Op-Eds Opinion

Why your Harambe costume is not funny

Shawn McFarland


harmabe costume.jpg
Photo courtesy of Heavy.com

Halloween is officially four days away (Monday, Oct. 31) which means this upcoming weekend is ‘Halloweekend,” or whatever you desire to call it. For a vast majority of college students, the weekend of Halloween is one of the most anticipated events of the year.

And hey, can you blame them? Who doesn’t get amped up for a chance to pretend to be anybody but themselves? I’m kidding – kind of. But yeah, as I write this, I know that everyone is quietly planning their costumes for the weekend’s festivities, thinking their scheme will be the wittiest and the edgiest of all.Don’t get me wrong, there are probably going to be some fantastic costumes. I’d love to say that all of the costumes are going to be fantastic. But at the same time, there are going to be about 337 costumes (that’s just an educated estimation) that will probably be downright terrible.

I’m going to dive head first into this first costume on which I want to enforce an all-out ban on: everyone’s favorite deceased mammal, Harambe. Listen, I get it. You probably think Harambe is the talk of popular culture, right? You probably think that your Harambe costume in particular, out of the thousands of college students nation-wide that have the very same idea as you, will be the one that wows everybody?

Buddy, take a seat. I’ve got some traumatic news.

Harambe went out of style right around late August. The ol’ beast had his run, and boy was it one hell of a run. The former Cincinnati Zoo standout dominated national headlines for an entire summer, and it wasn’t long until literally every American from the ages of 16-25 starting making Harambe jokes.

Soon enough, my good friends over at Barstool monopolized the gorilla. T-shirts, videos, products – everything. He became a cash cow (or maybe a cash gorilla in this case). Then came the College GameDay signs. Then, the mainstream brands got to him.

Then, Harambe died for a second time. Yes, the masses managed to kill what was already dead. Rest in peace Harambe jokes (May 2016-September 2016). You will be missed, or will you? Am I ranting about a gorilla at this point? Yes, but I’m hoping it reinforces a point here: no one – and I mean no one – will find the 73 drunk college students clad in half-hearted gorilla costumes wandering around the town house backyards this Saturday.

Eventually, someone will be deep enough into their handle of Rubinoff that they’ll develop the genius idea to climb the side of the townhouses in a gorilla costume. “I’m King Kong,” they’ll sputter out. Now you’re just crossing two different gorilla entities, which I think is disrespectful to the long line of historic apes. Aside from that, you’ll be dangling from 40 feet in the air above 200 other inebriated students who won’t be too quick to catch you. And spoiler alert, the folks dressed as doctors won’t actually have medical skills to heal your wounds. It’s a slippery slope, from cliché joke to failed King Kong attempt. The final line – avoid Harambe.

Staying on the topic of dumb apes, please don’t dress as Donald Trump. Maybe last year it would’ve been funny – we all thought it was a joke back then. But now we’re just a few weeks away from this misogynistic psychopath potentially being elected into office.

If I see anybody wearing a Trump mask, a comb over and a cheap suit, I’m going to assume that you too don’t respect women, are in favor of systematic racism, and are an all-around idiot. Maybe you want that reputation, but I’m assuming you don’t.

Please avoid dressing as anybody accused of heinous crimes. That means Bill Cosby, OJ Simpson, Aaron Hernandez, Jared Fogle (the Subway pedophile), and anyone else that I’m forgetting. For one thing, it’s really not creative. If anything, it’s lazy. But more importantly, it’s just straight up insensitive. I’m vetoing it.

Clowns are another one. If you’re going as a specific clown, that’s one thing. But if you’re going to appease the clown trend which has now been expired for well over three weeks, you’ve already lost my attention.

Oh, you think you’ll be creative wearing a San Francisco 49er’s jersey, kneeling down everywhere, sporting a big afro and calling yourself Colin Kaepernick? Again, I hope you’re sitting down for this, because it might knock you off your feet: it, along with Harambe and Trump, fall into the category of “overdone.”

Listen, if you go as Harambe, Trump, or any celebrity, you’ll probably look dumb. But if there’s one thing I seriously need to stress to all of you in this piece is this: don’t do blackface. If you, or anyone you know, think that it would be okay to paint yourself black for whatever costume idea you had, I’m just not sure what to tell you. It is incredibly racist. Not only will everyone on campus find it disgusting, I pray that the internet doesn’t get a hold of a picture of you in blackface, because you will be relentlessly torn apart.

I really don’t think anyone would do anything involving blackface. As a student body, Springfield College is pretty sensitive to that. But I still have to stress it. Not even one part of it is remotely funny. And despite the rest of this article, I mean that in the most serious tone possible.

If you’re reading this and realize I just vaporized one of your Halloween ideas, I think you’ve managed to overlook the most obvious costume of all. Halloween is on the 31st, correct? Well, 31 looks like 3 and 1, which should be enough to remind you that the 73-9 Golden State Warriors blew a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals last year. Just go as that. I’m not sure how, but hey, if I see you out representing the greatest joke on the internet as I write this, I’ll shake your hand with pride.


Shawn can be reached on Twitter at @McFarland_Shawn

Leave a Reply