Sunday, October 28, 2012

On Halloween Rants, and a few personal woes...

Hello everyone, and welcome new followers! I'm still constantly surprised at the amount of people who are willing to listen to me blither on....

I know I haven't been blogging with much enthusiasm lately, and there are many reasons why, all of which have had me in a kind of crisis mode and few of which I'm willing to fully describe on the internet. Suffice it to say that some of it involves my husband's ex-wife and some family issues. I've been feeling very low the last few weeks, and it has culminated into feeling almost nothing at all the last couple of days. I've kind of shut down emotionally, and maybe that's what I need to reboot.

Anyway, this post has been vaguely writing itself in my head for some time, so I need to put it down.

There are a few things that irritate me around Halloween, as much as I love the holiday, and these aren't even so much of the comments that I know we all get (i.e. "Nice costume" or "Are you going to a party?" No, what irritates me first of all is some of the costumes.

Yep, Goth costumes.

I think this bothers me in much the same way as other costumes that seem to be making a weird persona out of a specific group of people. I ran up on someone the other day that planned on going as a lesbian with one of her friends. That's not a costume, that's a person. In the same way things like this bother me:

Described as a "Goth Bride of Darkness" costume

Ok, I understand, maybe I'm being too touchy. Halloween means ooky spooky and this would certainly do it for most people. However, the way that gets translated is that someone seeing me in my everyday clothes assumes that I am in costume, that I'm trying to achieve this look, and that it's not who I really am and I'm playing pretend. 

What these costumes do is take Gothic fashion and make fun of it. Maybe I'm being too sensitive, but I can't be the only one who feels like they are begin ridiculed. 

On the other hand, I do love the holiday and I buy things that are cheesy and cliche, if only to gently poke fun at myself and make sure I'm not taking myself too seriously. I know that it's weird for me to complain about the above picture and then buy this:

It says "Gothtini." Had to get it. Had to

Maybe in the end it's how someone uses the imagery that effects the way I process it. If it's just a costume you're putting together to make yourself seem "scary" because you think Goths are scary, then I feel I'm being made fun of in the wrong way. If you genuinely think it's cute and intend to use it for more than shock value, I can get over it.

I'm curious to know if I'm the only one that feels this way. How do you guys feel about Goth costumes and such?

There is one more little thing that bothers me around Halloween. I am a Christian, and I know Halloween is sometimes a four letter word in the Church, but really, if you're going to claim that it's evil, don't turn around and have the exact same thing at a church and call it something different and say that's ok.

Maybe this is just a thing with churches around here, but every one of them have an "alternative" set up for Halloween night, where the kids dress up in costumes (although they ban "scary" costumes), they give out candy, they play games, and they call it a "Hallelujah Party" or something similar. It's ridiculous. If Halloween is that twisted and evil that you don't think I should celebrated it or let my kid go trick-or-treating, why are you having the same exact damn thing at the church? Do you really think calling it something different means you're not celebrating the (pagan) holiday just like everyone else???

Does anyone else see this happen where they live? What do you guys think about this?


  1. It's funny that you used that picture of the goth bride as your reference. My best friend actually went in that exact costume for Halloween about seven years ago. Not to ridicule goths in anyway. The woman owns more corsets than any of my other friends put together. She just thought it was cool and she wanted to be a bit spookier than usual for Halloween. Another couple I am close friends with use Halloween as their excuse to get more gothed up than usual (and that takes some doing). Does it bother me when a "normal" dresses up as a goth for Halloween? Well, to be honest, if a bit hypocritical, yeah. Especially when they get it wrong. My nemesis once tossed on a black tank top, some black lipstick, threw her hair in pigtails, and told everyone she was going as a "Jes". Not even lying. And I don't think I've ever worn pigtails or black lipstick in my life. I managed to just roll my eyes and be ever so sweet. I just told everyone I took it as a compliment.
    As far as the church Halloween things, in my city, it's sad, but it's almost become a necessity. Not because I think we need to put Christ in everything (I am pagan, myself), but because it has literally become too dangerous for little ones to go door to door anymore. Trick or Treating hours are over by nightfall around here, and if the kiddies want to do anything else. . . well, they pretty much have to go to church. Most of the churches around here don't put restrictions on costumes, though, and show Nightmare Before Christmas, Hocus Pocus, or other kid friendly fare. The Unitarian Church even teaches the pagan roots of Halloween without condemning it.
    My opinion on churches who feel the need to take the "evil" out of the holiday, however, is different. Why celebrate it at all? It just doesn't make sense to me.

    1. I do understand the point about trick-or-treating being dangerous in certain areas because of the stupid things human beings will do to each other, that's not a bad thing to me. The churches here though, and the one I'm a member of unfortunately, pretty much hold the parties because they think Halloween is evil. I was taught this idea when I was in youth group, not joking.

  2. I can see your point. The only thing that bothers me is that some people think I dress so tacky XD otherwise, I don't care what they do. If they think goth outfits are a costume, or scary, or evil, or whatever, it's just them being ignorant. Besides, people think that all the time, not just on Halloween, putting on this costumes just demonstrates it :) I'm used to this, I don't give a damn anymore XD.

  3. This is interesting, because in the UK we don't celebrate Halloween the way you guys in the USA do. Yes we carve turnip lanterns (inferior pumpkins...) and dress spooky, have parties etc - but not to the extent that you guys do. And the range of what's considered a HW costume amazes me - superheroes, busty maids etc.

    That said, me and he enjoy the tacky side as much as anyone. We have a Frankenpumpkin that sings Monster Mash, we buy bags of bright red sugar syrup in pretendy blood bags to wear round our necks. But I don't wear black lipstick (it looks awful on me!).

    Ysolde (wordpress is having a hissy to publishing comments to Blogger)

    I do have to confess it's my wedding anniversary on Halloween!

    And thanks for welcoming newbies!

  4. Hmm...I'm not sure how I feel about people dressing up as Goths. We do get attention after all, for the way we dress; and let's be honest here, we do dress kind of spooky. What's most important to me is that these same people will go back to their usual way of dressing the next day and when the next Halloween draws near, will probably look for an entirely different costume.

    There is a local church that holds an annual event that I have found personally offensive. Most every year, they hold something similar to a haunted house except that this one is called "The House of Eternal Damnation" or something like that. The exhibit is used to show children all the horrors of Hell that await them if they or their families choose to celebrate Halloween. Yep, they're scaring the very childhood right out of the youngsters! Yet, these same churches will celebrate Christmas, which is also a compromise with ancient paganism.

    Best wishes to you. I hope things settle down for you soon.

    1. Wow, that with the church is really sick. I've tried pointing out the origins of Christmas trees to our pastor but .... that didn't work out so well.

      Thanks for the positive thoughts!

  5. Wow... I can't believe what churches are doing in relation to Halloween. I grew up Greek Orthodox, in the San Francisco Bay Area, and every year we had the most amazing Halloween festivities at my church. This was in the 70s & 80s, and some of my fondest Halloween memories are of these events. The teens would put on a (quite good, actually) Haunted House in the Sunday School building, there would be a costume contest, and so many other things; there was never any mention of God, religion, evil, etc. It was just a night to have fun! I had a Mormon co-worker a few years back, and when I asked him what his Halloween plans were, he told me he was taking his daughter to his church, because they were having a Trick-or-Treat function in the parking lot, car to car, so kids could just have safe fun; again, no religion involved.

    Where I live now, just outside of Los Angeles, the school has decided to take away Halloween, and replace it with "Harvest Festival", and the kids can't even wear their costumes to school! They have to put them in their backpacks & change into them after lunch. Again, fond memories of dressing up at school for the entire day (even High School!). I'm all for being sensitive to others cultures & beliefs, but taking Halloween away is just going too far. I guess I should be grateful they're giving the kids *something*. There are schools in the US that are banning Halloween altogether. I'm just sick of all the PC nonsense. Religion & Halloween (as it is observed by the majority in the US) are completely separate things. Halloween celebrations, and Trick-or-Treating were actually started to keep kids from pulling pranks on what was then called "Devil's Night" (which had *nothing* to do with Satan), or "Mischief Night", because the pranks, and subsequent damage, was costing cities & citizens alot of money, as they just got out of hand. Sorry for the rant...

    On a lighter note, I remember having just hung up some very benign Halloween decorations with a co-worker a few years back, and a customer came in (this was in a bank), and said she was offended by the decor! I seriously though she was joking, so I just sort of smiled casually. Then she started going on about how scary they were, because these things were "real". They were cartoon cats & pumpkins! I ended up getting an earful on the evils of Halloween. This was the first time I ever experienced first-hand that people hate Halloween. I mean, I'd read about it, heard things on TV, but to actually experience it in real life was just shocking. I just stood there, stunned.

    To the question of Goth "costumes", I'm not offended. People dress as (and have for years) different cultures & characters, and I don't think they mean to offend. I mean, I've seen women dress a Geisha's, or Harem girls, but I think it's because they find them intriguing & beautiful. Perhaps it's the same with goth; maybe instead of being offended, we really ought to be *flattered* to have the recognition. I'm just happy to see people are keeping the spirit of Halloween alive, and are at least dressing as *something*, instead of trying to kill it.

  6. I'm not sure how I feel about those sorts of costumes either. It does bother me but not quite as much as say dressing up as a lesbian or a sexy Indian. I'm not entirely sure why though. As for what your church does, that does put me off. I'm now really grateful the church I went to as a kid never did that.