Restoring Sanity One Civic Ritual At a Time

Couldn’t make it to Washington today, much as I’d like to. As Jon Stewart said when they announced the rally, probably most of us who’d liked to have been there wouldn’t come because we have lives.

For us, that was morning soccer, a Halloween parade and then a Halloween party for kids that my daughter co-organized. All of those things I take to contain the same message that Stewart’s rally does: we’re all in this together. On the sidelines of the parade, it seems ridiculous to think that there are people running to represent the people of this county, this state, this country, who think that many of us who are in that crowd aren’t real Americans, that we don’t count, that they’re not obligated to consider us in the hunt for votes.

Which, by the way, is why I think Halloween is the most amazing accomplishment of modern American culture. For me there’s no clearer way to discover that somebody just doesn’t get it, whether it’s an overly precious K-12 private school banning costumes that derive from popular culture or from problematic history (you think I’m kidding, but I’m not) or some zealot screeching about how Halloween is an endorsement of paganism.

Halloween is pure rocket-fueled awesomeness in every respect: costumes, candy, spookiness, bacchanalia, you name it. Being against Halloween or wanting to censor it into inoffensive oblivion is worse than being against Mom and apple pie.

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5 Responses to Restoring Sanity One Civic Ritual At a Time

  1. Awesome, Tim. I couldn’t agree more–though I probably would have waxed a little more ponderously about civic health and community than just endorsed the “bacchanalia” flat-out. But whatever; great post. I’m going to have to link to it.

  2. There really is a concerted effort to destroy Halloween, one of the most wonderful translations of the pre-modern. In addition to paternalistic “Trunk-or-Treat” and Mall-based celebrations, which are everywhere, our local Y is staging a drop-off Halloween party tonight, the highlight of which is the free flu shots for kids, and my paper today had a 1/3rd page Parenting story headlined “Halloween is the time to teach moderation”!!

    And there was the predictable “Trick-or-treating on Sunday is blasphemy; celebrate on Saturday if you must.” letter in the paper this week.

  3. tom van dyke says:

    A strong analogy, Mr. Burke: Halloween and the Stewart/Colbert rally. Trivial but amusing.

  4. nord says:

    Our local school always gets a few complaints about Halloween/Valentine’s Day being either too pagan or too Christian. Either way, they are the only two holidays our public schools’ celebrate. I’m more offended by the “winter holiday” celebrations that seem to be produced by a deaf lawyer with a music selection by B101 than the controls over Katie Perry costumes among the 4th graders.

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