Sunday, January 30, 2005

So which is it? Mocking or emulating?

News from The Roanoke Times -VMI launches investigation of costume party: "One picture shows three men in their VMI-issued black shirts and gray pants giving the Nazi salute to the camera. Two are wearing homemade swastika armbands. One is wearing a small Hitler-style mustache. Another picture shows two men dressed in tiaras, wings, lipstick and eye shadow. One is holding a wand, and both are wearing underpants and tank tops that read, 'I [heart] a man in uniform.' There are also pictures of a man smeared head-to-toe in dark makeup and wearing a loin clot h, and a man with a bull's-eye drawn with tape on the rear of his pants. Posted Thursday, the photos immediately generated a running online debate about their offensiveness. "

So here we have a costume party, al la Prince Harry, where poor taste is condemned as racism, sexism, homophobia and all the rest. Here, the PC police seem to want to have their cake and eat it too: if you dress in drag, you are mocking gays, but if you dress in a Nazi outfit, you are lauding fascists. Why is it not the other way around: mocking Nazis and promoting homosexuality? Or maybe mocking both. Or maybe, just maybe, people are reading too much into all this and need to get thicker skins.

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