Sunday, November 25, 2012
Turn Down Day
'Don't you know it's a turn down day, nothing on my mind, don't you know it's a turn down day, and I dig it" The Cyckle This was a song from my teen years. I liked the easy going melody. It got lodged in my brain to pop up any day when there wasn't much happening. It's a summer beach song but it may as well be a sabbath song when I look up the long forgotten lyrics: 'Things that are waiting to mess my mind will just have to wait till tomorrow'. I'm going to church this morning. That means I'll shower and dress. I've cross dressed at church a few times. I've worn scottish regalia and kilt. I just read that men dressed in women's clothes for jousting in medieval days but that it was forbidden for women to cross dress. I never realized how odd we were as a society about gender till I began working in the gender clinic. Women dressing as men to be taken seriously. Men dressing as women to be off the clock. Even time gets involved in gender with old men in some cultures revered while old women are in others. Here we have a youth culture despite the aging population. I noticed that many of us are catching our aging rockers concerts with an element of reverence. Mostly though we're looking for our own lost youth. No different than the fat beer swigging sports fan who watches a touchdown and remembers his high school exploits. Sports all have their own 'apparel codes'. Allan Fotheringham wrote a vastly amusing piece in MacLean's suggesting a main motivation of golfing was to wear funny clothing. Recently a Dane said that everyone biked in Denmark but they didn't wear 'funny biking clothes like Canadians'. Personally I have my hunting cammo wear and my yachting wear which I can argue are 'tools' like the steel toed boots I had for construction. It's just odd for me to see city types sporting the 'emblems' and 'totems' of my work. I hunt and I have a yacht and I also have a Harley so wear biker clothing protection as well. The hoi polo however wear this same gear as a reflection of their own unresolved 'identity crisis' or a reflection of the diversity of expression in a free society that goes well beyond gender. Alternatively it may reflect an escape from the all consuming demand in the workplace for a person to be a 'corporate logo' with the expectations of administration that you will talk, walk and dress as the government, administration or corporate headquarters would want. Everywhere individuals with the least liberty ever ,think that 'casual friday' is 'freedom' when their keystrokes are timed and spy cameras watch workers in every room and hall. Recreational identity then becomes a fantasy escape which at the other limits is 'medieval societies', "creative anachronism gatherings' and 'alt communities'. Individualism is reflected in clothing and at another level in tattoos and piercings. While society at large presses down from above individuals alone and collectively express individuality where they can. Once everyone wore white plain underwear, male and female, now all of us in whatever our work clothes are can have a many splendored secret life. Thanks for this Turn Down Day.