Thursday, February 11, 2010
Dressing the Naked
There are two things we need to navigate today's world: costumes and lighting!
What? You might be surprised at this allegation. You might think I'm just joking.
No. I'm the serious type.
Though, I really enjoy Jon Steward's nightly sparring; occasional dips in Jay Leno's irresistable hair do and possible spins in his fabolous sports cars.
The sign above is a landmark in Hollywood. I told you a story about a friend and I in that shop, in my memoir entitled Hollywood Dreams.
We need costumes, from shoes to hair color/cut/enhancements, to participate in social discourse. Costumes let us in the house. As those folks found out when they leisurely strolled in and nobody stopped them at The White House. Their costume was most appropriate. Costumes identify you as a rock star, a secretary, a CEO.
Costumes tell the world who we are, how much respect or reverence we anticipate, and how people should address us. No wonder The Pope keeps wearing those ancient outfits and insists nuns and priests all dress alike. He knows all about costumes.
We also need lighting. George, right under the costume shop up there, I happen to know, used to have just a small shop. But, with much finesse and perseverance, he spread his goods all over the first storey, insisting that lighting needs respect. I ask you the same thing: would you go in a place with poor lighting? Didn't you read Hemingway's short story, A Clean,Well-lighted Place? Didn't your mother teach you anything about applying your make-up with plenty of light?
You will not frequent places that are stingy with their lights.
In a well-lighted place nobody will cheat, rape, or serve lousy food.
We are coming up on Fat Tuesday, the day for banquets, merriments, and the wearing of strange costumes. It is the last day before we regroup and repent. It is the last day for shedding our usual costume and don some outlandish robe that will make us feel more important, more daring, more loved, more respected, more rich, more of everything we want and don't have within our daily confines.
It is also a day when we can shed that identity we are draped with, for all to judge us, forever pinning us in place.
We can finally let our imagination run wild.
Why, with just the right lighting, we can be Johnny Depp or Angelina Jolie for one day.
You think costumes are just for Hollywood and for Fat Tuesday? What are you wearing today?