Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Remixing Halloween

Halloween costumes used to be generic: Hoboes, princesses, witches, clowns. But popular culture now has us remixing so that our costumes are referential. If you're a zombie, you're not referencing generic zombies or even voodoo--you're referencing The Walking Dead, Shaun of the Dead, or if you're a black-and-white zombie, Night of the Living Dead. You can't be a vampire without Twilight/True Blood/other references. Being generic is being out of touch.

So how has this remixing of the masked self affected perceptions of the  participants?

Traditionally, the masked self permits us to act as both our not-selves and ourselves. The mask is a lie: It claims we are not ourselves by presenting a false visage, even as the false visage permits us to misbehave and blame the self of the mask. The mask is a lie concealing yet another deception.

The self of the mask is a truth presented as a lie. The self behind the mask is a lie presented as the truth.

This is why the preferred mask of Anonymous is no longer valid: Guy Fawkes is meant to represent resistance and revolution, which is the lie. The self behind the Fawkes mask is a not-self, a lie enabled by a mask. The mask makes authenticity impossible.

In all this layering, where is Anonymous?

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