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
"In an increasingly interconnected world, we at the Office of Global Programs are hoping that a trip up to Union Theological Seminary or down into Lehman can be reframed as its own rich adventure!"
"I thought it was frankly irresponsible that the tour guide failed to mention even one location in which my son could find himself bucking the wild white pony at 3:15pm on a Wednesday afternoon."
"His previous experience transporting souls across the river Styx to the world of the dead was eye-opening; he is just impeccably qualified to take the reins of our institution’s cherished nursing home.”
"The problem at hand is obviously upbringing, as Manny seems to be totally unaware of the established rules governing my society."
"The freshman is now able to efficiently balance his time between understanding the ethics of Hellenistic culture, and informing all of his recent sexual partners that they should get tested."
"I usually make a point of not opening emails from students. Any response within a month or so just makes them feel entitled, and besides, direct student-faculty conduct is a lawsuit waiting to happen."
I could’ve sworn I heard my RA saying something about stopping by Duane Reade to ‘pick up a few things.’ Who knows what that could mean?”
"I am so disturbed by these recent developments within our school environment that I may transfer to a college where the football team still sucks, like Cornell."
"For now, Gilmore can only wonder and wait, alert for that fateful moment when, four years hence, his sex life will coincidentally blossom following a job offer at Facebook."
"At press time, students across campus remained too scared of Gunderson to tell him to speed the fuck up."