Costume parties are the moral wind

by phil on Tuesday Sep 12, 2006 8:57 PM

Humans have a short-term memory—that's a given. Society does as well. The current era is the gold standard by which we evaluate ourselves. The morals and norms of today seem to be it. Yet creeping beneath all current standards is an alternative set of rules. While every human attempts to come in sync with their current society, every human also has their own peculiar fascinations to hold onto regardless of popular opinion.

The mannerisms of an expression made for individuality have a common signature: a straightening of the posture, a placing of the palm on the chest, a raising of the eyebrows, a flaring of the nostrils. She says, "I love&mdashlove—Britain at the turn of the nineteenth century." This is not followed by any qualifications and any respect to whether the other person can relate. All that's communicated is "me likey this." For her, having crumpets and tea, and being dainty, are the central tenets at stake. In other words, if she were alive during that era, she would have willfully ignored the hypocrisies, excess prudishness, and class strife that marked the Victorian Era, simply because, dammit, "she likey this."

"But I love my SUV." "But I love to smoke at bars." "But I love to crack racist jokes every now and then."

"Me likey this."

Personally, I think it's unwise to wear a swastika armband, but apparently there are those of the black-boot sensibility that think it's okay, because hey, "it looks cool." Isn't the symbol, though, making a statement that Hitler was right about the Jews? "People who wear swastikas don't do it because they hate Jews."

Unfortunately, this darkly-clad death metal fan is right. Plenty of consumers of Nazi memorabilia aren't Hitler-sympathizers or Anti-Semites. They just love the symbol. The symbol, along with the implied aesthetics of pure cruelty, of a militant consciousness, of a steel-toed boot submission to authority, all is packaged in a tame BDSM chic.

Which is fine because there is currently no malevolent iskra (the Russian word for spark.) But the iskra requires the gun powder, and that gun powder is every human's passion for a particular costume. If enough people wear the uniform, the uniform becomes legitimate, allowing it to spread to the other eighty percent of the masses, the ciphers who feel neutral about the current costume party.

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