Damn You Wierd Earl!

Why??! Lord love a duck, Coldfire, because it’s fun!

Not that I can recall… but my roommate Hamish is a goth. That would certainly make him a ridiculous freak in a lot of people’s eyes. And yet, I don’t see any let’s-laugh-at-the-goths-they-dress-like-freaks threads or weird earls. Quite the opposite. Is it just because goths are more numerous? Because there are more goths on the board? Or just what?

Well, far be it from me to laugh at someones appearance. But if I see yet another 15 year old girl with pitch black hair (clearly dyed), a Marilyn Manson T-shirt, completely corpse white face make-up with darkened eyes, black jeans, black shoes… suffice it so say I don’t take them all that seriously. Call me an old fart, but to me that’s just like any other form of rebellion that kids have in them. We all go through these fases, and we all express it differently. It’s just that these goth kids want to be taken seriously for some reason. I can’t recall that ever happening to me at that age, honestly.
What I really love is walking through Amsterdam on a Friday night when the pubs are closing, and seeing all the rebelious superbad goth boys and girls being picked up in Daddies Volvo stationwagon.

This is of course not to say that ALL goths are like this. It’s mainly a combination of age and attitude that gets my goat, I suppose. But if someone likes that style of clothing and/or the music scene attached to it (hell, I’m a Type 0 Negative fan myself, and I wear a business suit every day), more power to them. Appearances are not important enough to judge people by. But if it’s all you have (like in the case of passing strangers or Peter Pan with his website), one sometimes raises an eyebrow.

I’ve started a GD thread on this subject:

Doesn’t anyone make believe anymore?

Actually, I’ve never met a Goth who “wanted to be taken seriously”, whatever that means. But every Goth I’ve met has been quite clear that they don’t want to be ridiculed.

At the end of every set of pictures there’s a
GO BACK sign.

This sign requires two exclamation points.

I agree totally. Peter Pan is having fun. I’m not saying he shouldn’t. Hell, you should see some of myY halloween costumes. I’ve been called weird more than once.

All I meant was that it was weird. If he was my brother, I would tell him he’s weird. If he was my best friend, I’d tell him he’s weird. If he was a stranger I met on the street, I would tell him he’s weird. Weird is not equal to bad. Weird is as it is, hence Weird Earl qualifier.

In fact, I have more respect for him than for the aforementioned Goth folks. This guy is weird because that is what he is. Most of the Goth folks walking around the Vampire Club are Goth because it gets a rise out of their parents.

But Peter Pan is still vaguely creepy.

Wow - I guess it’s time for you to disappoint me, Cold.

Did it ever occur to you that the reason our dear, beloved matt has such a firm grasp on his life and his surroundings is because he still feels free to express himself and be creative?

Yeah, you can think “outside the box,” just not too far outside…


Y’know, thinking outside the box is great. I admit that it takes a lot of courage. But when you dress in a way or conduct yourself in a way that you know or ought to know may well amuse people, then you run the risk you will be laughed at.

We are not talking about a person courageously taking a stand for freedom. We are talking about a grown man who dresses up like Peter Pan. Is he exercising his right to self-expression? Yes. Is he being courageous in doing so, in the face of society’s scorn? Probably. Is he ALSO, simultaneously, making a big ol’ fool of himself in the eyes of many? Yep.

Our society rightly grants to every person the right to make a fool of him- or herself if he or she pleases. And lord knows, many do. It does not, however, remove from the rest of society the right to acknoweldge that wanton foolishness is being committed.

It is not inconsistent for me to say that while I respect this man’s right to dress as he pleases and on some level respect him for having the guts to do so, I think a grown man who wears a Peter Pan constume to work is just plain ridiculous, and humorously so. I laughed at the web site, and while I wouldn’t laugh at the man to his face if I met him, I’d probably laugh when telling people about him later. (“He’s like 47! He dresses like Peter Pan, tights and all!”)

Maybe this makes me an insensitive ogre, but I refuse to believe that respect for his right to make a cake of himself means that I can’t frankly acknowledge that he is, in fact, making a cake of himself.

I think it’s weird-the man lives his life as Peter Pan. SCA and Rocky Horror have been brought up; I’m not into that kind of stuff, but some of my friends are, 99% of the them don’t live their lives as Columbia. They dress up once a month or week or something, pretend to be someone else, take some pictures to show their friends later, but then they dress back in their own skin. I think it’s sad that this man feels the need to live his entire life as a fictional character; it’s weird becaise it’s just not healthy to spend all your time in a costume.

Ever think of laughing with him, rather than at him?

I suppose you’d have to define “fool” for me, because I don’t see it as foolish at all. What I think is foolish is other people who would deride him, either to his face or behind his back, for doing something that, yes, is not something most people do, but makes him happy, amuses those around him (and I’d bet he lifts people’s spirits at work, but that’s just a WAG), and hurts no one. Even I’ll admit in talking about him he became “that Peter Pan guy,” but I still think it’s cool.

I mean, I see what you’re saying, Jodi - it ain’t for you, and your opinion is that it’s foolish (and as long as we couch it in those all-so-important words “It’s just my opinion” then we’re walking on fairly safe ground, I think), but how far a step is this from “s/he got what s/he deserved?” It may be a matter of degrees, but I see a relation.

Originally posted by ThisYearsGirl

I think it’s sad that this man feels the need to live his entire life as a fictional character; it’s weird becaise it’s just not healthy to spend all your time in a costume.

Why? What’s the difference between him wearing that to work versus a bellman wearing a uniform, or a waitress wearing an apron? In fact, he’s probably a happier employee and better worker because he gets to dress in something he likes, rather than something he has to wear. I don’t see it as sad or unhealthy at all, and “weird” is not an insult in my book.

As Lynn Lavner once said, “It doesn’t matter what you wear - everybody wears drag every day,” whether it’s a floor-length gown and heels, a three-piece business suit, or the “right outfit” to go out dancing - it’s all drag.


Name me one person who doesn’t spend his or her life in a costume and then we’ll talk.

Everyone wears different costumes, all the time. Some of them are considered normal. But they’re all costumes.


Some of these people – and here I am thinking of the woman at the OJ trial who wanted to wear her Star Trek uniform – are dead serious; they do not appear to be laughing at all. Even our friend Pan is not laughing at himself and how silly he looks. Since that is what I am laughing at – how manifestly silly he looks – how can I possibly laugh with him? Very few people intentionally dress to look silly and be laughed at (or with: “aren’t I a big silly?”). I think we can at least assume this guy isn’t laughing at himself.

I don’t think I have to; I think the word “foolish” is common enough (as in “this person looks foolish”) that we both know what I’m talking about; you just don’t agree with me.

What if he walked around all day in a Goofy suit, complete with great big head? What if he really liked spiders, so he wore a black body-stocking and eight attachable legs every day? Is there no level of absurdity that can be commented on, even mildly? You think he lifts the spirit of those around him at work: Do you think his coworkers think, “ah, yes, the whimsy of childhood; how delightful to be reminded of it every day,” or that they think “my god, I work with a man who dresses like Peter Pan.” C’mon; be honest.

The thing is, people can do lots of stuff that make them look like asses in the eyes of others. Which is, of course, a judgment call. But I find it a little too PC to think that neither I nor anyone else can comment on someone engaging in obvious silliness without being accused of mocking them. And it’s this attitude – that respect for others forbids even the most innocuous comment on the oddities they might engage in – that sucks all the fun out of life. This guy is silly. I am not being an awful person to point out that he is silly.

It is a long, long, LONG way, and I honestly cannot imagine how you can find any corrolation between acknowledging silliness for what it is, in all its benign and amusing glory, and somehow condoning some unspecified unpleasantness against him.


Oh, come on. Let’s not play semantic games. The vast majority of the world does not wear costumes. We do not walk around pretending to be some characters of fiction who we manifestly are not. We do not lead others to believe that our hold on reality or our desire to live within the real world are somewhat tenuous. I understand that you are talking about the “masks” the people might wear to hide their “true” selves, but that is obviously not the same as dressing up as Buzz Lightyear on a daily basis.


matt, can I come live in your world? It’s funner.


With all due respect to MATT, I kind of doubt it would be much “funner” if you can’t even point out random silliness when you find it. Doesn’t sound too fun to me.

Dammit, Esprix, this time you’ve gone too far!

Okay, and I didn’t mean “slow” as in a nasty way. But I didn’t get a chance to read the whole site. So sorry.

Anyhoo, it could be he’s extremely intelligent. I wouldn’t use the word foolish-more like eccentric. Eccentric is pretty cool in my book. At least, that means I can wear a hobble skirt and picture hats and parasols and not be made fun of?

Gimme a break, Esprix. It’s not like I pointed my finger at Matt and laughed in his face. It was, like I already explained, simply something I wouldn’t have thought of him. Why? Fuck knows.
We all have our (subconscious) expectations of what other peoples lives are like, I suppose. Or rather: it looks like I do, at least. I see nothing wrong with asking a question about it, and I merely did so because Matt’s an interesting guy. There’s tons of people on these boards with weird hobbies I either don’t “get” or would not have thought “logical” with their personalities. But if the poster at hand means nothing to me, I’ll refrain from asking them anything.

“Thinking outside of the box”, besides being a horrible expression, does not even come into play here. If you’re insinuating I’m a narrow-minded person, you’d better come up with some more substantial proof then just a mere expression of surprise - which you seem to think is shortsighted, even though Matt himself doesn’t.

In other words: don’t read things into other peoples posts that aren’t there. Thanks.

Nor is it inconsistent for me to say that I think that the above is rude, rude, rude, and I feel very sad that choosing to be visibly different implies ridicule (and worse - though not of course from anyone here). I just don’t see why such social pressure is to be brought to bear on someone so manifestly inoffensive.

I’m quite sure that refraining from making remarks like “I am now creeped out beyond expression. How can I erase this from my memory?” and “I think I need therapy now” (for which Homebrew and Zette have already apologized) will seriously impinge on anyone’s silly fun.

(and similarly from others)

Certainly it’s weird. And anyone with the guts to be visibly weird in a society of total conformity to the most recondite rules of behaviour deserves our congratulations, not our scorn.

Congratulations. You may now laugh with him. Isn’t it better to share in people’s joy than to stand around, point, and snicker?

Those aren’t the only choices. If it were me in the office there with him, and from what I can tell I’d probably find him a kindred spirit, I’d probably think, “This is so cool. I work with a man who dresses like Peter Pan.” Frankly, I have similar emotions about most of my friends. (I hang out with a very interesting bunch of people.)

Who exactly decided that the real world shalt not include Peter Pan costumes, and who appointed them?

He doesn’t believe that he is literally a fictional pixie created by J.M. Barrie. He believes he is like a fictional pixie, etc, and dresses accordingly. Frankly, he seems much more in touch with himself than certain people I could name.

Of course. Next ship for Shrislyaria leaves in ten minutes.

I agree. “Foolish” has connotations that other, similar words do not.


I read what I read. Thanks for the clarification, FWIW.