Mr. Footnotes #1: Classic stance

    This quarter, I’m going to talk about shoes that have feet, or how people stand. It can tell a lot about a person: from the deeply psychological to what they had for breakfast.

    But let me tell you a little about myself first. You can call me Mr. Footnotes. I’m a semiprofessional writer. And if you are curious as to why we need the “semi-” prefix in this case, it’s actually quite simple. If I were a professional writer, I would get paid for my art. NBN does not pay me for what I publish. Therefore, I am only semi- of a professional. But I’m not bitter.

    So, shoes. Feet. Standing. Let’s take a look at this week’s example, shall we?

    Photo by the author.

    Okay. Easy. Here is a classic standing position. The feet are at a comfortable angle—not too right, yet not pigeon-toed. It’s the ideal angle. Goodness gracious, they sent me an easy case this week. Take note: comfortable angle, neutral straightness of the legs. This person has obviously achieved balance in life.

    Is this enough, though? It’s never really enough. Are you satisfied? Of course you’re not satisfied. We desire complication, and I can safely say that I myself find some excitement in complication. Human beings are pretty messy, and “achieved balance in life” is a little too perfect to be human. Then we continue.

    What draws my concern is how close the legs are to the y-axis—they’re snapped together. You should be concerned, too, if this week’s case were standing across from you. Imagine that you, a group of classmates, and your professor were outside Harris Hall for a smoke and a post-lecture discussion of philosophy.

    So, all eyes are on you, talking about some concept of meta-interpretation in fig trees and sexuality that requires its own pomo-wordology. Oh man, you’re really going into the realm of obscurity, but when you see your professor standing in a Case #1, you lose your momentum.

    Why? Because the legs are too close, your professor is more concerned about getting out of the conversation than anything you have to say. This standing position politely tells you, “I’m just going to keep nodding my head, saying ‘yeah,’ until you stop talking. Then, I’m going to make up some appointment I have that doesn’t exist.” In other words, balanced of mind, of body and of soul, Case #1 tells you to shut up.

    Moral of the story? Be concise. We’ll appreciate it a lot more.


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