Monday, December 23, 2013

Air Jordans and Pope Francis

Recently, the latest pair of sneakers from the brand 'Air Jordans' was released for sale.

These sneakers are very popular.  Growing up in NYC, I recall that every youth had to have one in order to be 'cool' and so on.  These sneakers were a social status of sorts.  However, they have become an idol to the naive who fall for marketing.

In the Bronx and elsewhere, brawls broke out as people waited in lines for hours waiting to get a chance to purchase the $200+ priced item made of rubber, cloth and glue.  Fans of the brand literally slept days in advance outside of Footlocker.  This is just absurd.  Things like this is what Pope Francis is reminding us about which I spoke of in my post "King Money."

The thought of people sleeping overnight to buy a pair of sneakers and/or get into a fight for them is just crazy.  This item has become an idol - the "Rubber Calf."  Unfortunately it is minorities who fall for the brainwashing tactics of marketers.  Rumor has it that the makers of these sneakers do not even need a commercial.  They simply release a photo of it online and word spreads like wildfire, so to speak.  In a frenzy, people wait for hours to buy them when they are about to be released.

Do these people not realize that these are just sneakers make of rubber, cloth and glue?  Why fight for them?  Why nearly kill another for them?  Why wait on the street for them?  These actions put this product above and before human life.  Pope Francis' call to poverty is an important one.  It reminds us that we should not focus on material things.  They serve us, we shouldn't serve them. We shouldn't shed blood for them, most importantly.

When will fans of these sneakers realize that they are being suckered into buying sneakers that cost a few dollars to make in China and are sold for hundreds of dollars; money that could be spent on books to learn from, education, health, and food.

I am embarrassed for my fellow New Yorkers/Bronxites who resort to this zombie-like behavior where they focus on a material thing and will do anything to get it even if it means hurting others or hurting oneself.  This materialism has to stop.  Jesus Christ was born poor and lived poorly. He reminded us that the kingdom of God is what we should seek.  This is the call his Vicar Pope Francis is remind the Catholic Church of now.


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