Everyone is lonely. We are all looking for communities to be part of. Even if you are reject the idea of groups, you will probably still be a part of a group for people who don’t like groups.
There are groups to join for every single faction of personality out there. There are communities for people who are into LARP-ing (Live Action Role Playing), or those who live life through their Second Life computer game, or others who commune by celebrating guns in the NRA. Whether its political groups, social groups, environmental groups, or road kill necrophilia groups, we join these communities in order to relate to other people who share our common passion and interests.
Sometimes communities can be about escapism, or taboo. Sexual exploration, perversions, bondage… The group gives you a chance to abandon your identity, shed your inhibitions, and maybe even become someone else. Even if just for an evening. There are whole economies and events that are formed. Burning Man. Dessert Parties. The Sturgis Bike Rally. They all have vendors selling the right food, the proper attire, and the perfect accessories to create the full package for the secret self that hides within. You can be a bank teller by day, and then spend 6-days naked with face paint and a glow stick up your ass at Symbiosis. You can forget where you come from and have an ecstasy-fueled adventure with orgies, kombucha enemas, and horse back ride on a porcupine, only to return to normal life at the ice cream shop with your pet cat Craig.
Some people happen to be really into the middle ages, and they go to Renaissance Festivals. I happened to witness one of these scenes this weekend. On the one hand it was totally bizarre. Everyone was dressed in full on gear from the Middle Ages and spoke completely in character. Did you hear that? As if they were from THE MIDDLE AGES! I heard a lot of talk about mutton, my lady, doth, over yonder, betwixt, fairies, gallant, and also “the Knights are sweating to death in the enchanted forest” over the walky-talky.
A woman actually warned me that the “purple color in my skirt might attract the dark mistress to cast a spell on me” as she threw sawdust and leaves in my hair to protect me. There were a lot of pelts of fur, jousting, and wizard hats…. there was even a woman with a tail. Not sure what that was all about, but she was there.
Okay, so obviously there is a LOT to make fun of about this scene. But at the same time, it was so refreshing, so innocent, so full of joy that really all the shit talking I can do is indicative of how I hate myself. I am way to self-conscious to speak in Old English and wear elf ears, but I have so much respect for the people who can totally lose themselves in the play.
“Can ye doth this here lady with some sweet potato fries and ketchup?”