Friday, October 25, 2013

All Hallows' Eve

Hey, it’s Beckley.  I’ll try to keep the reminiscing to a minimum today.  I doubt anyone wants to hear me be all morose and emo.

It’s getting colder, but you probably already know that, it being October and all.  Some of the residents here plan on taking their kids out for trick or treat next week.  Not everyone wants to, though.  Celebrating holidays can be controversial at times.  Halloween, a holiday of gluttony, doesn’t have a place in some people’s hearts.  And of course, it was a holiday for kids and not a lot of children survived the fall.  So the 31st can be a rough day for those who suffered that particular loss.  And the kids don’t really get it, either.  Some of these kids were too young to trick or treat before The Fall hit, and now they don’t understand the point.  I remember hearing about the children of settlers and how they grew up early and were basically adults by the time they were in their tweens.  I think we’ve returned to that.  Kids today tend to be practical and all business.  Trick or treating is basically a treat for the very young ones and a comfort to some of the adults who still want a piece of the old world to hold on to.

And why not?  There’s nothing wrong with celebrating a holiday, even if it has lost its meaning.  Hell, just look at Halloween before The Fall.  Who actually dressed up and thought, “I’m going out and scare away evil spirits with my kickass Ninja Turtle costume?”  What adults would look out at the horde of costumed children and think, “Ah, mummers!  And just in time for harvest!  I will now bend my taboos of privacy and safety by handing out treats to random strangers in honor of Samhain!”  No one.  No one has thought that in centuries.  But we kept celebrating Halloween because it was fun.  And because, regardless of our beliefs, flaunting taboos is still something that, culturally, we needed to get out.

Christmas is another example.  Though it held a religious connotation to many, to others Christmas was just a day of peace and love.  A day when you could be with your family and celebrate the fact that a morbidly obese time lord just broke into your house.  And now it’s just the same.  Holidays are a means for us to unwind.  There’s not much of an organized religious belief for the most part.  People are disillusioned and they don’t have time for it.

Although, I do find it interesting that religion has taken such a hit.  Yes, the world we live in today is harsh and people find it difficult to reconcile a loving god with what has happened.  Truth be told, though, that’s a very First World viewpoint.  Entire populations have been living in a hell worse than this for a very long time.  Entire countries have been ravaged by warlords, cartels, sociopathic dictators, secret police, genocides, cleansings, corruption, and so on since time began.  Yet religion has thrived even in those cultures.  You had people who would hold their religion even as they were threatened with mutilation and death.  Christianity itself grew and thrived even as the Romans attempted to stamp it out and butchered its followers.  And yet we in the First World renounce all faith, holidays, any belief at all, the moment we’ve been robbed of our Starbucks.  This hell we’ve been living is nothing new.  It’s just the scenery that is new, improved, and bitey.

So I promised no morose reminiscing and instead I’ve rambled.  Hooray?  Look, I don’t know what point I’m trying to make.  I don’t know what I believe anymore.  All I know is that I’ll be handing out candy to whatever kids come by next week.  I don’t think, just because the world has changed, that we need to let go of everything we ever had.  Some change is necessary in order to live.  But some change just alters us too much.  We’re still human.  We need something to celebrate.  Something to convince us that there is more to life than what we have now.

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