A Patch of Pumpkin Heads

 

 by Walter Brasch

 

In a few days, millions of children will put on costumes, go door to door, and shout “trick or treat.” By Nov. 1, it’ll be over.

 But, it won’t be over for Americans who will face presidential candidates for the next year. The candidates will continue to try to mask their true selves, while luring us with treats that disguise tricks. Let’s see what each of the candidates might be wearing for the coming year.

 President Obama could dress as a stable boy. Since his first day on the job, he’s had to shovel whatever it is that was left for him in the stable. His opponents, however, think he should dress up as Pinocchio, with an exceptionally long wooden nose, and carrying a hammer and sickle.

Rick Santorum had begun fading away after he was trounced in a Senate re-election campaign in Pennsylvania, too reactionary even for the Republicans. Wrap him in bandages as the Invisible Candidate.

 The other Rick in the race is Perry. For awhile, he was the leader of the pack until the other candidates ganged up on him. Moderates thought he was too reactionary; the extreme right-wing thought he was too liberal. Dress him in a helmet, black leather jacket, and jeans, etch a few tattoos onto his body, and have him encased by a sandwich board. For a few brief shiny moments, he was everything that Camelot wasn’t.

 The current front-runner is Herman Cain, whose mask is a cloth pizza slice, cut to the 9’s. But since he’ll be a passing pizza, as the Republican voters love and unlove their front runners, perhaps he could also wear a half-eaten slice with a red bull’s eye on his back.

 Michele Bachmann has become one-with-a-teapot. Every voting citizen is likely to see her during the coming year spewing scalding steam, but unable to make quality tea.

 Dr. Ron Paul could wear a surgeon’s scrubs, with a lot of fringe, able to leap onto any patient to cut fat and some muscle.

 Jon Huntsman, perhaps the most intelligent and most civil of the candidates, could dress in a three-piece striped pants suit of the diplomat he once was. But, since civility isn’t a trait among this year’s Republican crop, the other candidates will probably throw a potato sack over him and bury him in the dirt.

 The cast from The Wizard of Oz always presents good costume possibilities.

 Mitt Romney, once standing straight, is now leaning so far right that he is likely to be kissing the floor soon. Perhaps he could dress as the Cowardly Lion and hope to find some courage.

 It’s too obvious to dress Newt Gingrich as a salamander, none of whom have monogamous relationships. But, it is possible that this incarnation of the former House speaker could wear the mask as Dick Cheney, the man without a heart, who dresses as the Tin Man.

Dorothy, the sweet Innocent with intelligence and compassion, isn’t in the running for the Republican nomination. Sens. Susan Collins, Olympia Snow, and Lisa Murkowski are all possible Dorothies but have no reason to dress up since the Republican party doesn’t like anything sweet and moderate.

The Wizard manipulating everyone might be Roger Ailes, the brilliant president of Fox News. But, since we are writing the story, we’ll make this wizard evil, blustery, and dense. Cerberus, the three-headed vicious dog who prevents souls condemned to Hell from ever escaping, could be the disguise that best identifies Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and Sean Hannity.

And, of course that leaves just one main character from the Oz saga, the Scarecrow

without a brain. Need anyone look farther than the Alaskan Tundra for the one most likely to seize all the treats she can and still trick the people?

 [Walter Brasch’s latest book is Before the First Snow, a look at America between 1964 and 1991, the eve of the Persian Gulf War.]

 

 

 

Scary Isn't a Kid in a Halloween Costume

Kids in costumes can be scary -- but the greatest fear is what adults in suits have done to the nation.

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"Illegal alien" Halloween costume sets off firestorm

From Restore Fairness blog

On Friday, news started emerging about a racist and offensive 'illegal alien' costume being sold for Halloween on Target, Toys R Us, Walgreens, Amazon and a host of other retailers. Public pressure including pressure from immigration activists including CHIRLA, United Farm Workers and LULAC helped pull some of the costumes of the shelves - while Target and Toys R Us pulled the costume off their websites, Walgreens showed it as out of stock.

There has been no official announcement from Amazon but it appears that the costumes have been pulled.

The costume, described by CHIRLA as "distasteful, mean-spirited, and ignorant of social stigmas and current debate on immigration reform" consists of "orange prison-style jumpsuit with illegal alien printed on the front, an alien mask and a green card."

The mixed messages in the costume are mind boggling. A green card means legal status, therefore one isn't quite sure what that's doing as part of the costume - unless of course all immigrants are criminals. Being undocumented in the country is a civil offense - not a criminal offense - therefore why is a prison jumpsuit (which looks closely like uniforms worn by people held in Guantanamo) featured at all. Worst of all is the alien mask - clearly denoting how all outsiders are aliens. Maybe its even silly to try and break down such a costume but one can't help it when Fox news is asking where America's sense of humor is? And when William Gheen, president of anti-immigration group Americans for Legal Immigration PAC's President has offered to conduct interviews wearing the costume.

In an even more disturbing and offensive twist, Fox ends their depiction of the news with, "if you're here illegally, go to your local police station and tell them how outraged you are because you're an illegal alien and this costume offends you!"

Perpetuating racism and discrimination, this is only one in a line of costumes, designed to provoke fear and hostility towards outsiders. Here are two more costumes from Party City and Halloween Express that do just that.

Keep up with UFW's petition putting pressure on Amazon and other retailers to pull offensive costumes off their shelves.

Image courtesy of www.amazon.com

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A Vote for Obama's Jack-o-lantern

Here is a quick entry for those wanting some Halloween fun before this crucial/historic elections. A nice alternative way to vote :)

Obama Jack-o-lantern ecard

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McGhosts and Ogoblins

There are a lot of things that are scary this Halloween. In this biting satire, Rosemary and Walter Brasch look at the political candidates and their trek through America to get the goodies.

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Diaries

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