Back in the 1960s when I was a kid, Halloween was all about free candy and some light vandalism. We threw eggs, sprayed shaving cream and smashed a few pumpkins here and there. Back then, it was considered serious hooliganism but the stuff they do today made us look like a couple of do-gooders.
Now, Halloween consists of drunks acting stupid, fighting, destroying property, and even murder. The Halloween parade that used to take place here in the Castro in San Francisco every year was canceled a while back because every year more than a few people were either shot, beaten or in one case, some poor guy from out-of-town came to our city and some other out-of-towners made it his very last Halloween.
The kids can't even go door-to-door tricking and treating anymore in many towns, because jerkoffs might poison them or kidnap them, or hit them with their vehicles while drunk driving in search of a "good time." Now many schools have Halloween costume parties and parades in order to keep their children off the streets at night, which is a smart move.
Then, what about the costumes today? We used to dress up like people from the news, celebrities, or the classic ones, like pimps, nurses, cowboys, hookers, animals, etc. A lot ot them were naughty, but now they're downright nasty. Now a lot of the costumes are disgusting, featuring blood, blood and more blood. I think a lot of it has to do with today's horror movies? Back when I was a kid, we had classic scary movies like Carrie, The Shining and The Exorcist. They had a plot line. Today's horror movies are training classes for future sadists and serial killers. Seeing a woman being beaten and tortured for two hours is cinema? Give me a break. It's sickness packaged differently, that's all it is.
I'm sounding like the no-fun old guy who comes out on his porch in his pajamas to yell at the punks in the neighborhood, like Clint Eastwood in the film Gran Torino. But I just think that the demise of this country in general pivots off how we behave as a society and Halloween is a good example. It's an excuse to act like an idiot, basically. (Wow--almost all of our holidays could fit comfortably into the same category to some degree.)
That's my point and I'm sticking with it. What am I doing for Halloween? I am volunteering to be a ghoul and scare the piss out of a bunch of small children at a haunted house event--sober and dressed appropriately in a scare mask that doesn't feature blood, open flesh and maggots. Just good old simple fun--the way it used to be!