Tony Grist (poliphilo) wrote,
Tony Grist

It's Cultural

Where I come from masks are about criminality, subterfuge and shame.

Bank robbers wear them, so do Venetians doing their best to avoid their spouses at society orgies.

When we called a halt to our occupation of a campus building during the wave of student protests in the early 70s- and marched out in one final demonstration of our weakness/strength-  some of my fellow rebels hid their faces from the cameras.

They were probably the ones who went on to work for The Man. I had no intention of ever working for the Man so I didn't care if he had my face on his files. Let his employess snap away; I had nothing to hide.

I never cared much for masked heros either. Batman, Zorro, the Lone Ranger; the mask draws attention to itself even as it conceals. These guys were seeking notoriety without responsibility.  I like to see the face of my enemy/deliverer. I need to know whether it's a nice face or not.

And yes, I know that in today's context the mask means the very opposite of what it means to me. Mask wearers are responsible, heroic; they have smiling eyes. Ailz tells me that if we all started wearing masks at the very start of the epidemic we'd have cut infections by 89%. That could be why Asian countries- generally speaking- have coped better than western ones; they already had a culture of mask wearing. It doesn't go against their better instincts.

But it goes against mine. I'm not apologising or making a case (because there's no case to be made)- just explaining- to myself as much as anyone else- why the thought of wearing a mask fills me with revulsion.

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