Halloween Used To Be For Kids, But No More

Of all our holidays, Halloween is the oldest after Christmas. And yet in many ways it is the newest as it captures so much of our new obsessions with ghosts, zombies, vampires, Sarah Palin and assorted other strange life-forms. A pause while we consider what’s going on here…

What’s happened, I suspect, is that in our great technological progress we have conquered space and time out there, but not all the psychic demons in here. In our head, where they prowl in the form of little fears and giant psychoses. Freud and Jung initiated humanity’s search for inner peace, but the journey is far from over.

And so we have Halloween. In recent decades, bigger and more adult than ever, as we feature spooky movies, bizarre costuming, and a commercial feast second only to Christmas. Why…? Could it be that in our scary times, we need the emotional outlet of scary Halloween more than ever?

Look, I’m no psychiatrist. My son is. [Who I can report has never shown any interest in taking my case]. And yet I’m guessing he too would see in our current rash of ghoulishness something more than simply good fun. Isn’t it another way in which grown-ups can express some of their childish fears of the strange by publicly laughing at the strange?

If you buy my un-certified analysis, you might want to play this game with me. Who is our frightened psyche seeing in these freakish Halloween charachters…? Who are we subconsciously trying to laugh away…? Some guesses:

* Zombies = Terrorists
* Vampires = Conspirators
* Witches = Michelle Bachman
* Darth Vadar = The guy you don’t want to become president

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