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The Modern Conundrum of Missing Shoes

(and Sometimes Feet, and Balls)

For the second time in as many months, a shoe store in Roanoke, Virginia has been burgled, with items taken including various shirts and hoodies, but more strangely, 13 right-footed shoes.

Evidently the shoes were all display models, as that linked article suggests the local police believe that the thieves were too ignorant to realize that display shoes are generally showcased atop shoe-boxes filled only with that cardboard and tissue paper stuffing which all shoe-boxes are packed with, as though athletic shoes are dainty, fragile things, with the matching halves of said shoes kept somewhere behind the counter.

But what if, as a timely example for how easy it is to construct an engaging conspiracy theory, what if there is indeed more to this story?

What if so many solo shoes stolen from a shop on the east coast of the US is a mere cover story, with the actual culprits being the one and same parties responsible for the ongoing, unsolved mystery of the Salish Sea human foot discoveries on the west coast? In the region of British Columbia, Canada and Washington state, US, detached feet have been chanced upon washing ashore going all the way back to 1887, with incidents of the macabre ordeal suddenly surging from 2007 onward. Suggesting that the northwest has been plagued by an immortal, foot fetishist serial killer. Which would make for a perfect alibi, being so conveniently on the wrong side of the continent many hundreds of miles away altogether.

But what if, again, the fact of the shoes taken being only for the right feet is a clue to culprits even more sinister?

Currently festering within the community of comic book fandom and comic book professionals is a bothersome and controversial thing known as “Comicsgate”, wherein predominately Caucasian, CIS males are very loudly voicing their disdain towards their preference for comic books written and illustrated by predominately Caucasian, CIS males featuring characters that are predominately Caucasian, CIS males having to be accompanied by the terms of rational civil rights by comic books sometimes written and illustrated by persons other than Caucasian, CIS males and with characters that may not always be Caucasian, CIS males.

So, on one side of the debate are the fanboys demanding that only John Wayne impersonators can work in the comic book industry, and only to detail the heroic exploits of characters who are knockoffs of John Wayne; while the other side, denigrated as mere “SJWs”, would seem to appreciate just enough modernization to permit non-John Wayne impersonators to also work in the comic book industry, on characters that are not John Wayne-knockoffs so that readers who are not always Caucasian, CIS males might also find sequential art reading materials containing something which they too might identify with and live vicariously through, and so be willing to spend their own money on. None of which, to outsiders, should at first glance seem like so much of a big deal, except that the bullying and harassment by Comicsgate-promoters has grown to levels of persons losing their jobs, relationships and friendships getting destroyed, and entirely too many people making utter asses of themselves internationally.

Ace journalist Asher Elbein summed up much of the melodrama rather concisely for the Daily Beast, after editors with the Atlantic were themselves trolled by Comicsgate-promoters online into dropping his initial pitch. If I cared to cover the ordeal I’d do so with enough objectivity to make theoretical journalist Rex Graine blush red over there in his black and white, newsprint world.

But what if this extremist faction itself possesses an even more extreme faction, one inspired by the nationalistic jingoism of the nauseating Toby Keith song recorded after 9/11, bragging about the American entitlement of “putting a boot in the ass” of essentially anyone miserably not born as a Caucasian, CIS male?

What if this group, in wishing to make comics great again, found in the proverbial quarter bin of days gone by the one and only appearance of the Shoe, a character published by DC in January of 1947? And, thus seeing in this shit-kicking proud boy with Aryan features and a skinhead the singular focus of selfishly asserting his own desires and enrichment before the needs of those around him, they elected to adopt the Shoe as their secret icon. A non-living symbol representing everything that they stand for, two-dimensional irony notwithstanding. So this proposed extremely extremist faction, among other activities along the lines of jerking circles while playing computer games in their mom’s basement, plotted to burgle those right shoes as a political statement regarding the undesirability of the left, blaspheming the selflessness of not judging another til walking in their own moccasins.

One suspect has been charged in the shoe store’s burglary, a 17-year-old badass, with that universally perceived as the intended age for spending an insufferable portion of one’s paychecks on four-color funny books.

But, what if-ing for the final time, that above-mentioned immortal, foot fetishist serial killer actually is the one calling the shots over this tragicomic? Comic artisans and their groupies have themselves been mysteriously flocking to the northwest, since the uptick in found detached feet as well as the recording of the Toby Keith sonic vomit. Might these diverse matters, while appearing disconnected and random, in fact be connected and attached? Could there be an actual super-villain, unwilling to embrace diversity enough to be paired with anything, be asserting malevolent influence over the most impressionable, to undo the sure footing that persons of the 21st century should otherwise be enjoying?