Life Lessons

Fear Is Not Fun

I have never understood Halloween. I just don’t get it. Let me set aside my religious beliefs for a moment and just ask, from a purely secular point of view, what is the point? Where is the fun in seeing who can out-scare their neighbors with blood and guts, ghouls and goblins? Since when did pretend rotting corpses and moss covered grave stones become things that people willingly pay to see? I can’t remember any time when anyone I know or have heard about thought it would be exciting to visit the morgue and perform an autopsy. We watch the news and are horrified at shootings in our city streets and images of unspeakable horrors from those who embrace violence, yet go to the store to pick out the most vile and scary costumes and decorations meant to instill the very same fear we cringe at. From gory, blood strewn lawn ‘decorations’ to haunted houses to walking dead costumes, what are we thinking? With so much violence and brutality in the world these days, how is it that we have come to revel in it all? It all seems to be accepted simply because it is ‘pretend’ and ‘all in good fun’…I can tell you from experience that real fear is not fun.

This culture of gore has invaded our society in the guise of cuteness and fun. You can’t drive down the street without seeing spiders and bats hanging in trees and webs stretched across branches and porches. Windows house displays of grinning skeletons and open coffins with fanged monsters sitting upright with a twinkle in their eye. From the beginning of September through the end of October, you cannot walk into a store without a barrage of wares lining the shelves – candles, costumes, candy, spiders, bats, snakes, skeletons, fake webs, and the like, all vying for your attention and consumption. These are the things you will find in your local WalMart or Target or similar stores, but while some of the items may be pleasing to the eye, it is only a façade. I can guarantee you that if you walk into any costume shop you will not find the cute things you find elsewhere. Here you will find the true face of Halloween in the costumes meant to appear as real as any drive-by shooting or demon from hell. Along with all of the paraphernalia that goes along with it; Ouija boards, tarot cards, crystals, incense, crystal balls, creepy crawlies, and the like.

I just don’t understand how we as a society willingly glory in the gore and equate fear with fun. Good Lord, how have we let it come to this? Is it any wonder that violence is rampant and peace has become boring? I wish this season was just a bad dream and I could wake up on Thanksgiving morning with family and friends around to share a meal with, play some cards, watch some football and remember all that we have been given. Now that would be some great, good fun!

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