The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'halloween'
Some observations on Halloween costumes, from Conrad "Ignatz" Heiney:
The Halloween costume for women that I call the "Slutty Noun" outfit is now a topic of debate and outrage; I've been complaining about it for years. It's mainstreaming the sex industry, dragging women back into the Playboy Bunny past, and in poor taste. Yuck!
Last year I realized something worse. While the women dress as stereotyped available objects (nurse, catwoman, stripper outfits, little French maid, showgirls) the men have their own roles. They're pirates, soldiers, cops, horror movie murderers, Dracula, barbarian." These roles have something in common too: they're powerfully violent and often depicted assaulting women.
What's the message? Men are rapists and women are their victims. And now every year the men and women dress that way, go to parties and bars and get sloshed, and see what happens.
Anyone is free to explore sexuality and enjoy role-playing I don't like. In this case it would be less worrisome if any if these people knew what roles they were taking on and where that might go.
Some animal shelters in the US are refusing to give black cats away for adoption before Halloween, lest the hapless moggies end up abused or sacrificed in Satanic rituals. The same goes for white rabbits, it seems. (I'm guessing that goats and black cockerels aren't found often enough in animal shelters to be an issue˙)
“It’s kind of an urban legend. But in the humane industry it’s pretty typical that shelters don’t do adoptions of black cats or white bunnies because of the whole satanic sacrificial thing,” Morgan said. “If we prevent one animal from getting hurt, then it serves its purpose.”
“Black cats already suffer a stigma because of their color,” said Gail Buchwald, vice president of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals shelter in New York City. “Why penalize them any more by limiting the times when they can be adopted?”Apparently superstitions about black cats are not uncommon in the US:
Black cats tend to be adopted less often than other felines, Buchwald said. “Behaviorally, there’s no difference from the color of the cat. It’s tied into this whole mythology about the animal — don’t let it cross your path or some foreboding or foreshadowing of evil — and that’s an outdated superstition,” she said.
Parts of the US are up in arms over Halloween falling on a Sunday; in the Bible Belt states of the South, some literal-minded Christians (presumably the same ones who called for the Harry Potter books to be banned; it appears that distinguishing between form and content isn't very popular in parts of Alabama and such) are so upset about children dressed as demons and witches being out on the Sabbath that various communities have officially moved Halloween to October 30, a Saturday.
"You just don't do it on Sunday," said Sandra Hulsey of Greenville, Ga. "That's Christ's day. You go to church on Sunday, you don't go out and celebrate the devil. That'll confuse a child."
All this evening, fireworks have been going off all around (well, all around Ealing and thereabouts, anyway). It seems that, this being the weekend between Halloween and Guy Fawkes' Day, it's a doubly good reason for fireworks.
Some of these look like organised displays, but others probably aren't. Unlike in Australia, anyone can buy fireworks here and set them off, which is why you get bottle rockets whizzing horizontally across parks and almost knocking people over and such; and apparently the casualty departments of hospitals are doing a roaring trade as well.
One thing that I found slightly surprising: the English really get into Halloween (which I thought was an American thing, at least in its modern incarnation). There were carved pumpkins everywhere, and I saw a number of people dressed up for the occasion. (And not just little children in pumpkin suits either; there was one woman walking down Oxford St., attired in green face paint and a witch's hat. Not the sort of thing you see in Australia much.)