Last night I was watching a doco on heavy metal and it struck me that liminal space, the space of play, the subjunctive, the ‘what if’ space is counter to modernity and its love of machines. The ability to play was not in the interests of factory owners. They needed fodder for their factories who would be content to work, eat, sleep and reproduce. The doco discussed the disgust felt by mainstream people to the fetishes, appearance and demeanor of heavy metal bands. Of course some in the right wing religions blamed heavy metal for social ills and labelled it satanic. And they still believe their own collective paranoia.
Each time people dress up and take on personas outside of a defined theatre space people get threatened. In ‘real’ life we are pressured to be static one dimensional beings. While different roles such as father, mother, son, daughter, etc are acknowledged; different personas which nonetheless are still me even though they are not not me are integral aspects of ourselves. We all have unfixed unstable selves that are constantly transforming and hopefully growing. I started to think about this disgust, which in its extreme forms accuses personas of being immoral or in league with the devil or trying to escape from the ‘real’ world, whatever that is. On the other hand there is the ‘happiness’ industry with exhorts us to be in the moment, to try something new everyday, etc.
So I am thinking about why the idea of personas is disgusting to so many. And why do people cling to notions of ‘real’ ?