Once again, a major holiday happens to fall on Hump Day, and like last time, “Take it from Snee” will observe it. I’m a huge fan of Halloween, and like The Guys who are Red Sox fans, I’ve endured countless ups and downs.
In the early years, I couldn’t catch a break on Halloween and suffered through embarrassing mom-planned costumes like a bunny rabbit or a clown (before everyone became afraid of both). Then, there was the phase where I chose poorly: popular cartoon characters that are sadly dated, a foray into budget sci-fi (“Space Kid?” Really?) and the occasional ninja costume. The high point of this era was Joe Theisman and a wounded soldier.
And then … there was a crisis of faith: those teenage years where I was too old to trick-or-treat, but sexy Halloween parties were light-years away. I stopped observing Halloween, except to watch marathons of bad horror movies while handing out candy.
College, though, is when I went through a Halloween renaissance. Alcohol thankfully replaced candy, except for Candy, who dressed as a nurse. I suddenly understood why Elvira had big cans: because they’re as much a part of Halloween as worshiping our Dark Lord, the Desolate One. Or maybe they were genetic. Whatever, and good for her.
Rediscovering Halloween in this light is analogous, at least to me, of my team winning the series. It’s a vindication of the human spirit to know that I was right all along to think it is the best holiday of the year.
Think about it:
- Thanksgiving means spending time with your family, which means wearing a sweater, hearing the same stories all over again, and hiding your smoking, drinking and closeted sexual deviancy. It also means a mangled turkey because who regularly practices baking an entire turkey for 6 hours in the 21st century?
- Christmas is alright, I guess. There’s presents, and it’s that-guy-who-dies-every-spring’s birthday, so everyone is nice to each other. But, once again, there’s family (see Thanksgiving). Oh yeah, and you’re broke from buying shower radios and foot baths for every distant aunt or uncle.
- New Year’s is downright depressing. Everyone gets drunk because the year is over, but–LOOK OUT–there’s another year coming up at midnight. So you make a list of everything that’s wrong with you, knowing that if you’ve put off a diet for one entire year, you sure as hell won’t do it next year. The only option is to drink yourself to near-alcohol poisoning and kiss someone that sure ain’t your wife. Damn, that’s really depressing. I should fix that next year.
But that’s not to say that Halloween is perfect.
Halloween is when the psychos march out of the woodworks. I don’t mean the goth kids or actual criminally insane that suddenly blend in, but the non-believers.
There are, of course, those fanatics that denounce Halloween as a pagan ritual designed to lure children to the devil. But then, they also use their own pagentry to lure children to their own religion, so are they really that trustworthy? It makes sense that those that push their own agenda on the public would assume everyone else is doing the same thing, I guess.
By just examining Christian rock, you can see their mistaken assumptions about rock music, as in its purpose–to play-act rebellion–and its sound–awesome. Christian rock does neither. So, of course, they make the same mistakes with Halloween: instead of rebelling for a night and look awesome, they try to scare us into accepting God … again.
And then, there are the “What Happened to Halloween?” crowd. Most of these people are newspaper columnists, so that shows how much they’ve adapted to the times. Every year, they apply the latest cultural fears to Halloween and try to explain why we’ve perverted it.
This year’s–and also for the past several years–fear is sluts. They’re afraid of women dressed as naughty [insert profession here]s, and they’ve resorted to their usual tactics: child human shields. You see, because of adult women’s whorish natures, girl children are becoming sluts, too–or, as they put it–sexualized.
This, as always, ignores the fact that children ignorant to sex cannot sexualize themselves. Adults sexualize children. I present this, with the expectation of outcry in the comments below: if you are made uncomfortable by a child with a bare midriff, you might be suppressing pedophilia.
And if you are upset by women dressing playfully, then you either (a) have your own twisted self-esteem issues regarding your body or inadequate sex life or (b) are possessive by nature and get upset when people notice your girlfriend/wife (e.g., that “Islamofascism” that these same people are normally at war with). And if your problem is b, then you also have to evaluate whether you have an unhealthy fascination with the woman that bothers you so much.
The argument is sure to be made that, by dressing down women and girls, they’re protecting them from predators. Like with the Christians, I ask: how can you control other people’s reactions? Pedophiles target children dressed as children, which includes Elmo costumes. If you’re actually concerned about children’s safety from rapists, then get involved. Escort your children while trick-or-treating. But don’t sit at home and blame everyone else.
And regarding grown women, would you say that women ask to be raped, that they deserve it if they wear a little more than what they wear at the beach? The law and I agree (for once) and you have some sick punishment fantasies.
Because I am a die-hard Halloween fan, I think it’s important to preserve it for what it is: one designated night per year of masquerades and ribaldry. There’s a reason why people are lured to the stage or writing, and that’s to pretend to be something else, which is often taboo because we get to be, as Cary Tennis put it, normal every other damn day.