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“What Sort of All Hallows’ Eve Trollop Art Thou?” PIT Seventeen asks. I’m not sure. I’m fairly sure what sort of trollop I’m not — I’m not the sort to consider glitter and body paint an acceptably modest substitute for undies. At least not on me. Nonetheless, The Sun alleges the black, bespangled, and quite bare bat bum is this Halloween’s fashion trend (any “trend” involving bums, of course, being of great interest to The Sun).
I stumbled on this so-called trend while perusing The Sun‘s investigation into snake handling, the ritual wherein Christian oppressors manhandle (“personhandle” would be more gender-neutral, but “manhandle” properly names and shames the unjust kyriarchy) innocent serpents, possibly without the serpents’ consent, purportedly for God’s glory. These oppressors — typically poor Appalachian whites — are themselves oppressed, of course, themselves victims of the same kyriarchy which enables their cross-species molestation. As one of Ricochet’s resident reptilians (I only self-identify as human online), I ought to have been outraged by the speciesist presumption that conscripts nonhuman species into human worship without even asking permission. Instead, I got distracted by sparkly bums.
Fly me to the moon — gliterally! The bat bum quite cleverly utilizes the contours of a firm fundament as a pop-up canvas to depict a stylized chiropteran whose ears prick right up to the dimples of Venus, and whose webbed wingtips will lovingly handle your love handles if you’ve got ’em (though if you do, perhaps your canvas is of the sag-down, not pop-up, variety, and you should consider costumery more fundamentally supportive). Several years ago — perhaps on Ricochet 1.0, lost in the mists of time — the topic of vajazzling came up. It was an emerging trend then — a trend which has, mystifyingly, survived. Not just survived but in some sense flourished, now spreading to embrace the rear.
I don’t mind artistic nudity. I don’t mind fashions which only look good on a minority. I don’t mind the sheer ingenuity spent on designing, then applying pigment and jewelry directly to bare skin — it’s really rather impressive. I do wonder in what universe beglittered butt-paint constitutes a “trend”. (The universe of product promotion, perhaps?) Perhaps some upstanding citizens will sport bat bums this All Hallow’s Eve (adorned thus, I doubt they’d feel downsitting). Still, it’s difficult to imagine a real-life scenario in which a bat bum wouldn’t be tacky. Not stick-to-the-chair tacky (though that, too, could happen if the makeup didn’t set right). But tacky as in cheesy. Most likely outcome of bat bum? Cheesy disaster.
Some cheesy disasters involve real cheese, of course. Between the great brunost fire and the FDA’s seizure of Mimolette, 2013 was an especially bad year for cheese — so bad, in fact, it inspired the Cato Institute to make a video:
The brunost fire was accidental destruction. By contrast, the seizure, then destruction, of 1.5 tonnes of Mimolette at US customs was a Deliberate Act of Government, done for the Citizens’ Own Good. According to the FDA, since 1940, the Citizens’ Own Good has excluded the sale of cheese containing more than six cheese mites per square inch. Mites? In our cheese? Perhaps that sounds mitey awful to you, and you’d have agreed with the FDA verdict that such cheese is a “filthy, putrid, or decomposed product.” The mites in Mimolette are supposed to be there, though. Mimolette-makers encourage them. Cheesemaking relies on all sorts of biological agents — bacteria, molds, veal-stomach enzymes, and yes, even the odd arthropod. If you want creepy-crawly cheeses to give you All-Hallows heebie-jeebies, Milbenkäse and casu marzu are even bigger fright fests.
Politics is downstream of culture, as the saying goes, and the latest cheese crisis to hit the news is cultural, not regulatory. It’s the decline and fall of American cheese, that pasteurized, processed product. Yes, this is supposedly the fault of Millennials and their globalist ways. Millennials got used to fancy foreign cheeses, and no longer treat American cheese as the cheese, rather than just one cheese among many — or perhaps not even cheese, but a cheese product (which, in fairness, it is). Processed cheese products melt differently from natural cheeses, and in some recipes, this difference in melt is desired. So I doubt younger Americans will lose their taste for American cheese entirely. But for those who relish intergenerational resentment, American cheese stands as another front in the culture wars, one affecting the livelihood of the All-American Cheesemaker as prices of the processed cheese and the 500-pound barrels of commodity cheddar used to make it continue to fall.
I don’t know if cheese-dispensing Advent calendars count as disastrous, exactly, but they, too, exist — and may be coming to a store near you. They sound bulky and awkward — who wants to store a calendar in the fridge? And if the point is to prepare for Christmas, why put the reminder in a place where you can’t see it? Perhaps the point is to be sacrilicious. If so, this could be yet another front in the culture wars, making them cheesier than ever. It’s enough to drive one batty.