Friday, March 01, 2013

Don't Judge a Man Until ...

You know the story:
  She sees the shoes in the shop window.  She puts on the shoes; she begins to dance.  She dances with every man at the carnival.  She falls into a netherworld of grotesques who converge upon her.  No matter where she goes or what she does, the shoes keep dancing.
Link (paraphrased). A friend told me the other day that the Pope has to wear red shoes.  Did I get that right?  Canon law?  In the Book of Revelations?  Some sort of enduring tradition, like the idea that you have to wait 15 days before the conclave?  Or just a silly joke that I fell for?*

Whatever, but it did set me to thinking.  Do the shoes figure in the selection process?  Do we pick a Pope based on (say) whether his hair matches the shoes (pretty good choice on that one last time, I'd say)?  Do the candidates have to audition before gaggles of unruly paparazzi (good, Giuseppe, now this time give us a little more ankle...)? And does he at last get to put on the shoes, only to discover that they are a curse, and that he must dance incessantly, commanded by demons?   And does he at last escape from the theatre and throw himself in front of a tr-- no, that's carrying analogy too far.  Still, the moral is clear: don't judge a man until you have walked, danced, fled in terror in his shoes.  

Afterthought: the Times headline this morning says: "As Pope Departs, Discord Remains at Vatican,."  I read it as "discard."


*Apparently tradition.  Per NPR, it goes back to Pope Pius V in 1566 who wanted to accessorize his new white robes.  My friend the judge tells me it also has something to do with the blood of the martyrs.


Anonymous said...

aint it "revelation" -- singular?

microtherion said...

The story I seem to remember about the Pope’s red shoes is:

• The kings of Alba Longa wore red boots.
• Gaius Julius Caesar claimed to be descended from said kings.
• So Caesar started wearing red boots.
• Caesar was pontifex maximus.
• The emperors generally claimed all of Caesar’s offices, including pontifex maximus, and continued to wear red boots.
• At some point, the popes claimed the title of pontifex maximus, so they got the shoes that went along with a title.

Buce said...

Anon--Yeh, I gather the original
Greek is singular, but it seems we have kind of settled down on the plural in English.

Taxmom said...

Elvis Costello quote (...angels wanna wear my red shoes)seems appropriate here somehow.

Cris Brown said...

very informative post.