Archive for fashion

Beards and Naturalism

Posted in Critical Commentary of Civilization, Green Fashions, Nature Studies, Pagan, Religions, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2014 by Drogo

To me there has always been a clear connection between facial hair and Naturalism. My theory is that throughout recorded history, men grow beards to defy the fact that they could shave it off with a razor and look more feminine; usually to rebel against the social norms of shaving and assert their manhood and / or be more in tune with Nature.

There is a reason that barbarians that lived wild with nature had facial hair and industrious Romans did not; and there is a reason that when ancient Rome became more intertwined with barbarian cultures, that it became popular in Rome to wear beards! The more industrial a society or culture, the more they will want uniformity for the wearing of helmets (chin straps and gas-masks), stream-lined mechanical safety, and uniform equality for those that cannot grow facial hair thickly or completely (like boys, women, and some men).

Facial hair, like other hair, is considered by many of us Pagans to be a spiritual connection with Nature and the Gods and Goddesses of Nature and Nurturing. Consider that after many terrible industrial wars it has been popular for veterans to grow beards. Famous Naturalists like John Muir, H.D. Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and even Emerson (in old age) all had beards for obvious anti-industrial reasons.

Even those that grow a beard because they are ‘too lazy to shave’ are more harmonious with Nature by allowing their beard to grow, and not artificially shaving it off. Also there are many religious, spiritual, philosophical, and personal reasons for having beards. So before you judge people based on ‘un-fashionable trends’ that you perceive, consider that it may be more or less significant to the person with more hair.

jesus hippy

Clothing Fashion: Dress Code vs. Free Expression

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 19, 2013 by Drogo

Clothing fashion has changed over hundreds-of-thousands of years as we humans have evolved; however conventional dress code fashions are not more mature than free individual artistic expression or even good-old-fashioned nudity. Snobs permeate all cultures and periods, and insist on defining culture by criticizing what ‘is not to be worn or done’. Those people always will come off as over-bearing assholes to anyone that has their own ‘minority’ opinions about life within a ‘culture’. One thing to remember, is that cultures are always changing as ongoing amalgams of previous cultures and new trends.

I have often heard closed-minded critics talk about ‘fitting in with social norms’ as a sign of maturity. The claim that maturity is indicated by clothing fashion is false. Some mature people prefer nudity to any type of clothing. The shallow surface concept that ‘appearance and first impressions are everything’ keeps us mentally medieval. As a fan of the Middle Ages, I know that is kind of an insult to history to compare it broadly to social ignorance and bigotry against those that look different than our own groups that we use to identify ourselves. Most people just accept the popular conventional fashions in order to blend in, and be part of ‘what is acceptable’. The irony is that this visual tradition is all a psychological illusion.

Suit-and-ties are a dress code uniform certainly meant to indicate business respectability; but many unethical people wear them, so to me it is simply a way to separate people that do not want to dress that way, from those that want to wear suits and control everything. Often we are told by institutions that dress codes are needed, so that we can tell who is ‘in service’ to whom, and so that co-workers can feel that despite individual differences in personality or genetics all workers are equal or ‘in it together’. Sure that made sense during the Renaissance maybe, but I was brought up in the 1980’s; when Mr. T said “Don’t where someone else’s brand name label, be creative, express yourself, and wear your own name!” I agree that we should not be labelled by ‘Tommy Hellfinger’ or anyone else.

We have not yet evolved as a society to not pre-judge people that simply dress different than we do. Perhaps we can start now, to stop insisting that everyone should look a certain way. Old ties make great rags. We are all naked under all our clothes.

Reasons to wear clothing:  Practicality, affordability, durability, duty, obligation, symbolism, what fits, memories, associations, environmental and civil rights issues regarding manufacturing, and trend. Trend is the worst reason to wear clothing, as it is the most superficial aspect of fashions.

Cultural appropriation is naturally acceptable, and never has been stopped for very long, even by martial law. Many ignorant people, including historians, do not understand there is a difference between FORCING a culture on people, and ACCEPTING bits of a culture into your heart and way of living your own life. Even people that are labeled ‘posers’, may have a way of life that revolves around fashion or humor, and it may be temporary or permanent immaturity of intellect, which is part of who they are. Dress codes are part of social and cultural norms, and free expression is a naturally occurring deviation from those norms, that in some cases over time gets enough supporters to make it part of the new cultural majority (that then will have rebels that want to not wear what they are told is normal).



Beatniks “The Beat Generation”

Posted in Cooperatives / Communities / Networks / Travels, Critical Commentary of Civilization, Individuals / Members / Monsters / Creative Writing, Philosophy with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 13, 2011 by Drogo

The Beat Movement: Beats and Beatniks

Beatniks (or Beats) are counter-culture bohemians born from a reaction to the 1950’s. The word ‘Beatnik’ is a combination of “The Beats” (from Jack Kerouac’s “The Beat Generation”) and the Russian suffix “nik” (as in Sputnik). The term ‘Beat’ as “beaten, down-trodden, tired” came first, derived from the street slang used from 1910-48. Because of the Communist association, the label “Beatnik” was derogatory when used by the mainstream ‘Red Scare’ automatons.

If the mundane mainstream 1950’s were cookie-cutter suburbanites, where men wore suits and talked straight, and women had bee-hive hairdos and talked innocent; then the Beats were trying to break out of that box by any means. According to the mainstream that means was by drugs, violence, and communism. According to actual Beats, being Beat was a state of mind; which by thinking different just so happened to also often led to dressing different, being around jazz music, being a free thinking poet, an artist, and feeling alive. Being Beat can also be described as being in rhythm with the Beat of Life, or playing off of it. “Everyone plays to the beat of a different drum”.

The Beatnik style can include: sunglasses, berets, turtle necks, goatees, congo drums, coffee, smoking, jive talk slang, abstract poetry about a zeitgeist, zen satori attitude, bumming, hitch-hiking, fast talking, fast cars, fast women, beat-up cars, artsy clothing, black clothing, and an open mind. Some famous Beatniks included: Allen Ginsburg, Alan Watts, Jack Kerouac, Neal Cassady, Ken Kesey, Gregory Corso, Herbert Hunke, Lucien Carr, William S. Burroughs, and Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Ken Kesey formed the Merry Pranksters in 1964 with Tom Wolfe, Ken Babbs, Neal Cassady, Carolyn Garcia, Wavy Gravy, Paul Krassner, Stewart Brand, Del Close, Paul Foster, and the Kentucky Fab Five authors. The Merry Pranksters were an occasion in the 1960’s where Hippies were led by Beatniks.

The Beatnik Movement became characterized as a superficial fashion trend, a fate similar to the Hippie Movement of the 1960’s (Peaceniks). Just as with other serious movements, there are still many Beatniks who may not even call themselves Beatnik because of the negative associations with the word, but many of the attributes of the movement are a way of life for them. Some cats are square, and some cool cats are like hipsters, ya dig? Beatniks are people that are just totally Beat, man.

Note:  The term “Bohemian” was used to refer to alternative artists, writers, actors, and musicians much earlier.  In the early 19th century all types of artists began to concentrate in low-rent, lower class gypsy neighborhoods. Bohémien was a common term for the Romani gypsies of France, who had reached Western Europe from Bohemia. Bohemians practice unconventional lifestyles and can be hermits, vagabonds, or gypsies.