Sunday, December 12, 2010

Fashion Choices

One of my very favorite blogs to read is The Panopticon written by a Knitting Designer and Author named Franklin Habit.  I have never met this man although some of my friends who are prominent in the fiber arts world have, but oh, would I love to have him as a friend.  He has a wild imagination (just ask about his room mates... go to his Blog for more information on that - lol!), is talented beyond belief, a sense of style that makes for not only good reading but great visuals as his designs are revealed, and just the right amount of sarcasm to bring actual laughter out of me, even when I am sitting all by myself at the computer.   He also is very much like me in that he sees things that are so very obvious, but not really noticed or commented on by what I euphemistically call the "Population at Large."  Often people tell me that I'm so very funny, but I'm not.  I'm really not.  All I do is tell the truth and they're just not used to people saying it.  Franklin, or I should probably call him Mr. Habit because I don't know him (yet... sooner or later I'm going to get back to fiber arts and prioritize taking a class with him and that's a guarantee) and he deserves the utmost respect, does the same thing.  The blog post I read this morning - written a few days ago - that started the course of my own blog posting of this morning shows off most of his talents beautifully, in that he decides to evaluate the fashion sense of a Princess with great insight and wit.
I'm not going to discuss his comments here, but again, I'd strongly suggest that you go visit his blog  and get a good laugh. (Even Eric enjoys his articles, laughing hysterically, when I pull them up and read them for him, so although he writes from the viewpoint of a gay knitting designer with a sardonic wit, don't exclude him because you may not appreciate what he does or the 'cosmetics' of who he is.  Trust me, you'll like him!)

After reading this particular post, I immediately flashed on a session I had with Miles with his therapist about six weeks ago.  Miles did not want to go to this particular session, and was very uncooperative.  As a result, the three of us - Renee, Miles, & I  - ended up playing a board game (I wish I could remember the name) featuring the collection and swapping of trading cards featuring Super Heroes and Villians.

Now, his Therapist, Renee, is a very nice woman and truly has been of tremendous help to this family through a very stressful separation and divorce (from Eric's ex), and continues to support us in many significant ways.  She has been very valuable to us, both before and after I came onto the scene, and I don't know how Eric would have been able to accomplish what he has both with his family and in Court without her.  However, her viewpoint is quite different than ours, her insights as to the working of 'our' children's minds not as deep as I might like them to be, and she clearly and simply comes from a different place and viewpoint than me.  (Kind of obvious given her choice of professions... if I had to listen to other people's problems all day long, I'd probably have to kill everyone - lol!)  But back to the story.

Miles was so terribly uncooperative that he refused to speak a word to her, and he also refused to let her talk to him.  In desperation, she finally decided to have him pull a board game from her closet (apparently games and art/crafting is a way that she gets her child clients to talk and/or express themselves) and Miles's choice was again, the Super Hero game.

We sat at her table and dealt the initial round of cards.  I was chagrined immediately.  Not at the focus of the game which basically recreated fights and wars between Heroes and Villains (I hate violence), but instead at the gawd-awful costumes everyone wore.

It had been a long time since I have considered cartoon costuming, and oy vey!  As someone who used not to care a whit about fashion but eventually came 'round to Richard's way of thinking that appearance makes a huge difference in the way people treat you in this world, and then now a jewelry designer, I was mortified.  How could these men (and occasionally women although their sense of style was Hollywood Prostitute but still a little bit better than the men  ) wear what they did in public?  Who on earth did they get to design those uniforms for them?  And did the designers ever ask for credit, screen or otherwise, for their work or, like Michael Jackson's Plastic Surgeons, mostly hid in the background, not wanting to be known for what they had done?

Like I said, each Super Hero had his or her own point value (as did the Villains) and the winner of the game was the one who accumulated not only the most Heroes, but the ones with the highest point values.  There were opportunities to swap Heroes during the game with our opponents, and Miles, intent on winning, always went for the Heroes with the highest points.  Not me though.  All I wanted to do is get the Heroes with the worst outfits off of my side of the game board, and I completely stupified Renee by my method of playing and by stating my motives.

She actually had a shocked look on her face when I stated them.  (Therapists are never supposed to look shocked although I have, on the very rare occasion, said something that has even elicited the same from my own, and he's definitely a heavy-weight in the world of Therapy, an extremely high IQ man with both tremendous insight and patience.)  Then she stammered that she had never played with anyone who cared what the heroes were wearing before.

I immediately retorted that "she had obviously never played the game with a woman before, then."  A statement that left her speechless.

But really.  How could that be?  Look at what these people are wearing!  Horrid colors, nothing but spandex except in the rare occasions when they're wearing tattered clothing (think the Incredible Hulk) and capes.  Not even capes that do what they're actually intended to do... wrap around an individual and keep them warm.  No, the capes of Super Heroes are strictly for fashion value, and I'm surprised that 1.) when the hero is flying through the air, the neck-band of the cape does not strangle him (perhaps Super Heroes don't need to breathe?) and 2.) that nobody uses the fashion accoutrement of the cape against the Hero in a fight.  I mean, come on!  Those capes are clearly something that can be grabbed and used to the advantage by enemy warriors.  So many possibilities.  Cover the heads of the heroes to block their vision (except those with X-ray vision, thanks Superman), inhibit their hearing, mess up their hair.  Grab them as the heroes fly by and throw them off balance.  Use them to trip the heroes and/or tie them up.

And then there's the fact that all Heroes, well almost all of them, go to work in their underwear.  Now lets not even go to the place where I don't understand how the Police who need these Heroes help respect them when they're clearly criminals themselves (indecent exposure, thank you).  Let's not even discuss the fact that I enjoy a man in colored underwear but certainly there are more sophisticated and fashionable colors than those chosen by these select few.  And we can even skip the part that the underwear, because they're always made out of spandex, compress the Super Heroes - ahem - man parts, making them a little less heroic in anyone's eyes who might be interested in making them a boy-toy.

No, let's get right to the crux of the problem.  Now I will admit that I have never seen this happen in either a comic book or an animated cartoon (all clearly written by men), but when you are regularly getting into physical fights of an extremely violent nature, and the goal is to save the world so the stakes are very high, don't you think you would want to make a priority of protecting your most vulnerable point, the place that if struck or kicked, would bring you to the ground in a quivering heap of Jello in a single moment of hurt?  And what of the Villains? Do they have a sense of fair play that they never strike below the belt, are they just stupid, or are their creators so stupid that they haven't thought of this issue?  Or, as I've heard it, are Super Heroes super down there too, as solid as a rock?  Because if the last is the case, I can't help but thinking about many trips I've made to The Getty out here, and how many of the male statues of Gods have had their penises knocked off and are on display with nothing there.  Is it possible that the Super Heroes, before their feature roles were well known, had their genitalia broken off and so there is no point of going using them as a target in the movies, cartoons, books?

Because if that's the answer to the dilemma, I truly think that they are not so super in the end.

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