Sunday 31 October 2021

All Hallows Thieves

Never caught on

It is Halloween weekend this October with the last day of the month being today, a Sunday. This is one tradition I have never really adopted or related to, and it is not out of any particular interest or belief, I am just not engaged.

Pumpkins, costumes, fancy dress, and the commercial trends that greet this festival I do my best to absent myself from. Decades ago, I was invited to a toga dress party by my friend, John Coll, who passed on in December 2013. I could not be persuaded to go, my partner then did attend and regaled me to stories that left me somewhat nonplussed. Now I think about it, that was where he met the person that became the centre of our breakup just about a year after.

Blow it up

Whilst I would not predicate that situation to my disinterest in Halloween, it does not explain my engagement with Guy Fawkes Day, which is November the fifth, maybe because I liked his audacity in what he was trying to do and whilst he failed, we commemorate him with a bonfire that would have made a bonfire of the English parliament.

Halloween apparently started as a Christian holiday dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the departed, but as it is celebrated today, there is no semblance of Christianity or dare I say Churchianity, rather, it is a time of revelling like ghouls, ghosts, the dead and anything scary, evil, or macabre.

That’s a ghost?

Watching Ghostbusters and the reboot Ghostbusters, yesterday and overnight, Western civilisations or maybe it is just the Americans have this strange idea of the supernatural, the paranormal, demonic or spiritual activity. Ghosts apparently leave an ectoplasmic residue of slimy green substance, when they enter our realm, they can be captured with nuclear-powered proton pack weapons.

In one scene as a ghost metamorphosed into a Godzilla creature of extreme mammoth proportions, a symphony played out as it wreaked destruction on the city, having a surfeit of imagination is one thing but along with the power of seriously doubtful fictional creations with a propensity for the absurd if not laughable is just beyond the paled. We might begin to believe if first, we believed in ghosts that Ghostbusters was art imitating life.

Chilling the bones

Then with painted faces and all those costumes, it is the ladies that have me a tad worried. October is not a summer month by any stretch of the imaginable, and though we are not at sub-zero, the temperature is not in double digits, yet they step out in the skimpiest of clothes braving the cold in the pursuit of fashion over function. It makes no sense to me as it does to them, especially when it was raining on Friday night.

I might be an alarmist suggesting that this is asking for a bout of pneumonia in the worst case, but they either have a rather thick blubber skin or their blood system is cryogenically predisposed to a poikilothermic adaptation that we naturally homoeothermic beings cannot endure. I find myself scratching my head and then trying not to overthink it, a little shivering and the clattering of teeth might well be the Halloween movie to watch again and again.

Then I learn there is another Ghostbusters film out, Ghostbusters: Afterlife, the original was really good, but all these rehashes leave much to be desired. Rather than give this a nod, I might just celebrate Halloween as Noddy.

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