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Friday, December 15, 2017

What Happened to Halloween?

by Ed Attanasio (writer), San Frickin' Frisco, Baby!, October 30, 2011

Credit: Mort Weinstein
WTF happened to Halloween?

It used to be a fun holiday, now it's all about getting drunk and being gross!

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!



About the Writer

Ed Attanasio is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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7 comments on What Happened to Halloween?

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By Tiffany Sanders on October 30, 2011 at 04:01 pm
I think you need to move! My town is a sea of really elaborately decorated houses and yards. There are kids' parties in the parks, and just about everyone my daughter knows has made the trip (as we did yesterday) to the next town to do the corn maze and pick pumpkins at the apple orchard. The local high school hosted what looked like every pre-schooler in town for trick-or-treating inside the school on Friday, and we'll be dressed up and handing out candy on the porch with our scarecrows and seasonal decor tomorrow.
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By TonyBerkman on October 30, 2011 at 04:37 pm

Hey Tiffany, what part of the country do you live in?

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By Ed Attanasio on October 30, 2011 at 05:01 pm

Is it called Utopia? I hear people there also fart cotton candy? (just kidding, Tiffany) I do notice that your pre-schoolers do not go door-to-door for their candy, but rather do it at the high school. I've heard that Everytown USA does it that way now, or at least it's preferred.

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By Tiffany Sanders on October 30, 2011 at 09:58 pm

Illinois, Tony--about 80 miles outside Chicago. Ed, we have door-to-door trick-or-treating, too...that will be tomorrow afternoon and evening. The event at the school is just an extra--we tend to make the most of our excuses to celebrate around here, and a Monday Halloween means four days of costume parties, events in the parks, at the schools and then the "real thing". We have a Christmas walk, too, with local businesses serving free hot chocolate on the streets and kids running free throughout the downtown area watching the parade, listening to music, picking up candy that's thrown from the floats...

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By Theresa H Hall on October 31, 2011 at 01:51 am

Halloween was pretty safe when I was a kid and I wish it could be again. To many scary freaks out there giving the holiday a bad name. On the other hand the little kids look pretty cute in their costumes. Happy Halloween!

And Ed? It's comforting to know the kids can depend upon you to scare them in a friendly way. Cheers! (Wear clean pajamas)

:-)

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By Felicia Stevenson on November 01, 2011 at 01:45 am

My boys are 4 and 5, and we had a great time tonight. We went to a great neighbourhood when many houses were brightly decorated. The police and firemen were on patrol, handing out candy, so there weren't too many issues with freaks. Some scary costumes, but many cute animals, pretty princesses and the usual superheroes... it was awesome.

I do agree with you on one point though: some of the costumes are nasty... but I mean in the sexiness department. I would like to know when halloween became an excuse for 14 year old girls to dress up like skanks!!!

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By TonyBerkman on November 13, 2011 at 07:03 pm

Are we going to be treated to "What happened to Turkey Day?"

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