When my son was just beginning to speak, he saw me dressing up for an interview, & called it my “Mister Costume”. Since then my wife & I have joked many times about how everything is just cosplay. We put on our little costumes & play out our parts on the world stage. Some of us taking our rolls way more seriously then others. Sometimes people get so deeply entrenched into their beliefs of ego identification, that they no longer, mentally, take off, their costume.
“You are not your F*cking Khakis” – Tyler Durden, Fight Club.
Since before Joseph’s dream of having his brothers bow to him in a coat of many colors, people have believed in their own superiority to others, due to their clothing. Since then, leaders of rituals and nations alike have dressed in fine attire, to make them feel better about themselves & lord it over others. Kings & Queens have it all; fancy jewelry, fine lining for capes, golden crowns, to name just a few accoutrements. In ancient China, robes embroidered with dragon patterns were exclusively used by emperors. Only the Pope is permitted to wear the three layered crown, or triple tiara. In Rome, “a senator could wear a tunic featuring a vertical broad purple stripe down the center. An equestrian could wear a tunic featuring two vertical narrow purple stripes on either side of the tunic.” During the Renaissance, Sumptuary Laws restricting colors and cloths by class, allowing for fines against both women & men. Other restrictions included the attire of apprentices, no; hats, ruffles, cuffs, or loose collars. Cross-dressing faux pas like donning Klingon cranial ridges along with Mandalorian battle armor may raise an eyebrow or two at today’s comic-cons, where as; just wearing silks in the underclasses, could net one a hefty fine of 100 British Pounds. While theses days dozens of scantly clad slave-outfit Princess Leia’s will show some skin for the nerdy fun of it all, Lady Godiva made her claim to fame with her brandishing of an equestrian anti-taxation trot through town wearing only her birthday suit. Now, that, is nobility!
“All authority, flows from the barrel of a gun.” – Mao
Mao cosplayed in the Zhongshan or Mao suit, which soon became a symbol and costume of proletarian unity in communist China. The word authority is often swapped with the word power, but their meanings differ. While power is usually defined as “the ability to influence somebody to do something that he/she would not have done” such as by coercion or violence. Where as authority is a claim of legitimacy, claim of justification and/or claim of moral right to exercise that power.
English judicial barristers have a monopoly on the right to speak in court, but have given the monopoly of wig wearing to judges, during the last decade . These British lawyers no longer wished to claim their rights to said smelly horsehair accessories, but want to continue their verbal jurisdiction. Apparently they no longer appreciate playing dress up, but don’t want to give up the authority which comes with it. However, such authoritarian wardrobe malfunctions seem to not alter their verbal control in the courtroom. Don’t they need the wig, on their head, for the legal mumbo-jumbo to work? What would a proper SteamPunk enthusiast think of this horrendous lack of conviction?
My father was the kind of man who never, mentally, took off his costume. Being a prison guard for the state made him institutionalized in the head, so acting as jailer, was a badge he wore both at work & at home. My uncle is a retired police officer. They are another institution of employees, who also wear costumes, this time called; “uniforms”, but in all reality, they are just a costume & some accessories. Most in our culture seem to believe in this kind of cosplay so much so, that people who participate in such rolls, are actually able to get away with murder, while wearing these blue costumes with numbered accessories. Daniel Pantaleo took his extreme cosplay roll so seriously that he choked Eric Garner to death over pennies of taxes, supposedly not paid on “loosey” cigarettes. Officer Darren Wilson was so into his roll-playing & accessory play, that he shot Mike Brown to death in a Wal-Mart. 2 days later Officers Sharlton Wampler and Antonio Villegas of the LAPD took out Ezell Ford. Officer Sean Williams & Sgt. David Darkow were the boys in blue, involved in John Crawford’s untimely demise. 4 men have died by the actions of these costumed “authorities” through the violence for which said authority stands. For some strange reason(usually fear of pain & death), many tolerate this kind of carnage, in our everyday society, from these kinds of #Extreme #Cosplayers. Typically because the rest of societies general attitudes conform to the dark will of these costumed order-followers coercion, most of us tend to just let the violence continue, all too comfortable, in our divisional privilege.
Marines & other military services take their costumes especially seriously, polishing not just boots but also medals of honors, won through experience points gained by the murder of others, in foreign countries. This kind of malice would never be tolerated by your typical Live Action Roll Players(LARPers), unless it was in game, only. However, when people are told that if they put on some other costume & given a real weapon & told to go kill people, by some other guy in a slightly different costume; all of the sudden, it’s “morally just” for reasons of national pride to end the lives of others, who are just defending their territories, from imperialism.
So what have we learned today? That if you wear the right costume with the right accessories & have the support of a complacent society you can make a wrong, into a right, or justify violence?
It would seem the easiest rout to success is to dress for it. Don’t use the politically correct term, “ensembly challenged”, call it like it is. If you are accosted by costumed criminals, be they super villains or authoritarians on a power trip; then you may as well just admit it, all of life is cosplay.
As long as we as a species, believe in this most dangerous superstition; authority, we will continue to remain; Fashion Victims, from the disciples of #Extreme #Cosplay!