Sunday, October 28, 2012

Halloween Costumes Ripped From The Headlines

Not sure of the status of the issue of Bazooka Magazine that this article was originally meant for, so I'm going to go ahead and post it before Halloween's completely over with just in case it gets cut for no longer being relevant.. And yes, I realize it would have made even more sense to post it before all the weekend Halloween parties, but sometimes I'm don't brain good.

As an adventure game industry professional (aka someone who makes up stories about magical hobos), I go to a lot of conventions throughout the year. Since most of them have at least some costuming events, by the time Halloween rolls around, I’ve already seen the year’s new geek and pop culture-related costumes--Katniss Everdeens, assorted Avengers, assorted slutty Avengers, Girls With Dragon Tattoos, and all the rest. What I don’t get a sneak peek of are the more political/topical costumes, because most geeks know more about The United Federation of Planets than our own system of government. Therefore, the Halloween costumes that I find most entertaining are the ones that come from the world of politics and current events. Since I have no doubt that our readers put my personal amusement high on their list of priorities when coming up with a costume, I’ve put together a few costume suggestions.

The KONY 2012 Guy
For a few weeks, Kony himself was in the running as a 2012 Halloween costume, but all the slacktivists who were just so fucking concerned about the plight of child soldiers in Africa predictably forgot all about it after a week or so. Some found out that the people behind the video supported warlords and regimes every bit as bad as Kony and decided to just pretend that they’d never shared the video. Others forgot about the poor little guys as soon as it stopped being a “thing” on the internet. Not long after the Kony video dropped off the radar, one of the fine upstanding Christian missionaries behind the video got totally fucked up and ran naked through the streets of San Diego furiously masturbating. That shit got its own South Park song, which makes it fully costume-worthy.
Pros: It’s a really simple costume. You just have to get all hopped up on goofballs, get nekkid, and wander around beating your dick like it owes you money.
Cons: You’re going to get arrested.

Occupy Protester
Just when the T.E.A. Party’s tri-cornered hats and badly spelled signs had run their course, along came the Occupy movement. Since it didn’t have corporate sponsorship and advocated real systemic change, the image of the Occupy protester didn’t fare as well as that of his astroturfed, low-information, gun toting counterpart. By the time the pundits and politicians from our two not-at-all-exactly-the-same political parties were done, the Occupy protester had become a filthy, violent, almost feral anarchist and/or socialist vagrant who was simultaneously an over-educated, bourgeois hippie with an iPhone and a trust fund. Because we Americans don’t know the meaning of the words “cognitive dissonance.”
Pros: This is another easy costume. All you really need is a snarky “I am the 99%” sign and a complete lack of understanding of what it’s like to live paycheck to paycheck. Congo drums, Communist Manifesto, and poop are totally optional.
Cons: This costume is only good for house parties, because just about every single person who will be handling your food and drinks if you go out is a member of the 99%, so the chances are good that at least one of them will be pissed off by your costume. If you don’t understand why this is a bad thing, you should probably watch Waiting.

Vladimir Fucking Putin
If somebody submitted a Bond script with Vladimir Putin as the villain, the studio would send it back with a note that the bad guy is too unbelievably over-the-top. I mean, the guy flies supersonic jets as a hobby, hunts whales with a crossbow, and probably punches bears just because he can. Most recently, he dressed up in a bird costume and flew a hang-glider to get a bunch of endangered cranes to migrate, because even guys who punch bears have a heart.
Pros: This is one of those costumes that most people won’t get (even if you go the crane route), but those who do will really appreciate.
Cons: Vladimir Putin might find out about it, kill you, and drink your blood from your own skull.

Romney Administration-Era Big Bird
The Big Bird meme came out of the first debate between Romney and Obama, and is in many ways a perfect snapshot of everything that’s wrong with the American political system. Those on the right were willing to blindly accept that cutting PBS funding, which is .000014% of the federal budget, was a meaningful example of fiscal responsibility. Those on the left were more outraged by the idea of losing a giant puppet than by indefinite detention, erosion of Constitutional rights, and the extrajudicial assassination of American citizens. While a lot of political cartoons and memes have gone with the “Big Bird as Thanksgiving turkey” concept, that probably won’t be easy to make work as a costume. Instead, you’ll probably want to go with “Big Bird as a homeless person,” complete with ratty old coat, fingerless gloves, and bottle of Thunderbird.
Pros: Everybody likes Big Bird, even Mitt Romney.
Cons: To be honest, the whole Big Bird thing has kind of run its course. The sheer number of memes about it made it get old pretty fast.

A Drone
As I hinted in the previous entry, one of the (many) Obama deal-breakers for me that Democratic party loyalists are willing to blissfully ignore is the fact that Obama has been very liberal in his use of drones, especially in foreign countries we’re not actually at war with. Worse still, he’s used drones to carry out the summary assassination of American citizens without the slightest hint of due process, which I’m pretty sure used to be frowned up by most Americans. If you also feel this is kind of a big deal, a drone costume will double nicely as a soapbox.
Pros: If you get drunk and kill somebody while driving home, you can retroactively declare them terrorists so that nobody will label you a criminal.
Cons: This is going to be a bulky costume, and most people only have a vague idea of what drones look like.

A Binder Full of Women
One of Mitt Romney’s biggest obstacles with the Republican base is the fact that he’s a Mormon. A lot of Christians, especially evangelicals, believe that the Church of Latter Day Saints is at best a misguided interpretation of the Christian religion, and some believe it’s part of a vast Satanic conspiracy. Voters whose social compasses point a little more to the left have problems with the church because of its history of polygamy and underage marriage. As a result, Romney has been quiet about the details of his religious beliefs. Here’s a little hint, Mitt: If you want to downplay your involvement in a religious sect vilified for treating women as property, it’s probably not a good idea to use a phrase that suggests you collect them like goddamn Pokemons.
Pros: The phrase “binder full of women” is inherently funny, even without Romney’s political baggage being attached to it.
Cons: This is one of those high-concept costumes that you’re going to have to make yourself. It will be hard to come up with something that gets the point across without being a huge pain in the ass to actually wear.

If you don’t like these costume ideas, you can always fall back on something in the “slutty Black Widow” genre, assuming you can pull it off. I’ve seen them before, but I won’t complain about seeing it again.