October 25, 2011
The Fox story goes something like this. Schools are banning Halloween celebrations because they don’t want kids eating candy and they want to not exclude anyone who doesn’t believe in the celebration, i.e. immigrants. But allow me to let Ren and Stimpy here to say it far more stupidly than I ever could.
This, of course, ignores various points. Let me go over them rapid-fire style.
The schools are banning candy to help kids eat healthier.
The celebrations are not being banned. They’re being moved to after-school so the parties won’t disrupt classes.
Likewise, kids can still wear costumes, but so as not to distract from valuable class time, the kids may wear the costumes after school.
Some of the kids cannot afford costumes because of tough economic situations, and this led to hurt feelings and isolation. Worrying about other people’s feelings is NOT a liberal conspiracy. It’s called basic human decency.
Now let me get to the one major point of contention for me.
Immigrants are offended by Halloween? If anything, I think Halloween is TAME by the standards of most immigrants. Take me for instance. I come from a culture that doesn’t celebrate Halloween, but instead has a holiday where we lay out altars dressed in food, flowers, and booze so the spirits of our dead relatives can visit us. We INVITE the ghosts in. Little Timmy in his Situation costume? Lame. We deal with real ghosts.
The only reason I can assume an immigrant would be offended or feel left out by Halloween is if he or she did not know what it was. Seeing things like spirits and magic treated like a kid’s game might be offensive to some who hold on to beliefs that treat them as real, and I’m sure a lot of pagans and Wiccans take offense to things like the portrayal of witches. The celebration’s spread around the world, though it’s only here in the States that it seems to have attained the kind of holy reverence once reserved for Christmas. Halloween is not some sacred rite here. It’s a fully commercialized day where kids get hopped up on sugar, get to play dress-up, and women are made to dress like pseudo-hookers.
War on Halloween? Please. If we immigrants are somehow tainting the purity of this Americanized pagan harvest observance, it’s only because we know what the season is really about.
And now, in an effort to make you think nothing but good thoughts, here’s Michael Winslow doing Led Zeppelin with only his sound effects and a guitar. This is the sound of pure, distilled awesome.