This is my first post, on the day after some fun social events.
The first one is Halloween, which should be fun for all but more and more gets co-opted by the corporations as an excuse to by candy and decorations. The second one is ‘The Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear’ hosted by Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert.
Halloween is a holiday that at one time had deep religious meaning. Long enough ago so that most people have not only pretty much forgotten the meaning, but they have mostly forgotten the religion that started it as well. Yet it lives on, and during my childhood I remember when I would go around the neighborhood with my friends, and meet a lot of other kids and my neighbors. I would get so many treats in my pillowcase that I would bring one home and get another one.
This year, my son was finally grown up enough so that he could start the tradition, and have loads of fun during the Halloween season. I don’t know if it’s just nostalgia or a real observation, but Halloween seems to have changed. At some places, like where my son and I went on saturday to celebrate with my mother in law, it seems to have all the efficiency and warmth of an assembly line. Instead of the kids getting together and going around their neighborhood, now the families would get together and go to the main park in a development and put a table up to give out candy. The kids would just walk up and down a concrete sidewalk and get as much candy as they could in a short amount of time. While I see some of the practicalities of that system, overall the essence of Halloween was definitely lost. The art and social aspects were mostly drained out of it. It was a shadow of its former self, and not in a good Halloween spirit sort of way.
I attribute this change to two things. One is the growing of real fear to replace the mock fear that was a part of Halloween past. Where there was once boogiemen and spirits risen from the dead there are now pedophiles and people who stick razors in apples. Never mind that pedophiles are rare and now most likely do not live anywhere near you, and that there was not a single reported case of someone actually sticking razors in apples for kids to eat on Halloween, all that matters is that our bogeymen have come to life, and adults are running in fear of them!
There was also the Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert ‘Rally to restore Sanity and/or Fear’ this last Saturday. I wish I had the time to attend the rally personally, but that was not to be. Instead I had to rely on on the coverage to enjoy it – so much for remembering to program the DVR. Hopefully it will show up on Comedy Central or YouTube soon and I can watch it them.
When I read the text of the last of the Rally spoken by Stewart a lot of things ran through my mind. The first part was the obvious irony in relying on the Media to cover a speech that basically said that they were not doing the public any good. The rest were basically all of the reactions to Stewart’s speech. Yes, I also see the irony in the Media ‘Blasting’ Jon Stewart for ‘equating the left and right media machines’ when, at least as far as I could see, he did not do a full equivalence. Stewart never said the messages that the two sides deliver were the same, but he did say that they were delivered the same way and by delivering the message the way they do it represents a distorted, Bizzaro version of are world where the opponents are all Marxist, Sexist, Facsist, Racist and other epithets where most of the opposition are just people who are trying to work together as best they can. He may have use the analogy of merging onto a highway, but he never said the highway is the middle ground, or in other words the highway does not have to run along the Mason-Dixon line.
The more coverage I read about the Rally, the more I wished I had managed to find the time to attend it. May Comedy Central save the world…