Okay, so why are women getting so skanked-up on Halloween these days?
There is a huge aspect of generational rebellion to raunch culture: Nobody wants to turn into her mother, and whether your mother was/is a radical feminist or a right-wing Evangelical Christian — both pretty common among baby-boomers — either way it’s going to get under her skin if you dress as a stripper to go trick-or-treating. Or if you dress as a stripper to go to junior high.
What about the insidious machinations of the patriarchal, capitalist Skank-Industrial Complex?
Yes, it also sort of is the patriarchal, capitalist Skank-Industrial Complex. We’re very obsessed with immediate gratification in America, and we’re obviously really into fame and celebrity — which we’ve completely divorced from virtuosity. So, in that context, you can kind of understand why teen girls are posting pictures of their tushes on their MySpace pages and looking for the sluttiest possible Halloween costume.
Are you going to be skankily dressed this year?
I’m pretty sure I’m not doing a costume this year, but you never know. I didn’t think I would do it last year, and I ended up in a fairly elaborate elf suit. I think when I was in like third grade I was a bag of jelly beans for Halloween. My mother engineered the costume by filling a clear plastic garbage bag with lots of different colored balloons, and me. By the end of the night, a lot of them had popped. So I probably looked both skanky and deflated.
— Ben Mathis-Lilley