With Halloween quickly approaching, I’ve begun to engage in my typical late-October activities. I’ve bought the candy, put up some spooky decorations in my room, and brushed the dust off of my beloved Jafar costume. But this year, every time I’ve walked down the halls of John Jay, I’ve been confronted with bulletin boards describing cultural appropriation and how to avoid it as Halloween draws near. This has caused me to ponder for the very first time: is my Jafar costume cultural appropriation?
When I first found myself asking this question I was taken aback. I’ve been donning the turban and scepter every Halloween since I was 6 years old, after all, and it’s never brought anything but delight to every one of my friends in Greenwich, Connecticut.
I hadn’t realized that the baritone British accent and scarlet macaw plush I’d flaunted were aspects of Arabic culture I’d grossly misrepresented. Without understanding the significance of Gilbert Gottfried in the Middle East, I couldn’t comprehend how my strutting around with Iago the Parrot perched on my shoulder might be an offensive reminder of my complicity in colonial power structures.
I’ve neglected to face the reality that an animated musical adventure rom-com written by 4 white men named Ron, John, Teddy, and Terry is not simply a costume -- it’s a culture. A culture that I am only further oppressing by demeaning its rich history into a convenient outfit.
After taking the time to educate myself on the real Magic Royal Vizier of Agrabah, I’ve come to the conclusion that my beloved Jafar costume might not have a place in this modern world and that maybe it’s time to put those curly red slippers away for good. This year, I’ll be taking a much different approach to my Halloween garb, and will instead be going as a sexy Walt Disney Pictures Executive Producer.
In Other News
"After all, he was pretty sure that they have the exact same nutritional content as regular cucumbers. Probably right? Doesn't matter."
According to witnesses, the last words he uttered before chugging his sixth Bud Light and stumbling out the door were, “Imma bout to send it.”
"In the absence of any real personality, our midwestern students sometimes struggle to find their niche on campus, and must resort to misguidedly boasting about their native climate."
"All this time I was talking about rabbis, but he was thinking about priests?”
"I’ve always been torn between my love of Gertrude Stein and weirdly shaped plants. But now I don’t have to be.”
"There were at least 90 virgins in that room, so I do feel like I got some decent value.”
"I’ve never introduced myself without explicitly mentioning it: 'He/Him/His, Columbia College, Burbank, California.'"
"This way, students can rest assured that even if that misdiagnosed strep throat becomes fatal, their souls will be preserved in eternal light."
"You should see those emaciated Slavic studies fuckers on Floor Seven.”
"Because while ole Jeffy-Jeff did some pretty bad things, if we focus just on those we lose the big picture - a vibrant canvas which clearly shows that as a society, we can learn a great deal from this man."