I hate Halloween. I just absolutely hate it. I've kvetched about it before here at the Dept., so I won't get all in a lather again, but really, when on Earth will this little holiday go back to being just that--a Little Holiday and stop being some bigass Extravaganza Of Retail, Adult Idiocy, And Overall Bad Taste?
Let me take those 3 areas one at a time:
1. Retail. Just browse through the Walgreens advertisement and you can meet up with some incredibly horrific items that defy not only basic sales logic but plain judgment. Only at Halloween time would anyone dare to market things called Hulk Cakes: chocolate cupcakes frosted in an alarming lime green. Those, however, pale in comparison to the Blood Tablecloth, Gory Wound Sleeve, and something called the Lighted Window Leecher. WTF is a "leecher?" Try looking it up in a dictionary. Lord help us if Walgreens made a typo and it was supposed to be "lecher." But those are just small potatoes compared to the animated guillotine you can get for your front yard! This festive decoration "features a talking prisoner with lighted eyes and a working guillotine!" Finally, for those Holiday Addicts, there is actually a Two-Season Lite Set: "Go from Halloween to Christmas with the press of a button!" In reality, in my Walgreens, all I have to do is walk 10 feet. The aisle directly in front of the Halloween aisle is already stocked with Christmas wrap, artificial wreaths, ribbon, tags, stockings, and all sorts of red-and-green crap. I almost wept.
2. Adult Idiocy. Remember when Halloween used to be all about little kids going out in costumes and trick-or-treating? And they had little parties and their parents helped them carve basic jack-o-lantern faces? Now, Halloween has turned into women wearing soft-porn costumes, "grownups" decorating their houses to look like the set of a bad B horror flick, and otherwise sane individuals thinking up ways to scare the hell out of kids who come up to their houses for a free Snickers bar. Specialty Halloween shops crop up in empty storefronts overnight, and pundits try to predict the outcome of the presidential race by which mask sells the most. I always get several parents at my house for trick-or-treat pushing strollers with children who are far too young to ingest any sort of candy. They're not trick-or-treating, they're begging. For themselves. How tacky.
3. Overall Bad Taste. Halloween has become such an over-the-top celebration of...what, now? Death? What is the explanation for the house on the corner (not far from my street) which has the inflatable hearse complete with coffin, the dead body hanging in the tree, the tombstones, and the gigantic black widow spider on the roof and all the webs? What--exactly--is being celebrated here? What parallel do we draw here between death and...what? I'm just wondering how it all got so...overblown and tasteless.
Or is it just me?