Another appalling Halloween costume alert! And this one's topical:
Y'know, my first thought (post-disgust) upon seeing both the "illegal alien" (both "sexy" and Weekly World News versions!) and "Anna Rexia" costumes was, WTF? And not just WTF-offensive but rather WTF-commercializing-creative costumes! Buying ready-made was always a dubious choice; the getups looked like crap and you judged the lazy adults who wore them. In the day, you went mass-market for your slutty maids, your Clinton masks, your generic witches. Not, I repeat not, for high-concept costumes. These - "Intelligent Design", "Screensaver," "Punchline" - used to be the purview of the last-minutes half-assed quick-thinker. No more. Now, everyone's a wit - or some mass-produced, incredibly offensive interpretation thereof. In fact, I wouldn't be at all surprised if these flights of topical fancy were suggested by someone's slacker downstairs neighbor's kegger. It's further evidence of the homogenization of the unique - in this case, what ought to have stayed unique. It's inexplicable finding such a thing delightfully amusing in the first place - does seeing twenty of them on a shelves of a drugstore make the joke seem...more funny?
And then, as if it needs saying, there are the implications: what's bad enough as an asshole frat boy's attempt at racist irony becomes something else entirely when it's got money and presumably more than one yes-man behind it. It becomes, as we know, a reflection of said company and any store that decides to carry it - and of course a society that's spawned and supported it. Halloween costumes are all about the zetgeist. We all wondered what this year's Palin would be - and if it's "illegal alien," that's so depressing for so many reasons. Makes Slutoween look cloaked in rosy nostalgia.
Oh, and in case you need more of a glimpse into the cultural consciousness, BuzzFeed brings us a gallery of what they, with admirable understatement, term "politically incorrect" costumes. It's a mix of the homemade ("sexy 9/11," "Hitler Ronald McDonald") and the corporate (yes, you can apparently buy both "Hey Amigo" and "Plain Brown Rapper.") Do not try this at home - or at Target, please.
Target, Walgreens Pull 'Illegal Alien' Costume After Complaints [Chicago Tribune]
Politically Incorrect Halloween Costumes [BuzzFeed]
Anna Rexia Halloween Costume [BoingBoing]