There are two kinds of people in this world: those who love Halloween, and adults. That's all there is to it -- or, that would be, except every year, I get force-fed a steaming orange pile of All Hallows' Eve dogshit. Supermarkets preemptively stocking the aisles with candy corn; themed house parties full of assholes dressed like bigger assholes; scary movies on TV... I hate it all. And since there’s no way for conscientious objectors like me to opt out of this annual autumnal agony, I’m taking a stand.
Fuck Halloween. Fuck it right in its jack-o’-lantern teeth. Let’s discuss.
Trick-or-treating is stressful
Halloween's iconic tradition is for underage masked miscreants wandering around a neighborhood demanding indulgences from people in exchange for their spiritual and physical safety. I'm sure there's a perfectly historical reason for this practice listed somewhere -- maybe in the Transylvanian constitution, or here -- but whatever its original purpose was, trick-or-treating has long since become a grotesque, classist, and thoroughly vexing charade.
For one thing, most trick-or-treaters are children. This makes sense; after all, Halloween is a holiday for juveniles. But the thing about children is that they are loud and disruptive. Even when they're not inside a bar with me, I tend to hate them. And on Halloween, they're everywhere -- shrieking little monsters out for blood, or at least my sanity.
But that's not all. Trick-or-treating blows for the people giving out the candy, too. Did you get enough? Did you get too much? Did the asshole next door buy king-sized candy just to embarrass you? How much is this all going to cost, anyway?
Worse: what if you prepare for trick-or-treaters, then get none? This happens to my parents lately, as the sugar-thirsty little cretins in town now make their parents take them to neighborhoods with denser street grids to maximize candy collection. My mom was so goddamned bummed, you guys.
Jack-o'-lanterns are chill but I suck at them
I would like to be nice with the pumpkin-carving, but all my efforts to date have concluded in disaster. It typically goes like this: I drink about nine too many beers, give my happy jack-o'-lantern a terrifying Glasgow smile by mistake, then lose interest in the dismembered gourd and leave the whole mess on my coffee table for three days. It's not a terribly rewarding experience.
If you like candy so much, buy some, grow up, or do both
A lot of Halloween candy is straight-up terrible. Like all of these. Especially candy corn, which is basically just synthetic earwax and food coloring. But I'm not just talking about the holiday-specific sweets. Unpopular opinion: all candy is dumb. It panders to the underdeveloped palates of kids, who -- having yet to discover the glories of red meat, dark beer, et cetera -- are easily seduced by sugar and shiny wrappers.
I'm an adult. I don't really like sugar, and the only wrappers I like are those banana leafs that tamales come in. Those are dope. But candy, by and large, does nothing for me.
If I'm gonna get fat (and make no mistake, I intend to), it's gonna be on the good shit, not on the saccharine populist nonsense that hypnotizes the youth each October. No, I'm going to do pizza-pierogi bang-bangs and cover my entire body in queso. I'll eat donuts, and cheeseburgers, and donut cheeseburgers. I'm absolutely not going to sit around in my apartment, rooting through a pillowcase full of stale "fun-size" chocolate/peanut/whatever bars that I've extorted from my neighbors.
Costumes are expensive & politicized
Have you ever bought a Halloween costume? Like, a real one, not just some cobbled-together crap from the thrift store? It's a big ol' pissing contest over who can waste the most money, invest the most time, and be the most "un-PC" to curry favor with the masses -- sort of like the Republican primary, but with more blackface and even less purpose.
Halloween costumes trigger the average obnoxious bro's offensive impulse to do the holiday dressed as something completely and utterly tasteless. The more shocking the better, because, like fuck it, it's funny to dress up as Caitlyn Jenner, right? Sure, man. Congratulations on having the same idea as every other mouth-breathing Todd in the country. You're the real MVP.
Of course, there's also the issue of women's costumes, whi-- oh, fuck it! Let's give those their own section, shall we? (We shall!)
My God, the slut-shaming & anti-slut-shaming
Women have been dressing up in deliberately provocative costumes on Halloween for as long as I've been old enough to notice. I don't know why. "Why" doesn't matter. I hope it makes them feel happy, or empowered, or whatever they're hoping to feel.
But I could do without the annual ritual of having a Big Online Conversation about whether "slutty" costumes should be celebrated or condemned. It's a tedious, pointless debate that brings all the crazies out of the woodwork -- the MRAs, the rape apologists, the radfems, the self-righteous #media types, et cetera.
Everyone has an opinion on What It Means For Society that Sarah & Paige have dressed up as sexy nurses/cops/angels/devils/referees. All these opinions are useless, because this is not a meaningful topic.
If Sarah & Paige want to dress like that, they can. They're adults of sound mind, they're not hurting anyone, and they're not breaking the law. That's how this entire thing called America is supposed to work. If they decide not to, because they believe that portraying a fictionalized version of the straight man's beauty ideal implies tacit approval of the patriarchy... well, then, they won't. And it's none of our business either way.
Just like... no more thinkpieces. Please. Every Halloween, the takes on both sides make me want to die.
Your spooky theme party? Yeah, that can get fucked.
House parties tend to be a) crawling with Todds; b) categorically difficult to get a beer at; and c) covered in that weird faux-cobweb shit that girls get their heels stuck in. Ditto bars. Ditto Halloween concerts, if those are even "a thing." Ditto anything introduced with a Facebook invite titled "Monster Mash."
You know what's a valid theme? Alcohol. Booze is the only essential component of a good party; everything else is just a waste of space.
Scary movies: I’m scared of them
Once, at a roughly Halloween-time sleepover in the sixth grade, we watched The Omen. I was so scared that after everyone else went to sleep, I threw up in my sleeping bag. I interpreted this as a sort of omen of its own, and whipped myself into such a panic that Damien was headed my way that I didn't move until the next morning. Have you ever laid awake in a sleeping bag full of your own vomit, surrounded by elementary-school classmates who, upon discovering your misfortune, are sure to mercilessly ridicule you forever, or at least until high school? Have you?
I suspect that you have not. So yes, you have every right to call me a wimp, but remember this: fuck scary movies, and fuck you, too.
I'm not "too cool," OK?
By far the worst thing about this obnoxious holiday is the fact that I'm not able to hate it in peace. Voice any dissent for Halloween -- or, God forbid, show up to a party dressed in normal attire instead of a costume -- and you will immediately be accused of deliberate subterfuge. Too cool for school, huh? Oh what, you don't know how to have fun?
No. That's not it. I know how to have fun. I love fun! That's one of my personal mottos (right up there with such classics as "stop trying," and "I am what I hate"). I just don't have fun on Halloween. It's not my bag of treats. And I never would've mentioned it, except I know that this Halloween -- like those before it, and those that will probably come after it -- I'll be shunned as an anti-festive dissident. Just let me live, Todd. Just let me be.
Halloween is warmed-over dogshit, and I hate it. See you out there.
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