The Associated Press reports that as China's Prime Minister Wen Jiabao was attempting to give a speech at Cambridge University, someone threw a shoe at his head. Yawn.
The AP goes on to report:
The protester seated near the back of the auditorium stood up during Wen's speech and shouted: "How can you listen to this unchallenged?" before throwing a shoe that landed some distance from the premier.
And when you tell it like that, it sounds like some kind of Absurdist Theatre – which I find personally, rather exciting.
But nevertheless, Absurdist Theatre elements aside, by my count there are only one or two chances for someone to jump on the shoe throwing bandwagon left before it becomes eye roll worthy and actually would probably boost the public profile of the target of the shoe.
This sort of reminds me of the time Britney Spears was wheeled out of her house on a gurney and Courtney Love immediately jumped in saying that she and Courtney were the only ones who had ever had that happen. The Delta Burke took third place saying she was a depressive hoarder and also, there was that guy who said he was an insomniac. After that, mental illness became passé. You only have so many windows of opportunity to get things done and capitalise.
And the other thing is, someone apparently made a huge sculpture of the shoe thrown at Bush in Iraq which was taken down from being displayed and I would actually say that that counts as half an attempt at capitalizing. Similarly, there was the whole sale of the original shoe for a massive sum which is about half an attempt meaning that at this point there’s only one attempt left.
Sadly, this was tiresome because nothing really happened as a result of the shoe throwing except some emergency English protocol and politeness. The AP report goes on:
“The university is a place for discussion, debate and considered argument, not for shoe throwing," said Tim Holt, a university spokesman.
The protester was taken to a local police station for questioning, police spokeswoman Shelly Spratt said.
Just as an aside, I’m looking for a place for shoe throwing and I’m wondering where I can go. This is very serious. I find myself in need of some appropriate theatrical shoe throwing. [source]