The Who sang “Who are you? Who, who? Who the Fuck are You?”
I ‘ve been thinking about the politics of identity lately, and when I say identity I am referring to all the qualifiers that we adher to. Our political persuasions, our sexual affinities, our brand preferences and status symbols, our socio medical labels, and the roles we identify with…parent, son, wife of, ect..
What’s in a label? Foremost there is freedom and there is constraint. Labels are a signifier to ourselves and to others…a signifier that points to a set of expectations based on our assumptions and experience with the word itself.
We may labor under the constraints of a label, or we may take flight within the kernels of realities attached.
However as I type this I’m staring at an orange resting on its side that I just bladed in half. And it came to me..as the ramble jam that is often the way I muse is want to do..
that a label is like an unpeeled orange, you pick it up, you can see its external properties, you have an expectation of what it will taste like..
bladed in half though the interior reveals so much more orangatastik detail.
Fat pulpy segments, a wagon wheel, light and dark shadings, the seeded center, the promise of punch…
I tend to be label sensitive. I agree that they are necessary, and expedite time and expectations.
Tonight , tho, I am reflecting on the downside of labels, and our drive to nail down our human experience like a coffin, labels often serve the establishment, unless reappropriated by a subculture as its own,
and the most powerful drive in labeling is to establish norms..
and norms as we all know or we should are culturally and historically specific and serve the power of the status quo.
I’m not advocating anarchy or a silence epidemic..haha, but perhaps that is why I find some of my most truthful sentiments are expressed thru art and the poetic..the inside view of the orange..
“Who are you, who the fuck are You, you you..”
Take away your labels this evening. Just for a night. Without them are you naked? And is that freeing or frightening?
More to come on this topic..I’ve just begun. Someone shut me up, please..laughing…I am not speaking to D/s here..I am speaking to the power of language across all spheres of internal and social experience, how we come to “know’ ourselves..and represent that to the world around us..
my next post on this will be speaking to the facsism and freedom inherent in language..with a focus on disability semantics..