I visited the library today, and checked out some decidedly non-freaky music, so I’ll just revisit an old freak for freaky times’ sake.
I’ve mentioned my love for the great and subversive Shel Silverstein before. He’s a little like Frank Zappa, in that his freakiness very nearly reaches saintly levels. His take on the world was unique, to say the very least. It’s in some ways very difficult to reconcile the sweetness and delight of his children’s work with the sometimes raunchy counterculturalism of his adult work. Although when I think about it, there really isn’t that much difference. His poetry, especially, had quite a bit of his strange, dark humor (click here for one of my favorites).
There was a lot of anger in Silverstein’s work, too. Powerful emotions are the fuel for creative fire, and it seems that Silverstein had many different emotional states to fuel his fires. (Check this rant out for evidence of his rage in its full glory.) Uncle Shelby generally turned his anger into humor. You can catch more flies with honey, after all. He also seemed to point his middle finger at society for the most part. He seemed to have no patience for traditional mores and values. I don’t know what Silverstein’s philosophy or ideology consisted of, but I have a feeling it could be boiled down to “be kind to each other, and have fun.”
Fun is what “Freakin’ at the Freakers Ball” is all about. Gettin’ down and gettin’ funky with all the freaks. One thing that stands out is how many of the freaks are what many people would consider sexual deviants. (I wonder if this is where Macy Gray got the inspiration for this song? And I dare you not to smile if you watch the clip.) Okay, I know that “getting your freak on” is slang for sex; it’s also slang for dancing, which can be considered fully clothed sex set to music . . . if it’s done right. But sexual deviance is not a requirement for freakiness in my book. And even though there’s a lot of sexy funtimes going on in “Freakin’ at the Freakers Ball,” I get the feeling that’s not quite the point. The point seems to be accepting what’s different about people–in others and in yourself. Tolerance is the first commandment of freaks everywhere. Sure, let it all hang out, but don’t judge anybody else for doing the same thing. Live and let live, whatever floats your boat, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.
Really, this is a bunch of opposites attracting, bouncing in and out of each others orbits. Dancing, laughing, fooling around in dark corners (or broad daylight . . . I’m not one to judge.) I’ll bet there’s an awesome spread of appetizers and drinks. Maybe even a mirror ball spinning from the ceiling. Sounds like a pretty awesome party to me.