I was trying to make a connection between "Get Smart" and Iran the other day. Why, you ask? Because someone threw a shoe at Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, as his motorcade returned home last Saturday. The shoe was thrown after Rouhani had participated in what amounted to a somewhat historic phone call with President Barack Obama. For those who may have missed the 1960's, "Get Smart" was a TV show about a secret agent who among other amusing traits, had a phone in his shoe. I'm not guessing that within the crowd of upset Iranians there were a lot of fans of Maxwell Smart, but maybe this was their way of aligning themselves with KAOS, the archenemies of CONTROL.
Or maybe it was that in the Middle East, shoe throwing is considered the height of insult. Shoes touch the dirt and filth, so when you toss that big size twelve at somebody, you're really tossing filth at them. It should be noted that the angry mob shouting "death to America" was outnumbered by a group four to five times larger heaping praise on their new president. It's been a long time since had any real diplomatic relations with Iran. Three decades, to be precise. Back in 1979, before Ted Koppel was a household name and Ben Affleck was just seven years old, the United States Embassy in Tehran was overrun, and fifty-two hostages were held for four hundred forty-four days. Since then, it's been pretty difficult to carry on any sort of substantive conversation, what with all those Ayatollahs running things, and that guy in the Members Only jacket shooting off his mouth about this and that. But mostly it was that "death to America" thing.
Now there's a dialogue. Sure, the call between Barack and Hassan was only fifteen minuted long, but this could lead to a text or two, or maybe they could even Skype. I'm guessing that Iran's Facebook relationship status is "it's complicated." After thirty years, that will do for a start. Now if we can just keep everybody's shoes on.