Dr. Thorpe: If a satisfactory explanation for this exists, I'm not sure I even want to hear it.

Zack: I think for that to happen you're going to have to play pretty loose with your definition of the word "satisfactory." Would "it came to me in an absinthe vision" be considered satisfactory?

Dr. Thorpe: I guess I'd settle for "sexual fetish." It wouldn't make me happy, but at least it's within my comprehension.

Zack: It's like they took one of those terrible "mom costumes" that a mom thought would be cute and turned it into a kit. You know, like when you're trick or treating and some kid shows up with dad's old threadbare work coat and blue face paint and he's a "hobo Smurf"?

Dr. Thorpe: This just displays such a fundamental misunderstanding of youth culture that it boggles the mind. Have these people ever even seen a picture of a rapper, or is this just an educated guess? "Hmm, let's see, zoot suit trousers, MC Escher tessellating bird shorts, red shirt with 50s sci-fi font, giant dollar sign pendant... yeah, the kids are gonna eat this up!"

Zack: It's playing off of America's fear that black people can spread lycanthropy to retarded white kids.

Dr. Thorpe: In all seriousness, do you think they've sold even one of these costumes directly to a child, without the mediation of a parent? Can you imagine a child picking this costume out for himself and willingly wearing it to school?

Dr. Thorpe: I suppose I'm just overestimating the cultural savvy of grade schoolers. After all, those hip hop Looney Tunes shirts were all the rage for a while, right?

Zack: I think they were a hit with impoverished and obese white women who wanted to send a message that they love the Tasmanian devil almost as much as they love extra sour cream on their gorditas.

Zack: If anything, those Looney Tunes shirts are even more mystifying to me. I saw them at Wal*Mart and I saw people wearing them, but I refused to believe there was a step involved where someone willingly pulled one of the shirts down off a rack, looked at with excitement and then hurried over to the register to hand over real legal tender for it.

Dr. Thorpe: Did you know that the Tasmanian Devil is one of the most common tattoos in America? It's really no wonder, since stupid, fat white women are one of our most common natural resources.

Zack: I figured maybe they came free with a carton of American Spirit cigarettes or if you got the right monopoly pieces from McDonalds.

Dr. Thorpe: Maybe they handed them out as consolation prizes with junior college rejection letters.

Zack: Holy crap, speaking of things I didn't know existed.

Dr. Thorpe: "Dear Ms. White: We're sorry, but you fail to meet the minimum standards for acceptance to ITT Technical Institute. Please accept this XXL Rappin' Daffy t-shirt as a token of our sincere apology."

Zack: And another dream is shattered by Affirmative Action.

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About This Column

Fashion SWAT... the fashion industry is obsessed with impracticality. We know that what designers create was never meant to be worn by the grimy masses, but that doesn't somehow diminish how ridiculous many of these costumes are. Make no mistake, they are costumes, and like a Halloween prize pageant we will turn our discerning gaze on the grievous fashion misfires of Paris, Milan, and New York. We're not pulling any punches, and we're definitely not interested in making any friends. We're Joan Rivers without Melissa Rivers to temper our screeching. We're the Fashion Police in jack boots. We are Fashion SWAT.

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