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David D. Levine
27 February 2011 @ 10:01 am
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?