I have to admit something. Now keep this quiet. It’s sort of a secret. I have this love/hate relationship with authority. I mean, I definitely think that as people we need authority to help us temper or worse actions. But, I also hate when authority makes stupid decisions or attempts to place too many boxes around us. I suspect most of you who’ve gotten this far are kind of going… hunh? So let me share an illustrative story.
I grew up in central Alabama. It’s hot there. Darn hot. And sticky. You folks in Jordan know heat, but you’ve got no clue what heat plus humidity is like. So far this year, it’s gotten up to what 38 degrees. In the shade, it wasn’t uncomfortable. And I say this from the perspective of someone who took the beans around Jerash in the heat. Where I’m from, it could be ten degrees cooler and feel 15 degrees hotter (and usually does). I’s the sticky. The humidity in Alabama is brutal. On high humidity days in the summer, that first step outside feels like someone is pressing a hot brick on your chest. It’s brutal… really. (You’re still confused, aren’t you?) Now, the high school I attended didn’t have air conditioning. It was one of those grand old beautiful structures built in the early 1900s. Air conditioning wasn’t even a dream back then. But we couldn’t wear shorts. I have no idea why we couldn’t, but we couldn’t. I mean, who would want to give students some relief from the ridiculous heat? Now here’s the kicker… girls COULD wear miniskirts. And we did. Constantly. The guys complained. They wasted their breath and brought up the double standard. The Principal of our program (which was on the top floor of the school (and heat rises you know) made the mistake of saying, well you can wear miniskirts too. So they did. The entire class of seniors showed up in miniskirts the next day. Girls and guys alike. And let me tell you, there is a reason guys’ hairy legs are not normally framed by a miniskirt. But inside I thought it was funny and a nice thumb-biting at the arbitrary no shorts rule. (Shorts no more than an inch above the knee were allowed shortly after.) That’s that thing I’ve got about authority.
Well, a Facebook friend posted another one. You’ve been sitting here this whole time wondering what a Pastafarian is haven’t you? Or have you been thinking I’m just misspelling Rastafarian (spell check sure does)? I’m not. I promise. So, here’s the link they shared. Seems Austria decided that religious headgear can be worn in ID photos. However, when this fellow showed up and tried to take a picture in a colander (the fancy name for a pasta strainer), he was denied. He subsequently sued and, after 3 long years, won his case. IN the article you can get a gander at the fellow in his “religious headgear.” The man says he’s a Pastafarian and member of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. Now, let’s face it, it’s ridiculous. Of course it is. And yet, is it any more ridiculous than any of the other things we do? And is there some secret issue with the pasta strainer hat I don’t get? Because I’m not seeing it. How does it bother them? I found it interesting that a number of commenters started railing against this guy’s actions as part of some atheist conspiracy. You know, I’m not sure he’s an atheist. Given Europe’s track record, he probably is. But, really, I think he’s just as likely a student of the ridiculous trying to make a point. And I kind of think he did. Silly rules be darned… if I want to wear a pasta strainer, let me already. What does it really matter anyway?