Once upon a time I loved Halloween. Crushingly loved Halloween. When I was a kid, I had this gypsy costume that I was so crazy for. I thought I was just so fabulous in it. It was kept in a musty trunk all year and I would pull it out with such excitement and impatience. And so careful was I as I gently made my way into it's multi-hankerchief-cut layers of tulle and mesh so as not to rip it. I was mesmorized by its deep rich colors of gold, wine, russet, sage, ............ it was pure magic. Year after year, aging only made that gypsy relic more authentic.
Of course if I saw it now I'm sure I'd see it for what it was, although costumes in those days weren't the cheapo garbage that pass for costumes today, but through the veil of a child's memory it was........ the bomb.
So on this dress would go and off I would go to collect candy. Chocolate. How fabulous is that? Sweet jumps. One year I stayed out so late knocking on doors that my mother almost called the cops.
What I didn't know was the history of Halloween. It has deplorable, ugly elements. I would deck the house full out in Halloween decoration -- but it was my kids who came home years ago and said. "hey ma, they use to kill Jews on Halloween. It's a pagan holiday." Apparently Halloween was a night when many pogroms would occur against Jews.
Now, one might say -- lighten up woman. This is the here, this is the now. Halloween is for kids! It's great! Bullshit. You can not, must not divorce history from reality, from today. Bad message. Especially for children. It renders history irrelevant - even at this level, particularly at this level.
So no happy halloween from me guys. No sir. But I dig Thanksgiving and I do love pumpkins.
UPDATE November 2: Halloween Turns Ugly and Racist In Queens Riot