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Labor and delivery
September 03, 2013, 05:00 AM By Michelle Durand Daily Journal

Labor Day weekend is now officially over which means there is absolutely no reason to wear white shoes, aside from anyone who curses the fashion police or are a long-lost member of Run-DMC.

Vintage rappers notwithstanding, the holiday weekend kicking off the descent into fall has long been the cultural signal to put some things — like the aforementioned snowy white shoes — to the back of the closet for another season.

But why stop there? Plenty of things beyond shoes are in need of a good shelving, perhaps indefinitely. Some, in fact, shouldn’t even wait for spring cleaning to get a swift toss to the junk pile.

Syria. Egypt. Drones. Convenience fees. Snowden and Manning. Putin and his homophobic policies. Google Glass paranoia. Drivers who fail to merge properly. Montana Judge G. Todd Baugh who blamed a teen rape victim who later committed suicide. Touchy-feely mayors who think rehab takes the place of an apology. Horse meat served as beef. Miley Cyrus and her tongue. The oh-so-scary Bay Bridge S-curve. Wouldn’t the world be a much more pleasant place without any of the controversial nonsense each of those bring? At least the last is going away with installation of the new span.

Too bad the same can’t be said about the constant onslaught of zombies. Zombie attacks. Zombie apocalypse, Zombie-inducing drugs. Zombie bullets. Zombie shows and movies. Time to shelve zombies along with lingering vampires and werewolves. The world needs to focus on the truly scary — like recalled produce, the hantavirus, sheer yoga pants and anything that happens in Florida.

Sports steroid scandals should also be in the Goodwill heap but admittedly they did serve as reminder that track and field is still around. Speaking of sports, put the San Francisco Giants to rest. Not indefinitely, mind you, but for the rest of the season. Watching the games has become nearly as painful as shelling out for the still-inflated tickets.

A sports-related idea that should be kicked completely is the National Football League’s stadium bag policy. Fans can now only bring small purses or an equally small clear plastic bag into games. Seriously? The need for clothing layers aside, carrying a bag through which others can see wallets and other personal items doesn’t seem too smart.

And on the topic of intelligence — Anthony Weiner. Isn’t it time for this guy to take his smartphone and his not-so-smart self and just crawl away? Every year has its poster boy or girl for political missteps or obnoxious maneuvering. Last year, blatant presidential courting of specific demographics was the target as the overall slate of speakers at the Republic and Democratic conventions emulated Olympic gymnastics judges ticking off the anticipated routine highlight of each pint-sized competitor.

Hispanic voters — check. Female contingent — done. Gays — nailed it. God, abortion, family values, al-Qaida. Done, done, done and done. To steal a page from McKayla Maroney’s playbook, viewers (or at least this viewer) were definitely not impressed. Clint Eastwood’s bit with the empty chair may have been off-cuff and off the wall but at least nobody can say it was expected.

The same can’t be said for Weiner. Once a selfie-loving fool, always a selfie-loving fool. His latest scandal was just a matter of time.

But fingers crossed, this is the end. We’ve labored through another year of this tomfoolery and the only thing it’s delivered is a whole lot of head shaking. This Labor Day weekend, the only shoe they deserve is a boot.

Michelle Durand’s column “Off the Beat” runs every Tuesday and Thursday. She can be reached by email: or by phone (650) 344-5200 ext. 102. What do you think of this column? Send a letter to the editor:



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