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Ok, so I need everyone's opinion.... the past couple years my friends have dressed as pretty controversial characters, from Charles Manson, to Hitler, to Casey Anthony. Being a San Diego resident, the blackfish "Documentary" was a pretty big deal around here. They're thinkinf of going as Tilikum, the killer whale, covered in blood and with a blonde pony tail hanging out of the mouth. my question is, is it too soon? and does anyone else have friends that dress up like this for the shock factor?
 

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His name is Roger Clyne
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It's really a crapshoot with these sort of things. If you know your crowd & know they can deal with it, go for it. But if you do go for it regardless of the crowd, be prepared for SOMEONE to be offended, it's just part of that package. You can't please everyone.

Generally the rule is, if you have to ask if it's offensive, it most likely is offensive to someone.
 

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I dressed as an 1860's United States infantry soldier for Halloween 2010 and that is a very controversial and scary costume to wear in the part of Dixie where I'm from. I'm joking. It wasn't that bad. In any case, I was in my local downtown area and I recall going into a restaurant where a small group of young Caucasians drunkenly complimented my attire. I announced that slavery wasn't going to be going on anywhere tonight as long as I was present. A young man in that clique raised his glass to me and cheered. The others seemed confused by my statement and their friend's response to it however. They were clearly not history buffs sadly.


I later returned outside and an adult Nordic male dressed interestingly enough as a 1940's U.S. sailer said to me upon viewing my outfit,

"Oh no. A Yankee?"

"Yes Sir." I replied.

"That's not good."

"Hurrah for Abe Lincoln!" was my response and I marched on.


I recall there were a few angry looking Anglo-Saxon yokels glaring at me. On the flip side - I had random African-Americans "thank" me. In one of the most amusing encounters I experienced, an inebriated black man (whom I think was homeless and who I could barley understand) gave me a huge bear hug, indicated that he loved my costume by lifting his hands up and down in the direction of my uniform and had a smile on his face while nodding his head, and then he shook my hand. I recollect saying something along the lines of "God bless you Sir." to him.


It was interesting. As an American Civil War fan and contemporary Lincoln Loyalist, I absolutely loved the experience because I got to feel 1/10th of how actual Union troops must have felt during the War of the Rebellion when they were in Federally occupied southern towns. The men in President Lincoln's army had reported that when in those areas, they often had angry white locals glaring at them and heckling them, but also were greeted by very happy slaves who treated them with kindness and acted as if the blue warriors were celebrities. One-hundred-and-forty-seven years later, the response was still the same in the land of cotton.
 

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Creepin' It Real
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I'm not a big fan of shock costumes, but my guess is that most people would be as likely to view a bloody Tilikum costume as anti-Sea World statement as anything else. Given your location on the opposite coast of the tragedy being referenced.... I don't know, they might get away with it. Personally I'd view it more as bad taste than truly offensive.
 

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I think it depends mostly on the particular sensibilities of the crowd at this party.
A friend once dressed in a bloodied white lab coat, and had a bent coat hanger sticking out of his pocket.
He said it was well received at the party he went to, I could see it getting a different response in other circles.

P.S. I think your killer whale costume idea is pretty funny.
But then I wonder if people would still be so wound up about killer whales if they were available in cans at the grocery store.
 

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I'm not sure if my "Alien-that-just-ate-it's-way-through-a-Cow" costume offended aliens, cows , or vegetarians? But then I only really kind of "know" one vegetarian, and he's the guy who got so mad when his little girl pushed a "button" in Raven's Grin and made something scare her Dad! (The Vegetarian)
Being as it was "Him", it probably doesn't matter! (Grouchy because his little girl had fun at his expense! Wow!?)
I am pretty sure he is the first and only parent that acted like that.
Maybe he's an alien"?
 

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I think Tilikum would be more "poor taste" than controversial. I think it's the blond ponytail that pushes it over the edge. I'm not a fan of costumes that make light of tragedy. Not when there are so many other great things one can dress up as for Halloween.
 

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One October at numerous costume contests a popular costume then seemed to be the Pregnant Nun . Think any Catholics "might" have been offended by this?
I bet they were.
At one contest the person wearing the P-G. Nun costume was a young black woman who got passed the first -round and went to the finals and she was upset !
Upset because if she placed in the contest everyone would then know her name!
Lucky for her she did not" place".
Sometimes what seems like a good or funny idea kind of goes sour as the light of day and the clearness of mind finds us.
 

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I don't think it's too soon for such a costume. Why? Because, 100% total honesty, it seriously took me a minute to realize it was a reference to the SeaWorld incident and not just a riff on Orca. And then it was only because you named the whale in your post.

If you walked into my party, I would be like, "Ha! The killer whale ate a surfer! Where's the guy dressed as the shark? They should meet!"
 

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Master Crypt Keeper
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Since controversial topics are controversial just a reminder to keep posts family friendly and that posts are attacking any persons or groups or that it is breaking normal rules. Remember that no religion or politics are discussed here as 100% of the time it goes wrong (with the exception religion and the direct connection to Halloween or Samhain).
 

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Ok my 2 cents worth. For me controversial costumes are never appropriate if they represent an actual incident where someone was brutalized, murdered, or killed in any fashion whether accidental or intentional. Whimsical or even sexy costumes can be fun and I feel are appropriate for the right party but any costume that has the result (intended or not) of representing an actual event that brought pain to persons who have suffered due to the actual incident represented should not be considered to be in anything but very poor taste. I'm not saying that any constume than offends someone should not be considered approrpiate. Most anyone can be offended for a number of reasons. And believe me I am not easily offended. But if an actual event is represented that is where I would draw the line. For example: for me a killer whale or shark with a piece of surfboard in its teeth would be sort of whimsical and appropriate as it does not represent any actual incident or a actual person who someone might identify with as the victum of a tragic attack....but the same constume with a pony tail in in its mouth I feel is inappropriate as it represents an actual event where someone tragically lost their life. Where's the Halloween fun in that. Of course there are always exceptions and if late night comics use an event or person in their routine it is probably ok for a costume. But if THEY steer away from a topic party goers probably should as well. Just sayin".....
 

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Agree with Scary Papa - I prefer to keep Halloween fun/scary and light-hearted, and I think poking fun at the expense of a real person who was killed is kind of over the top. We've got enough seriousness and tragedy in this world, IMHO.
 

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The two girls who made national news for dressing up as the world trade center are regretting their decision. It really does depend on the crowd. Many years ago I dressed up as a Kent State student for a come as a famous dead person party. I did offend one girl. In retrospect now that I am a bit more mature it was a bad idea.
 

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Reaper Guardian
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If you have to ask, don't do it.
 

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Honestly, if you feel fine with what you have chosen and have no bad feelings or feelings of regret, do it. You can't please everyone. I am speaking from experience and a few years back chose a costume that was in very bad taste. I didn't care then and I don't care now, I pulled it off and the people who got it loved it. There were a few people who tried to pick an argument over it, but I stuck to my guns and sent them on their way. So if someone is thinking of an offensive costume I would say at least have the confidence to pull it off.
 

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I don't personally feel that potentially offensive costumes are really in the 'spirit' (haw haw haw) of Halloween. The idea for me is to dress up as either something spooky, or something amusing. The idea was to frighten off or confuse ghosts and other such heebie-jeebies, not your friends and family ;).
I have to agree, if you have to ask whether it's a good idea or not... It probably isn't.
I think that the PC parade has gone on long enough in this day and age. But the tragic and somewhat violent death of a person is never something (in my view) to be trivialised.

Put it this way. If it was your wife/daughter/sister that was killed, would you think it was a harmless joke to have someone dress in a costume like that on Halloween?
Not at all to be a downer and I'm sorry if I'm coming off a bit strong. It's certainly not intended that way! If I saw someone wearing that costume, once they'd explained it to me (I'm not American so I had to wiki it, seems to be your version of Steve Irwin and the sting ray) I'd probably raise an eyebrow and say "Well then, that's... An interesting choice..." and move along. I certainly wouldn't think you were a horrible human being. Just that you had bad taste when it comes to humour rofl.
 

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Why controversial? There are so many things you can be creative with without seeking attention in a negative manner.....
 
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Oh man... Several years ago I saw a guy wearing a bloody tuxedo with a little stuffed tiger on his shoulder as if it were biting his neck. I was baffled until I saw "Roy" spelled out with studs on the back of his blazer. He was portraying Roy from the Las Vegas show Sigfried and Roy the Halloween right after Roy was close to fatally attacked by one of their big cats. It was the funniest, most irreverent costume I've ever seen!
 
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