An infallible truth about human psychology: When someone looks at you with disgust and says, “I’m not offended, I just think it’s stupid,” you can bet your bank account that they are, indeed, offended. And the more deeply they dig themselves into the trench – their face getting redder and redder by the moment – the more obvious it becomes that you’ve touched a nerve.
For a prime example, take a look at Kevin Fallon’s recent piece in the Daily Beast, where he presumes to tell readers what they can and cannot wear on Halloween night. Fallon’s hardly the first liberal to crack down on “offensive” costumes – universities around the country are threatening students with disciplinary action if they wear sexist, racist, blank-ist costumes, so that horse has left the barn – but he tries desperately to separate himself from the pack by couching his criticism in the old “I’m not offended, it’s just stupid” nonsense.
In the column – titled “Do Not Dress as Ken Bone for Halloween” – Fallon drops a few lines meant to distance himself from the typical outraged liberal:
“We’re not blaring any sensitivity siren here. We’re merely pointing out that these costumes are really dumb.”
“When when we’re all in on it, it’s not cheeky; it’s mainstream.”
“People don’t think you’re being offensive—they think you’re being just dumb.”
Ah, but you don’t have to obtain a degree in psychology to understand that most people don’t get this angry about lame comedy. Fallon’s not writing an essay about stock superhero costumes or the perennial “eggs and bacon” couples outfit; he’s only concerned with costumes that get his liberal blood boiling.
On a Ken Bone costume: “His disturbing Reddit history proves he’s not nearly as adorable as we thought, suggesting, among other things, that the killing of Trayvon Martin was justified.”
On a Donald Trump costume: “You’re either suggesting that Donald Trump is a joke or you want to start a fight. If the reason is the former, see above. If the reason is the latter, you’re the worst for reasons far greater than your lame Halloween costume.”
And then, the facade falls entirely:
It’s pointless to dredge up the (completely valid) conversations about the exploiting of socioeconomic disparity with costumes mocking the homeless or “white trash,” the problematic consequences of the “sexy” Halloween motif, and the truths revealed about us by our consistent excusing of racist costumes.
They’re had every year and, if nothing else, only serve to bolster the annual blackout bacchanal, not deter from it.
The old, “I won’t even bring up how you steal money from your grandmother every year” style of argument. Always a classic.
Maybe Fallon’s right. Maybe these costumes aren’t funny.
But watching these bleeding hearts twist themselves into angry contortions over every Halloween sombrero? Friggin hilarious.