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Thursday, 28 October 2004
ruminations on a hollow eve
Now Playing: Giant Step audio player [www.giantstep.net]

I?m not down with Halloween. At all. I don?t think I?ve ever seen the point of such a holiday, if you can call it that. Even growing up as a child, after I had gone trick-or-treating all dressed up, I would be sitting with a half-eaten sack of candy and a bellyache thinking to myself, just exactly what was the point of all that?

Back during my SUNY Albany days, I was sitting in one of my English classes when the professor walks in. Before she starts the lesson for the day, she reads a quick news blurb from the ?Net regarding Halloween?s growth in popularity. At that point (and probably still true today), Halloween is second only to Christmas in terms of spending on decorations and adornments. If I remember correctly, the professor ended this news flash by saying: ?While Satan isn?t [equal] with the baby Jesus, he?s getting real close.? Everybody in the classroom cracked up except for me. It?s moments like those that remind me how much being a Christian is equal to being a foreigner or an alien. Just one of those ?you?re not home, it?s only Earth? moments with many more to come in my future.

I find that I can only remember the bad stuff about October 31st. For instance, one time I spun the closing set at a party on Halloween night back in?good Lord, that was seven years ago. It was at the Launch Pad (RIP) in Troy, NY. Beth and I were still dating then. The set started off well: I was playing primarily drum and bass cuts then, largely on the jazz tip but some of it dark and noisy. Kids were having fun and I was having fun watching them get down from the DJ booth, which was elevated above the dance floor. Considering how high up you are, you could see everything that was happening with the crowd.

Shortly after mixing in a wicked remix of Tricky?s ?Pumpkin,? I looked down and saw some drunk brother all up in Beth?s face. He gave her the finger, she responded in kind, then he pushed her back by pressing his hand against her forehead. I flew down the stairs towards the dance floor in a fit of rage. I charged out the stairwell towards him and threw two wild punches, but he dodged out of the way before they could land. Beth?s trying to hold me back and I?m pretty much dragging her trying to get him (a man considerably larger than me, by the way). About three of my friends try to help Beth in holding me back and for a while I was dragging all of them. I don?t remember what I said to him, but the enraged me is never pretty. Combine the thug mug shots of any member from rap crew Onyx with Linda Blair from The Exorcist and you pretty much have an idea of the state I was in that night. Had I remembered to pick up the two empty Sobe bottles I saw on the stairwell, things would?ve gone far worse.

After that, I made a vow never to spin on Halloween again. I also include Christmas, New Year?s, and the night before Easter Sunday. One of the cats from Complacent tried to get me to spin for Halloween last year, but I wouldn?t do it. He probably thought I was blowing him off and I never heard from him again. If it were any other night in October but the 31st, I would?ve done it. I have great respect for Complacent; I just didn?t want to go into the reasons why?even though I should?ve.

I am of the opinion that anyone who says that Halloween is their favorite time of year seriously needs to think about what they?re saying. After hearing my views on the holiday, a former co-worker actually told me to ?get into the spirit.? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? Get into the spirit of what? Evil? Darkness? Isn?t there enough of that on the planet already?

Oh, don?t look so shocked. As I?ve already stated in an earlier entry, I?m a prude.

There are few things related to Halloween that make me smile, but here are a couple:

  • My annual viewing of It?s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown. It NEVER gets old. All I have to hear is Charlie Brown say ?I got a rock? and I?m on the floor.
  • Ministry?s ?Everyday Is Halloween.? And just for the record, NO, IT?S NOT. THANK GOD.
  • Frank Zappa?s ?Goblin Girl.?
  • Whodini?s ?The Haunted House of Rock.? A good friend of mine actually owns the glow-in-the-dark 12-inch vinyl single of that.
  • The occasional leftover candy at the job. I?m very partial to Snickers, myself.
Wow, I almost forgot about this: It was late October of 2002 and I was at my old job in Greenwich, CT. Every year just prior to Halloween, the co-workers brought their kids all decked out in costumes. One of the workers (dressed up as Superman, I might add) led the kids around the cubicles while we all filled their goody bags with candy. This particular year someone brought in a candy bowl in the shape of a witch?s cauldron. It had a shriveled hand emerging from it that came down whenever someone reached their hand in the bowl and said, in a spooky voice, ?Happy Halloween.?

Only problem was that the thing was ultra sensitive, so all you had to do was walk by and that would trigger the hand and the voice. The candy bowl was placed along a ledge of the main walkway into our team area. The walkway was directly in front of my cubicle. Needless to say, I had WAY too much fun watching grown people get freaked out by this candy bowl. The third time was the kicker, though: a custodian came around the corner and jumped at least three feet in the air when the bowl spoke. And it was pretty loud, too. Brother landed on his feet, but he had his dukes up. I was no good for the rest of the day.

Last but not least, there?s the seasonal aisle of your local CVS. If you haven?t been there during this time of year, you simply MUST GO. The featured novelty item this time around is a statue of a hissing cat that sings the old paranoid pop classic ?Somebody?s Watching Me? by Rockwell. Pretty good, but not nearly as funny as the main attraction from two years ago. CVS was selling a modeled head of Frankenstein with the bolts in his neck. When you pressed a button on his forehead, it sung a horrible rendition of Men At Work?s ?Who Can It Be Now?? in an over-exaggerated monster voice. It was classic: the jaw moved to the words and everything. Just try and picture that in front of somebody?s door when kids are out trick-or-treating?


What made it worse was that kids kept pressing the button on this thing while I was waiting on line. Third time around, I said, ?NOOO?don?t press the button!!? Too late.


By the time the woman at the cash register was ready to ring up my items, I was laughing so hard that I had tears streaming down my face. If you see that somewhere this year, buy it on general principle.

Posted by macedonia at 5:55 PM EDT
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Monday, 15 November 2004 - 5:00 AM EST

Name: Mary
Home Page: http://paillette1.tripod.com

OK, ok.

Halloween, as it is portayed in the commercial world, is not so great. But neither is Christmas, of course.

However, if one goes beneath the idiotic commercial surface of either, one finds festivals of depth and meaning--Samhain was (and in fact is) the festival of the Crone, the solemn tribute to honored dead. It is most certainly *not* without meaning and is *not* about Satan. Christmas was the Midwinter festival to break the monotony and dreariness of winter; in the Christian tradition it is the birth of Christ, an event not without significance in a religion which puts a lot of emphasis on the pain of the Passion--that pain warrants a counterbalance which is unfortunately often not the Resurrection.

Me two cents, for what they're worth...

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