27 February 2011 @ 10:01 am
David Wu and the tiger costume  
Much has been made lately of Congressman David Wu's supposed erratic behavior, including emailing a picture of himself in a tiger costume "shortly before the election".

What I don't understand is this: why is sending out a photograph of yourself in a Halloween costume -- at Halloween -- evidence of mental instability?

I suspect that there were other aspects of the email in question (perhaps the text, perhaps the choice of recipients, perhaps some larger context) that make it more than just an ordinary Halloween costume photo. But in the Google searching I've done so far, I have seen no references to what exactly causes this tiger-costume photo to rise from "a goofy photo and a rather lame costume" to "evidence of insanity." Taken out of its Halloween context and splashed on the cover of Willamette Week in February, it certainly seems bizarre. But in this culture we do wear costumes at Halloween, sometimes even silly ones, and send pictures of ourselves in costume to our friends, family, and sometimes co-workers. Why is this particular costume photo different?

This isn't intended as snark -- it's a serious question. Do you know what the deal is here?
 
 
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Portland: ancient unicorn burial groundjanetl on February 27th, 2011 06:07 pm (UTC)
Ron and I were just talking about that, and saying the same thing. It sounds like there was a pattern of other behavior; I'm sure his staff didn't quit over the photo. The picture makes an easy illustration for a story, though.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on February 27th, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
I suspect you're right, but the Oregonian's coverage didn't answer this question and that seems like sloppy reporting to me.

"Continuing his pattern of bizarre behavior, he IMPRISONED A BIRD IN A HEATED BOX and then ATE IT. Only a month later, he DRAGGED A DEAD TREE INTO HIS LIVING ROOM and COVERED IT WITH BITS OF GLASS AND METAL, then MAILED PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE DEAD TREE TO HIS FRIENDS AND FAMILY."
the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on February 27th, 2011 07:08 pm (UTC)
Ahahahahaaa!

K. [classic]
Miche: Christmas fox by DHmicheinnz on March 8th, 2011 03:52 am (UTC)
Don't forget the STRANGELY-DRESSED CHILDREN STANDING LOOKING UNCOMFORTABLE IN FRONT OF THE DEAD TREE.
Oneselfsnippy on February 27th, 2011 06:37 pm (UTC)
I don't think it's the photo...although it adds a touch of that anti-Furry reaction. It's the texts or emails which purport to be from his children, but seem to me to be from him.
A Wandering Hobbitredbird on February 27th, 2011 09:46 pm (UTC)
A couple of the examples seem potentially serious, but I don't think comparing the Bush white house to Klingons, even fake Klingons, is evidence of mental instability.
martianmooncrabmartianmooncrab on February 27th, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)
Wu is the topic on the editorial page of the Sunday Oregonian today, they think he is having mental issues. Chnl 8 ran an interview with him last night, and he sounded pretty good. He did make a statement that he is getting some personal help for issues he wants to keep private.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on February 27th, 2011 10:37 pm (UTC)
I read that editorial, which is what prompted this post. The stupid tiger suit photo is all over the news (it was mentioned in at least one article and two editorials in today's paper alone) but I've seen nothing that indicates why it should be considered newsworthy.
martianmooncrabmartianmooncrab on February 27th, 2011 10:41 pm (UTC)
last year was year of the Tiger, I think its a great costume. The impression I got was that Wu was having a major depression and finally got treatment for it.
Sinanjusinanju on February 28th, 2011 12:42 am (UTC)
I am no fan of Wu's--far from it, in fact. But political differences do not mean he's crazy (however much partisans on both sides would like to think otherwise). I agree, absent some larger context of which I am unaware, sending out a photo of himself in a Halloween costume around Halloween is hardly evidence of mental instability.
ruralwriterruralwriter on February 28th, 2011 03:10 am (UTC)
That was one of my questions, too. Wu has kids, right? Wouldn't his costume be completely *appropriate* for a parent of younger kids?
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )