The Thing About Masks (Bizarre Bits)

It’s the weekend. Time for my collection of Bizarre Bits. And with Halloween a little over a week away, I figured why not take a disjointed, seemingly unconnected look at why we wear masks and costumes at all. Is it just because we get more candy during trick-or-treat? And what is it about covering our faces and donning strange apparel that turns us all into freaks?

Animal Masks Bring Out the Beast … and the Worst

First up: Boing Boing recently posted a bunch of uber-realistic — and thus creepy — dog head masks. I guess if you love dogs it would make sense to try to look like one? Or if you’re “into” dogs this could spice up your bedroom antics.

But not everyone dons a mask for shenanigans. Chinese artist Luo Dan wore this huge fake-looking deer head mask for more than 4 years to channel his inner meekness and peace. Must’ve worked for him. His paintings look… calm.

The Deer head mask of Luo Dan

This, of course, reminds me of that entire afternoon, I wasted reading through 270+ pages of hilarious Amazon reviews for the Accoutrements Horse Head Mask. Apparently, you can’t go wrong by inserting as many puns as possible into a product review.

I guess some horse-headed people just want to have a day on the town.

And then of course there’s this: the story of an emo rat who likes chicken. And the killer penguin who steals the meat. Only, it turns out the penguin is the rat. If you’re lost, just know there’s chicken left over for you at the end.

Also, let me leave this here, because let’s face it, if animals begin to wear human masks, then our species is well and truly fucked.

The Masked animal

Who is That Masked Musician?

Masks and costumes allow you to become something other than yourself. Some musicians wear them because they’re too shy to perform. That’s how Daft Punk started.

Daft Punk in costume

But then the mask often becomes a schtick, a gimmick, a branding choice, a calling card — otherwise, you’d forget the musicians wearing them. I mean, who would GWAR be without their cheesy costumes?

One member of GWAR

Masks to Protect the Secret Identity

Some people wear special clothing because they want to keep their private lives private. That is why the social activists of Anonymous wear the Guy Fawkes mask — to conceal their identities.

Which brings us to this entirely new line of products designed for fooling surveillance cameras and drone cameras, and thus keep the wearer anonymous. Take Adam Harvey’s stealth wear — metallic fabrics that thwart thermal photography and keep the wearer from showing up on thermal imaging. Well, as much as wearing a metallic burqa can make you appear incognito, anyway.

Adam Harvey's stealth wear

Even Beta Brand have their own line of anti-paparazzi flash photography-thwarting clothing called Flash Back. Apparently it’s all the rage now for celebs.

Flash Back clothing by Beta Brand

And then there’s the “ugly shirts” AKA REALFACE Glamouflage shirts. These clothes are designed to fool facial recognition software by making it seem like you’re in the company of several Britney Spearses.

Britney Spears on a Glamoflage shirt

I’d best stop here otherwise I’ll just keep going down this rabbit hole. If you like these Bizarre Bits, tell me. Farewell for now.

Here’s a last one for you house heads out there.


Masks for Fun and Profit

Oh! And I just chanced upon this on Facebook. Some supposedly satanist cult with a secret message video for conspiracy theorists to decode. When in actuality, it’s probably some promotional video for a horror game or movie. Or simply a real life version of Spy Vs. Spy. You decide.


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