Take a look at your shoes. Do you ever ask yourself the question “Who made my shoes?” We don’t know, do we, because we live in a society that no longer asks that question. Once there was a time when people knew who made their shoes, when everything you needed came from the town in which you lived and the people that lived there. A town like Gansburg.
In “Shoes from somewhere else” Willheim, an inventor’s apprentice, watches as two societies are irrevocably changed by his invention of “The Appearafone”…a machine that gives you whatever you wish for… for free. But is it really free? While the people of Gansburg get fat and lazy, no longer needing to work, the twist in the story is Willheim discovers that his machines aren’t just making things appear out of thin air…they are stealing them from another city on the far side of the world.
“Shoes from somewhere else” is a Fairytale of economics, globalization and greed… but it is also an adventure that includes a guilty secret, a scheming treasurer, a disgruntled explorer, a stolen child, a sadistic bandit, inter-continental travel and a world falling into anarchy.
This story is an allegory for how we live today – unconsciously relying on the effort of unknown people on the other side of the world. And while it is a fairytale, aren’t all fairytales really teaching us something about ourselves?