Tuesday, October 28, 2008

What to Wear, What to Wear, четыре

Truly loyal readers, who have been with CoG from the start four years ago, know that there is a tradition here. Yes, those loyal readers remember that each year I contemplate my inability to prefect a Halloween costume. Those same loyal readers would also be able to name four supporting characters who have appeared regularly on this blog. They would dutiful remember every move that I have made and the tribulations that accompanied them. A truly loyal reader would know the make and model of my first car ever or where I attended high school. They would have small altars in their house dedicated to my image. Genuinely loyal readers would be willing to take a bullet for me. **Sigh** I wonder if such a reader exists. . .

What were we talking about? Oh, right, Halloween is just around the corner. As the official gay holiday, the expectations are always so high for choosing the right outfit. Yet, no matter how I have tried these past four years, my costumes have never quite worked out. Let me take you through what I aim for and the disappointing results:

What I Aim for: Yoda

    We all remember the unexpected way that Yoda made his way into our imagination and became a pop-culture icon. Sure, he started out as an annoying muppett who terrorized R2-D2. Eventually, though, he became the voice of reason who delivered sage advice in the form of inverted sentences. Yoda is so much part of our social consciousness, that his name is even identified by the spell checker in my wordprocessor. A great costume he is.

What I End Up With: Gollum

    Gollum, like Yoda, has his own creative rules for grammar. Less cute and endearing, though, Gollum would be a disappointing result when aiming for Yoda. Who ever turned to Gollum for advice? As far as I know, he never evidence any strange mental powers that gave him the ability to levitate rocks.


What I Aim for: Mr. Belvedere, 1948

    Of all the fussy, crypto-gay film characters to appear in the postwar era, Mr. Belvedere ranks the highest in my estimation. He was a man after my own heart. Belvedere disdained Americans’ unhealthy obsession with children, scorned the prison of heterosexual marriage, and tore apart environmentally and socially disastrous suburbs. This costume would scare the snot out of Focus on the Family.

What I End Up With: Mr. Belvedere, 1985

    After skulking around Fantasy Island, this pale imitation of the original Belvedere ended up enslaved to a middle-class hetero home in Pennsylvania. Sure, he was just as fussy as his forties counterpart, but the Reagan-era Belvedere did less to critique the banality of suburbia than to become its queer booster. Okay, there was the "very special episode" that dealt with HIV. Mostly, though, this Belvedere hid from real controversy. He even disavowed his queernees by locking himself into an unexpected and largely unexplained hetero marriage. Who needs to go disguised as that closeted mess?


What I Aim for: Phyllis Schlafly

    Going as the original Queen of Mean, Phyllis Schlafly, could quite possibly be the scariest costume ever conceived. Shlafly burst onto the national scene in 1964 with a screed that proclaimed that the Republican Party was not radically conservative enough. Never one to shy away from blatantly irresponsible statements, Shlafly frequently spoke out against any attempt to curb the proliferation of nuclear arms during the Cold War. Heck, she declared the atomic bomb “a marvelous gift that was given to our country by a wise god.”

    More recently, she has called for a purge of the Supreme Court of “activist judges” (Read: Anybody who disagrees with Phyllis Schlafly). Apparently, according to her altered Republican reality, justices who undermine the Constitution by supporting a coup that installs a half-wit into the presidency aren’t “activists.” They are “literalists.” She has also demanded “abstinence only”education, opposed the distribution of contraceptives for the unmarried, and has dismissed the use of condoms as a means to check the spread of HIV.

    Those other “accomplishments” aside, Schlafly will probably best be remembered as the demagogue who killed the Equal Rights Amendment in the U.S. through her "Stop ERA" campaign. Schlafly confidently declared that the ERA was not what feminists claimed (ensuring equal access to services, equal pay for equal work, fairness). According to Schlafly, it was really about making women susceptible to military drafts, unisex toilets, and (horrors!) lesbian marriage. The adoring media side-stepped the fact that Schlafly was a driven, highly-educated, career activist who rarely spent her days baking cookies or mending shirts. Instead, they accepted her self-created image as representing “normal moms” who opposed their own liberation. This could be a costume scarier than Freddie Krueger.

What I End Up With: Sarah Palin

    Oh, sure, Sarah Palin is just as cynical as Schlafly. As much as Schlafly downplayed her own career success, Palin’s constant refrains of being “just a hockey mom” mask her steely determination to become a mayor, governor of Alaska, and now vice president. Like Schlafly, she also pretends to speak for the majority of women (even though polls suggest that only a tiny minority agree with her).

    And, of course, she has mastered the Orwellian double speak of “hate is love” on gay issues. In her nationally televised debate with Joe Biden, she implied that she had “gay friends,” or at least she has friends who have gay friends. Palin tends to ramble incoherently, making it hard to pin down what she really meant when she said, “I am tolerant and I have a very diverse family and group of friends and even within that group you would see some who may not agree with me on this issue, some very dear friends who don't agree with me on this issue.”

    If we were in doubt about how she defines being “tolerant,” she clarified herself in an interview with the Christian Broadcasting Network. "I am, in my own, state, I have voted along with the vast majority of Alaskans who had the opportunity to vote to amend our Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman," Palin stated, “I wish on a federal level that's where we would go because I don't support gay marriage.”

    What a nice, tolerant friend she is! I don’t know about you, but I always like to have friends around who, based on their theology, think of me as a lesser person who deserves fewer rights than the majority of Americans.

    While Palin has some frightful elements, I can’t help thinking she is a pale (Palin?) imitation of things we have seen many times before in this nation. If Schlafly was unique and masterful in her evil, Palin looks like a tired retread. She is just another arch-conservative woman who benefited from feminism, but seeks to dismantle those gains for others.


What I Aim For: Warren G. Harding

    For decades, Warren G. Harding was most often selected as the worst president the nation had ever known (in competition with Andrew Johnson and James Buchanan). When Harding was elected in 1920, he already had a reputation of being a bit slow and woefully unprepared for the job before him. Though he died before he even finished his first time, his administration became renowned for its corruption, unchecked greed, and incompetence. He also initiated economic policies, via Herbert Hoover, that culminated in the U.S.’s Great Depression. By all accounts, a major loser. Even Harding admitted, “I am not fit for this office and should never have been here." It would be a costume that only historians would appreciate.

What I End Up With: George W. Bush

    Harding used to be considered the worst president, but I think that we can safely say that Bushie transformed himself into the most hated executive that this nation has ever known. Unlike Harding, he didn’t have the personal self-awareness to acknowledge his own ineptitude. Instead, he has unapologetically driven this country into moral and literal bankruptcy. If I appeared as Bush, even as a Halloween costume, I doubt that I could keep from vomiting.


What I Aim For: Gollum

    Cold, soulless, greedy, erratic, self-interested, and mean: These are a few of the words that come to mind when thinking of Gollum. Okay, so he isn’t Yoda, but he has the potential to frighten. His internal dialogues and erratic behavior made Gollum unpredictable and dangerous to those who surrounded him.

What I End Up With: John McCain

    Cold, soulless, greedy, erratic, self-interested, and mean: These are a few of the words that come to mind when thinking of John McCain. While I never (ever) agreed with McCain’s politics, he long ago lost whatever courtesy I might have given him when he so clearly cuddled up to Bushie to fuel his own ambition. Seriously misreading the direction of history, McCain banked on the idea that the nation would embrace the Bush administration’s mishandling of everything from the economy to wars. He was mistaken.

    During this campaign, even he has appeared frightened by the bile and hatred that has bubbled up from some of his supporters. Nonetheless, he clearly will do anything to take power. McCain has veered from one direction to another in increasingly desperate attempts to appear legitimate. He went from arguing that there was nothing wrong with the economy to suspending his campaign because the economy was in serious crisis. Most recently he “guaranteed” that he would win the White House, despite being behind in most of the nation’s major polls. To make that guarantee, he is either completely out of touch with reality or he already knows that the Republicans are planing yet another coup that will undermine the will of the people. When he starts mumbling "my precious" on November 4, I think that we will all know the score.

    Unlike Gollum, McCain has no magical ring or bastard Hobbitts to explain his personality disorders. Sadly, a McCain costume would be a more mundane form of anxious selfishness.


What I Aim For: GayProf

    Few other bloggers have the cool and glamorous personality of GayProf. He is good looking, witty, and can deflect bullets with his magic bracelets! Who doesn't want to be GayProf? Surely his own comic book or television series is just around the corner.

What I End Up With: Kevin French

    From the extremely short-lived cartoon Mission Hill, Kevin French would probably be the best I could do for a rendition of GayProf. Nerdy, self-conscious, and maybe a bit of a smug know-it-all, French would be a downer as a costume. Ask yourself this, though, is GayProf any less likely to know the details of dilithium mining in the Star Trek universe than Kevin French?


Roger Owen Green said...

welcome back. i love those comparison things can w not be the wpe - worst prez evah?

tornwordo said...

God that schlafly costume is truly the most horrific. What a worthless piece of human sewage. Oops, did I say that?

K said...

I can't give you any costume advice, but that image of GayProf in Wonder Woman gear made my day. It is fabulous.

David said...

I'm going to be a super hero this year.

Think body paint. Lots of it.

Mel said...

My ex, a presidential trivia buff, would argue 'til he was blue in the face that Harding was a worse president than W. My response was always that Harding at least had the decency to die 2½ years into his first term. I always suspected the ex of Republican leanings.

Doug said...

I dream of you dressed in your superhero outfit, tying me up with your lasso and making me tell dirty truths. Or have I said that before?

Any Hallowe'en parties for you on Friday? You going Trick-or-Treating?

jp said...

If I see any Palin costumes out and about this year, there will be violence.

jaclyn said...

The Wonder GayProf pic is fantabulous. Who made?

My own costume keeps getting modified ... darn stores don't sell the things that I see in my head. And I don't have time or talent to make the whole thing from scratch. Oh well, it's just an excuse to indulge my new secret love: full-on face painting. :)

GayProf said...

ROG: For certain, I think
"W" is the most hated president ever.

Torn: Say it loud, say it proud. Has there been a woman who has more constantly been on the wrong side of every issue?

K: Since it is likely that I will not meet you in real life, know that my body is totally like the one represented in that image.

David: As long as the Superhero isn't Robin, I can't see how you could go wrong.

Mel: Your ex was an idiot (though I suspect you already know that). I might buy an argument about either James Buchanan or Andrew Johnson being worse than Bush (Because those idiots either supported human slavery or were just plain crazy). Harding worse than Bush? I don't think so. As you point out, he wasn't even around long enough to be worse.

Doug: You have not mentioned this previously. Should I be in Florida, however, we should discuss it in detail.

JP: Now, now. We at CoG never support violence. Besides, maybe people will wear those costumes with irony.

Jaclyn: We like the face paint.

Chad said...

I love that you made a reference to "Mission Hill." Yay to us being two of ten people aware of that show (I'm sure you agree with me that the show getting the axe so soon is one of the greatest crimes in the history of American animation).

Old Lurker said...

First car: 1975 Dodge Dart.

High school: ??? All I know is that it wasn't La Cueva.

Four supporting characters: Wonder Woman and the three Charlie's Angels. Also VUBOQ.

Alas, my altars are not small.

Antonio said...

My god, that atom bomb quote is scary. No wonder people turned around when Phyllis Schlafly spoke at a college graduation. A Sarah Palin costume would allow you to dip into some great quotes though. You might want to kill yourself by the end of the night.

prof bw said...

aim for:


end up with:


soo saad

pacalaga said...

See, there's something to be said for having one's head in the sand. I had never heard of that Phyllis person, and now my Reasons Humanity is Doomed list has to be all rearranged.

Greg said...

Ah, I love these light-hearted holiday posts!!

You know, if you tried to dress up like Schlafly and failed, you might still end up looking like Alfred E. Neuman, which would be an entertaining costume.

Of course, people would probably assume you were dressed as Bush. Certainly no lack of scary costumes to choose from this year!

afod said...

I picture a wire frame around you in the shape of Wonder Woman's invisible jet. However, you'd have to turn slowly so as not to cause the tip of the plane to hit the cute guy in front of you. Then again, the tip of the plane could be a nice prod for that cute guy! Yours truly HAD to go as a pimp. AAACCCKKK!!!

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