Halloween…

All Hallows Eve again, the time of year when the dead rise and walk among the living, when it is finally allowable for everyone to take off their masks and show the real you! When you hear jokes like does your face hurt? Coz it’s killing me. This is also the time of year that churches get a little bit carried away when it comes to the meaning and the things that are said to happen.

When did the witches of the world get upset about having Halloween? When is it that they decided that the witch on a broom in a pointy hat flying across the face of the moon was demeaning? I mean come on. Have you ever really seen one flying across the face of the moon? And if you did, did they turn you into a frog or just ignore you and went on their way? Last year I remember a school in the northwest that decided to not have a Halloween in school no dressing up no parties no passing of candy or anything that you could equate to Halloween, why you ask well I’ll tell you they didn’t want to upset the witches in the community? WHAT????? Just how many do they think there were? And this in an area where they fall all over themselves trying not to be offensive to anyone, to embrace the unusual and the odd.

Now I’m not sure about witches or ghosts or goblins for that matter but I can be pretty sure about the children and those of us adults that just love the idea of Halloween. I can be fairly sure, that if you sat down and asked all of these witches and ghosts and goblins and the like, about this I would think that they would be happy that there was one day that they could be themselves and not worry about them being outcasts, one day were they are accepted, embraced and even emulated in some form.

There is some thing to the religious angle I would suppose, I mean there is the whole thing about what the Druids supposedly did on this day that would turn any good Christian into a Halloween hating fuddie duddy. The fact that they would gather up some of the local tribe members, put them in a grass and wooden cage and light that cage on fire as a sacrifice shouldn’t turn everyone away from this fun day. Now I guess that would be enough, however if you remember what the main problem with Druids was, well other than the fact that they couldn’t be trusted, they feared the spirits and ghosts of the world. They must have been afraid that all of the people they sacrificed would come back and haunt them. Let me see if I truly understand this problem they were afraid of spirits and ghosts so they would make human sacrifices to the them, thus creating, what job security? Well, as you know it wouldn’t be the last instance of a group doing one thing to ensure that they would have a reason to come back and make an argument for the need of more sacrifices. If your memory is better than mine you’ll remember that the Celtics celebrated the day as the end of their year, they believed that their ancestors would return and walk among them and in order to make them more welcome they would paint their faces and eat at a festival of harvest, sharing the food with their ancestors. There is also something about the reigning Gods and that this was also their time to exchange reigns I would think that this may have also had something to do with the fact that the ancestors could come back and walk among them and so on….

I wonder just how many other things have changed the way that Halloween did, originally a festival of harvest with dead ancestors walking among the living, to a candy giving, dress like a villain, dead thing, horror loving, burn something up… or is that down hmm I know that fire burns up and that building will fall down when it is burned so did the building burn up or down and if you burn a sheet of paper did you burn the paper up or down I guess it’s a subjective thing, I guess it’s just one of those questions that I will never really have answered, what good are you people to me, I mean really.

Where was I when you so rudely interrupted my train of thought, ooh yeah I was asking you about changed celebrations. Here you have a group of people that have a set of beliefs, they live them and they act on those beliefs (don’t tell the ACLU they’ll probably have to stop them) they believe in all that is magical and mystical in the world. They believe that if they use the right potion or chant or action, they can change things. Now I am not going to sit here and plead a case for anyone one way or the other, that’s not my job. My job is to sit in front of my laptop when I am parked somewhere between here and there, and type up these things to entertain myself and if you in turn are entertained then I guess it will be okay with me. I wish you wouldn’t interrupt me like this, how do you expect me to finish this on time?

I think if we were to actually sit down with the witches of the world and ask them about the symbol and Halloween, I am quite sure that they would see that it really isn’t such a bad thing after all. Haven’t there been pictures of witches in pointy hats and long pointy noses with warts on the end of them for a hundred years or better. I really can’t believe that they are just deciding that it offends them, I mean after all if they had a problem with it before now don’t you think they would have hexed someone or something! Have we become so afraid of offending people that we have forgotten how to have fun and enjoy our lives.

Okay, lets have a little fun, I could go on a bit more, but Halloween is about being scary and candy and walking around in costumes pretending to be something or someone you’re not. Besides there are other holidays that I can point out the stupidities that are happening today.

Here we go again its morning of Halloween your standing in front of the mirror looking at yourself in the mask that you are wearing wondering if anyone will know that underneath the plastic face of superman and the red blanket you’re using as a cape over the blue t-shirt with the hand drawn S on your chest. Okay so the mask is a hand-me-down from your older brother and since no one could find the rest of the costume your mom had to dye a t-shirt blue and spend a half hour painting the S and shield on it, with the help of an old red blanket that your grandmother cut up you were officially Superman. You found yourself running everywhere just to make your cape flap in the wind that you created, just a little faster, you told yourself, and you would be flying! Off to school you’d go trying not to get your costume dirty , after all you needed to go trick or treating in it later that night. The walk or bus ride seemed to take forever, probably because you were walking around every puddle or little pile of dirt that you came across, even being careful not to walk through the pile of leaves that you found so tempting the night before. When you finally arrived at school you look around only to find two of your classmates are also dressed as superman. The others are not hand-me -downs and their masks aren’t wrinkled from the year in the closet and their capes aren’t made from a ragged old blanket that if you look real close you can see the part of the black stripe that was once the boarder of that blanket. Any normal child would have been devastated when their classmates began to pick you, but not you, you were used to it. Sure you were upset but not because they were picking on you it was just that they didn’t understand that it was the only thing your mom would let you have for a costume, so that was just the way it was and you lived with it.

As the day wore on, the teasing slowed and eventually stopped there were other things to look forward to. There was always the parade where you would go from classroom to classroom collecting treats and showing off your costumes to the rest of the school. It was a little comforting to find that you were not the only class that had extra supermen, but not much. By the time you were ready for your classroom party you had shed the mask and the cape and now you were ready for the cupcakes, candy corn, candy pumpkins and everything else candy that would end up in your trick or treat pumpkin. Did I forget to mention that you were also carrying that plastic pumpkin bucket thingy that you had for the last three years? I guess I did, sorry, but hey, it was a little over site and you’ll just have to get over it. Oh come on, get over it, it was just an over site I mean really, they didn’t pick on you because of that plastic pumpkin that you carried in your superman hands. Okay, so maybe they did.

You knew that come night time that plastic pumpkin will be filled more than once. As you ate your cupcakes and tried not to dig into the candy that you got from the other classrooms, you planned your trick or treating for that coming night. Yes planned it out, house by house, street by street, making sure that you would cross by your house at least three times in the push to see how many times you could fill that pumpkin before it was time to come in for the last time. Once the evening was finished you and your sibling (s) would see who got the most candy and the best stuff. This year you told yourself that there would be NO CANDY EATING BEFORE ITS TIME and that time was after your mom and or dad went through it all to insure that your goodies were safe for consumption. (The preceding statement was brought to you by concerned parents for safe Halloween candy.)

Piles and piles of candy danced through your head as you ate your cupcakes and drank your apple cider. You stashed your roll of toilet paper last night and were sure that no one would know that you had taken it from the unopened package. You were ready the only thing holding you up now was the fact that it wasn’t dark, oh and the fact that you were still in school, something that came painfully clear to you as the class bully rips your superman mask.

So, to you my friends and family, as you celebrate this the first of the harvest celebrations, take your tricks as well as your treats. Celebrate it with parties and gatherings of your friends, invite your ancestors to join you, give them offerings of cakes and candy and forget what the bullies did and would do on this eve. Thumb your nose at those that would take this holiday away from us as well, tell them to kiss the mole on your… hey that’s not what I was going to say… tell them to kiss the mole on your witch and do something productive for this country for once and for all.

October 2003

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