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Friday, October 31, 2014

3 Halloween Hates

As this era of change and tolerance sweeps the nation, there are a great many things that I have finally determined are acceptable to disclose about my personal beliefs.  The majority of these liberating revelations have been kept secret owing to my fear of reprisal and reproach – positions unpopular enough to warrant significant negative responses – and, so I kept quiet.  But through my own personal maturation and these more liberal times, I am finally read to reveal the world: I hate Halloween.  That’s right, you heard correctly – this most jovial of holidays, this celebration of costumed shenanigannery, this ode to horror and all things dark – is an occasion for me to go to bed early, turn off my phone and wait for November 1. There is no worse holiday to hate than Halloween. After all, if you hate Christmas, you’re a grinch, or a Scrooge – each quite lovable in their own way.  But hate Halloween?  Well then you an enemy of children and candy and happiness – good luck surviving that PR hit.  But those are times now past and I can finally spend October 31st dressed in grown up clothes and not making any regrettable drinking devisions.  And with my newfound freedom, I’m please to share with you three reasons I hate Halloween.

1.         Save the Women and Children.  I’m just going to come right out and say this – Halloween is a holiday primarily for women and children.  I’m not saying it’s always been that way – so please don’t send me the Wikipedia entry for Halloween (I’ve already read it) – but today’s version is decidedly immature and feminine.  I also realize this view is gender-normative, which I’m not trying to provide as an exclusive worldview, just my own.  But disclaimers notwithstanding, there seems precious few ways (if any) to maintain a measure of dignity and self-respect as a grown man during this most jovial of holidays.  First, the entire exercise is basically one big drunken game of dress up.  This alone might be enough – after all, I was never too keen on costumes, and as the years went on, the enthusiasm for the event seemed mostly generated by the women I knew (save for the men I knew that wanted to see those women dressed up).  But the fact that everyone seems keen to get themselves just a shade past New-Years-Eve-Drunk combined with wearing silly costumes makes it the sort of thing that I’m comfortable skipping.

2.         Vegas-Goggles. Living in Las Vegas gives one a very unique perspective on holidays.  Being the party capital of the world has a way of taking the “family” right out of most traditional “family” celebrations.  It also has a way of making some holiday seems extraordinarily anti-climactic.  It is nearly universally understood that American version of this is a national excuse to dress up in only your underwear and dance around with strangers.  But what the rest of the country calls “Halloween”, we call the “weekend” – or for that matter, Monday through Thursday, as well.  In fact, if there is a center of the dressing inappropriately and acting absent any regular inhibition, I’m living in it.  We don’t need an annual excuse for this sort of thing, we are the national excuse for this sort of thing.  The majority of women who visit Las Vegas have a section of their closet that they devote to clothes that they would only wear (a) on Halloween or (b) in Las Vegas.  As a result, the only reason I used to have to go out on Halloween (to ladies’ least appropriate outfit, thinly veiled as a “costume”) has now been replaced by… well, every Tuesday night. 

3.         The “New” Scary.  I can remember a time when the Thriller video gave me nightmares, and staying up way too late because I was certain that Freddy Krueger was going to kill me in my dreams.  I have always had an affinity for the horror genre – as it is one of the few truly emotionally evocative mediums left – but, the modern day horror movie is about as scary as a Jem and Holograms episode (which, looking back at it now, is a little scarier than it should be).  Most of what used to be truly scary has been replaced by over-the-top hyper-violence or just straight camp.  And the “new scary” doesn’t need darkness, the supernatural or even the macabre for effect – all you really need is the evening news.  We have become so intimately acquainted with fear these days that we’re almost numb to it.  It’s not a stretch to say that everyone is trying to scare us – especially this time of year… when we’re electing people to lead us.  Politicians are trying to scare us into not voting for the other guy (or not voting at all).  The news is trying to scare us into staying home – and watching more news.  Retailers are trying to scare us into buying things we don’t need and most of us are trying to scare each other into doing things we don’t want to do through the eponymous “fear or missing out” or “FOMO”.  I don’t need a holiday to remind me to be scared – I need a holiday from being scared.

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Look, I’m not trying to diminish anyone else’s enjoyment of this popular holiday. After all, I’m enjoying the day off via Nevada Day, which I’m fairly certain was put into place to accommodate the nearly ubiquitous hangover which this city endures this time of year, and I’m (obviously) putting it to good use.  But, for anyone who’s hoping to “FOMO” me into participating – I know exactly what I’m missing, and that’s why I’m missing it.  I don’t need an excuse to act silly, I definitely don’t need to go far to see pretty girls dancing around in their underpants and I am, damn sure, not going to dress up in an “adult costume” just so that the pictures of it can end up as part of the permanent lexicon which constitutes the results of the “Google me” exercise.  As my regular readers can attest to, there is more than enough embarrassing content attached to my name, already.  So, you all have fun tonight.  Wear your costumes, drink too much and find a safe way home.  I’ll have the light off early, my regular clothes on, and will finish the night with exactly the same amount of candy in my place that I started with.  Boo, Humbug.        


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