AV Club: So you’re not the kind of guy who dresses up for Halloween as an adult?
Chuck Klosterman: No. I loved Halloween when I was young. Now I sort of hate it, because if you go to a party where dressing up is optional, the people who do dress up will come up to the people who don’t and basically act like you’re ruining the party. Some people get really into it, like they’re more into it now than when they were kids. They’ll dress up in some kind of abstract, conceptual costume, like they’ll come as a volcano. They’ll have this huge volcano outfit on with dry ice coming out of the top or whatever, and then I’m just wearing clothes. And they’ll come over and ask you what you’re dressed up as, and then you make a joke and they get mad. It makes the whole party seem uncomfortable. I don’t even mind being chastised, but you can tell you’re making them enjoy the party less. Because in their minds, this is their one chance to be weird or whatever. I find that the people who like to dress up for Halloween are the people who, in life, are less weird. You see this a lot in the goth community. People who are into goth love Halloween, so much so that they make it part of their social life. But when you see goths outside their goth clothes, when you see them during the day—except for the fact that a lot of the time their hair seems fucked-up—they seem particularly straight. They don’t seem weird at all. A lot of people who are really into dressing up, it seems to be inversely proportional to how creative their day-to-day life is.
All aboard the good ship relatable! Or the good ship beardo! Or the good ship promotional tour! Consult with your local marina to find the good ship interrelated to this sentiment that’s right for you.
There are three Christmas songs that I can enjoy listening to year round. Well four if you consider Donovan’s “Atlantis” a Christmas song. (Which is completely silly seeing as it has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas and no one considers it a Christmas song in any capacity.)
The three non-time-sensitive Christmas bangers that merit your unadulterated adoration are: All I Want For Christmas Is You by Mariah Carey, This Christmas by Donny Hathaway, and Christmas Wrapping by The Waitresses.
Even with Halloween on the doorstep, I’m strutting awkwardly in my room trying to nail Patty Donahue’s yuletide snarl.
Last night I had a small acting role in a horror movie. The role? Socially-inept schlub dressed as a clown that is promptly seduced and murdered by a vampire in a bathroom stall. Story of my life, really*.
*Legal disclaimer: I have never been seduced or murdered by a vampire. I did get a handjob from a werewolf at a Dogs Die In Hot Cars concert, though.
Halloween (Or l’halloween to my Quebec revolutionary pals) is a day where fantasy and narcissism align with marvelous panache. Everyone’s atwitter about venturing out in their costumes. Costumes that are designed to pop with a wonderful “look at me” factor. We want attention, and bygum we’re going to get it. How? By employing the weapon of culture-referencing fashion. And occasionally UNICEF boxes. But mainly, culture-referencing fashion.
This good-natured desire has mainly been used for good. It invites creativity, esteem and assisting the corn syrup industry by overestimating how much corn syrup is in fake blood. But like all good things in life (such as The Beatles) it can also be used for evil. In this scenario, the evil is the unpleasant subgenre of “The Sexy Costume”. Shudder.
"The Sexy Costume" is a scourge upon this great (not-actual)holiday. These costumes are shit and disconcerting. It’s not as though I don’t enjoy sexy things, I do, but mutating regular costumes into sleazy atrocities inspires feelings of empathy rather than arousal. Instead of thinking about making out with the "sexy construction worker", I wonder about the difficulties experienced by female construction workers. Can I masturbate to that after the party? No, no I cannot.
Additionally, the women in the “sexy costumes” aren’t particularly sexy to begin with. It’s always the woman dressed like Margot Tenenbaum (preferably with wooden finger), Ronnie Spector, or Cyborg Mary Wollstonecraft that sends hearts aflutter. Heck, every girl in the room could go as Holly Golightly and I’d be thrilled by the prospect. I also feel the Holly Golightly principle could be applied to Friday nights, but that’s another misguided post.
While checking my email today, I noticed a story on email homepage listing The Top Ten Sexy Halloween Costumes. Out of spite and morbid curiosity (two things that make the Western World great!), I clicked the link and read over their list. As you can imagine, it’s a hilariously misguided list. So I thought I would share its findings by reposting their suggestions and adding my brilliant retorts (namecalling and swearwords). Fish are best served in a barrel.
Mail.com’s Easily Mockable List Of The Top Ten Sexy Halloween Costumes
Their Take: “Mirror, mirror, on the wall, we don’t even have to ask who’s the fairest of them all. It’s whoever’s wearing this Snow White costume, that’s who.”
My Take: If memory serves, Snow White is incapacitated for a large part of the tale. It seems to me that this outfit is designed to entice date rapists. Date rapists are horrible people and make it okay to indifferent to the feelings of football players (bam! you’ve been stroked with a broad brush football players!). Also, why so many bows? It’s like the model is being attacked by red butterflies. Look long enough and each limb seems to have a formal bowtie.
Alternate Costume Idea: Gisele from Enchanted. She possesses the positive traits of Snow White, while still remaining her own person. Sort of like Leslie Knope on Parks & Recreation. Actually, go with Leslie from Parks & Recreation.
Their Take: “See here, copper. That’s a nice costume you’ve got there. If only it came with handcuffs, it’d be complete.”
My Take: The model has LAPD printed on the back of her costume, so it can let people know that she may commit acts of unprovoked brutality on black people. Stay away from her at the party. The fishnets create sort of a mindfuck that this could be an undercover prostitute posing as a police woman.
Alternate Costume Idea: Alex Drake from Ashes To Ashes (Everyone’s favourite detective that was sent back to 1980s London (or was she?) to solve crimes and try to find a way back to her daughter.)
Their Take: “If you don’t know who this is, you’re probably not a child of the ’80s. This princess was the prize for the Super Mario Bros throughout their adventures. Supply a dude with overalls and a mustache, and you’ve got a total theme.”
My Take: Does this outfit not scream “child pageant murder” to anyone else?
Alternate Costume Idea: Paper Bag Princess. If you know you’re advanced Canadian literature, you’d know she got shit done.
Their Take: “Donald Duck never wore pants, and neither will you in this skimpy number. Word to the wise: “Matey” is more something a pirate would say than a sailor, so stick to “mate” and you’ll be golden.”
My Take: Yes, don’t use the word “Matey”. That would completely fuck up the continuity of the pantsless shipmate illusion.
Shipmate: “Why don’t you put down that can of Labatt Wildcat and we can go have sex in the bathroom, matey.”
Potential Sex Partner: “Matey? Pirate! Everyone run away! We have a pirate posing as a shipmate. I’m going to shoot my flare gun into the crowd as a distraction.”
Shipmate: “If I had just used the continuity rules of Mail.com that stranger would be fingerbanging me against a moldy sink by now.”
Alternate Costume Idea: Someone who says “Matey” without fear of reprisal. Like US Surgeon General nominee Elanor Mariano. I’m not sure how she feels about the word “Matey”, but she has the convictions to say what she believes damn it!
Their Take: “Sure, real nurses deal with all kinds of gross stuff, but for one night you can pretend it’s all about opening up and saying “ahhhh.”“
My Take: Did Mail.com just make a blowjob joke? A scary unpleasant blowjob joke preceded with putting thoughts of “gross stuff” in our minds beforehand? My initial reaction to nurses is illness, needles and my mother. I can cringe from all sorts of fun perspectives. Thanks suggestion cluster.
Alternate Costume Idea: RN Sue Johanson. This gives you a free pass to educate people and make them uncomfortable. Add additional uncomfortably with your many notes on why anal sex can be dangerous.
Princess Leia Slave Costume
Their Take: “Wanna make a nerdboy drool? Two words: “slave Leia.” When Carrie Fisher appeared in this outfit in Return of the Jedi, thousands of American males hit puberty instantly. We’re not sure you’d want to help them relive that particular moment, but you can definitely give them a little nostalgia.”
My Take: I’m a decorated nerdboy, but I’ve always hated Star Wars. I hate it with the fire of thousand suns and ten-thousand grandsons. Carrie Fisher has never been sexy to me, and I mainly enjoy her candid soundbites. Plus as a white guy, there’s something about having “slaves” that gives me the heebie jeebies. This could be attributed to being really into Dead Prez in ninth grade.
Alternate Costume Idea: Uhura from Star Trek. This can be expanded to include dressing up like Nichelle Nichols at any time for any activity.
Their Take: “Sports fans may cuss, they may shout, but they always know the ref’s the boss. Find someone else in a coach’s outfit and you can argue all night.”
My Take: There’s a name for people that are aroused by Foot Locker employees, and that name is “mall pervert”. These people are escorted out of the mall with extreme prejudice.
Alternate Costume Idea: Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court Sonia Sotomayor. The ref may be the boss, but Sotomayor is vital to landmark decisions concerning social and government issues. That costume has come pre-sexified.
Their Take: “Sure, this one’s a bit easy. But it’s a classic.”
My Take: Isn’t it every woman’s dream to be caressed by the liverspotted hand of Hugh Hefner?
Alternate Costume Idea: Janelle Monae. Completely unrelated (her stock and trade is being a cyborg popstar that sounds like she’s reimagining Prince’s Sign O’ The Times for the year 2180), but has fashion that it’d be fun to emulate for one night.
The Cowardly Lion
Their Take: “Actor Bert Lahr didn’t quite have the curves to pull off this outfit in the 1939’s The Wizard of Oz, so the costume department went with something much frumpier. Take courage and help rectify that historical oversight this Halloween.”
My Take: So just plain ol’ lion(ess) wouldn’t make any sense? If you are The Cowardly Lion at a party, you will be drawn in by the gravitational pull of a charismatic dude dressed as Dorothy. It’s an indisputably scientific fact. And probably a lot of fun.
Alternate Costume Idea: Jane Goodall out for revenge. You can include Oz's flying monkeys if you're willing to create them in a lab.
Little Red Riding Hood
Their Take: “What can we say that Sam the Sham didn’t already in his 1966 hit? “Little Red Riding Hood, you sure are looking good. You’re everything a big bad wolf could want.”“
My Take: For starters you could point out that Little Red Riding Hood is a child, you sick fucks.
Alternate Costume Idea: KW from Where The Wild Things Are. You’ll beloved and be able to weed out the furries in short order.
I imagine that the Sexy Lady Rorschach costumes are going to be especially troubling.
Series Six/Episode Five of Peep Show is an exquisite portrait of hilarious misery. I’m not sure if they have galleries for such things. If they do, it’s likely in Europe and curated by English majors with strong opinions about The Magnetic Fields.
If you measure such things, being a fan of The Beautiful South ranks just beneath “being beaten about the head with your own asthma inhaler for hogging the microphone at a Star Trek convention” on the geek scale.
I can’t emphasize how much my Barenaked Ladies worship bumps me further down the dork ladder. If you grumbled that the Barenaked Ladies are just as much of a Housemartins spinoff as The Beautiful South, congratulations. We’re sharing the same geek rung.
Last night I recieved a text message from a number I didn’t recognize. This mystery number’s text asked me to attend a birthday party on Saturday night for a person whose name I didn’t recognize. The missent text filled me with a strange sense of dread.
"What if it were a celebrity’s party?" I wondered. I’d look quite the fool for missing it. I mean, imagine if the RZA or Lauren Ambrose were there and I snubbed them? My stomach started to tie in knots over the prospect. Or worse, what if the invitation was for a party like the one in Eyes Wide Shut? Not because I like the movie (I’ve never seen it), but rather because I won a surplus of scary birdbeak masks at a charity auction. I never have a reason to break those out.
I could always pop by at the time indicated in the text. I don’t need to understand what I’m attending. I’m a dangerous man. A man who crushes RSVP requests with his fists made of danger. Someone would surely shout out my name (the afforementioned Lauren Ambrose hopefully) and welcome me to the fold. Or someone might shout “intruder” and then the gathering would turn into an excuse to beat me with silverware and stylish footwear. I can just see my out-of-context beakmask being crushed under the vindictive heel of The RZA. I’ll cross out pop by as an option.
The only solution that seems reasonable to me is to throw my own rival party. This way I can crush the imaginary celebrity party that I may or may not be invited to. Maybe I’ll hire Jimmy Ray to guarantee party supremacy.
You had the power to end this Mystery Text Person, now it’s escalated beyond your control. Because I’m leaner, I’m meaner, I ain’t no in-betweener, and on Saturday night Good God you’ll be a believer.
(Also you’re invited if you like. I’m sure you’re a nice person)
Everybody jump back, turn around now, let’s do it again.
Well done Comedy Central’s Secret Girlfriend. You’ve answered the age-old question: “What would happen if you took dogshit bat to a pinata of failure?” A shower of poo and failure tumbling from the sky. That’s what Secret Girlfriend is.
Magic Sash! Each week someone discovers (and puts on) a mysterious blank sash. The newly worn sash magically has a title appear which reveals the wearer’s secret goal in life. Because it’s a sash, the goal is almost exclusively that of mayor or pageant winner. Through a series of wacky events and an invisible tiara that gives advice, the sash helps folks go from Miss Understood to Miss-Us/Ter President. All with a little dash of Magic Sash!
Johnny Boy - You Are The Generation Who Bought More Shoes And You Get What You Deserve
It turns out my Pa is incorrect. A white shirt and black tie does not make me look like The Transporter. With my features, this combination makes me look more like a mentally unstable bus boy just fired from Red Lobster.
"Oh, Bambi. I cried so hard when those hunters shot your mommy."
I think I’m drawn to women with large eyes because I have tiny, squinty eyes and my genetic code wants to give my offspring a fighting chance of appearing on network television. It’s what TV Guide demands of me. I’m eager to oblige and give back.
If Ministry stayed a synthpop outfit, they would make gems like this. Of course in that alternate universe the segway was never built. Would you want to live in that universe? Of course not.
Unrelated: The new Shakira song is fantastic, isn’t it? Of all my favourite songs about she-wolves, it is easily in my Top 5. Additional points for the non-threatening “awoo”. It lets people know not to be intimidated by she-wolves, but instead engender a healthy respect.
"Hey Minneapolis, hey St. Paul We don’t even care when we don’t get the call 'Cause it's root, root, root for the Minnesota Twins And it’s always a shame when the Twins don’t win”
Not only did my beloved Twins win the division crown (despite having the least intimidating name in baseball), but they will hopefully crush the dreams of the New York Yankees. Everything that’s right in the universe against the Evil Empire. Will I be drinking my Canada Cooler Rockaberry Red from the chalice of celebration or the chalice of defeat? Technically it’s the same chalice (my sister’s Lord Of The Rings light up goblet) but I prefer to get liver and kidney failure while tasting victory.
Real Talk: Canada Cooler is basically a bottle of bad decisions. I’ll probably also annoyingly order “double whiskey, coke, no ice” at the bar during Twins games. Thanks, Craig Finn!
The East River is the ultimate club banger. Provided you attend night clubs made up of romantically-challenged geeks. And by night clubs, I mean international documentary screenings and Get A Life episode re-enactments. It’s like Electric Circus the way we get down.
Aw shit, it’s time to mope on over to the dancefloor and quirk out! Everybody do the Jesse Eisenberg! Yeah!
Note: The Billie Piper track Because We Want To is also a suitable club banger.
I believe the baby that Eugene Reynolds is referring to in the song is a colloquial term for a paramour rather than an actual baby. Please don’t have unreasonable expectations for infants in their design pursuits. It was this blind faith in infant sculptors that led to Black Monday.
Congratulations to hell-vetic-yeah and Mary Get It Poppins on entering the world of home ownership. Soon to come: boat ownership. Expect congratulatory sashes to celebrate your grown-up-ocity in the near future.
Also expect me to get blackout drunk on peach schnapps in your new home. It’ll be like Earth Day 2006 all over again. Hoorays For Everyone!
Bubblegum meta commentary dorks and Rachel Leigh Cook revivalists of the world unite! The AV Club has finally tackled 2001’s Josie and the Pussycats in their My Year In Flops series. The results are available both at the AV Club and at the razor sharp pop culture blog uhreally.
An excerpt from The Guardian's recent interview with Ricky Gervais:
Gervais started our meeting by saying, “I think you should know something about me first. I never tried hard at anything. I was born smart on a very working-class estate. A couple of people I knew went to university apart from me, but all the way through I was the smartest kid in the school. That’s luck, but I was proud of it. And I was also proud of doing well without trying. As you get older, and it took me a long time to realise it, that’s a disgusting attitude, revolting. It’s ignorant and it’s a tragic waste, and I realised that the work itself is the reward. The struggle itself is the reward.” Everything else – fame, money, being best mates with Jonathan Ross – is secondary.
The best I could qualify for is “moderately bright”, but Ricky’s revelation strongly resonates for me. I tend to coast and it’s absurd that I haven’t gotten that sorted out. That said, I refuse to get onboard with his tight black t-shirt policy.