costumes for development geeks
Following the popularity of last year's post, we here at Texas in Africa headquarters humbly offer some suggestions for your Halloween costuming needs should you be hanging out with other people who understand why dressing as a development economist is hilarious. And, really, everybody else is going to come as the Double Rainbow guy or Christine O'Donnell. Be creative:
- One Million Shirts - Oh, like you didn't see this one coming a mile away. This is easy for those of you who have lots of t-shirts left over from college clogging up your dresser drawers, but it's also handy if you're on a remote posting in a place that has a market full of cast-off t-shirts. The trick is two-fold: 1) you need to wear as many t-shirts as possible. Layer them, tie one around your head, make them into sweatbands, wear them as pants, whatever. 2) Carry a bottle of hatorade.
- SWEDOW - In a similar vein, pull all the Stuff WE DOn't Want (as @talesfromthhood so brilliantly named all the throwaway junk Americans have a habit of donating to people who neither want or need it) you can find out of the closet and wear it. TOMS shoes, used lingerie, jeans with too many holes to be wearable - whatever works.
- Aid Transparency - Wear something floaty and/or transparent, then get a friend to dress as Bill Easterly and chase you around all night. (See last year's post for hints on dressing like the Greatest of All Aid Bloggers.) When asked for data or proof of anything at all, make up answers that blame your inability to answer on someone else's nonexistent lack of permission. Bonus: add in Jeff Sachs, who should run around all evening throwing fake money at problems.
- Rwanda's New Times - The New Times is, of course, Rwanda's government-supported/written daily. To go in this costume, wear black and white so you look like a newspaper. Spend the entire party denying obvious facts with outrage: "This drink isn't cold, it's hot!" "Halloween isn't in October if we say it isn't!" Bonus points if you ask everyone who questions you, "Why do you want this party to fail?"
- Omar al-Bashir - Sudan's president/indicted war criminal has quite a few looks as this handy Foreign Policy fashion spread makes clear. Pick one of those to wear. To really pull this off, you'll want to flaunt your obviously well-stamped passport and tout the frequent flier miles you've accrued since the ICC indictment came down. (Tasteless? Possibly. But not as tasteless as what the countries letting al-Bashir get away with this stuff are doing.)
- Saving Haiti - This is a great costume for two: one of you should go as Wyclef Jean (wearing a Wyclef 4 Prez button or t-shirt) and the other as Sean Penn (with a gun in your belt). This would be another great place to pull out your SWEDOW, but the key to pulling it off is to focus entirely on yourselves and your so-called contribution while ignoring the desires and suggestions of the people around you and all experts.
- The Sucking Vortex - Some friends and I have been trying to figure out how you could dress up as Time Africa Bureau Chief Alex Perry's infamous description of the DRC pretty much since he made the mistake of calling it that and then made the bigger mistake of reacting angrily (and in public) to criticism of his comment. We can't figure out how you'd pull it off, but we all agree: the creation of the outfit should involve a BeDazzler. If you come up with something, let us know in the comments.