Saturday, May 5, 2012

Sneaker Rant #22

I know that readers of this blog must be tired of hearing about my problems with $200 pairs of sneakers; God knows I'm tired of writing about them, but I just can't let it go. We did our daily walk in the mall today because the sunny day promised by our lying weasel of a weatherman turned out cold and rainy...but that's another rant. So we pull into the mall parking lot, and right away I can tell by the lack of empty spaces, that they're having another sneaker extravaganza sale. The line of kids outside snakes around the corner as security guards and NYC police try to manage the flow of people into the mall to prevent a stampede. I never see these sales advertised so I don't know how they get the word out. Maybe there's some kind of sneaker sale bat signal that gets flashed in the sky, but whatever they do, it's working.

Although the crowd is a mix, most are young black men. They show up well before the doors open and wait patiently in the rain to get inside. These are probably the same kids who are late for school four days out of five, but they wouldn't miss this. Several police cars are on the scene with cops deployed inside and outside the mall. (Let the murderers wait their turn; this is a much better use of police resources.) They let in maybe 10 kids at a time who immediately break into a full run to be the first sucker to pop for $180 bucks for the latest Michael Jordans. There are probably five or six sneaker outlets at the mall who participate in these sales. Since they can only order so many pairs in each size, they quickly exhaust their supply, but the demand is still there, so the kids race from store to store, eyes crazed, in the hope that they will not have to go home sneaker-less.

I came to grips long ago with the fact that I am an irrelevant dinosaur who is totally out of touch with the younger generation. But even considering this, I am still overwhelmed by this mania. Yesterday, I was happy when the slip-on sneakers I bought at JC Penny, on sale from $50 to $35, were mis-marked and I got them for $30. And I still feel they were overpriced for what they were! Now in order for me to spend $180 on these new sneakers the kids are clamoring for, they would have to make me feel 21 again while I wore them. Nothing less would induce me to spend 6x more for a pair of lousy sneakers. So frenzied is the desire to own a pair of these puppies that I saw many kids, the minute they left the store, stop and immediately change into their new Air Jordans. The old $180 sneakers that they bought last month were clearly not good enough to stay on their feet another minute!

I am about to venture into dangerous waters here, but what the hell. I'd be willing to bet that at least half of the families of the kids buying these overpriced sneakers are on some form of public assistance. So if they can't support themselves without my money, where is the money coming from to pay for these sneakers? If your family has that kind of money, why isn't it being spent on rent and food instead of making guys like Michael Jordan even richer than they are? The Liberals will say that the poor should not be deprived of the things other people have. Memo to Liberals: poverty is not alleviated by giving people money. Educate them, train them in a skill, and then give them the opportunity to compete with others for paying jobs and a chance to support themselves without picking my pocket.  

One young black man I saw today wore a t-shirt that said: U LOVE 2 HATE ME. Not so, I have great empathy for African-Americans who suffered prejudice and endured injustice, but persevered to help level the playing field for all races. If their sacrifice produced nothing more than this entitlement-minded, 'welfare for life' generation, then it was all in vain. 


LOOKING FOR A WORTHY CHARITY? TRY THESE FOLKS: Children's Craniofacial Association 

1 comment:

Joseph Del Broccolo said...

great ending in dangerous waters, it seems to stay afloat!