One foot at a time | One sole at a time | One hell of a good time


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

What's wrong with this ad from the 1980s?

What's wrong with this ad from the 1980s? Plenty.

Fellow Club Mas Loco member, Jenn Shelton, sent me this Bill Rodgers sportsware ad from the 1980s. This is exactly the kind of thing that Club Mas Loco Presidente, Micah True aka Caballo Blanco, loves to hate. And who can blame him?

In reality, it would be a much more interesting ad if it were from the perspective of the Tarahumara runners trying to help us backward, so-called civilized runners appreciate Raramuri technology.

Or show how people like those at the Native Seeds Organization (Ancient Seeds for Modern Needs) help preserve traditional plant varieties in seedbanks to be distributed freely when needed.


Backwards into the sunset.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right on Ted.
Bill Rogers is a fine fellow, very kind, but this was a travesty.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Blogger Barefoot Ted said...

Yes, I have to agree with you there.


Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting comment about us "backward, so-called civilized" people. I'd bet all my corn stock they wouldn't see us as backward if they needed, say a simple antibiotic, or an emergency surgery, or ...

Not to say we don't have much to learn from them, but please spare me the noble savage theme. It pandering to them, just like the ad.

Thanks for all the good work on your blog Ted. I like reading it.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Blogger Barefoot Ted said...

Yes, I have to agree with you on your point there too.

In the end, they are just humans like all of us with good and bad points.

What attracts me to so-called primitive cultures is the recognition of survival traits that seem to be deeply part of the human tradtion, yet are so lacking in much of our lives today. That is the ability to see the natural world as being sufficient in itself, and the ability for each member of the group to build their own survival toolkit from materials found in the world around them.

That's what I like.

It is a quality called bricolage from the French anthropologist named Claude Levi-Strauss.



Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Ted,

Your site rocks!

I don't see anything offensive in the add.

As you said:

"What attracts me to so-called primitive cultures is the recognition of survival traits that seem to be deeply part of the human tradtion, yet are so lacking in much of our lives today."

The reason these traits are lacking in our culture is because we have advanced past our primative stage. Thank goodness!

That's what makes them "primative" or "backward" in the time scale.

I prefer to live in the modern world--I can still choose to go primative when I want--even barefoot!

I love your site Ted!

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice advert, Ted.
The thing about all our knowledge in the west that we have amassed is that we spend much of it shooting ourselves in the (bare) foot.
With all our plentiful food and materials, are we happier and better off? With our epidemics of obesity and cardiovascular disease, our lack of social fabric, are we any happier in the west?

I like Ghandi's response, when asked "What do you think of Western Civilization?" Which was, "I think it would be a good idea"

Imagine an alternative "Advertisement" (With apologies to Crocadile Dundee). A Tahahumari elder turns up in Madison Avenue, New York and walks into the boutiques and laughs at all the high-heel shoes. He then demonstrates how to wear "proper" sandals that are comfortable and don't lead to postural problems. He then walks a block into Macdonalds and says something like "This food is not fit for human consumption". He then walks into the subway and says "If only you lived a balanced life, guys, you could walk from your home to your workplace, there would be no need for these oversized cattle crates to take your withered bodies from place to place"
He then goes to visit a home and sees that neighbours do not even know each other's names, let alone know how many second cousins they have....

Now, who is better? It is a silly question to make the comparisons really. Too many parameters as we physicists say...

It is easy for either side to make simplistic judgements, like the advert did.

Be open-minded and don't make simplistic judgments, that's what I say!
Or, to quote Bob Dylan "Don't criticize whatcha don't understand" or something..

Barefoot Wilderheir since December 2004.

PS Sorry for rambling on a bit! ;-)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice food for thought Ted. I agree with you. What the advertisement SHOULD tell is: "We can learn a lot from the indígenos people, like that you run better without shoes". Instead, they bring the "gospel" to them - this time shirts of a 'superior' material. So, I agree with you that the starting point of the ad is wrong.

That being said, I also believe that modern technology has at least some advantages. Take this very blog, the internet, computers etc. Maybe a mixture of old and new is the best thing.....

So how about a huarache with velcro straps??? ;-)

Keep up the good work Ted! I like the blog very much ! :-)

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What’s wrong with the article? You mean aside from the terrible impact grammar used? With excessive periods. For weight. When they only make it awkward. And ponderous.

I’d like to see how the Tarahumara really regarded the miracle clothing. I’m speculating, but aren’t these a people more accustomed to a much better form of running clothing, not unlike their shoes? That is, their own bare skin?

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Anonymous Anonymous said...


What's wrong with this add?

Bill Rogers wants to test his equipment with the best runners in the world. He values their opinion over all others in regards to running. And clearly says so in the add.

Bill Rogers wants to learn from the Tarahumara.

Where does the add say he's bringing them something better, or trying to help?

It doesn't.

What you are saying is that these people need help because they are easy to take advantage of, they are not able to say no to Bill Rogers themselves and that we need to help protect them and point out the evils of the modern world.

Who’s really insulting the Tarahumara?

Friday, June 08, 2007

Blogger Barefoot Ted said...

Howdy Anonymous (please include your names folks, it seems strange to reply to no one).

Here's the line in the ad that troubles me the most:

The next time you go running, wear clothes that runners 3000 years behind us like to wear.

It all has to do with deciding who is behind who.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Blogger Barefoot Ted said...

justjanet wrote:
>It shouldn't have said"3000 years backward". In terms of health we are
>probably backward of those People.
>You think? I'd hate to have to back that up with life expectancy statistics.
>K (healthier than he was 30 years ago)

Howdy RayK and others

I meant to answer this one, i.e., RayK's questioning of whether we are backward or not backward compared with "those People". I am quite certain that their infant mortality rate is MUCH higher than here, for better or worse.

After reading all the different emails and comments on my blog, I had a dream that was an attempt at an answer between those that found a problem with the ad, and those that didn't.

In my dream I was given the word SUSTAINABLE.

I personally would find more satisfaction in coming up with a lifestyle that I knew was repeatable and sustainable into the future without degrading the hospitality of the world WE live in.

Finding a balance between OUR world and these other simpler, yet sustainable and in many ways better worlds is something I would like to learn how to do and am working towards that as a goal.


Monday, June 18, 2007


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