2 Comments

  1. What a fantastic and interesting personal story …. thank you so much for sharing it!

    Points of personal psychological chaos — the moment of feeling that the things you assumed may not always be true, that there is a way of seeing things you’d never imagine before, and so on — are commonly the beginning of any transition or growth period. As such, I don’t think they can be universally thought of as a “bad thing”, no matter how jarring they may feel.

    Artists also use this mechanism, by the way. In a way, what you witnessed on that dance floor was, for you, a work of modern art: a re-arrangement of deeply historical cultural symbols and structure that suddenly cause you to view them as dis-entangled from their normal context. They cause you to deconstruct the normal network of associations and see them in a different way.

    It’s like an M.C. Escher drawing, fiddling with normal perspective just enough to make you think, “Wait a minute…. so how DOES normal perspective work, anyway? What are the rules? And why do they work the way they do?”

    There is a style of drag performance that also does this deliberately: unlike “realistic drag”, it is the buff and sometimes bearded drag queens who are making a deliberate statement out of the mixture of these roles: if you are attracted to masculinity, you would normally be attracted to his body, but he deliberately REMOVES that element from the way he is being perceived; or, if you are attracted to femininity, you might be normally attracted to his dress or style of movements, but his body REMOVES that element as well.

    This is a problem, if your goal is to be attracted to the person, or to see them in that normal set of roles in society. It is not a problem if the goal is break down those assumption, step outside of that framework, and get the experience of being a part of a culture that is looking at itself.

    When artists do it, it is a deliberate political statement…. the two that you witnessed were probably just doing it for fun. But either way, I think it’s brilliant. I love living in a world where people feel free to play with expected norms about everything! Whenever some young idealist tells me “We should get rid of stereotypes!” I say: “No! Don’t get rid of them! Stereotypes are awesome… as long as you recognize them for what they are. They are toys.. playthings. Mess with them, have fun with them, and never take them too seriously.”

    So me, this kind of playfulness is one of the best things any culture can do. It’s a sign of a culture exploring itself… and having fun with it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Greg Stevens: “As such, I don’t think they can be universally thought of as a “bad thing”, no matter how jarring they may feel.”

    My response: I totally agree. Not necessarily a “bad thing.” That incongruous jolt of shock lead to a level of understanding. A level I would describe as beyond ‘theoretical acceptance’ or tolerance. However, what if I told you that with acceptance came discomfort. And that the discomfort lead to …Theodicy: The vindication of divine goodness and providence in view of the existence of evil. And that, by ‘moral luck’ or ‘unmoral luck’, I was able to identify the root of discomfort in a way that …only those at the mercy of abuse fully understand.

    What if I told you that I was able to take that moment of enlightenment and gain two entirely polar perceptions: as a moment of good and light, and as a moment of evil and dark. That by the grace of pure will I was able to reconcile perceptions.

    But let me go further. Consider this. Another person gains just one perspective. Someone might experience just the good and the light. Another might experience just the evil and the dark. I think my drive, or concern, is to protect one from the other. Greg, you’re either naïve or overzealous if you believe every person can properly handle inner conflict. You’re the activist, I get it! Awesome! I’m the protectionist.

    I’m the one who appreciates what you’re doing. I’m not placing a negative charge on what drives you. I’m just acting as the shield; recognizing the overtake of one cultural onto another. Maybe what drives my conservative ideology is really me allowing two cultures remain in harmony.

    Greg Stevens: “Artists also use this mechanism, by the way. In a way, what you witnessed on that dance floor was, for you, a work of modern art: a re-arrangement of deeply historical cultural symbols and structure that suddenly cause you to view them as dis-entangled from their normal context. They cause you to deconstruct the normal network of associations and see them in a different way.

    It’s like an M.C. Escher drawing, fiddling with normal perspective just enough to make you think, “Wait a minute…. so how DOES normal perspective work, anyway? What are the rules? And why do they work the way they do?”

    My response: Brilliantly stated. Looked into M.C. Escher drawings. Yeah, illustration is a perfect representation.

    Greg Stevens: “There is a style of drag performance that also does this deliberately: unlike “realistic drag”, it is the buff and sometimes bearded drag queens who are making a deliberate statement out of the mixture of these roles: if you are attracted to masculinity, you would normally be attracted to his body, but he deliberately REMOVES that element from the way he is being perceived; or, if you are attracted to femininity, you might be normally attracted to his dress or style of movements, but his body REMOVES that element as well.

    This is a problem, if your goal is to be attracted to the person, or to see them in that normal set of roles in society. It is not a problem if the goal is break down those assumption, step outside of that framework, and get the experience of being a part of a culture that is looking at itself.”

    My response: You wouldn’t know it by how I carry myself but I’m fascinated by drag culture. I’m the guy who has absolutely no curiosity to try drag, but on the rear occasion I’m at a gay club, I forget I entered hoping Mr. Right will find me. Instead I lose myself if I discover real drag talent (you know, that eccentric vibe rarely found) unknowingly acting as if I’m some sort of investigative reporter/psychologist: Asking probing questions.

    BTW: I met Lady Bunny. A TOTAL ASS I made of myself. The dumber my question, the deeper a read she offered. It was actually an awesome experience. My final question asked: “So …Humm …Are you , like, purposely drinking from a straw because I noticed you’re running low on cheap lipstick.” She must have encounter stupidity before or noticed how nervous I was. Man, was she professional, entertaining and therapeutic. 🙂

    Greg Stevens: “When artists do it, it is a deliberate political statement…. the two that you witnessed were probably just doing it for fun. But either way, I think it’s brilliant. I love living in a world where people feel free to play with expected norms about everything! Whenever some young idealist tells me “We should get rid of stereotypes!” I say: “No! Don’t get rid of them! Stereotypes are awesome… as long as you recognize them for what they are. They are toys.. playthings. Mess with them, have fun with them, and never take them too seriously.”

    My response: I totally agree with you. Funny, my argument towards theological studies and religious teachings are to learn it. Enjoy it. Just know how to work with it. Don’t get misguided and fuck shit up for the rest of us.

    Greg Stevens: “So to me, this kind of playfulness is one of the best things any culture can do. It’s a sign of a culture exploring itself… and having fun with it!”

    My response: I agree. I’m there with you. I just don’t want the display to take place around the wrong audience. I’m trying to prevent war driven by culture clashes.

    Like

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