October 31, 2009: I'd be remiss in my duties did I not take a few moments to meditate on my favorite day of the year -- Halloween (or, as it's more popularly known, "October 31st").
Contrary to what many of you rabid Bible-wielding fanatics (Shannon & Matt) may think, this is not some unholy celebration of Satan and those surly, disenfranchised minions of the Dark Lord (meaning those chubby people who wear lots of mascara and face jewelry, and listen to Led Zeppelin). No, in fact Halloween is the very essence of Christian community! Halloween is a powerful demonstration of old-fashioned Christian values, and at its best exemplifies the kind of orderly, clear-thinking unity that makes the Right Wing just get all wet down below.
On what other holiday (and I ask rhetorically) do we have such interaction with our neighbors? While 364.25 days of our average year are spent shunning our neighbor -- avoiding looks when we're cutting the lawn, turning our heads when we pass them on the street to avoid having to speak -- (at least this is how I handle it, and I consider myself quite average, despite my dashing good looks) -- on Halloween the excuse comes to walk right up to our neighbor's door and (through our children) demand gifts, (the whole time assessing how good or bad their home furnishing taste may be as judged by their front foyer). If this isn't a perfect opportunity to "love" our neighbor (as Jesus demanded in one of his mad rants), it's certainly a great chance to tolerate their presence because they're giving us candy.
Let's also not forget how good it is to see everyone in costume. Even ugly people can look brilliant in the right ensemble, and nothing brings the joys of youth and exuberance to the elderly or infirmed like a wolfman mask.
I can't say enough about Halloween. To me it was best captured by a certain old photograph taken by the late George Silk. (See the pic below my profile ... On the right, you fool! ... Yes, I know it's too small to see, but I'm a writer, not a computer technician! What do you want from me?!) Also, the movie "Halloween III," with the underrated Tom Atkins, as well as Orson Welles' "War of the Worlds" broadcast, bare trees, deranged pumpkins, and wooden xylophones played in minor keys.
Keep a Jack O'Lantern burning tonight, or throw food in the yard to appease the dead. (That's Halloween 101.) Expect the weirdest, for the barriers are down, and don't trust that the people you're interacting with are even them themselves, for this is Halloween, and it's not like other nights or days.
But most importantly, remember that Halloween is the antithesis of evil. It is, in fact, the real answer to the notorious moral cavity gaping in our society, like a sperm whale's blow hole. For all you fearful and fearing zealous Christian crazies (Matt & Shannon), who like to bash the off-beat celebration, ironically Halloween is the answer of which Ronald Reagan so rabidly dreamed -- a chance for folks to commune in the safety of darkness, and fool their neighbors into thinking they're all part of a loving, happy, magical world.