View Single Post
Old 12-24-2011, 01:07 AM
Play The Man's Avatar
Play The Man Play The Man is offline
Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 2,265

Originally Posted by suntereo View Post
it's the mohawk that stumped ya? appearance does factor into forming an opinion but anyone who stops there is being either simple or lazy.
I respect the messages, boundaries and signals people purposefully set or send. If I sit next to a person on an airplane and they have earphones on their head, have a closed body-posture, are facing away from me, and they are looking down reading a magazine, I take the hint and do not disturb them. Either they are busy with something else or they are pretending to be busy with something else. In either case, the message is received and I respect their privacy and do not bother them by striking up a conversation. In nature, a cat bristles up her fur and hisses as a signal to back off and stay away. A dog growls. A rattlesnake rattles. Signal sent. Signal received. Signal respected.

A lock is put on a shed door. It is a sign of private property. Keep out. Do not enter. Message sent. Message received. Message respected. Same with "Keep off the lawn" signs, Store "Closed" signs, etc.

Supposedly, ancient Britons painted themselves with woad in an attempt to appear more intimidating. Similarly, Mohawk haircuts have been adapted by punks and other counterculture groups as a form of intimidation. They send a message that rejects the concept of beauty and promotes ugliness. It is a way to wordlessly say, "I despise your idea of beauty. I hate your culture. I am an intimidating person. You don't have the guts to say anything about my disrespect." I receive the message the person is sending. I respect it. I send a message back. If you dress and groom in that fashion then you can accept the consequences of your message. I don't like for people to try to intimidate me. I will not buy anything from your business. You will not interact with my wife or children. I will not pay for any of the messes you make out of your life. I will not hire you for a job. I will not trust you. I will not allow you to hurt me or anybody I know or love. If I see you step up your intimidation, I will do what I can under the power of law to stop you.

The person who freely and purposely sends out these signals may have some redeeming qualities - how can I know?. Symbols have meaning. Wearing a swastika makes a statement. The wearer is appropriating the history behind that symbol. They are sending the message. I am reacting to the warning signal. I will not feel bad obeying a traffic light. A person cannot have it both ways. You can't complain about people being wary of you when you put out a "beware" sign.
"Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man! We shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out."
--Hugh Latimer, October 16, 1555
Reply With Quote