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The Writer Writes...Who Was That Masked Man


For many years, there was a law on the books in my city stating that if you walked a herd of cattle down the middle of the main street, you had to have a lantern at the beginning and the end of the herd...

It has been many years since cattle were being herded down the main street to market for sale, but the law stayed on the books a long time.  It was eventually removed.

Recently, however, it has come to light that there are still some turn of the century laws that one might need to consider carefully for removal.  Such as the one that is the subject of this article:

http://www.knoxnews.com/news/2013/aug/17/downtown-street-performers-balk-at-ban-on-masks/

Apparently, the law dates back from when my town was trying to prevent Klansmen from having the right to rally.  One has to remember that the Klan has evolved.  In its earliest days, it actually punished adulterers and thieves and murderers, and later it became associated with hatred and fear and bigotry as it is now.  And no, I am not in support of it by any means.

But the law in question was protection against Klan rallies, and I can understand why it was initiated.

Of course, now the city is using the law to cite mimes and actors.  And one cannot help but wonder where that will lead.  Will we start arresting children on Halloween?  Will Mardi Gras become a thing of the past?

Sometimes, we need to think carefully about the laws we uphold when they are ancient and follow a different tradition.  There are certainly Klansmen around today.  But why jump everyone who wears a mask when masks are part of miming and acting and even promotions.  I would hate to think what would happen if something like a DragonCon or a WorldCon ever came to my home town (not that it will, but just thinking) because I have been to both elsewhere, and mask wearing and costumes, and other fun stuff are just a part of it.  You think nothing of seeing a young woman in bodypaint with little more than bandages and patches of cloth to cover certain parts of her so as not to violate nudity laws, anymore than you think anything of the guy dressed in the wonderful "Alien" costume (really, it was cool) or fellows in Stormtrooper masks...

Sometimes, my City Elders do need an awakening.

I just hope someone does it before Halloween.

Can you see a jail full of kiddies crying for their mums because some police officer decided to enforce an anti-mask law?

Comments

( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
galeni
Aug. 19th, 2013 12:13 am (UTC)
It's a new law around here, to prevent mass assemblies of folk wearing the V for Vendetta mask, which has been adopted for government protesting.

Mimes?!!! Foolishness.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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