Afternoon Inquisition

AI: What does your armor look like?

Yesterday I followed along watching the voting and ultimate selection of the new pope. I imagine a lot of folks wondered a lot of things, like I did:  Why black & white smoke?  What are they really doing in there that can’t be seen? Who thought up all those crazy hats?

It’s the hat one that stuck with me once Pope New was announced. And then introduced. And then dressed in many layers of robes and vestments and hats. All in front of all the people of the world.  So, wait … we can’t watch the whole lot of you voting, even though we watch voting happen all over the world all the time … but we can watch grown men help another grown man dress in public? A grown man who was perfectly capable of dressing himself before the secret vote and white smoke?  That’s weird.

And then I realized it’s his armor, in a way. The clothes, plus the new name, work just like they work for Superman. And although I very clearly like Supe’s outfit much better (anyone with the nerve to wear the undies on the outside is cool. Also, bow ties are cool, but that’s a different thread for a different time.) I kinda like the public suiting-up.  Starting with the squishy human underneath showing, and then getting all up in the vestments seems revealing.

I have armor, too, obviously.  What I choose to wear, and how I wear them.  And for me especially, who wears black every single day (and specifically a black v-neck tee shirt with blue jeans and a Surlyramic necklace) I understand the comfort in the known costume. Interestingly, it’s also a bit ham-stringing for me.  I wonder if that’s true of the Cisco Pope too?

What does your armor for the outside world look like?

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.


A B Kovacs is the Director of Døøm at Empty Set Entertainment, a publishing company she co-founded with critical thinker and fiction author Scott Sigler. She considers herself a “Creative Adjacent” — helping creative people be more productive and prolific by managing the logistics of Making for the masses. She's a science nerd, a rabid movie geek, and an unrepentantly voracious reader. She doesn't like chocolate all that much.

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  1. On the rare occasion that I want to feel more “powerful”, I will put on a suit and tie. Otherwise, I like wearing my hoodie with The Flash’s logo up front to make me feel faster than my slow, clumsy body in reality.

    1. *A scribbles note about acquiring Flash hoodie to assist her own slow, clumsy bod to feel faster.*

  2. I’ve worn a vest for years, one which apparently is of the “fishing vest” variety. People ask me where I like to fish, and I have to explain that I don’t fish, and it’s not really a fishing vest anyway. It’s a jelly bean holding vest. Or sometimes a Skittles holding vest. Or maybe it’s just a keys/cellphone/notepad/wallet/gimcrackery holding vest.

    Because I’m sure this is of critical important to everyone in the world, here is a picture of me wearing it. In this instance, it is a Vest One Wears When Drinking Beer.

      1. I see you wear it over the Official Norm Abrams red plaid flannel shirt, which is a major component (with the obligatory blue jeans) of my armor*. Also the Bad Astronomy or Tardis Surly.

        [*] cold weather only. Summer’s armor consists of a colored pocket tee and hiking shorts (with lots of pockets.) And Surly…

  3. Normally, my armor looks like a simple t-shirt and jeans, but it’s actually a clever camouflage. When trouble strikes, I instantly activate millions of nanobots with a thought and a silver metallic sheen covers my entire body. I then gain the ability to manipulate objects of 100 tons in size with focused telekinetic energy beams, the ability to cut any object in existence with powerful blades of pure light, and the ability to fly at several times the speed of sound, including into earth orbit.

    Yes, my overactive imagination is my armor ;)

    1. I used to work with a gal who was fond of saying “I was just covered with sodium” after working out and sweating a bunch. I tried to correct her a couple of times, but eventually gave up and would just imagine a silver metallic sheen covering her body. In that case, I would also imagine it’s violent explosion once she started to sweat and it interacted with the moisture.

      You have a much nicer imagination than I do. ;-)

  4. My armor is sweater tights, so I’m never cold, plus it conceals from nosy mortals the fact that I never shave my legs.

  5. I too, do the Suit thing. It’s a weird thing, but when correctly dressed, I do feel like I own the world.
    Ususally I fix this illusion by tripping down the first set of stairs I encounter.

  6. Like a lot of reporters I wore black a lot, since I might be staking out some place at night, like maybe a purported UFO landing site or something, but I’d always tell people it was quite unlikely that UFOs were really interstellar visitors. I wonder if we got a name attached to us?

  7. Probably my hair. I have a lot of it, even when it’s cut above my shoulders.

    And my perpetually happy/perky attitude which I can fake really, really well.

  8. High heels are my armor. I’m short and work for tall men who… loom (for lack of a better word). I just feel like, if I can physically look them directly in the eye, I’m one step closer to commanding their attention when I need it. Otherwise, I might as well be invisible. So, I absolutely plan my wardrobe deliberately because there is no doubt that people treat me differently depending on what I wear.

  9. Wearing makeup. I feel naked and self conscious without it. It really makes reading some of the articles posted about makeup interesting and slightly more depressing to read.

  10. Jeans and a zip up hoodie. I like to wear feminine tops, but I never wear makeup so I can conceal my gender when I go home. I live in a sketchy neighborhood, and as a transwoman I’m worried about getting harassed by strangers or cops.

  11. Anything colours. I mean I wear grays and blacks and browns as well, but nothing screams “protective armour”, like gaudy orange, blue or green. Sadly I only have one pair of red jeans, I’m hoping to add some purple, blue and yellow to that.
    Which reminds me, I’m feeling rather vulnerable without my protective red hair, I’ve let it grow too long without colouring and the natural brown mess just isn’t me.

  12. When I’m working I like to dress up. So I wear a bowler hat (hat’s of any kind are rare in Wellington because of the wind), and while I don’t wear a suit jacket I like to wear a waistcoat and a pocket watch (a Dr Who pocket watch no less).

  13. In the winter: A suit (usually grey) with a shirt (usually grey, sometimes blue) and a tie (usually in black, shades of grey or blue) and my (black) Converse All-Stars (because the kind of men’s shoes usually worn with a suit aren’t comfortable to me). And a hat, of course. Usually a fedora or a sixpence. Hats are cool.
    In the summer: Jeans or Bermuda shirts with a Hawaii shirt. With some kind of a hat to keep my scalp from getting sunburned. Sometimes a cowboy hat. Cowboy hats are cool.

  14. When I was a neopagan, my armor was my pentacle. Now as an atheist I just wear a little turtle. I am not really sure if he is my armor now.

  15. I’m genderqueer, so my armor is any clothing that makes me look androgynous.

    I’m also an introvert, so my mp3 player is what I wear to block out the rest of the world.

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