Rallying Cry

Last week, a disgruntled Iraqi reporter hurled his shoes — and a sharply worded good riddance — at President Bush.  Millions have watched it on YouTube, and the act of simple absurdity has a lot of people talking.  Laura Bush stuck up for her husband’s athletic reflexes, Hugo Chavez had a congratulatory chuckle for the offender, and people all over the Arab world are rallying with a new hero.  There are, of course, plenty of copycats: anti-war activists are rehashing the scene around the US and abroad.

The act has even jumped genres — an angry man in heated debate at a public transit authority meeting in New York was arrested yesterday on suspicion of intent to throw shoes when he removed his oxfords and started yelling for Elliot Spitzer.

A lot of pent up frustration can be ignited, channeled, and harnessed through a simple act of abstract symbolism.  To be sure, discourse and debate are important.  Lobbing footwear is immature.  But never underestimate the power of a well-aimed rallying cry.

© Ryan Cunningham 2008

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thoughts at the collision of business, brand and creativity

I'm Ryan Cunningham. I help companies and culture play nice with each other. At CREATURE we call this Brand Strategy, a term that carries a nice halo of reliability and structure. Here, I'm just another guy who thinks about the world and writes it down from time to time.

The result is a pile of knowledge to be used in, and for, the future. Feel free to sift through the heap for useful connections.

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