Bruce Sterling on Mon, 23 Jul 2001 04:33:24 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> FW: Jordan's Feet Can Be Your Shoes

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From: "futurefeedforward" <>
Date: Sun, 22 Jul 2001 07:50:34 -0700
To: <>
Subject: Jordan's Feet Can Be Your Shoes

June 23, 2085

Jordan's Feet Can Be Your Shoes

NIKE, ORE--Speaking via satellite from the sleek public hearing room in Nike
Town Hall, Nike's visionary founder Philip Knight announced today the
availability of a line of bioengineered athletic wear derived from the
company's most popular athletes.  "I'm very excited today to introduce you
to a revolution," exclaimed Knight, modeling the company's new Bio Jordan
sneakers.  "I am wearing Jordan's feet.  His living, breathing feet.  And
now you can too."

    The sneakers, grown in Nike's factories using a proprietary process,
have the look and feel of basketball legend Michael Jordan's bare feet.
Built around a special osopolymer frame, the shoes are covered inside and
out by flesh genetically derived from Jordan himself.  The inside of each
shoe, lined also with warm, living skin, offers a snug, toe-sock style fit
for maximum control and maneuverability on the court.  Specially designed
muscalature, sensitive to the pressure of the wearer's foot, flexes to
enhance and amplify performance.  The largely biological components of the
sneakers can sustain themselves for up to a year on time-release nutrients
stored in the shoe's hollow frame.  Cuts, abrasions, and bruises heal
naturally, with minimal scarring to ensure an unscuffed, like-new appearance
for the life of the shoes.

    "Nothing in the world compares to what I am feeling now," marveled
Knight, putting the new shoes through their paces on the Town Hall's central
court.  "And it's not just the control, the intimacy these shoes let me
maintain with the court.  It's also the warm, human link they provide to the
history of the game, to its myths, its legends, its gods."

    The sneakers, branded by hairs along the ankle and heel growing in the
pattern of the Nike swoosh, have drawn fire from representatives of Nike
athletes worldwide concerned that Nike might exploit obscure language in its
contracts permitting the production of athletic gear bearing the "derived
likeness" of signed athletes.  "This is a big issue for us," notes sports
agent Henry Bucket.  "About 65% of all athletes work for Nike and have
signed similar contracts.  Negotiations for royalties and licenses related
to products like this have never taken place.  Nike's reported reliance on
the 'likeness' language can only be in bad faith."

    International labor groups further criticize Nike for labor practices
and conditions associated with the new line of shoes.  "We don't know all
the details, but what we have heard troubles us profoundly," explains
longtime Nike critic Ellen Rugby.  "From what we understand, the production
process for these shoes relies on stem cells derived from fat extracted from
employees.  We've had reports that overseas subcontractors associated with
these new shoes are signing big catering contracts with high-fat fast-food
producers like McDonald's and Taco Bell.  Vulnerable overseas workers are
being treated like human fat farms just so Nike can feed its own greed."

    Preferring to keep the broadcast "on topic," Knight waved off questions
concerning criticism of the new shoes, saying simply that Nike was happy to
"stand on its record of progressive and responsible conduct."  "I'd really
like to talk to you about what the future holds for Nike," noted Knight, who
went on to model other products in the new Bio line, including Tiger Woods
Biogrip golf gloves, and what Knight called "booty shorts" to be marketed
under the tag line "j. lo on the down lo."


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