Thursday, October 3, 2013

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fuck You

For those of you that don't know me that well, you might not realize that this is my favorite time of year.  I love Halloween.  I love it so much.  It's a holiday that revolves around horror and darkness and the macabre; which are all things I enjoy.  But it's also a holiday that embraces gluttony for all ages, be it of candy or booze or sexual debauchery.  And it's all perfect.  Because, in the end, it's the only holiday that's about individuality and creativity and the bizarre.  Halloween is perfect because, and I can't stress this enough, every person gets to make it how they want to.  Children get to make it a night of sugar and princesses and ninjas and excuses to stay up too late playing games.  Young adults get to make it a night of drinking with friends and homemade costumes and sex.  Older adults can make it a night of special food and snuggling around a TV to watch horror movies (and, hopefully still sex.) 

THERE IS NO WRONG WAY TO CELEBRATE HALLOWEEN.  It's the one night we get to be who we want to be and do what we want to do, young or old, rich or poor, it's the night we get to embrace fantasy and excess and it is glorious.

So why then do they keep trying to take it from us?  Anger after the jump.

This is Jesus:

You might know him from his roles in "The Bible" and "Jesus Christ Superstar"
Now, Jesus has two primary holidays every year.  The first is Christmas, when he was born and the second is Easter, when he was raised from the dead.  Now the first, Christmas, is celebrated on December 25th despite the fact that all historical analysis would seem to indicate Jesus could not have been born in winter.  So, why then, do we celebrate Christmas in the depths of the cold.  Well, mostly because of these guys:

I got nothing to add to this.
See, the 21st of December is the Winter Solstice.  And pretty much every pagan religion loves them some winter solstice.  Way back when people lived in castles and stuff, they all had their festivals to celebrate, the most famous of which being the Germanic celebration of "Yule."  Which of course Christians found evil.  Not because the non-Christians were sacrificing goats or eating babies, or sacrificing babies to goats for eating, but because they were dressing up and singing and dancing and drinking in the name of the WRONG GOD(S).  You celebrate Jesus or you sit in your house and beg him for forgiveness.  There is no other way.  So, to put a stop to that nonsense, the Catholics moved their Jesus Birthday Bonanza to right next to the solstice so that they could go up to Pagans and be all, "Oh, hey, this is great, fun party.  Let's keep partying to celebrate the birth of, you know, this other guy, too."  Smooth.

And then, you have Easter.  Which isn't even on a fixed date despite that fact that there is clearly an actual day in which Jesus was raised from the ground... or a cave... or something.  Also, again, you'll notice that the range of possible Easter dates seems to correspond with the Vernal Equinox as well as planting periods.  Also, you'll notice that it is full of eggs that hatch into bunnies.

OR SOMETHING.  What am I, a biologist?
Because, again, it was designed to co-opt Pagan fertility festivals.  So, Christianity had stolen two of the most important days of the year for people who don't think their God was born in a farm and nailed to some wood.  However, that still left the fall harvest season untouched.  With those damned infidels running around eating all their food and not feeling even the slightest bit guilty about it.  That had to stop, so the Catholics moved their "All Saint's" celebration from May to November 1 and tacked on an evening celebration the night before.  That All Hallow's Eve is what, of course, became Halloween.

As such, Halloween, as most of us are probably aware but, if not, I just dropped some knowledge on your ass and your ass is welcome, is a Christian holiday.  But Halloween is different, in kind, from the other two major Christian holidays.  In both Easter and Christmas, Jesus won.  We think of those primarily as religious holidays and, to the extent symbols like the yule and the eggs still exist, they have been consumed and made part of the Christian tradition.  Halloween, though, was won by the secular.  It is a non-denominational celebration through and through.  And man.  Does that piss Christians off.

Though, to be fair, that's sort of their natural state.
Every year we get inundated with hogwash about "The War on Christmas."  If anything, Christmas has waged a constant war on every thing else.  Forget Chanukah and Ramadan, I mean, the Christians do, Jesus Day has also consumed Thanksgiving.  It used to be that Christmas season didn't start until December.  Then it became right after the turkey was digested.  And now.  Now I'm seeing stores spouting red and green in fucking October.  Considering the holiday is to celebrate the birth of a man who rallied against gluttony, Christmas has gotten fat as hell.

So fat, that now, we're in the middle of a War on Halloween.  Now, I understand, this "war" isn't an ideological one, there is no vast church campaign that wants to destroy Halloween so Santa trumps Satan.

Though there IS one to trump Santana, oddly enough.
It's an economic one.  But still, in a way, that's worse.  Halloween is hardly a non-commercial holiday but it is being encroached upon because it isn't commercial enough.  Christmas sells way more than Hallow's Eve does so it's sold sooner and sooner.  But, on the flip side, preserving Halloween IS an ideological objective. It's about protecting the one great holiday that we, the people of many faiths, managed to steal from the Western Religious Empire that is Christianity.  It's about celebrating a holiday that is for us, that embraces not some skinny guy with disciples or some fat guy with elves but our own creativity and fantasy.  And we use that to pay tribute to whatever we want, be it earth spirits or ninjas or witches or The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

Join me in fighting against this war on Halloween.  Go buy decorations for your office and home.  Watch scary movies, play scary games, drink scary drinks.  Tell your kids ghost stories and let them dress up in their costumes (or multiple different costumes) weeks before the primary day.  Enjoy this holiday for everything it's worth.  Let's keep Halloween the month-long festival that it deserves to be and the Christmas has been for centuries. 

You'll have your time, Jesus.  Let us have ours.

1 comment:

  1. Oh man, it's on a Thursday this year. I am off school that day and go into clinicals late Friday night. What's your plan, Mr. Loves Halloween Maybe As Much As Me?