In order to engage in Halloween in a genuine way I have to come up with a costume idea that really engages me in some kind of persona that I either inhabit for the night, or at least some sort of mythology that makes the repeated narration of just who I am "supposed to be" throughout the night remains worth the effort. Last year I didn't do much an essentially recycled a footballer outfit I found in a dumpster, along with a football jersey I found at the thriftstore with the words "Far East" emblazoned on the front (yeah, Edward Said, I'm looking at you), and some smudges of gold to add a little homosexual pizzaz.
This year I selected "El Barbie," or Edgar Valdez Villareal, to be my assumed persona for Halloween.
El Barbie, was so nicknamed for his blonde hair and green eyes, an anomaly amongst the Mexican-American community from which he originated. After some success in high school football he went on to sell drugs and crossed the border, quickly climbing the ladder of the Beltran Leyva drug cartel in Mexico. Eventually he became the kingpin of said cartel and he was known for the torture and decapitation of his victims in the cartel wars with the Zeta cartel.
Personally I'm a little fascinated by the informal market interchanges of the drug cartels in Latin America and how often they are tied directly by a customer base to the United States, or by the internecine combat perpetuated by the proxy wars and Cold War policies of the United State, as in Colombia's FARC. His national origin makes him more interesting still, much like other Latino notables, e.g. the president of the Dominican Republic grew up mostly in the Bronx.
Anyway, I based my costume off of the outfit from his capture video, which isn't that remarkable admittedly. I added a great deal of dried blood and gore bits (achieved by gluing fake-blood soaked cotton balls with rubber-cement) to my arms and fists as if I had been beating and decapitating all day, as well as a few tactically placed blood smears as if I had made casual attempts to wipe my hands clean. The key with this was to make it not look like I was to be some attempted suicide, I achieved this by outlining my knuckles with much blood and gore and making my right arm appear to be more caked with blood and gore.
Unfortunately my attempt to spray my hair blonde with the cheap costume paint yellow made my hair much greener than blonde, a disappointment, but given how good my arms looked, I didn't mind.
I attended a graduate student party for my department that evening and was received with not much fanfare, and the rather irritating effect of having one of my friends follow me around and introduce me to others as an abortion doctor, alack!
Anyway, next Halloween I plan on being much more proactive. After a discussion with my roommate who wanted to play of the sorority girl tendency to make all Halloween costumes sexy + ________ (as in "sexy zombie," "sexy lady-bug," "sexy crack whore"), we decided to do similar but more hilarious versions of the theme such ideas like sexy raincloud, sexy roadkill, sexy orange traffic cone.
Still I kind of want something a little more dramatic + the element of sexy, so I've been considering being a Minotaur inspired by Picasso's own: