Saturday, October 17, 2009

Space, The Final Frontier...

OK, buckle up! I’m about to show my less than liberal side (I warned you it was in there). Target, that beloved Middle America retailer is under fire for marketing an “Illegal Alien” costume. No, it’s not a migrant worker. It’s a real alien. From another planet. Complete with orange jump suit and green card. You can see it here.,0,4261573.story

OK, I’m a “touchy feely” guy who fully believes that everyone should be treated fairly and honestly. I give to charities. I pretty much vote the democratic ticket (there are exceptions). And as you know, I have a few problems with the extremely conservative fringe of our society. But I also think that we have a right to a sense of humor. Now if the costume DID portray a migrant worker, I would take issue with that. I mean there are a ton of mean spirited anti-human themes that come to mind that would also prove to be in bad taste. Make the costume a prison outfit to imply illegal aliens are criminals. I’d have a problem with that. Make the costume portray an indigent beggar to imply illegal aliens are a non-productive drain on society. I’d have a problem with that. Make the costume into some exaggerated caricature of a Mexican or South American person to bolster American’s distasteful habit of promulgating stereotypes. I’d have a problem with that. Portraying any ethnic group of people to imply the entire populace of that group is illegal. I’d have a problem with that. But come on! It’s a fucking Star Trek/Lost in Space/Creature From Another Planet type of alien! Lighten up!

I’m sorry but political correctness has been taken too far. The executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles has said the costume is “distasteful, mean-spirited, and ignorant of social stigmas and current debate on immigration reform." Really? I thought it was a clever play on words. You know… a-l-i-e-n? Like someone from another planet? Not someone from another country. I mean is there even a connection here? There are a plethora of books and movies out there that utilize the possibility of life on other planets as their subject matter. When ET wanted to go home, did we envision a tunnel under the US/Mexican border? If we talk about little green men are we suddenly guilty of degrading everyone who isn’t white (or any other color for that matter)? If Target decides to market a LEGAL alien costume portraying a little green man are we going to hear from the executive director of the Coalition for Humane Extra Terrestrial Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles? Hey, we can’t be too careful. We may have visitors here among us who would find that offensive. What if they aren’t green? They could be blue, pink, azure… we don’t know! It’s horrifying to think we might offend some guy named Zxplatralo from the Andromeda Galaxy.

We have Americans dying in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have Americans living in trailers outside of New Orleans. We have Americans who have lost 30-50% of their life savings due to the tanked economy. We have Americans who don’t know where their next meal might be coming from. There’s the threat of a Swine Flu epidemic. Our jobs are being shipped overseas and down south. Corporations are revealing themselves to be con-artists. I could go on and on. Don’t we have more important things to concern ourselves with? This is a Halloween costume we are talking about people. An argument can be made that many of them are offensive by nature. The nurse in the skimpy outfit. The Native American in stereotypical garb. The hobo. People might take offense to an “army guy” (they kill), a cop (they deserve more respect), an axe murderer (too violent). If we live our lives in a manner that will not be offensive to anyone, well, we might as well stay at home with our hands tied behind our backs because there is someone out there who will find almost anything offensive.

So get real. If you want to go after someone, go after hate groups, or religious fanatics who show zero tolerance for those who think differently than they do, or Bernie Madoff. Don’t waste your time, or more importantly, OUR time with shit like this. There really are things far more important, and valid, to worry about. Now excuse me, I have a costume party to prepare for. This year I’m going as Rush Limbaugh. Talk about offensive!

Oh, and by the way. My apologies to anyone affiliated with "Family Ties". In my last blog I connected Kirk Cameron with them. It was pointed out to me that he was on "Growing Pains". My bad.


Common Sense

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