Q and A: Mask- Saving Face

Mr. Jack
PostSubject: Saving Face Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:39 pm
I have been self-debating the pros and cons of mask wearing, and I wondered what the general opinion was. I showed my face once in Portland and it has had me thinking since about what good a mask really does. I personally love masks, but there has been a part of me questioning the functionality of them and I wanted to hear some other thoughts.
I’ll start out by stating my reasons and love of wearing a mask. I know that a lot of people say that there are detriments to a mask, but I find that my mask is one of my defining features. I like it better than my face, to be honest. The mask allows me to erase the man beneath and step into what I want. It siphons off the normalcy and individualism and elevates me. I find exhilaration when I wear my mask, and especially when I wear my full suit. I have always been one for dress-up. This goes beyond that. When I look in the mirror I do not see myself, I see Mr. Jack, and all the potential he comes with.
On a more practical level, masks allow anonymity, plausible deniability, and to not be caught. I’m not doing anything illegal, but activism has its costs, and in a small town like mine I would prefer not to be known.
I guess my whole thing is that the mask allows for a certain freedom that I could not otherwise obtain. By wearing the mask, I allow myself to become something different, better, courageous. To quote one of my Artists: “Beneath this mask there is more than flesh. Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof.”
Superhero
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:52 pm
Well, I never really even considered one. But I know a lot of the cops in my town & they would have figured out it was me pretty quick anyway.
Also I have the Supermobile so anybody wanting my ID would just run the tag.
The pro of no mask is it’s given TJ the ability to be the first RLSH Non-Profit in history, as I can do all the paperwork, but protect everyone elses ID.
The Con is that I’m out in the open. I’ve made it clear elsewhere that the major reason I started packing wasn’t because of Supervillains, but because of so called Superheroes that befriended me for years then suddenly went nuts & turnned on me, thinking I was a Govt. agent or some such crap.
scratch
You’re real easy to find with a public ID. You just have to make them wish they’d never found you.
As for the mask itself, Somebody cranks it, you’re blind. They kick your ass. Although most places have “Mask Laws” you usually have to be in commision of a crime to be prosecuted. But most cops don’t care. They stop you & give you a cavity search anyway. you can’t go anywhere near a store, etc. etc.
there is a LOT to weigh in when deciding on a mask or not.
Silver Sentinel
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Wed Feb 03, 2010 5:54 pm
As long as you’re approachable, then wear the mask. I know that you’re one of the ones that wants people to be able to approach you and not be frightened off. Wear the mask. It’s part of your outrageous style! It gives you flair and panache.
My normal identity opens many doors for me, so the fact many people can identify me under the goggles isn’t so terrible. But if you prefer the anonymity, go for it.
By the way.. even without the mask.. the bright flashy suits are going to make “getting away” kind of difficult.
Mr. Jack
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:03 pm
I have a night suit that I use for that sort of thing, and as of late I have been going plainclothes. I use the suit for when I am out in the open, like at a meet or when I am donating. I try to wear the mask as often as possible, though.
As for self-defense, if anyone ever gets near enough to crank my mask then I have done something seriously wrong and probably deserve to get the crap beat out of me. I am more of a stealth guy. But still, you bring up a valid point, Superhero.
Dark Ghost
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:03 pm
Like you I wear a mask for anonymity plus and also like you when I wear my mask I feel a freedom that I have never felt before I feel stronger and like you more courageous. Now the other reason I wear a mask is due to the fact that alot of people in my area know my face. I like the anonymity because it keeps my family and friends safe.
Superhero
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:18
You know SS has a point, your look (like mine) is extemely “garrish” so people don’t really feel threatened by you. I’d imagine people would more than likely walk up to you in your Purple & Yellow & say “Hi! What are you doing here?” then be scared.
Even kids.
Color means a lot when it comes to masks.
Patriot
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:49 pm
Well, in my case. The Ol’ Red, White and Blue tends to help. I find way more people are receptive to it, than some of my past persona’s.
So, I don’t really get hassled about my mask. I’m actually working on some posters, and business cards (Check out the thread in the Drawing Board Section) thanks to an idea from a clerk at a gas station. Went in there to use their facilities and get a drink. Got to talking to the Clerk, who’s the manager there, wanted to know if I had a poster or sign that he could hang on the door, letting others know, that I come by there. Like that it’s under my watch. Told him, I’d see if I could come up with something.
I like very much, right now, that Patriot, is seperate from me. The mask allows me to go about without being recognized as everyones favorite star spangled bruiser. Although, once summer hits, this year I’m debating on a Smallville inspired uniform, with a much smaller mask.
I apologize if I rambled, but I believe I’ve given my piece in there somewhere.
master legend
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Sun Feb 07, 2010 9:39 am
the black does present more of a mean side.the good thing about black or red is that it don’t show the blood stains.
Bearman
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Sun Feb 14, 2010 11:42 am
Originally I wasn’t going to wear a mask. Maybe an eye one like Robin. Seems to me like it would inhibit my hearing and vision and make it harder to breath and understand. Every time I’ve worn a mask I felt annoyed lol. On top of all that, I have a giant head and fat cheeks. I’d look reeeeaaally silly in a mask. But now that I’m seriously considering becoming active, I realize I don’t want people to know who I am. I don’t go out much. When I do its to get something done. I guess I feel like if nobody knows who I really am, then nobody can stroll right up to my house and attack it or my family. What if I screw up and ruin my reputation as a good guy? I’d rather have my identity get blamed and just design a new one than have my entire town hate me. Maybe I should start designing a mask just in case… /worry
Vague
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Sun Feb 14, 2010 12:39 pm

DayDreamer wrote:
Originally I wasn’t going to wear a mask. Maybe an eye one like Robin. Seems to me like it would inhibit my hearing and vision and make it harder to breath and understand. Every time I’ve worn a mask I felt annoyed lol. On top of all that, I have a giant head and fat cheeks. I’d look reeeeaaally silly in a mask. But now that I’m seriously considering becoming active, I realize I don’t want people to know who I am. I don’t go out much. When I do its to get something done. I guess I feel like if nobody knows who I really am, then nobody can stroll right up to my house and attack it or my family. What if I screw up and ruin my reputation as a good guy? I’d rather have my identity get blamed and just design a new one than have my entire town hate me. Maybe I should start designing a mask just in case… /worry

Much like what was stated here, wearing a mask is for the benifit of friends and family, I personally think its a bit care less and selfish to persue and ,most likley, piss-off hardcore criminals, with no way of hiding your identity, because you are putting friends and family at risk, they are at risk because of YOUR actions.
And also, with a mask (hidden identity) it becomes easy to lay low for a while, after a serious investigation or serious event reguarding your ‘RLSH’ self.
Super Guest
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Sun Feb 14, 2010 1:43 pm

Vague wrote:
Much like what was stated here, wearing a mask is for the benifit of friends and family, I personally think its a bit care less and selfish to persue and ,most likley, piss-off hardcore criminals, with no way of hiding your identity, because you are putting friends and family at risk, they are at risk because of YOUR actions.
And also, with a mask (hidden identity) it becomes easy to lay low for a while, after a serious investigation or serious event reguarding your ‘RLSH’ self.

There is no such thing as a 100% foolproof way to ‘protect’ your identity. Only to hide it. And even then it could always be figured out. So pissing off criminals posesses the same level of threat to your family if you were to hide your identity, than if you were to not hide your identity.
The question is how effective could you be at putting them away so that even if they are pissed off, they can’t do anything to you. Or how influential you may be to making them not dislike you (if you make sure that if you patrol with someone else, one of you plays good cop, the other plays bad cop).
Cops don’t hide their identities.
And let’s assume you’re right, and that you piss off a criminal, and you aren’t wearing a mask. That just means 2 steps to tracking you down. Step 1- They find out where you live. Step 2- They get you.
Versus if you are wearing a mask. Step 1- They find out who you are, Step 2- They find out where you live, Step 3- They get you.
So it won’t stop the process from happening entirely, assuming they want to go after you bad enough. It would just delay it, perhaps.
Wearing a mask and/or just makes them want to go after you that much more. I think a lot of you put on a mask because you want to be like Batman. Deep down you love to feel like Batman. But the reasons you state are the same reasons Batman states “I must protect my identity, I must protect those I care about…” but if you really want to hide your identities that much, have any of you ever tried disguising yourselves as someone else entirely? Make-up, glasses, facial hair, wig, different clothing styles – perhaps making yourself appear to be the opposite gender?
Vague
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:21 pm
It does not pose the same threat level because they need to find out your identity, if you are making it THAT easy for the criminals to find out who you are (showing your face) then i dont understand how you are thinking about the saftey of your family and friends.
Step 1 is a big step, and depends on how skillfull you are, if you are skillfull enough to hide your identity from others, and patrol in a big enough place (like london) then hiding your identity from criminas isnt too hard, especially if alot of effort and thought goes into it.
The criminals dont hunt down cops because there are serious implications for doing so, the cops have the law on their side and it would be stupid to attack a cop and/or his family for ‘cop-related’ issues, and even then, you still hear stories about cops being killed and such be criminals because of past arrests or so…
I agree, it does make them want to go after you that much more, but no more than being a ‘RLSH’ in the first place, i would rather hide my face, then show my face with a different disguise, remember the serious criminals dont ask questions first, if they see someone that looks like a certain person has pissed them off so much, then that person is at risk, meaning that i can disguise my face with make up an glasses an such, but it still shows my face, and its really no more different to wearing a mask.
Super Guest
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:36 pm
All it takes is for one, or a few of them to pull off your mask and they could find out who you are. Now, it doesn’t always necessarily mean they can find out your name and info from there, unless they already knew you. But it makes it that much more easier for them. Now if the mask works for you well, and you don’t have any extra unnecessary problems with it, then more power to you. I would just suggest not letting it give you a false sense of security. Plan for those worst case scenarios.
Vague
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Sun Feb 14, 2010 2:46 pm
Thats true, my point is that having a mask provides more protection than having none, im always aware of my mask and the fact that it could be pulled off, and believe me if I could go out without a mask I would (it would be alot easier to blend in and also not attract attention, as well as not affect my Peripheral vision) but I feel safer with one on..
Theres Pros and cons about mask issues, it all depends on the individual, if you have friends or family to worry about, if you patrol in a big area where nobody would recognise you without your mask anyway, if you feel that you can achieve more with a mask on.. etc,
But yeah, remember, its only an extra measure of protection, dosent really protect your identity fully…
Atlas
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Mon Feb 15, 2010 2:57 pm
I think that a mask is a way to become more than just that guy who wakes up in the morning and drinks some coffee and goes of to work. You can become an image that is forever immortal and indestructable. Now obviously there are some down sides with wairing one, such as your vision being possibly obstructed. Nevertheless, If your identity is protected and overall, your personal wellfare and safety, a mask is an upside. Also, if its some kind of Domino, best to change your hair if possible.
JohnnyVegas
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Mon Feb 15, 2010 5:44 pm
What about masks for functionality? Protect the eyes from things like sand and the like. Perhaps something over the mouth to protect against inhalants (smoke, etc.). That’s where my head is at with to mask or not to mask. I suppose it depends on the community you’re in but where I’m at, it’s statistically improbable I’ll be recognized and later tracked down. No need for anonymity. Yes need for protecting my baby blues. Medium need for cool factor. I’m pretty badass on my own. Genetics.
Vague
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Wed Feb 17, 2010 11:56 am

JohnnyVegas wrote:
What about masks for functionality? Protect the eyes from things like sand and the like. Perhaps something over the mouth to protect against inhalants (smoke, etc.). That’s where my head is at with to mask or not to mask. I suppose it depends on the community you’re in but where I’m at, it’s statistically improbable I’ll be recognized and later tracked down. No need for anonymity. Yes need for protecting my baby blues. Medium need for cool factor. I’m pretty badass on my own. Genetics.

Actualley, protection of my eyes is partly why I wear my mask, well the goggles anyway, im looking to get some new goggles that have a wider range of vision, early on last year i looked at gettin a mask to protect against harmful inhalants, and im still looking into that now…
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Mr. Jack
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Wed Feb 17, 2010 1:16 pm
I think she means monkeydungeon. Follow the link here if you dare (0-):
http://www.monkeydungeon.com/
I think one of the biggest issues about mask wearing is the limit on visual field, but I am seeking to overcome that. My current mask actually does not limit my sight very much at all. And about the cranking thing, I am seeking a way to integrate my mask into an under shirt or anchor somehow so as it does not turn when pulled like that.
NiteWatch
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Wed Feb 17, 2010 10:10 pm
Quite frankly, for all of you who are actively seeking criminals, or anyone in particular, I’d make the face less recognizable. Don’t want questions to turn into answers.
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Samen
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Mon Mar 01, 2010 12:38 pm
I wear a simple bandanna around my mouth and nose, as well as wearing sunglasses. I guess this does obscure my identity, but my “mask” is really a matter of practicality. I’m often picking up stinky refuse and getting my face down in the dirt and dust and stuff. Since I suffer from asthma, it’s better for me to not inhale that kind of thing and the bandanna helps with that.
Super Guest
@Samen. actually that is a practical way to do it. Any you can “lose” the “mask” in a big hurry that way.
Samen
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Mon Mar 01, 2010 1:29 pm
Yeah, if it came down to it, having a bandanna and sunglasses is way less noticeable than an actual mask I guess.
the KnightVigil
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Tue Mar 02, 2010 9:56 am
I’ve gone with and without my mask depending on the situation… I typically wear my mask more so out of physical protection than to hide my identity… it has a totally different surface and offers about half a centimeter of padding, but its a bit hot on summer days… Also to me, the complete image of the mask with my suit in particular is more intimidating… I have been toying with the idea of redesigning a lacrosse mask so i can take advantage of the steel mesh, but we’ll see lol, might have to talk to Z about the best way to do that
Mr. Jack
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Tue Mar 02, 2010 4:28 pm
I have been toying with armor capabilities integrated into my mask, but I am worried about the bulk. If anyone has questions about masks, the guy to go to is definitely Z. He makes fine quality stuff and can get you what you need. You could also ask Victim, but I am not sure whether he does masks.
Sparrow
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:10 pm
Protection is one thing, but from an identity standpoint, disguises are way underrated. Get some colored contacts, some rinse-out costume hair color. Make-up can be used to darken your skin tone, and even alter facial structure- and no, I don’t mean prosthetics, more along the lines of “optical illusions”; by lightening or darkening certain areas to give the effect of highlights and shadows, you can make parts of your face appear more prominant.
thanatos
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Sun Mar 07, 2010 11:42 am
I just explain what I am and what I’m doing and havent had any trouble yet even when doing my handouts to tht ehomelss. for some reason they seem to get the explanation I give and have taken to me because of it.
in stores I just explain and shrug off the strange looks. no one has called the cops on me yet, in fact most of the police seem to try to ignore me. guess they figure I’m just one more nut job out there and dont want to do the paperwork on it.
we went into a homeless camp during the olympics and while the salvation army, red cross and our police said they couldnt and wouldnt enter we had no problems. they all got who we were and we made a bunch of new friends.
Atavistik
PostSubject: Re: Saving Face Sun Mar 07, 2010 4:02 pm
as to superhero fashion shows; looked it up on youtube, this might “arouse” something…… just not your desire to go out in public like what I saw on the runway. unless of course you were those models…….. or looking to slap somebody with a sexual harassment suit.
also; some things you’re hoping are simply hoping to be superhero related….. aren’t. be careful what you click…… sometimes you simply end up with more questions, like “How can she be comfortable in that suit?” or “Why’d they post this and leave out the best parts?” my favorite is “do you think she can taste that?” alongside “Wow…. I thought they didn’t get that close to those parts of the anatomy on youtube….. isn’t there somebody making sure these videos are okay for kids? I mean… I can clearly see her hoo-hah.”
seriously tho; as to masks, I’m considering one for public things seriously.

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3 comments on “Q and A: Mask- Saving Face
  1. Inquist says:

    A helmet with a respirator built in, and an amplified microphone->speaker; ideally some nice optics; strong enough to protect your head from impact, and ideally projectiles as well. Best have some tear gas or equivalent if things get bad, close-in.
    The answer to this would depend on what role you intend to play, and in what type of situation. Basically, what are you prepared to handle – physically, psychologically/socially, and as others have said, with regard to possible repercussions.

  2. Dark Spirit says:

    I am new to the whole superhero thing but wish to offer (and possibly gain more input) maybe the ideas of the Shinobi. Many of them “Dressed Up” as either Monks/priests or even beggars. Just an idea for everyone. Invisible but in plain site.
    I’ve thought about the mask thing (and still do)….but usually when the time comes I just whip on a bandana or something just obscure my features.

  3. Wolf Shadow says:

    I have recently begun patroling parks in my town, mostly with the intent of informing, via cell phone, the local PD with the location and description of crimes and perpetrators. I dont come across many crimes which need my immediate interjection. Mostly drug users, the adult ones I call the police on, the teenagers just get run off or I hang around watching them until I make them nervous and they leave. Unfortunately, I wear prescription glasses and am curious what I can do for some basic facial concealment. I have considered wearing some type of veil that would still allow me to see well at night and not interfere with my vision or ability to see motion out of the corners of my eyes. However, I sometimes go into parks that have quite a few people and dont want to go around scaring everyone off. My “costume” consists of a black shirt, black dungarees, and a black cloak with a hood. I have not made any attempt to tell these people what my intentions are, and, to be truthful, I really dont know that I can consider myself a RLSH just yet. So, what can I wear to conceal my face, and not frighten people into calling the police on myself? I really dont feel like trying to explain to the police that I am there for the safety of the public since there is no one else in my city trying to do the RLSH thing, and they may think Im some kind of nut.

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