Read This: About Face by Nate Powell

Explore 'About Face' essay on Popula, revealing paramilitary influence on US consumer styles & modern fascist aesthetics. Essential read for understanding subtle shifts in societal norms.

Read This: About Face by Nate Powell

Unpacking the Normalization of Modern Fascist Aesthetics in the US

In today's rapidly evolving world, it's crucial to stay informed and critically aware, especially when it comes to the subtle yet significant ways in which certain aesthetics and ideologies permeate our society. This is why I strongly recommend reading the thought-provoking comics essay, "About Face," featured on the indie publication Popula.

"About Face" is not just an essay; it's an eye-opener that delves into the paramilitary influence on military regulation and how these influences have subtly seeped into consumer style preferences in the US. It's a stark revelation of how modern fascist aesthetics are not just present but are being normalized in American society.

Imagine seeing Punisher skulls, black and white flags, and the ubiquity of beards, hats, and wraparound Oakleys. Or the sight of totally blacked-out Dodge pickup trucks. These aren't just random fashion choices; as "About Face" illuminates, they are strong indicators of a more sinister undercurrent in our culture.

This essay also serves as a postscript to the 2011 book "Any Empire," linking past insights to current realities in a seamless narrative. It's a chilling reminder of how history, with its thousands of years of progress, can be undermined by fear and the willingness of people to act without considering the consequences on others.

One of the most striking examples discussed in the essay is the use of the Punisher logo by law enforcement. This isn't just a pop culture reference; it's a blatant symbol that screams, "This is a DEATH SQUAD!" In a democratic society, such blatant endorsements of violence and vigilantism should not be tolerated, yet they are increasingly becoming part of the norm.

Reading "About Face" reminded me of my school days learning about World War II and wondering how the German people could have allowed their country to commit such atrocities. The essay makes it clear that such shifts in societal norms and ethics are much easier than we might think. It's a sobering thought that our long-standing civilization, with all its advancements and progress, can be so easily swayed by fear and a majority's will to act recklessly.

I cannot recommend "About Face" enough. It's a necessary read for anyone who wants to understand the subtle yet profound ways in which certain aesthetics and ideologies are creeping into our everyday lives, reshaping our understanding of democracy, freedom, and justice. Read it, reflect on it, share it, and let it be a catalyst for informed and conscious living.