I'm a lukewarm conspiracy person. I'll never be the one to research the grassy knoll or UFOs, but as soon as someone proves anything about a cover-up or destroyed files or silenced witnesses and I'm the first one in the line for those Cynically Not Surprised.
But I've stumbled across some proof for the Vast Right-Wing Conspiracy bandied about by our side when we're feeling defensive. I didn't see at first, but when all the pieces are together, the picture becomes clear.
The Republicans have been pushing for months the charge that John Kerry is a flip-flopper. One of their most damning examples, they say, is the fact that he fought and served honorably in Viet Nam (honorably, they say, only when it fits their argument) and then came home, turned around and denounced the war on TV in front of a Congressional committee.
(You know, isn't it terrible when someone does his duty, then does some hard thinking and realizes that what he's doing is morally wrong? Then tries to tell someone how wrong it is? Yeah, I hate that.)
Anyway, so Republicans are repeating the "flip-flop" charge in the hopes of making it stick. They bring what we used to call shower thongs (bleck) to Kerry rallies and clap them to make their point. Oh, those masters of debate, those Republican supporters.
Now, I'm going to make a confession. It seems like a change of topic, but stay with me. I love getting catalogs. I love looking through catalogs. I love looking at knick knacks and mocking them silently but affectionately in my head. I look at appliqued sweatshirts and silverplate earrings and china boxes and while I do not want them, I see the appeal.
Judging from my catalogs, the new thing this year is...flip-flops. Catalogs like Lilian Vernon and Catalog Favorites and so on are selling accessories with a flip-flop theme. There's a necklace with a flip-flop pendant. Flip-flop earrings. A skirt, for God's sake, printed with multicolored flip-flops. Here's a scary example. You can buy a flip-flop charm bracelet to pull the whole look together. At my grocery store, on the cheap-jewelry display, there are ropes of flip-flop necklaces to give your outfit that last kicky look of summer.
Who wants to wear flip-flops? Back in the day, and I used this phrase earlier, they were called shower thongs and you wore them at camp to make sure you didn't get some kind of fungus that lived in the communal shower and was brought in by Other Kids. Then your shower thongs would get slimy and gross, and you threw them away when you were done with them. Hardly high fashion. And now suddenly, flip-flops are the New Black, especially among the catalog crowd and those who buy accessories at grocery stores.
Coincidence? I don't think so. I'd like to see the voting demographics on catalog shoppers.