Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes

(Happy Birthday to Me!)Not that I'm a big fan of the pope, but Dude has great shoes. This photo appeared in the NY Times on April 21, during the Pope's visit to New York City; kudos to the photographer (Chang W. Lee). It sort of makes the Pope look like he's levitating, or even walking on water (but Jesus didn't have red shoes). The composition of this image is nothing less than perfect; the pope, off-center, fills the right half of the picture frame, and the diagonal line of his outstretched arm and that of a fan is perfectly centered, with the meeting of hands at the horizontal and vertical center of the picture (sort of like in Michelangelo's "Creation of Adam"). This is Papal imagery at its finest -- and it's all about the imagery, the spectacle, isn't it? What I want to know is, does the Pope pick his own outfit, or is it all dictated by custom or even canon law? Does he always wear red shoes? I haven't witnessed men wearing red shoes with such confidence since I lived in Detroit. Surely a guy who can pull this off can bring about world peace...

I was at a doctor's office somewhere in the last few years and complimented a nurse's red shoes, and she told me she loves red shoes. At that moment I realized that I, too, love them, and in fact there are a number of people who share that love, including:

Elvis Costello
the Pope

"O, I used to be disgusted,
and now I try to be amused.
But since their wings have gotten rusted,
You know the angels wanna wear my red shoes
(Elvis Costello)

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