It’s almost Halloween, y’all, the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.
I love Halloween. It jockeys for first position against Xmas as my favorite holiday, depending upon my mood. I do love Xmas. I love its pagan origins. I love Xmas trees and gifts and Xmas songs and the meaning of Xmas, which to me, is love and family and gratitude (I’m an atheist, so the Jesus part is not on my radar, and the over-commercialization of Xmas is another blog post altogether, where I pour out my broken heart).
But O, Halloween, my dark and faithful mistress, showering the world in some of my favorite Beck stuff, like candy and horror and dark skies and funny hats and costumes and beverages dyed black. I don’t know why, but it’s different when it’s around Halloween. I watch horror movies and read horror novels all year round; I eat candy all year round; I sometimes wear weird hats to make myself feel better (yes, all year round). I like to paint my face and put in my theatrical contacts when I’m bored, regardless of the time of year. But when it’s Halloween, it’s special. It’s shared. It’s like herd immunity, except it’s herd spooky fun. You can get non-horror folks to watch Night of the Demons with you. There are specials on horror books, and new releases abound, and marathons.
And this year it’s on a SATURDAY!
But Beck, you say. It’s a pandemic. You can’t pass out candy or go to parties or wear weird shit to the bar like you normally would. You’ve been cutting your own hair for 8 months.
And you’re right. 2020 has found one other tiny way to kick us while we’re down. Putting Halloween on a Saturday and then making sure we can’t enjoy it the way we once did.
But in the end, this pandemic and this shit-show presidency have taught us all to view the world differently, to view our lives differently, to change the way we do things and how we have fun, because we have no choice. There are people dying and struggling to feed themselves. I am doing neither of those things. So I will gladly and gratefully find a way to celebrate Halloween during the New Normal, with horror movies at home with less than 4 close friends, and it’ll be lovely, because the spirit of Halloween does not require barfing in a dumpster next to a bar while dressed as the Grim Reaper (2016, Philly).