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happy hallowgreen

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  • Bart Everson
    Here s a Green perspective on Hallowe en by yours truly. At least I think it s Green. Maybe it s just jaundiced. -- Bart WHY I HATE HALLOWE EN by Bart
    Message 1 of 2 , Oct 31, 2000
      Here's a Green perspective on Hallowe'en by yours truly.
      At least I think it's Green. Maybe it's just jaundiced.
      -- Bart


      WHY I HATE HALLOWE'EN by Bart Everson

      Why do I hate Hallowe'en? It's because of the Electronic
      Light-up Scary Yo-yo from Gealex Toys. It's because of the
      Ma & Pa Bones Permaplastic Glow-in-the-Dark Skeletons. It's
      because of the Sound-Activated Pumpkin Novelty from
      Hallmark: "It Lights Up -- It Laughs!"

      It's because of the Spooky Vampire: "Light-sensor activated!
      Lifelike animation! Talks in a spooky voice!" Wave your hand
      and the plastic vampire's eyes light up. He opens a coffin,
      revealing a plastic skeleton. Its eyes are blinking on and
      off. "Welllllllcome..." A tinny voice emanates from a
      hidden speaker. "We've been waiting for you!" Demoniacal
      laughter. A crash of organ chords.

      That's why I hate Hallowe'en.

      Shopping at the grocery store, I immediately notice the
      salad bar, decked out in seasonal display. Stuffed dolls sit
      on all four corners: two witches, a scarecrow, a
      pumpkin-man. They're made in China from "polyester and
      synthetic fibers."

      An inflatable ghost is suspended from the ceiling, half
      purple and half transparent, the word "Boo!" on its belly.

      Anatomically correct skeletons swing from the
      orange-and-black crepe- paper entwined columns. Hanging
      inside the salad bar, white ghost-baggies with twist-tied
      necks trail ectoplasm over the lettuce. Plastic jack-o-
      lantern buckets contain bacon bits, croutons, napkins, and
      packets of House Italian Dressing (by Kraft).

      The produce section is festooned with fifty-odd pumpkins.
      My wife swears she saw a store employee commended by his
      superior for painting them all with happy, goofy faces. One
      pumpkin has a blue nose and is slobbering like a rabid
      idiot. Caught up in the wonder of it all, my wife puts her
      produce in the wrong cart. A ruckus ensues.

      At the deli I spot a witch with googly eyes and flourescent
      green skin, wearing a flourescent orange robe and
      flourescent yellow shoes. According to the speech balloon
      over her head, she is saying "Eeek!" Why?

      Perhaps she was frightened by that evil owl eyeing her from
      across the aisle. But wait -- that owl is no Hallowe'en
      gimmick. It's the Hooters Owl, gazing lecherously from a
      packet of Hooter's Wing Breading.

      A chill runs down my spine and between my legs. I know
      about Hooters. These are the people who offered to pay for
      my sister's breast augmentation surgery. All she had to do
      was take a job waiting tables at their bar in Union Station.
      In the Hooter's uniform, of course: very short shorts and a
      cut-away tanktop.

      Scary, huh? I guess you gotta get a boob job to work a boob
      job. My sister turned them down. But we still tell the
      story on spooky autumn evenings.

      And now, at last, you can do up chicken wings at home just
      like they make 'em at Hooters. And if you're lucky, you can
      get a girlfriend to dress up like a Hooters waitress for
      you. Or just rent the "Girls of Hooters" video. (Better
      save that cooking grease.)

      - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

      A hapless 6th-grader finds a phosphorescent "Jason" hockey
      mask in the dairy freezer. His mom makes him put it back.
      He tells us that his home is decorated with strings of
      skeleton-lights that flash on and off. "It's really
      annoying, actually."

      I wonder: what's happened to Hallowe'en? Was it always this
      cheesy? Does anyone really think that day-glo witches are
      frightening?

      I wander into the potato chip aisle. The Ruffles package
      sports a green- skinned witch with six warts (count 'em --
      six!) on her split nose and tufts of purple facial hair
      sprouting on her fat chin. She's wearing not one but two
      conical hats: a traditional black witch hat with belt and
      buckle, atop which is perched a tiny party hat, polka-dotted
      orange and purple.

      A poster hangs from above: an ancient mummy confronting a
      barrel in his Egyptian tomb. Who has violated the sanctity
      of his sacred resting place? Grave robbers? No! Candy
      manufacturers! The barrel springs open to reveal a cache of
      glowing "fun size" Snicker bars.

      The "Back To School" candy-kiosk depicts a hallucinatory
      panorama: a freckle-face kid peering out from behind a huge
      pile of books stacked with Milky Ways, giant pencils
      marching toward a playground where one boy hands a small
      packet to to another -- is it a drug deal? Sure enough.
      M&M's.

      A lovable ghost bobs up beside me, hugging a load of Reese's
      Peanut Butter Cups, Hershey's Kisses, and York Peppermint
      Patties in his transparent arms.

      "Don't be scared," he says. "I'm a friendly ghost."

      I can't help snorting: "Scared? You couldn't scare my
      six-year-old niece. You couldn't scare anybody, except
      maybe Ray Bradbury."

      The silly spectre cocks an eyebrow. "Ray Bradbury? Who's
      he?"

      "A writer. He predicted a sanitized future, a time when
      people are no longer afraid of the dark, because all the
      tales of horrible wraiths and flesh-eating goblins have been
      suppressed, forgotten, censored." I stare right through the
      amiable apparition, lost in thought. "It looks as though
      Ray was right. But it's not the censors. It's the
      vendors."

      "The who?"

      "You know, the sugar-peddlers. They're cashing in on a
      Hallowe'en for kids. That's why everything's so cute.
      That's why you look so goofy."

      "Well, you look pretty goofy yourself, mister!" He floats
      off in a snit.

      I can't help but feel that something has been lost.
    • tritium5@bellsouth.net
      ... seems this is happening to so many of our Holidays. this is why i ve hated the
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 4, 2000
        Bart wrote a wonderful rant a ways back i'd like to reply to:
        > WHY I HATE HALLOWE'EN by Bart Everson

        <snip the entertaining lists of holiday trash, junk, and detritus>

        seems this is happening to so many of our Holidays. this is why i've hated
        the Christmas season for so long; only recently has the consumer-junk
        disease spread to Halloween.

        >I wonder: what's happened to Hallowe'en? Was it always this
        >cheesy? Does anyone really think that day-glo witches are
        >frightening?

        i remember a time when Halloween was scary. and i dimly remember a time
        when Christmas was about spending HAPPY time with family, sharing with
        family and friends, and thinking/praying/planning for a positive and
        hopeful future.

        in the same way that companies with cheap junk to sell have identified that
        teenagers will buy lots of it, those same companies have figured out that
        lots of Americans like to turn their holidays into childish renditions of
        the original powerful sentiment. that's my big problem with it. as you
        describe:

        >"Don't be scared," he says. "I'm a friendly ghost."
        >
        >I can't help snorting: "Scared? You couldn't scare my
        >six-year-old niece. You couldn't scare anybody, except
        >maybe Ray Bradbury."

        in recent years, when my housemates and i dress up and really decorate the
        house for Halloween, parents steer their trick-or-treaters past our house
        to less frightening "haunts". WTF!?!?!?

        >I can't help but feel that something has been lost.

        something has been lost, my friend. the punk-rocker in me then thinks: so
        what do we do to get it back? publicly denouncing this degradation just
        gets you laughed at. my only solution has been to set an example, and
        share it with my friends: harvest feasts, carved pumpkins, my best witchy
        attire.

        i'm frequently distressed by the crazy things that "the Average American"
        does, and my feeling of powerlessness to change it. if any of you have any
        good solutions, i'd love to hear them.

        trish
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