Change Afoot 

The Times-Dispatch is scandalized by sandals.

Yes! When, indeed? Who hasn't felt obliged to wear flip-flops? Or perhaps a better word is compelled. Didn't an initial version of the Patriot Act make them required wearing in airports (so much easier to check for shoe bombs)?

But have you ever stopped to ponder why you wear flip-flops? Perhaps you should, you toe-baring reprobate. You may have become a poster child for the decline in social conduct.

Have you no decency?

The T-D laid out heavy accusations in an editorial May 30:

"The aging Boomer at the next computer screen remembers his college days, when schools still enforced dress codes. Men wore ties, women skirts. Jeans were not allowed in the classroom. No one would have thought of wearing flip-flops to any venue but poolside or the beach ....

"The idealists swarming across the campuses during the 1960s demanded liberation from fascist rules such as shoes with socks. Down with the codes, they chanted. It doesn't matter what one wears (that line again). …

"Our colleague recalls that during an anti-code rally he attended with enthusiasm (a fact he concedes with a guffaw) he realized that if clothes do not make a difference, then he and his comrades had nothing to protest. Demonstrators called for change, it was clear, because clothes meant very much to them."

Gotcha, you protestors.

The editorial writers are asking the vital questions: Richmond, have we lost our values along with our socks? Are we losing our minds?

Take this encounter, related by a T-D editorial writer Sept. 25 after an epiphany at a local coffee house:

"As he sips his Joe — which he takes black for the simple reason that he likes his coffee — he notices numerous students trooping to the counter. Most wear flip-flops and athletic gear; a few of the young scholars dress in clothes that do not offend the eye. And about 90 percent of the early birds are females."

First sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.

Now flip-flops. Take a stand, Richmond - and do so with shoes and socks on. S

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