see nerd) blog — dress codes

I went along to the Dublin munch last night, and it was thoroughly sociable if a wee bit underattended.

My only potential problem is that it’s deeply connected with a club event, and that club event has a dress code. I’m excluded by dress codes.

Dress codes are not about making an effort, they’re about forced conformity to an arbitrary opinion. They’re not about expression, they’re about denial of different expression. At their stylistic worst they’re about maintaining the mediocre.

The subtitle of this website is expression not convention. That’s not chosen at random, that’s the kind of man I am. Dress codes are convention, literally, and, like any convention they may intend to raise low standards but they actually deny the highest. If something is beyond the nous of the couture bouncer, that something is excluded.

My highest standards aren’t at dressing, of course, not by a long shot, but if these guys were running a poetry event I’d be barred for not slouching down the middle of the road, not slinging a guitar on my shoulder, not shooting gunman fashion.

I’ve seen and felt so much anger and hatred generated by arbitrary convention, often by those enforcing nonsense against those who know better, and usually because the enforcers haven’t made the effort to understand what they’re enforcing. This is why some people refer to dress codes as dress fascism; they’re quite literally about excluding difference. They’re a very minor form of fascism, of course, but the attitude is fascist through and through. Fascism isn’t alright when it’s in small places, fascism breeds in small places, especially when those small places are small minds. Dress codes are wrong because they say if you don’t like the look of someone it’s alright to exclude them. That attitude kills, has killed in great quantity in history, it is never acceptable.