Link post

Leonard Cohen on his poetic voice:

“As I grew older, I understood that instructions came with this voice. What were these instructions? The instructions were never to lament casually. And if one is to express the great inevitable defeat that awaits us all, it must be done within the strict confines of dignity and beauty.”

This is apparently exactly the opposite of how most people in the American world feel at this time of year. The great inevitable defeat should be expressed with electronically jeering plastic skeletons, humorous fake corpses, faux-threatening gravestones, and—let’s not forget the violence and disease responsible for so many deaths—generous fake blood, vomit, and slime. The celebration should be not only frivolous and ugly to the max, but really go hard on minimizing dignity! Don’t just dress as a fun ugly corpse, make it a sexually depraved fun ugly corpse!

Isn’t this just a bit weird? For instance, how is this good?

I’ve heard a couple of times something like: “Halloween is nice because it is rebellious, and a relief from all that seriousness. People usually treat these things with sacredness and somberness, and it’s a lot to deal with.”

If that’s what it is, would it also be cool if we incorporated more second-rate stand up comedy routines and pranks into funerals? Or had more fun smallpox themed parties?

I don’t think people do actually contend with death or horror in a more comfortable way via Halloween, for the most part. My guess is that they basically don’t think about the content of what they are doing, and just get used to hunting for bargain plastic corpse babies to put on their lawns, and laughing with each other about how realistic and gruesome they are. Which seems more like desensitization than coming to terms with a thing. Which I doubt is a good kind of relief from seriousness.

Also, if we are going to have a change of mood break around the potential horrors of life, the alternate feelings and purposes Halloween suggests just don’t seem very good. ‘Trick or treat?’ Cheap malice or cheap hedonism? Quick, find a huge mound of junk food, I forgot because I’m very competitive about drunkenly parading my buttocks in a way that makes me seem clever..

I’m obviously missing something, and I don’t actually blame anyone much within reason for getting into the holidays of their culture, but come on culture, what is this?

No nominations.
No reviews.