Every day is Halloween | Editorial
October 27, 2011 · Updated 4:25 PM
Halloween used to be a special time of year, aimed mostly at scaring kids and allowing the latter to do a little mischief, such as tipping cows and egging cars, without the risk of spending time in the juvenile detention center followed by months of counseling and decades of worrying that your criminal background might be found out if you decide to run for president.
Scary was unusual in those days, so one night a year little ghosts, goblins, pirates and princesses roamed the neighborhoods, knocking on doors where friendly neighbors would give them candy. Kids didn’t have to run a gamut of howling wolves with flashing red eyes, grinning skulls, screeching witches, smoke-belching gargoyles and other lawn ornaments just to reach the door to be greeted by a pretend maniac holding out an empty rubber head filled with mini-Snickers.
Terror is so prevalent these days that the imitation kind on Halloween, no matter how gruesome, hardly scares anyone. The really scary stuff we see every day on TV, or every five seconds on the Web. The European economy is about to collapse, taking the world down with it. We’re all going to starve to death in our cars, gas gauges on empty. Every revolution in every two-bit country is covered in horrifying detail, and TV crews roam for hundreds of miles around the central downtown station to find stories revolting enough to show the family audience at dinner time: Murder, torture, rape and robbery help the Kraft macaroni dinner go down so much easier.
At the movies, we’ve gone from campy Frankenstein and Werewolf tales to chainsaw massacres of young people in various stages of undress. Cable TV makes heroes of serial killers, serial fornicators and serial smokers. Now broadcast TV is branching out to feature teenage werewolves and vampires, sucking the blood out of one another between iPhone app commercials. Entertainment shows that once featured movie-land tramps now lead with the baby killer of the week.
Perhaps the constant horror is why Halloween is becoming one of our biggest holidays in terms of sales and partying. It’s a distraction from the real world which is far more frightening.
In Oak Harbor, Fright Night XI is taking place each night through Halloween at the Roller Barn, raising money for the Boys and Girls Club with a variety of horrifying sets. We recommend you go for a scary good time that benefits the community. Just don’t watch the nightly news first. Anything after that is bound to be a letdown.