The Green Door #23
In the last decade Halloween has emerged as the second most popular holiday in the USA. Maybe this is fitting as it a holiday completely devoid of substance. It is officially the eve before All Saints Day, but when is the last time anybody got themselves excited about All Saints Day? We can celebrate St. Paul AND St. Andrew on the same day, woo hoo! However it occurs to me that an All Angels Day would be extremely popular and could be well commercialized. Note to the church: lose the saints, cash in on the angels.
Halloween has evolved from a children's costumed candy-begfest into a celebration of things that are supposed to be scary but aren't. Instead of really scary stuff like crazy people with handguns that kill or permanently paralyze innocent people, or the fact that there are people who think The Jerry Springer and Ricki Lake Shows demonstrate acceptable adult behavior, we get cartoonish ghosts and witches.
Halloween's rise as the second most popular consumer holiday is probably due to the fact that it is easy decorate for with the boggling amount of supposedly scary stuff. Thanksgiving, a holiday with substance, defies consumerism, as its symbols are both few and boring. There is only so much you can do with turkeys, pilgrims, Indians, and cornucopias, but you can really go to town (or the graveyard) with ghosts, witches, black cats, bats, vampires, pumpkins, skeletons, mummies, Frankenstein monsters, spiders, spider webs, tombstones, and hockey masks (to name just a few).
As people's exterior Halloween displays begin to rival their Xmas displays, I feel the need to have it all mean something, like in Japan where they have a holiday when everything is closed and everyone picnics on their ancestors' graves. The Halloween effigies people build on their front lawns especially intrigue me. One could hope that these would represent recently passed relatives as they make their way into the spirit world, or some sort of talisman to scare away evil spirits. Sadly in actuality they merely represent someone with too much time on their hands and too little imagination.
Maybe trying to find meaning in Halloween is like trying to find meaning in an Adam Sandler movie. One should probably just accept the commercialism of it and enjoy the mercifully brief ride. At least Adam Sandler movies usually feature Steve Buscemi. Actually he's a pretty scary looking guy so he'd be a great fit. If Halloween featured Steve Buscemi, maybe I would enjoy it.
I'm done. - Scoats
The Green Dooris a mostly monthly zine published by Scoats. E-mail: scoats at greylodge dot com. (c) Scoats 2000. All rights reserved. Most wrongs unintentional. Reproduction permitted as long as it accompanied by this entire paragraph. If you do reprint something, please let me know.
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Last updated on 08 January 2003.
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