Thursday, October 25, 2012

12 Reasons I Hate Halloween

Picture from Pixsylated.
Every year, I find myself disliking Halloween more and more. Here are the 12 Reasons I Hate Halloween.

12. Horror films which proliferating violence, fear, horror, and sex. For many it's all just fun, and dressing up and if I talked to you, it might seem as if it was Superhero and Punky Brewster remembrance day, but the onslaught in fall of slasher films, torture porn, and all the other things I hate about modern horror films.

11. Unintended & Premature Kid Discussions. Children being exposed to horror, grotesque violence, death, witchcraft, and other things evil before they reach an appropriate age for an age-appropriate conversation. These premature discussions occur in the costumes children are exposed to, decorations, and other related Halloween displays and accouterments (see reasons  10, 9, 8 & 1). Evil exist, but there is no reason to present these topics prematurely to children, especially mixed in with dress-up and candy.

10. Toddler Witches & Devils. Young girls dressing up as witches. I saw two young girls the age of my daughter (four) in this type of costume. How do they explain what they're dressed as? I couldn't let my little girl be a witch! I feel the exact same about the little kids dressed as Satan. The red horns and pitchfork do not amuse me. In this same vein, but perhaps to a lesser extent, I find myself taken aback by babies and toddlers in costume's alluding to death (ghost and skeleton's being popular choices).

9. Bloody Boys With Cleavers. Young boys dressed in violent, bloody costumes. "It's all fun and games" you say, and yet I realize that those who dress as violent mass murders, bloody ghouls, and violent criminals will not become those things. Yet the news is filled with stories of young adults committing unthinkable crimes (I think of the recent developments in the Jessica Ridgeway murder as a recent example, with 17 year old criminal Austin Sigg). And you are adorning yourself in fake blood and cleavers? Tasteless.

8. Victoria's Secret Kitty. Young ladies dressed in lingerie - simply because it's October 31st. Lingerie with cat ears, devil horns, a halo, or butterfly wings, is still lingerie. Those young women are somebodies daughter, and it's a pity that this has become part of what Halloween is about.

7. Safety. I always worry a little bit about safety on these nights. It's sad that it's dangerous to walk to neighbors houses in a costume, but there are so many things to be afraid of and although I don't want to be one of "those people" I also don't want to be ignorant. With my oldest being four-years old my wife and I are an active part of the "tick or treating experience" but I look around at a number of young elementary age children traveling the neighborhoods independently, and the exposure to danger is disturbing. Most of these fears are probably irrational (the razor blade in the milk way, or the neighbor who abducting kids) but it's sometimes hard to know how to be safe and have fun at the same time when it comes to Halloween.

6. Family Budgets. The expanding commercialization of Halloween. Reports by The National Retail Federation show that families will spend an average of $80 on Halloween, mostly on costumes. Sure it's not horrible, but the report also shows a year over year increase as well, about 10% this year over last. I'm not saying the commercialization is stealing from the "sacredness" of the day, or anything of that nature, instead that it's another drain on family finances for something that I see as generally not valuable.

5. Adults acting Stupid. If it's all about the kids why are adults more and more using Halloween as an opportunity to party, act stupid, and participate in one night of destructive behavior, all in the name of Halloween. So now not only do you have kids walking on the street at ten at night, but you also have adults drinking and driving on those very same streets. To me, it's a big turn off when I meet an adult obsessed with Halloween as if they were seven.

4. Candy Overload and Kids. I don't know how it was in the "good old days" but now it seems like when it comes to getting your loot it's not about going next's about going to the "good neighborhood," you know...the one with the track record for giving our full size Hersey bars, not dum dums and tootsie roll pops. In these neighborhoods you race to go to as many houses as possible and you're filling up a pillow case of chocolate. This is not an amount of candy you take home and eat for a day or two - you might get enough to give yourself a healthy sugar fix on a daily basis for weeks to come.

3. Candy Overload and Adults. I have this feeling, that even though the Halloween candy aisles hit stores way before Halloween that most of the early purchases of candy somehow makes it in to the office. The last thing most adults need is multiple "fun size" or "miniature" candy bars through out the course of the day...and yet, the packages are so cute, it's easy to pop that 105 calories of Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in your mouth, a couple times a day. With adult health in America so poor, this is unfortunate, and once Halloween is over, those leftover Snickers and Smarties surely get a lot of adults consuming unneccesary calories. And that's not even counting what they're stealing from their kids' stashes.

2. Social Harm of Cheap Chocolate: In 2011, American's spent a record $2.273 billion on Halloween Candy. And as Alyce Lomax of the Montley Fool recently shared, most of the chocolate bought and given out is not fair trade, and candy makers are taking advantage of poorer nations to provide American's with a cheap good, on the backs of families and children in places like the Ivory Coast.

This photo (and others like it) from Smith & Ratliff.
1. Grim & Gaudy Halloween Decor. Fall is a beautiful time of year, no other month is quite like October, the colors changing on the trees, the way the changing angle of the sun makes everything seem crisp and vibrant. Oh yes, and by the way, since people have started decorating for Halloween as though it were Christmas, they feel compelled to hang skulls from their trees, fill their yards with leaf bags with jack o' lantern faces, fake tombstones, and artificial spiders. If you're lucky you have a neighbor with strobe lights, halloween lights, and and skulls with flashing eyes. Nothing says fall like artificial spider webs everywhere.


Anonymous said...

Reasons I Love Halloween

Pumpkin Carving:

The one time a year when you can turn a gourd into the Death Star or a depiction of the cast of Friends or, you know, a face. Carving pumpkins is a craft that is actually fun -- that's saying something. It's a great activity to do with family or friends, and it allows you to be creative. Thank you, Halloween, for promoting pumpkin carving!

Halloween Movies:

From Hitchcock to Burton, there are some directors who have put out great films that are all the more appropriate to watch on or around Halloween. Not to mention other lovely films like Wait Until Dark and The Bad Seed. And how can you not love It's the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown? "You owe me restitution!"

Neighborhood Community-Building:

Unfortunately, most neighbors don't get together too often. They pull into their garage, close the door, and never see or say "hello" to the people sharing their block. Well, things are different on Halloween. Neighbors get a chance to interact and to share with one another. This is a good thing. Relationships are vital, and Halloween provides an opportunity to help promote them.

Halloween Parties:

The busy-ness of life keeps many adults from seeing and interacting with friends. But Halloween parties are a great excuse to get together and catch up. And they're often just plain fun, overflowing with yummy food, etc. Who doesn't love a good party?

Kids in Cute Costumes:

Whether it's your own kids or that kid down the street, it's fun seeing kids dressed up in adorable costumes. Not to mention that the kids have a blast dressing up. Let them enjoy their childhood and join in the nationwide dress-up day!

A Break from the Routine:

There are great things to be said about "ordinary time." But there's something special about a break from the routine, and Halloween provides just that. While waiting for the family get-togethers that occur around Thanksgiving and Christmas, Halloween provides a fun break from what's typical.

RC said...

@ anon - I love your comment here. Thanks for the time to write it!

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