Employees at Google and AOL are among those going barefoot today to raise awareness of shoeless poor kids. If only there were some other way rich techies could help third world children, aside from disgustingly and dangerously removing their shoes!
"Millions of children around the world grow up without shoes," Huffington Post chief Arianna Huffington says in the video above, "and at risk of disease and infection." Going barefoot, you see, puts you at risk for disease and infection. So AOL and some of Google will go barefoot, to prevent disease and infection. Makes perfect sense, if you don't think about it.
Even more batty is this video on the website of TOMS, the philanthropic shoemaker organizing the "One Day Without Shoes" movement. In between testimonials from Hanson, the Jonas Brothers, Jordin Sparks, Heather Graham, and Demi Moore—all the top minds in third world development, basically—are videos of people exposing their bare feet to the snow, on ladders, while making UPS deliveries and while operating a deep fat fryer.
No one's saying this isn't a laudable cause. What sort of cold-hearted bastard could be against shoes for poor kids? But the implementation looks like something out of an Arrested Development episode. Maybe, instead of exposing their bare, sweaty feet to whatever microbes have accumulated on their office floors or even—and we shudder to think about this—New York City sidewalks, AOL and Google employees could do slightly more good for the world's teeming, shoeless masses by instead redirecting a small portion of the resources used to fund their $1,000 cash bonuses and 10 percent raises, multi-million dollar stock grants, or company-sponsored human servants.