2) Iran nuclear ambitions: Ryan failed to state any difference in reaction to what I think has the potential to be the next big flashpoint in the Middle East. i.e. He had no answer to Biden’s “well, what more, or else, would you do” line.

    3) US Economy: Ryans strong point? Asked for specifics, he gave none. A ‘goal’ taken to Congress for ‘bi-partisan negotiation’ is not what I expected from the Romney team, and I hope Romney has more.

    4) Abortion: both Catholic debaters stated the personal line that their religion informs their position. But Biden stated he can’t/won’t seek to impose his views on others, whereas Ryan was much more intransigent, and I think that will be quite damaging.

    All of the above is written by a conservative voter who hopes President Obama will be a one term wonder. I’m just interested to see if others feel my interpretation/impression is way off? Or did you not watch it – as of no significance in the scheme of things?

  8. John H.
    Posted October 14, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink


    Your argument presuppposes that voting people are rational agents. Good luck with that phenomenal optimism. 😀

    Too hard to call a winner at this point. At the start of the GFC the German Finance Minister made no promises for solutions, just saying it was going to be a rough ride and we’d better hold on. The whole world could do with some of that German stoicism because I think the next decade is going to be very turbulent. As was once noted:

    “When one sees weak leaders everywhere, it says more about the times than it does about the individuals.” Here he footnotes this with Anthony Robinson, “Warning on ‘Malady’ of Weak Leadership,” Financial Times, May 4 1995, page 4.

    The Future of Capitalism, Thurow

  9. kvd
    Posted October 15, 2012 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    For those who don’t mind heights, and are awake right now…

  10. Jolly
    Posted October 15, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    KVB, If Romney gets to be President of the USA, then the people there are fools and they deserve Romney. It’s very much like how Americans deserved Bush (Jnr) and kept him there for such a long time. The American crisis from corporate greed and the unnecessary wars are certainly a legacy of the Bush era. Romney will plunge America further down the fathomless pit. Perhaps that’s the way most super powers tend to slide.

  11. kvd
    Posted October 15, 2012 at 9:56 am | Permalink

    [email protected] thanks for that, but I’m more interested in your impression of the debate? If you’ll re-read my comment, I was in fact giving the result to VP Biden on several specific points. I was hoping we could leave aside for the moment our own particular beliefs/prejudices and just look at the respective performances as a stand alone event.

    Or do you think that not possible – or even worthwhile?

  12. Posted October 15, 2012 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

    [email protected] Corporate “greed” is a constant and explains nothing about the economic crisis. US Defence expenditure is not even close to postwar heights as % of GDP and also explains little.

    (Poininting this out is not the same as claiming that Dubya was a good President or that Romney would be.)

  13. Posted October 22, 2012 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    There was a good column by Rod Liddle in a recent Spectator on Jimmy Savile (who I’d only known as a figure of ridicule in Viz magazine prior to this story… he sounds horrible):

    As [Paul] Gambaccini said, people have been expecting this story to emerge for 30 years and more. There was even a hoax script from the programme Have I Got News For You? in which Savile was challenged directly (and somewhat crudely) by Paul Merton and Angus Deayton about his predilection — all made up by someone else, of course, which only adds to the ambivalent nature of the story: it was sort of always in the public domain, but sort of always wasn’t, at the same time.

    I always assumed that hanging shoes on power lines was something you did because you could, just like Hillary climbed Everest ‘because it was there’.

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