A new masked men’s choir is starting up in South Africa. This choir will sing mostly existing popular songs, not traditional choir music. Members of this choir can practice at home, anywhere in South Africa, using YouTube and Skype.
We will have occasional choir camps where the choir will learn to sing together with other members what they have studied at home. These practice sessions will initially be held in Gauteng.
The performances, whether YouTube video recordings or live performances, will support specific various causes. For example, they might associate with the fight against rhino poaching, they might appear in a gay Pride march, join anti-xenophobia marches, fight to expand naturism/nudism property, et cetera.
The choir will wear masks during practice sessions and performances. The idea is to be completely anonymous even when caught on camera, supporting certain (sometimes controversial) causes. Here is why:
Why hide men when they stand up to guard truths? Humanity needs a special choir army to claim a voice for the unsaid.
If an individual is inclined not to voice their opinion where their identity is known, does that mean their opinion is omissible? Or, are those opinions which are voiced in a 100% anonymous environment not the actual, true opinion of people? Anonymous academic research surveys have demonstrated the answer to these questions but are ticks on a piece of paper as strong as the presence and voice of a real person? Why Hide Men choir provides a platform to illustrate the importance of taking a strong stance on matters that matter, loud and clear.
A curious name for such a bold endeavour, “Why Hide Men”, or is it exactly the right question to ask? The name says humanity is moving towards a time where standing up for what is right is less commendable. So much so, that those who do it have to do it incognito. And in a symbolic sense the name also says something quite the opposite, that there are developments taking place affecting all of humanity, that these developments are led by real people, and that they operate successfully without being known in the public eye.
Paradox and irony is thus at the core of Why Hide Men and it seeks to expose some of the most illogical affinities of man.
Why Hide Men is about supporting the unsaid.
How often have you had a feeling deep inside that you do not share with anyone? Sometimes, you might be in a social group where there is a mutual opinion on certain hot topics: the socially accepted opinion might be that abortion is wrong, euthanasia should never become legal, gays should not marry, and so on.
Sometimes, these groups of people would talk amongst themselves about a government that is destroying their country, criminals that get away with murder while nudists get jailed, or how insanely meagre legal punishment for cruelty to animals is. People may talk and talk and talk but take no action. Deep inside, you feel it is wrong. Maybe you agree with them or maybe you don’t, but the main difference you are experiencing in your heart is that you want to take action. You want to do something about it. You want to say your say, let your voice count, and make a difference. Why Hide Men intends to be the tool with which a man can do exactly that.
Now, every man can be the undercover vigilante he wants to be. He can stand up and fight for what is right in an exciting, fun and daring way. It is like mud-wrestling without the wrestling and without the mud, but with the same vigour, conviction, dedication, oomph, splendour, appeal, power, animal instinct and feeling of achievement when there is victory.
This planet has seen primitive times. Legal regulation was basic and taking the law into one’s own hands was often a matter of survival. Some say they long for those days. They yearn for the simple times in our history until, for example, they need medical care or want to visit a faraway country, then, sophisticated modern life seems like a blessing again. Or can we look back and take only the good out of it? Can we be the man’s man of old that stood up, swung his fist to put the asshole back in his place because he was harassing a vulnerable person and then be praised for it instead of being arrested for assault?
We probably cannot be that man in exactly the way it was way back then. We might have to do it a little differently. We might have to conquer the detestable beings and abhorrent realities in our contemporary life with a new tactic, while joining the tug of war in our electronic realms like Twitter and blogs and online communities is not always the most effective. We might have to explore new ventures. New ventures like the anonymous masked choir, Why Hide Men.
Read more about the choir on www.whyhidemen.co.za.
If you are interested in joining the choir and want to be part of the masked music team with all your heart, send the coach an email. Should you wish to remain anonymous, create an email address under a code name before you send it to email@example.com. You may have to send a short recording of yourself singing without accompaniment, a cappella, as an audition.