Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Oh My God! A Shock from YouTube

I know I have already posted something today, but I just HAD to share these with you - I couldn't wait! These scenes are taken and adapted from the film, "Und alle haben geschwiegen" From the German this translates as 'All Were Silent'. It is about a home for maladjusted girls.  There is even a movie clip embedded down below (scroll down to the bottom of this post to view).

Actually, albeit indirectly, you have 'Wringer' to thank for the tasty morsel of a hair cutting scene.  He sent me a link to another forced haircut scene entirely and while searching around it I came across this.  I loved 'Wringers' suggested clip also, but this one really captured my imagination.

I mean: Oh my god!  These scenes could have come straight out of my well known (I'd like to think) 'INSTITUTIONALISED' series, from the medical world staff uniforms and inmates' uniform dresses to the use of numbering to address the inmates by rather than their given names.  Yes, I know the plot differs somewhat (I've looked up the film - which incidentally translates as 'All Were Silent').  This is supposed to be based on fact, whereas what I write is total fiction (although inspired by fact).  In addition, the events depicted within the story arc of my series come about as the result of an experimental psychology study gone awry and a hapless young thing in danger of being denied her inheritance after being tricked into volunteering to join by her manipulative legal guardian.  But the parallels, where they exist, are astounding. I couldn't resist adding the annotation, incidentally, although it pertains to the plot line of my book series rather than the film. Another case of truth stranger than fiction or 'you couldn’t make it up', as I'm rather too fond of saying?

..It's always worked in the past; one plants the seed, one invites distrust, nurtures its growth – it discourages the formation of alliances, keeps our inmates as isolated individuals within the group... Oh look! She's biting her lip...Yes my dear, you'll find any attempt to 'kick over the traces' will be quickly reported by one of your fellows; that's how we knew you'd make a break for it, why none followed your example; I had them all completely subjugated well before YOU were brought here. And there's no point you looking at me like that, dear. You only have yourself to blame! I didn't ask you to volunteer to come here, it's not my fault if you let yourself be talked into it – you should have been stronger willed... But as for when you leave, well that's not down to me either – you initially signed up for three months, so you DO have a choice not to keep extending your stay; just don't sign the renewal... Don't pout – I KNOW the director's cane can be persuasive...”

Above: The aforementioned haircut scene.  

I think they have got the inmate uniform styling about right, incidentally.  Not at all what a teenage girl would want to be seen dead in, and yet functional and practical while still incorporating certain features which although seeming to argue against practicality - namely the long sleeves and buttoned cuffs, which could become soiled while floor-scrubbing for example - are undoubtedly there so as to instil, impose and promote discipline and a feeling of being under control.  Ugly and depersonalising, the dress is totally unlike anything she'd be likely to wear in the outside world, differing greatly from everyday fashion and style and thus marking out the wearer as an inmate of some kind of institution, which is very much the point.  There is also very little she can do potentially to personalise it in any way, which is another important point.  

Removing her outdoor clothing and submitting to wearing the uniform dress represents an important psychological cut-off point - sharply delineating her life and personality outside from her new institutional existence - and in that way she should feel totally stifled by it and ashamed wearing it, which in turn is where the menial appearance of the dress is important, something the institution has clearly got very right.  Of course the institutional haircutting procedure then backs all this up, further impressing upon her that her old life is no more. 

The staff uniforms are important too in helping to present the wearer as a figure of authority, just as much as the inmate uniform encourages a feeling of submission to that authority and it is interesting how rapidly she becomes browbeaten into changing out of her street-clothes and into that uniform, which she does without any form of physical duress whatsoever. It is rather interesting, also, to note how easily she submits to having her hair cut - once again without any form of physical duress or restraint being required – her submission undoubtedly aided by having already tasted defeat, in the form of the institution uniform in which she is now dressed.  

And yet, saying all that; if you freeze frame this clip you will see the dress has got pockets, which is one of the two areas where it falls down from a disciplinary standpoint (the other being the lack of some sort of - preferably embroidered - badge with the institution's name and the girl's inmate number). 

One - she should not posses nor should own anything she need put in those pockets: 

Two - pockets make great hiding places for contraband, even if searched from time to time; though in a well-run institution no form of contraband would be available.  Nevertheless it encourages her to perhaps gather some kind of substitute for the personal belongings she no longer owns.   

Three; it is tempting for the girl to slip her hands her pockets and slouch - although observant staff and a good dose of the cane would soon discourage THAT habit!

Four: if pockets are required for stylistic purposes - for example a breast pocket whose function is merely to act as a platform for the institution badge and the girl's inmate number - then there is nothing wrong with that, so long as they are NOT functioning pockets but merely stylistic devices.

 If I were to make any criticisms as regards the haircutting itself it would that I would like to see the room looking plainer and more clinical, that it should be carried out with the girl being made to face a mirror to maximise the psychological impact and that she should not have to be pulled about so much but rather should be made to sit still, quiet and accepting with her hands resting in her lap and also that she should have been admonished severely when at one point she raises a hand to wipe her face. In fact this would be as good a point as any to introduce her to her first experience of corporal punishment. There would be nothing at all wrong, in my view, about interrupting the proceedings – no matter at what stage - getting her to her feet and making her touch her toes to receive the cane, perhaps, for example, simply wiping her face or, if facing a mirror, closing her eyes or looking away from her reflection; it would make for a salient early lesson in obedience.

Another slight criticism is that it would, again in my view, be totally wrong for her to go straight from her street-clothes into the institutional uniform dress without several intervening steps along the way, these steps – as with her final donning of the inmate uniform – preferably occurring remotely from the site of her initial disrobing and with her gradually moving deeper and deeper into the institution complex or building as she progresses. At the very least these steps should consist of a shower, internal examination and intimate shaving, if not a thorough purging with a strong enema

I'm still working on the new book, and still struggling with how to start it off and make it multi-part without it appearing at first glance as another example of my usual approach – which it very much isn't. Bloody hell! That part of it is turning out to be harder that actually writing the thing – and time is running out; I'm close to having to make greater efforts to seek employment. I know I'll have to eventually – there is not enough cash in writing (my last LULU royalty payment was a stunning £30 for a month, and for some reason I am getting nothing at all from the various affiliate banners I have scattered around) - but I'd like to finish the various projects I have running first... Oh well!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yu are correct that being made to observe your hair bbeing cut is indeed an effective punishment. When I received such a punishment, after many months of continuing ill discipline, it was applied in the way you recommend. I had the dual humiliation of having to sit facing a large mirror with my hands folded behind my back and observed by my ex work supervisor whikst my hait was cut round above my ears and then my fringe trimmed short across my forhead. It was deemed by my Aunt to be a ctholic school girl haircut. It was kept in this short and childsh style for many months by regular weekly trimming which forced me to suffer the repeated indignity of sitting hands behind my back or finger tips on my shoulders in front of the mirror. I succumbed because on the one occasion I tried to refuse I was of course severely punished and the wearing of this hairstyle extended. Really is a very effective sanction from my experience.