Pulled In Many Directions

Not-so-daily rambings about my life and my thoughts

Saturday, April 01, 2006

Left In The Dark

Am I the only one on the face of the earth who did not know that Nike bought out Converse back around 2003? I knew of a story that said they were no longer going to be made in America, and took that to mean they would no longer be around in American shoe stores. So I was surprised to see them over in Korea and China, but I figured that "no longer made in America" meant the shoe factories were being outsourced to cheaper places, but not to the big bad guy of outsourced work, Nike.

I have a strange naive logic about this. Nike, known for its sweatshop abuses is bad. Anything other than Nike then has to be good because no one (as far as I know) has made such a public stink over another shoe company as what happened with Nike. I make it a point to wear Reebok gym sneakers (just because I like how they look and are not Nike) and I have worn Converse All-Stars (Chucks) off and on (mostly on) since 10th grade in high school. Anything good enough for Kurt Cobain was good enough for me. Well, except for heroin and commiting suicide of course, but that really should go without saying.

It goes a bit deeper than adolescent rock-star worship of course, seeing as it's been over 10 years since my feet wore another type of shoe. Nikes cost close to a hundred dollars sometimes, have all these special liqi-gel soles and air pumps. Retired NASA scientists are probably pulled into Nike to make their shoes. Let's not even think that little Pui Ki living in some shack in a remote Chinese province is making 2 cents a week for the shoes.

Some people believe you can tell a lot about a person by looking at their shoes. Converse All Stars are just there. They are so good in their simplicity. They aren't flashy or pretentious.

As they are made only from rubber soles and canvas, mine last like 3 months before they get completely worn out. Converse All-Stars have a name attached to them, Chuck Taylor, but I don't even know who that is. Converse All-Stars, to me were *the* shoe in high-school. No flashy name (like Michael Jordan), more casual than athletic, easily bought even with my part-time mall job, and looked good no matter what I wore. (Try that with a blinding white basketball shoe.)

Now I am in a dilemma. True, this dilemma didn't occur to me until yesterday when I saw for the first time that Converse had been bought out by Nike. My black Chucks are really falling apart and soon will need a replacement. Should I look for another shoe, or suck it up and buy the Chucks?

I shudder to think about this anymore. I feel I have lost a good friend.