Thursday, October 28, 2010

Halloween Is Still Coming

I am going to write about Halloween again for no good reason. If I have the energy to write something, then I might as well write something about something.

Halloween comes at a good time of year. Dead leaves lie in the street to rustle eerily in the breeze as we walk by. The sky at sunset looks spookier than it does in other months. (Or do I just think that it looks spookier because I am seeing it through the lens of the Halloween season?) Yet Halloween lacks any real monsters, because they do not exist. And I have to wonder, if Halloween monsters were real, how would they affect your Halloween?

If, on Halloween night, you were to walk outside and see a dude with a flaming pumpkin for a head standing there, would it make your Halloween better or worse?

Or, what would you do if you saw a mummy, with a kopesh, and other historically accurate ancient Egyptian accouterments, and he started to chase you, and you ran, and as you ran you could hear the creaking of his ancient joints behind you, coming closer and closer, as he relentlessly pursued a quest to enact vengeance on the world for disturbing his eternal rest?

Or, for some true and crazy fear, how would you react to a horrid chimerical beast with the body of a bull and five heads, each head belonging to a different panelist from The View?

What I'm really trying to say is that I don't know what I'm trying to say. But I do think that Halloween might be better if its characteristic supernatural monsters were real. Candy sales would plummet because trick-or-treaters would stay inside for fear of being ripped apart by fleshing-eating goblins. But when we would hear the werewolves howling around our kitchen doors in tribute to the late Warren Zevon, it would be worth it.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Halloween Is Coming

Halloween is fast approaching, and I have marked the occasion by using AppleWorks to draw a crude jack-o'-lantern. The mouth didn't work out right, but Appleworks wouldn't let me "undo" it. As a result, I can't tell if he is happy, worried, or nauseous.

Halloween is one of my favorite times of year. When I used to blog at Wandering Army I wrote several posts about Halloween. Maybe one day when I put those posts back online somewhere I can link to them.

Much as I enjoy Halloween in theory, it doesn't have any real impact on my life, other than as an occasion to sit around and think scary thoughts. I have not been invited to a Halloween party since 2001. And I can't say that I'm surprised. I am not the sort of person that one would want at a party, because I am naturally morose.

If I ever were to take part in Halloween festivities, I would have to get a costume, which would be problematic. Judging by the commercially available costumes that I've seen, it would be hard to find something that would be both scary and an expression of my personality—something along the lines of an evil rhynchocephalian with extremely high SAT scores.

(I will note here that many paleontologists and zoologists prefer to use the name Sphenodontia in place of Rhynchocephalia, because at one point Rhynchocephalia accumulated some fossil taxa that didn't actually belong there. I, however, support the use of Rhynchocephalia in the sense that it originally intended, as a classifier for the tuatara ((Sphenodon)), and thus also for the tuatara's legitimate fossil relatives. Also I will admit to being biased in favor of Rhynchocephalia because it sounds cool. Sphenodontia sounds cool as well, but the same basic word is in use elsewhere, in the genus name Sphenodon and the family name Sphenodontidae.)

And finally, if I can provide any real insight here, which is unlikely, it would be an idea as to one reason why Halloween is as hugely popular as it is. Halloween is not like other holidays. On Christmas, Thanksgiving, Memorial Day, Martin Luther King Day, and almost any other holiday, we are constantly being urged to suspend our unthinking enjoyment to contemplate the "real meaning" of the day. And we probably should contemplate the real meaning of those days. But Halloween has no real meaning. It's pure fun.

Monday, October 18, 2010

No Pictures

After two failed attempts to get my flickr pictures to show up on this blog, I was faced with the choice to either figure out how to resolve the problem, or give up on it, at least for the time being. I decided to give up, because I am too tired to try to work out this problem.

There are all kinds of things that I want to write and post on this blog, but working at a full-time job makes me too exhausted to do much blogging, or anything else. It makes me long for the days when I was in school, because I got a summer vacation. It even makes me long for the days when I was unemployed, because then at least I had the energy to do . . . something.