by Drue Miller
Were you confused when you first saw this year's theme? Many people were. The Floating World? What, they're recreating the movie Waterworld? ('Dude, I'm going as Kevin Costner!')
While this year's theme is more accessible than, say, last year's obscure Seven Ages of Man ('Does Soldier come before or after Pantaloon?') it has nonetheless raised some issues.
The streets are named after ship parts. Which is great -- if you're a sailor. But for the rest of us who can't tell starboard from port, we're (to put it nautically) up shit creek.
Then there's the pirate problem: picture hundreds of Jolly Rogers flapping in the breeze, a veritable sea of pillagers desperate for someone to pillage. Envision hordes of beer-bellied frat boys wearing eye-patches and folded newspaper hats, shouting 'Arrrg, matey!' and singing 'Yo ho ho!' as they hoist bottles of Corona in the air. By week's end, you're going to be ready to take an axe to the next person who says, 'Shiver me timbers.' And don't even get me started on 'wench.'
On the plus side, costumes are easy when you've got an entire ecosystem to play with. And there's ample opportunity for maritime disaster-themed activities. But it's pretty unlikely that the Seemen will recreate the sinking of the Lusitania; nor can we expect Bianca's to rechristen itself The Love Boat.
Why do they even bother? Whatever happened to just burning shit? These annual themes are grossly overwrought and pretentious, the result of people too smart for their own good trying way too hard.