Nakedness For A Better World

May 31, 2007 | By | 4 Replies More

Have you ever noticed that certain people who drive Very Large Vehicles tend to drive slower than everyone else?  I followed a 4X4 pick-up truck of epic proportions this morning and the driver crawled along at just under 25 miles an hour on a 35 mph street.  He–there’s only one word for it–“sauntered” along, impressed by his own steel garb.  It was attention-getting and annoying.

The thing is, I’d wager that if you put him in a Toyota Celica, he’d bomb along at 40-plus.

People wear attitudes.  Ever noticed the personality change that takes place in an otherwise pleasant, excellently-mannered fellow who puts on his leathers and climbs onto his Harley?  This is not illusion.  There is a shift in attitude that comes with the whole aesthetic, and an aesthetic is what it is. 

In a deep way, we wear our attitudes and our ideologies.  The “traditional dress” of certain cultures come with changes in body language, posture, speech patterns, and attitudes toward others.  This is not all bad and I’m not suggesting it is, but…

I took you through the path of mild chuckles to bring you to my main point, which is a bit harder, but no less valid.

We hide within and behind our furnishings, by which I mean clothes, cars, houses, symbols.  From within them we face the world and deal with it accordingly.  There’s nothing particularly wrong with that, until we get to things like–

Terrorist suicide bombers.

I won’t drag this out.  Simply put, they couldn’t do that but for the baggy clothes, cloaks, djebbalyhs, and so forth that hide not only who they are but what they carry.  Want to end suicide bombings in Baghdad tomorrow?  No one is allowed on the street clothed.  Okay, maybe some briefs, bikini tops for the ladies.  You want to eliminate bombers on airlines?  Everyone flies naked.  Very difficult to smuggle something on board that way.

No uniforms would lead to a lack of ideological signs.  Who do you shoot?  Who do you hate?\

Furthermore, this could potentially lead to better health.  I mean, really.  There’s been discussion on Dangerous Intersection for a while now about health, fitness, losing weight, high heels, etc.  There are people with sound medical reasons for not getting “in shape” but for the rest, the best reason is that they can hide behind their clothes.  If there are going to be instances of socially mandated public nudity, I’d bet more of them would get serious about how their bodies look.

(This is insensitive, but I can’t help it.  One of the things that just blows my mind is seeing someone patently obese who obsesses over a chic hairstyle, as if that little bit of protein on the scalp when coifed can detract from the fact that the wearer would do much better to lose about a hundred pounds.  It is self-deceptive.  I’m being curmudgeonly, I know, but…)

Now, everyone has a right to be Who They Are.  This should not be compromised.  Cultural symbolism is very important in this respect.  Clothing and custom of different people’s should be respected.

But I think it would help the world if we stopped believing that we have to go with this all the time.  An hour or two a day when everyone has to drop all that and be just like everyone else would, I think, go a long way toward smothering the self-annointed who put such cultural standards ahead of everything else–including everyone else’s life.

We can now return to our regularly scheduled mundanity.

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Category: Art, Civil Rights, Communication, Cultural Evolution, Culture, Health, History, Humor, Religion, Whimsy

About the Author ()

Mark is a writer and musician living in the St. Louis area. He hit puberty at the peak of the Sixties and came of age just as it was all coming to a close with the end of the Vietnam War. He was annoyed when bellbottoms went out of style, but he got over it.

Comments (4)

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  1. "Want to end suicide bombings in Baghdad tomorrow? No one is allowed on the street clothed. Okay, maybe some briefs, bikini tops for the ladies. You want to eliminate bombers on airlines? Everyone flies naked. Very difficult to smuggle something on board that way."

    Someone had a similar idea already. 😀

    "IN THE NAME OF PATRIOTISM

    We all know that it is a sin for an Islamic male to see any woman other than his wife naked, and that he must commit suicide if he does.

    So next Sunday at 4:00 PM Eastern time, all American women are asked to walk out of their house completely naked to help weed out any neighborhood terrorists.

    Circling your block for one hour is recommended for this antiterrorist effort.

    All men are to position themselves in lawn chairs in front of their house to prove they are not terrorists, and to demonstrate that they think it's okay to see nude women other than their wife and to show support for all American women.

    And since the Koran also does not approve of alcohol, a cold six-pack at your side is further proof of your antiterrorist sentiment.

    The American Government appreciates your efforts to root out terrorists and applauds your participation in this anti terrorist activity.

    God bless America"

  2. Niklaus Pfirsig says:

    Well put.

    I think it was in the novel, "Lost Horizon" , where the local weding customs required the bride and groom be nude during the ceremony, so each could really see what the other looked like without the corsets and padding. Thatt way they could be sure they were with the right mate on the morning after the wedding night.

    As for naked air travel, I recall a news article about a Swedish airline offering "clothing-optional" flights, but the passengers were only allowed to strip down after boarding.

  3. Dan Klarmann says:

    If no clothes are allowed, then ones pocket contents would have to be carried in a bag or backpack or some such. I'm sure that seeing everyone nude and carrying a bulky backpack will make me feel just as much more secure as do any of the "legitimate" attempts to make our country safer.

  4. Jason Rayl says:

    Well, Dan, you got me on that one. I suppose if someone REALLY wanted to blow up a plane, even nudity wouldn't prevent them.

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