November 1, 2012

Final, broader observations on Halloween

I'm still a little pleasantly buzzed from the party tonight, so this'll be off the cuff but hopefully of broader relevance.

- The nightclub party I went to was weak, nowhere near full. It wasn't the club's fault. It's regularly packed on other occasions, like presumably last Saturday when it was filled with the dorks who can't stand celebrating a holiday on a weeknight. Nevertheless, it's not like there were many cool, open people there tonight either. More like a mini-version of the attention-whoring festival held on The Saturday Before Halloween.

- Related to that, I saw almost no one dressed up in the late afternoon / early evening like I did on Saturday. So, basically the entire set of holiday rituals has been removed from October 31 and placed on the Saturday before. If they haven't been eliminated altogether, such as --

- Trick-or-treating. I saw two groups on the way home, and five groups within sight of my house. I stood outside because our porch light's broken, and I'm always interested to take note of any changes. Only one group stopped by our house, and it was three high-schoolers. I should've told them they were too old to be out, but one was a 17 year-old blonde in a tight leather Catwoman outfit who was pushing her titties out of her top / bustier thingie. And what kind of neighbor would I be to turn them away on Halloween?

All of the little kid groups of course had parents accompanying them, and in almost all cases right up to the door. Still, I saw something that I never would've even thought possible -- two elementary school boys hit a couple houses across the street, then got into a car driven by their mommie. Was this the end of a faraway trip, and she was going to drive them back home? Naw man, she drove them a few houses down, let them hit another few houses on their own, then back into the car, and so on. She was chaffeuring them down a single side of a single neighborhood block!

Why not carry your 10 year-old child in one of those papoosa dealies, knock on the door yourself, collect the candy yourself, etc.? And yet the helicopter parents act surprised when their kid wants to live with and sponge off them until age 40...

- Then there's all this autistic conservative stuff about not celebrating Halloween because, ACTUALLY, it's a Pagan, Celtic, or whatever holiday. Yeah, well, shooting off fireworks and roasting dead animals in the open air to celebrate the birth of your nation ain't exactly religious or supernaturally focused either. Somehow, Halloween's origins in a non-Christian tradition must mean that, here and now, people who celebrate it are practicing something Pagan, Celtic, etc.

It's as lazy and idiotic of an idea as saying that we're reviving Latin, Greek, or Celtic languages -- and bringing about our own pollution -- by using words in contemporary English that ultimately derive from one of those sources. Imagine how sterile a language would be with no borrowings -- well, it would be the official French of France. If Pagan religions had something worth preserving, then why not preserve it and adapt it into our own culture?

I don't take the argument seriously, as it's just a half-baked rationalization for why we must cocoon even further. Liberals tell themselves that Halloween is bad because of potential harm to the kids, and maybe lack of fair treatment for those whose groups are worn as costumes by others.

Conservatives also mention the potential harm to kids, but they're also sensitive to moral "taste receptors" like purity, taboo, pollution, etc. (Jonathan Haidt.) So in addition to acting like weenies about their children's safety (despite how safe Halloween has always been), they'll also trot out some argument about cultural pollution from some out-group like non-Christian religions.

Notice, however, that neither libs or cons are interested in replacing Halloween with some holiday and set of communal rituals that are more to their liking. Their arguments are just post-hoc rationalizations for their gut decision to cocoon and eliminate communal rituals altogether.

Are we becoming a race of party-poopers or what? Celebrations in public space, from lively to low-key, bind the community together. What kind of sick world do we live in where the local faggot and homophile brigades can muster an extravagant Pride Parade every year, while neighbors refuse to send their kids out trick-or-treating, or to host these guests if they show up at their door, by turning off the front light?

7 comments:

  1. Inkraven6:44 AM

    We had the most trick-or-treaters we've seen in five years - maybe a couple more than a dozen or so. These are the things I noticed:

    - None of the kids lived around my neighborhood.
    - No white kids. Interesting, as I live in a fairly white area.
    - Almost all of them were accompanied by mom (no dads in sight); about half of those moms stayed on the sidewalk while the kids did their thing.
    - About half of them didn't even have a costume and was using a plastic Wal-Mart bag for their spoils.
    - In several cases, the parents were themselves collecting candy "for the little one in the car" or some such nonsense like that.
    - No one knows how to say "trick or treat" anymore.

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  2. Anonymous7:36 AM

    " Their arguments are just post-hoc rationalizations for their gut decision to cocoon and eliminate communal rituals altogether."

    Why do they want to get rid of communal rituals? Jew conspiracy? (j/k, but seriously, who are these people?)

    -Curtis

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  3. I was pleasantly surprised to see heavy trick or treating in my neighborhood, including some kids without accompanying parents. I live in an urban SWPL enclave with a pretty close community, though, so I doubt that this experience is typical nowadays.

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  4. We had heavy trick or treating, 40 or 50 kids, safe neighborhood.

    I guess I am lucky.

    Parent are carefully choosing neighborhood I think. Two families came to our house to trick or treat with our kids.

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  5. Anonymous3:47 PM

    Had a ton of trick-or-treaters (LOVE it!) and even dressed up myself to hand out the candy. But as to why there's a decline in the practice overall, maybe you answered that with your question about how homosexuals can get big PRIDE parades together while the rest of us can't. There may be a correllation there, if you KWIM. If people think the world is filled with pedophiles and leather-clad perverts, they might be less likely to send their kids out alone. Or at all.

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  6. "Why do they want to get rid of communal rituals?"

    They don't want to rely on others, and during communal rituals you submerge yourself into the superorganism. So even so-called conservatives are tossing away, not conserving, traditions like trick-or-treating, Christmas caroling, public fireworks spectacles on the Fourth of July, and so on.

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  7. Thought of you when I read about these dumb millenials watching "Halloween."

    http://movies.yahoo.com/blogs/movie-talk/halloween-still-scary-35-years-later-172850535.html

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