Hallowed out

There’s something about the modern Halloween that has more of a desperation for pop-culture than the indulgence of the super-natural. But who is, and why are we guilty of it?

I’m asking that question to myself as I scroll down this list from the Huffington Post: 24 Halloween costume ideas that just scream 2013. Which is not so much a list of ideas for costumes as it is a year in review, two months premature. I would say it’s a sign of the times, but it’s more of a litmus test on what we seem to think halloween costumes are supposed to be in this day and age.

Traditionally, what would you think? Demons? Ghosts? Skeletons? Pumpkins? It still manages to be the writing on the wall, or in this case, decoration on the step. Children still keep the spirit alive with the mischief of costumes while trick or treating. Those who are parents, know who keep tradition for. But I think it’s what you dress up as which is drastically changing the spirit of the season.

It’s fun to think about Halloween as the one time of the year where horror comes out to play. But Dressing up as ghouls and ghosts seems lost on our current generation. We no longer see it as a day for dressing up as the supernatural, but just as a day for dressing up. Then it’s no longer the one day of the year where we dress up, because now we just want to call it cosplay and dress up whenever we feel like it. (Though most sightings are at our favourite comic or pop-culture events.)

Look at the Huffpo list again, and ask yourself why? Why is specifically from the “what does the fox say” Music video, and it’s not just a fox costume? Why can’t we let go of Breaking bad? Why bastardize what Wendy Davis did, by hoping you’re the clever one at the party? Grumpy cat? Miley Cyrus? Where’s the fun of halloween, if it gets lost on pop-culture references? references that don’t even reach that far?

Commander Chris Hadfield, Spaceman Esq. wanted to do something fun for his tweeters by announcing a contest for best astronaut costume. Which is fun, and inspirational to future space kids and science enthusiasts. But in our culture we read that as “Best Chris Hadfield”. So while we get adorable photos like this little girl, it’s completely lost on her why she has to wear the moustache to be an astronaut.

I know that I would be guilty of indulging more into pop culture than spooky-ness, but the truth is we do it because that’s how we were raised. Halloween was what it was, because that’s what the culture was. The old years had their beliefs and fables, something that is completely lost on us now. We dress up as our favourite tv characters and internet memes (and sexy versions) because that’s really all our generation cares about. We don’t even get the scary costumes right anymore.

When I was a child, I loved Halloween for what it was, because in my eyes it was tradition. A word that has lost it’s meaning on us, because we have no need for old things when we just seem to want to out-do ourselves with the funniest/most clever thing, or the most topical, or try and see if someone remembers who it is that you’re supposed to be. Next year, I’ll try and make an effort to being a ghost, or a scary demon again. I love traditions and I never want to see them die. After all, Tradition becomes tradition in the first place becuase it’s the only thing that old cultures have left.

So be something scary for halloween. Don’t be that asshole that is literally 50 shades of gray.

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