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Venetian masks

as an actor, masks fascinate me; they also scare me, because I daresay I understand their power better than the average person — masks allow the wearer tremendous and dangerous freedom through almost complete anonymity… consider the hedonists of Eyes Wide Shut, or the terrorist/revolutionary known only as “V” in V for Vendetta (I’ve only seen the edited-for-TV versions of these films, I make it a point to avoid R-rated movies) — would any of these characters have acted the way they did without the protection of the masks they wore? highly unlikely. even the beautifully ornate Venetian masks worn as part of everyday life in baroque Venice contributed heavily to the overwhelming debauchery and corruption of that culture and its eventual collapse…

people behave in ways they normally wouldn’t — ways that are proscribed by law or prohibited by conscience — when they are hidden behind a mask… it’s common knowledge that people will sometimes behave quite differently online than they do in real life, when they are essentially hiding behind a computer in the relative anonymity of cyberspace… even good, honest, decent people who would never dream of stealing $5 from their neighbour rub their hands together in almost fiendish glee at the prospect of stealing from the entire nation while they hide behind the mask of government programs that use illegitimate, unconstitutional taxes to redistribute wealth and other resources; are these people actually thinking in those terms? no, of course not. if they actually looked at the circumstances and recognized them as theft (government-sanctioned, even government-conducted theft, but theft all the same), these same good, honest, decent people would surely see that taking from one person what belongs to him and giving it to someone else who did not purchase or earn it, is stealing, and would be shocked to find themselves implicated in such a crime… yet every day, and more and more frequently, too many Americans seemingly refuse to come out from behind the mask of government wealth redistribution, refuse to admit that they are hiding behind government programs that allow them to engage in crimes (last time I looked, theft is still a crime, at least if you’re a private individual </sarcasm>) that they would never dream of committing if their identity were known… are YOU hiding behind a mask? do you think it’s okay to steal $50,000 or $500 or even $5 from your neighbour? then why would you think it’s okay for government to do it for you??

yes, I’m fascinated by masks — fascinated, and frightened…