Monday, October 27, 2008

Hate is the Rage

People always seem baffled at how the Khmer Rouge could manage to motivate its rank and file to kill so many of its own people so cruelly. If you read "Year Zero" you can find out the back ground of it all however one thing is clear, using propaganda to work its fighters into a hate filled frenzy was a big part of it. That is why I find stuff like this frightening. Doing it in effigy isn't as far from doing it for real as you might think.

Sarah Palin is not considered to be a friend of the gay community, but the Republican vice presidential candidate seems to be looming over the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival.

First, a rumor got started that city officials were going to ban Sarah Palin drag queens at its upcoming costumed street party, which draws some 500,000 people annually.

The rumor turned out to be false, but tonight comes word that a mannequin has been outfitted to look like Palin -- with glasses, a beehive wig and a red business suit -- and is hanging from a noose outside a WeHo residence.

The display also depicts a devilish John McCain emerging from flames.

"We see people stopping and taking pictures, and the tour buses are stopping and slowing down ... people reach out and take pictures,"display creator Chad Michael Morrisette said.

However, some neighbors said the effigy is in bad taste.

"I know it's Halloween, but when you're using a vice presidential candidate with a noose around her neck, that to me has gone too far," a man identified only as "George" stated. "Whether I'm Republican or Democrat, it's not about that. It's about this and a noose, and it's just wrong." "I know if we had done it with Barack Obama, people would've probably thrown things through our windows," Morrisette said. "The image of a hanged black man is a lot more intense than the image of a hanged white woman -- for our country -- in the history of our country."

Morrisette said his display might be unacceptable any other month, but his subjects are fair game during the Halloween season.

"It should be seen as art and it should be seen within the month of October. It is Halloween. It's time to be scary. It's time to be spooky," Morrisette said.

Canadian tourist Ron Hernando, who stopped by to take a picture, said he was not shocked by the display. "This is West Hollywood, after all," he said. "It was kind of cruel, but it made me laugh, too. What can I say?"

A city spokesperson was not immediately available to comment on the effigy.

The 21st annual Halloween Carnaval will be held from 6 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday along Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. The street will be closed for the event.

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