My Book Week Costume

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I am going to have to tread a little warily in the future – it looks like the wearing of costumes in public is going to be a touchy subject.

So far we have seen two instances of public outrage over students turning up at their schools for Book Week in outfits that caused major grade explosions on the social media – one dressed like his favourite football hero and one dressed as Adolf Hitler. Different schools, different states, but similar screeching from the computer screen. Note: the football hero is a black person and the kid who dressed up like him is not, but wore brown makeup anyway. I have no idea what the complexion of the Hitler kid is.

The blackface incident might have gone unnoticed had not the mother of the child posted a taunt about it on social media. Kerboom. The Hitler costume garnered a report from the ABC news site on Facebook. Kerboom. Even if it had not hit the fan there, it would have eventually surfaced as the Alice Springs school where the incident occurred was being visited at the time by a delegation of Jewish students from Melbourne…

I’m sorry to see the problems that have occurred, as dress-ups for kids and adults can be an innocent pleasure. My friends in the Grey Company  do it every single weekend in some guise or other; medieval, renaissance, 18th century, etc. We have even seen one of them dressed as Vlad The Impaler ( heading image ). As he has done this on many occasions for public display, and been applauded for it, it really does call into question the whole business of public outrage.

For my part, as I have long put aside the Union Army uniforms and Scottish kilts that were seen twenty years ago, and have nothing more inflammatory in the wardrobe than Russian sailor’s outfit or 18th century gentleman’s dress, I should be safe. I can justify the former with a copy of Bulgakov and the latter with Voltaire or Poor Richard’s Almanack. I would read Lady Chatterley’s Lover but I haven’t the figure for it.

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