Crocked

Two years ago, when I was off gallivanting in Colorado, USA for the summer, there was something of a craze sweeping the nation, and they were quite proud of it there in CO because it had started there. All around, people were extolling the virtues of a new kind of shoe: soft, breathable, no socks required, and better than your normal sandals.

Yes, they were Crocs. I remember the assistant director of the camp I was working at telling me that he thought they were the best shoes ever. I couldn’t help but laugh behind my back: he looked ridiculous, both because the colour of the shoes clashed horribly with his pants, and they look like something a five year old might wear and get away with it… but no older.

The reason why all this has come back to me is that, now two years later, I have noticed that the age of Crocs is suddenly upon us here in the UK. Why it has taken two years for the fad to reach these shores, I don’t know. We don’t normally lag behind by that much.

It seemed that everywhere I turned while I was away in Cornwall, there was someone else walking round in them. Or more likely, they were a fake, cheaper version. Shops everywhere were selling such dodgy merchandise for a fiver.

You see, the thing is, we’re not really a country that suits open-toed shoes. Sure, maybe a couple of weeks of the summer we might see such nice weather that you can break open the flip-flops and waltz along the beach in them. But otherwise, like now (again), the rain will be so heavy that you might as well attach a bucket to your ankle and walk around with wet feet.

But never let the issue of functionality overrule the whims of fashion! Oh no. That would be too much like good sense.

So now we have people all over the planet, it seems, for whom the Croc is a necessity. And that “necessity” is driven merely by fashion. Just like most things in life: the goal of marketing is to turn something that you might having a passing desire for, into something that you must purchase as you couldn’t imagine your life without it.

What’s even more interesting about this though is that here, back where I live, no one would dare to be even seen dead in a pair.

Globalisation, combined with the groupthink mentality of both imagined and real sub-cultural peer pressure, moves in mysterious ways…

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