Monday, November 11, 2013

Halloween Costumes

Every year there are select group of Halloween enthusiasts who chose to obliterate the boundaries of decorum with their costume choices. I present this year’s award winners:

First is seven year-old Virginia resident Jackson Black dressed in the Klu Klux Klan robes his mother made for him. When local television station WHSV interviewed the young man’s mother about the controversial costume choice she defended the design saying, "It’s supposed to be white with white. Black with black. Man with woman and all of that. That’s what the KKK stands for. The KKK every year raises money to donate to the St. Jude’s.”
Jackson Black's Costume
Apart from the delicious irony of a white supremacist being saddled with the surname “black”, the story presents a rare insight into the thought process of a KKK enthusiast. I especially enjoyed her insistence that institutionalized bigotry can be mitigated by a charitable donation. Pretty soon Al-Qaeda will be pleading its moral standing based on participation in a Humane Society Fundraiser. I do hope the mother was at least selective with the neighborhoods she allowed junior to trick or treat in. I imagine there are several residents who wouldn’t take kindly to discovering a Klansman standing at their door demanding a bag of Skittles.

The next contestant is the already infamous Boston Marathon Victim costume donned by Alicia Ann Lynch. The Bay City, Michigan resident Tweeted a photo of herself at work dressed in runner’s gear and smeared in blood with the hashtag “#toosoon?” It is unclear where she worked but I can only hope it was a grief counseling service. Because she had previously posted a picture that featured her driver’s license, it was only a short period of time before her employer, phone number, and address were tracked down.
She now claims that both she and her family have received threats of violence including specific threats rape and murder. One twitter user even suggested mailing her a parcel of feces in retribution for her insensitivity. 

While I agree that she exhibited poor taste and even worse judgment, I am not sure these people are sending the message they think they are. Is the best way to rebuke her flippancy toward terrorist victims to murder her in front of her parents? And while I am at it, who are these Internet morons whose solution to every problem is raping someone? How has that become a knee jerk reaction to a stranger uploading a thoughtless photo? I feel like people have gotten way to comfortable suggesting sexual assault as constructive criticism.

Alicia’s actions certainly merit scorn, but I am not sure a public reprimand from someone with a FedEx box full of turds and an ax to grind is moving us in the right direction. Besides, who knows if this costume was even her first choice? For all we know this was a last minute substitute when she couldn’t locate a baby coffin and a Pol Pot wig. #killingfields

This year’s final entry features a pair of British students who dressed as the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Amber Langford and Annie Collinge were attired in replicas of the skyscrapers (complete with burning plane fuselage and inhabitants jumping from the windows) when they were awarded first prize in a nightclub costume contest. The duo split the $240 prize money and the ridicule.   
Faced with widespread public backlash, the girls issued the following apology:

We never meant to be offensive, but we apologize if any offense was caused.

I hate to say these girls are being disingenuous, but were they really surprised that this was offensive to people? Was there not a moment during their costume prep where Amber looked at Annie and said, “Do you think that attaching the victims’ bodies to outside of the costume might be pushing it?” These girls selected the costumes to elicit this very reaction, so don’t insult everyone by feigning surprise. I believe the only apology more ridiculous that theirs was the one issued by the club itself:

We are extremely concerned that an award of vouchers was made to two young women who were dressed in a distasteful and offensive manner.” There was a serious error of judgment made on the evening by a contracted DJ to award such a prize and we apologize to anybody who may have been upset or offended by this. A full investigation by the company is taking place.

A full investigation?  What would a full investigation into a nightclub costume contest even look like?  Are they going to track down all the participants and depose them under oath? Is the DJ fighting extradition? I for one am shocked by the lack of sound decision making that occurred that evening . If we cannot trust the DJ at Rosie’s Pub to exhibit integrity when awarding cash to women participating in a contest, who can we trust? I can only pray that the owners hold a press conference to announce their findings. I am holding out hope that they were able to locate a forensic costumeologist. 

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