||[Oct. 25th, 2006|02:33 pm]
The American Caliban
Halloween time is funny nowadays.
Businesses desperately need Halloween, since holidays mean spending, so they want to make anything they sell somehow orange, spooky, or candy-related. The boom in "adult" Halloween celebrations means that slutty costumes and spooky alcohol are a huge money deal now.
The children's holiday of my childhood continues, which means big money selling candy and party favors and pumpkin-oriented merchandise. And less slutty costumes, although some parents seem to have forgotten that pimp 'n' ho outfits or slutty nurse costumes aren't too great for the little ones.
But then we have the Christians. There are a lot of very conservative evangelicals around here, and they're wealthy too. If you get too spooky and devilish, they complain and you can lose their business. Since they're stuck with the evangelical ghetto version of the holiday you can sell them stuff too, but it has to be for some neutered "harvest" holiday: squash, orange things, candy corn, centerpieces made from um sheaves or something. They'll have a party and eat pumpkin pie and pray a lot and talk about Fall, and no demons allowed. It's goofy but I understand. If I really believed in demons and evil witches, I wouldn't want to play around about it and have my kids dressing up that way.
So, a lot of stores talk about "the season!" or "fall" or just have orange things, and it's funny to see which ones do this and how they get around using the H word. The combination of hypocrisy and greed is always good for a laugh.
I saw a hilarious example at one of our local churches this week. They're having a fun celebration for the kids and there was a big sign and display outside for it. They wisely sidestepped both "Halloween" and "harvest" but their choice was, wait for it... pirates. So there was a big pirate ship display and a "Pirate Fun Party" sign.
I agree with them that demons, devils, lost souls, ghosts, witches, and the Undead are not cool in their world and shouldn't be celebrated. But what exactly is the difference between trivializing the terrors of Hell and whitewashing the rape, murder, pillaging, alcoholism, prison-sex sodomy, Vitamin C deficiency, and sociopathic greed of piracy? Maybe you guys should just go back to the sheaves-as-centerpieces thing and have some pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin seeds are tasty.