Friday, March 7, 2008

Cloak Boy

There's a new phenomenon sweeping BYU. His name is Cloak Boy (he also said he sometimes goes by Nathan). I wasn't formally aware of him until this semester. You see, last semester I remember seeing this hunchback on campus every once in a while. Well, I thought he was a hunchback, until I realized he was really wearing a cloak over his backpack. Anyway, I didn't think much of it except for occasionally hoping to see him so I could snap a picture.

It wasn't until this semester that I found out how much of a celebrity he is. I walked into my Rhetoric and the Law class the other week to hear a lively discussion on a certain "Cloak Boy." Apparently this individual not only wore a cloak but was known to sing outside the JSB and HBLL. I say "known to sing" because the discussion was focused on his recent silence. A few weeks ago he had the cops called on him for singing. The officer concluded there was nothing amiss. Then a week later they were called again. This time the same officer threatened to cite Cloak Boy for disturbing the peace with his folk songs and hymns. Since then he's sung no more. Well, it wasn't long into this discussion until I realized Cloak Boy was the hunchback I had seen.

After a few more class discussions on the injustice of Cloak Boy's silencing, I picked up the paper on Thursday to read an article about a small rally of solidarity hosted by the "Revive Cloak Boy" facebook group that would take place Thursday at 11. Small it was. There were only a couple people there, but there was some singing. Not by Cloak Boy, however.

I eventually mustered up the courage to meet Cloak Boy. I introduced myself and told him we talked about him every day in class. He was amused. We proceeded to have a pleasant conversation. I found out the following:
  • Reasons for wearing the cloak are twofold. It keeps him warm and is "aaawwweeessome" (per Cloak Boy himself)
  • One time someone tried to steal the cloak
  • The only time his dress fits in is at science fiction and fantasy conventions
  • He has two cloaks, the other one is lighter and more formal
  • His mother made him this cloak in high school
  • He is a freshman
Anyway, it was a splendid conversation. I was subsequently interviewed by KBYU Daily News about my thoughts on Cloak Boy's silencing. I told them my main thought which was, "What type of person walks by a freshman with a cloak singing a folk song and feels threatened enough to call the police?" I am still looking for an answer to that question.


Morebadger said...

true dat!

Anonymous said...

Good news. Yesterday, I passed "cloak boy" by the JSB. He was singing! It was faint, but I definitely saw his lips moving and a soft noise was coming out. I was excited to see that he was back.