Thursday, October 20, 2016

Atheist liberal war on Halloween!

Update 10/21: Revised and expanded for clarity.
Lady Gaga getting into costume for a Halloween party in Paris, 2014, as a table. Photo by Splash News via Daily Mail.
A little "humor" or at least Reductio ad Turdum from Katherine Timpf at the National Review:
I am sick of articles telling people how to choose what to “be” for Halloween without being insensitive . . . because the truth is, dressing up as anyone or anything other than yourself is always offensive.
Let me say it again: It’s all appropriation, it’s never okay, and there are no exceptions. You may think that I’m being extreme, but if you follow the very same logic that people use to explain why costumes like “Pocahontas” or “geisha” are offensive, you will realize that my conclusion is the only one you can possibly draw.
Yes, because if you say wearing tan-in-a-can and a black wig with a turkey feather and a leather minidress with cleavage and calling yourself Pocahontas is hurtful to Native Americans, you might as well say that dressing up as Headmaster Dumbledore is hurtful to people who identify with elderly British wizards. That's just logic.

Because apparently Kat Lazo, at the Everyday Feminism blog in October 2013 (uh, National Review, you're applying your hot takes to a three-year-old wound), was regretting her own past as a white woman in racist costumes ("sexy Native American girl"—"Pocahontas" is Timpf's projection), and part of her argument was that it's wrong to appropriate the cultural identities of others because they're "funny":
Sometimes what makes a costume funny is the fact that a White individual is wearing another ethnicity or race. And let me tell you, that is straight racist. Those ethnicities and races are not yours, so while you think it’s a funny costume, it’s other people’s lives you are wearing.
To Timpf, that's exactly the same as arguing all costumes are unacceptable, because every costume appropriates something from somewhere:
there are already documented cases of people who identify as vampires and dragons, and it is more than possible that any fictional character you could imagine is the actual, real identity of someone somewhere out there, and giving that person’s identity the respect it deserves is far more important than your stupid little costume.
True, nobody's ever mounted large-scale programs to extirpate vampires and dragons from their own ancestral homes across an entire continent, destroying their languages and cultures, but that's not what the cultural appropriation argument is about.

(Spoiler: that's precisely what the cultural appropriation argument is about, the appropriation by a powerful community of symbolic attributes of the powerless—it's OK for a white woman to mock white male multimillionaires, as the author of the blogpost did for Halloween 2012 after her revelation, dressing as Mitt Romney with a Binder Full of Women. Oh wait, is that the butthurt that has been festering at National Review for three Halloweens now until it could no longer be contained? Funnily enough Timpf doesn't mention it.)

In fact those politically correct spoilsports probably shouldn't even let you dress as a fork, because how many people identify as cutlery?
Maybe refrigerators do have thoughts and feelings, just like the rest of us. How would you know? The point is, dressing up as anything, even an inanimate object, is appropriating its experience for one night of fun without having to deal with it the rest of the year — and that is about as sick as it gets.
I guess Katherine Timpf is going to be costumed as an intelligent person, that would be pretty hilarious. Maybe she'll wear a tweed jacket with elbow patches and a meerschaum pipe. Suck on that, intellectuals!

Dave Chappelle, back in the day, in a getup that has caused many Nazis to weep hot tears of fake outrage. "Why can't we do the same?" It's because Chappelle was overturning prejudices, not reinforcing them, if you need to be told.

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