Halloween is, without a doubt, my least favorite holiday.
It’s not even a holiday, it’s a faux holiday. A Fauxliday.
It’s nothing more than a chance for Wal-Mart and Target to sell more cheap Chinese-made crap that no one needs, and a chance for Big Sugar to rake in big profits on cheap sweets none of us need. As usual, some Christians have responded in a predictably hilarious fashion, while others see it as a chance to engage in a little advertising for Jesus. Conservatives, bless their little hearts, see it as yet another chance to blame liberals and political correctness for why everything sucks right now, while liberals want to play costume police.
Basically, Halloween is the one holiday where people feel justified in behaving like assholes. Take, for example, the employees of New York foreclosure mill Steven J. Baum, who last year mocked the homeless and those they’d foreclosed on — in short, the sort of people finding themselves on the streets thanks to companies like Steven J. Baum. Ouch.
Or, you know, the teachable moment spawned by this cultural sensitivity campaign, “We’re A Culture, Not A Costume.” I have no problem with students reminding everyone that stereotypes do not represent a culture but you just know Rush “Ching Chong” Limbaugh is going to mock this campaign — he never overlooks an opportunity to be offensive to boost his ratings — and I’m going to have to agree that he has a point.
Truth is, stuff like this resonates because yeah, it even annoys me when people are so hypersensitive. You know, it’s all about context, people. Is dressing up as a belly dancer or member of a Mariachi band really that offensive in this multicultural nation of ours? I can see why costumes that reinforce negative stereotypes are a no-no — leave the blackface or suicide bomber costumes at home, people, I mean really — but let’s remember, America is a multicultural place. Throughout our history we’ve co-opted pretty much every cultural symbol immigrants have brought to our shores, it’s just how we do it. It’s why pizza and tacos and egg rolls are staples of American cuisine and you can belly dance for exercise no matter what your ethnicity. It’s our way of paying tribute to the pluribus who make up our unum. This is how multiculturalism is expressed in this country: we take what may at one time have been symbols identifying a cultural group, and make them belong to all of us. So lighten up, it means you belong.
Anyway, this is all just another chance for people to get stabby with each other. I really hate it.
Don’t come knocking on my door tonight; I won’t answer.
What was that I said about Halloween giving people license to be assholes?
The Republican Party of Virginia is strongly condemning an e-mail sent by Loudoun County’s GOP committee that shows President Obama as a zombie with part of his skull missing and a bullet through his head.
The e-mail, first reported on the blog Too Conservative, has “Halloween 2011” in the subject lines and has several other images, including one of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, whose face has been made to look deformed with one eye bulging out of its socket.
You know, every Halloween some Republican Party official does or says something offensive. It was only a matter of time.