The third annual SNICAD (Supra-National Insensitive Cultural Appropriation Day) went off with barely a glitch, yesterday, in an undisclosed location, with well over three dozen-ish anonymous participants indulging in hurtful fun. The secrecy is because of our fear of deadly (Twitter) reprisals. Which explains, as well, why I’ll have to use heavily filtered snapshots to illustrate the big event.
But it was grand. Everyone appeared to have an illicitly good time and the clean-up, in the wee hours (wrangling the odd sombrero or stray Afro wig, from various corners of the sticky floor, in the dark, with a broken litter stick, etc), was worth it.
SNICAD happens on a different day, in a different month, every year (again: security concerns). Like a traditional flash mob, the diverse participants, whose names are on an exclusive list in an encrypted thumb-drive, are given the address of the secret location and three hours notice to knock together a traditional costume they have zero ancestral connection to, and half-assedly learn an ethnic song, dance, poem or passage from a holy text that is just as offensively unrelated to their own heritage as it is in conflict with the “traditional” costume they’ve adopted and defiled.
As with Halloween, one noticed evidence of more popular, and less popular, trends: there was an absolute preponderance of sombreros, Afro wigs, Dirndls and Saris. Several Native American headdresses (or acceptable approximations), two Squaw costumes and a surprising paucity of dreadlocks wigs (there were only two and each was on a Queer Peruvian doing bad karate moves with self-supplied sound effects). My personal favorite was the Vietnamese guy dressed like a Basque shepherd (however they dress) doing the Italian American Cis Male “are you talking to me?” monologue (from Taxi Driver) with a Hawking voice-box.
We had a lady Nigerian in a Frenchman’s beret butchering Appalachian tunes on a jaw harp; we had a Swiss fellow in a bad Dashiki singing from “Fiddler on the Roof”; we had black, white, yellow, brown, red and beige face. We snacked on a politically incorrect hodgepodge of ethnic dishes with willfully inappropriate cutlery and drank Saki incorrectly and sampled sacred Central American hallucinogenic plants without consulting a single fucking Shaman. White people talked Black, Black people spoke Latin, Asian people spoke Pig Latin, Hispanic people talked Cracker and everybody else used badly mangled Yiddish. A Trans-curious Chinese person in a blatantly unnecessary orthopedic shoe sang “Sexual Healing” while faking sign language, causing a culturally insensitive orgy to break out.
All in all, it was a good time, and we bonded in the racist obscenity of our abominable transgressions. Bonded, also, in the enormous relief we all felt when the crack of dawn crept upon us and we hadn’t been caught (nor even suspected). We quickly dressed in crazy permutations of each other’s meaningless (in the Greater Scheme of Things) ethnic costumes, snickering and snorting, and we headed home, sneaking out the fire exit of the rented theater, one at a time, as the sun rose, having gotten away with the unspeakable for another year.