Over the past weekend, I walked into a Party City to kill some time and see if there was any creepy-Birthday related supplies as a last minute celebration of a particular bat-winged DJ I know. And, despite it not even being August, there was a section that had been cleared out, plastered with orange wallpaper and adhered with a sign that read HALLOWEEN IS COMING. I had to roll my eyes.
In the past, I’ve talked about how the song “Halloween” by the Dead Kennedys is inappropriate for a song for the actual holiday, but I have been proven wrong thanks to some overeager retailers.
Take this lyric:
But what’s in between
Where are your ideas
You sit around and dream
For next Halloween
That bit comes towards the end of the song where the subject of the story has shed his or her costume and is now planning for the one time of the year where they can dress up and act exactly the way that makes them the most happy. Instead of waiting for one single night throughout the whole year, the Dead Kennedys song argues that WHY NOT JUST BE WHO YOU WANT TO BE WHENEVER YOU WANT. This is sometimes easier said than done if you’re living in a highly restrictive town who might look at you weird when you go out to pick up some groceries while dressed like a Mummy.
If you’re counting down to Halloween, just stop. Knock it off. Clearly you want to celebrate or being weird and creepy. Congratulations – you’re part of this certain part of the populous. Go find some awesome stuff to hang on your walls from Etsy and join in. STOP COUNTING DOWN TO HALLOWEEN. If you’re that excited about the day, CELEBRATE IT EVERY DAY. Be like Al Jorgensen back before he discovered heroin.
There shouldn’t be any kind of Halloween merchandise showing up in stores until the latter half of August, if not at the start of September. I love creepy shit but seeing Halloween start in the middle of the summer feels out of place. Halloween is associated with a certain time of year and for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, that’s around the time when the leaves start to fall and the temperature follows along. Halloween stuff being on sale along with Tiki and barbecue party supplies is akin to the Misfits bikini – two thinks you love independently that go GREAT together in theory, but the actual execution is horribly, horribly wrong.
I think my main problem is that I love Halloween, but I also hate* Halloween. I’ve got a lot of issues with the holiday, specifically certain retailers stocking costumes that perpetuate racist stereotypes and misogynistic ideals. But also, suddenly these interests I have are suddenly out in the forefront in a very commercialized spotlight. I love it when the entire world turns creepy and weird, but when I see the price tags and MADE IN CHINA attached to it, I get the same curmudgeon-esque attitudes like those who bitch about how Christmas has lost its true meaning.
Back before the Internet, Halloween was the only time of year the weirdos could get the kind of items they wanted to hang up all year ’round. But now, with Etsy stores and 24/7/356 outlets available, those who want to have Halloween everyday in their kitchen can do so as long as they have a valid credit card or paypal account. Seeing Halloween stuff in stores doesn’t elicit joy – instead, I feel dread, fear and loathing.
This might be me trying to hold back the ocean. Halloween, like Christmas, New Years and other holidays that require a lot of accoutrements are a money boom for retailers. We could boycott these stores and not buy Halloween products until the first of October. But knowing how some of the General Buying Public loses its shit on Black Friday, I wouldn’t be surprised if people are excited to have all the Halloween stuff taken care of before the end of September.
Who knows, man. Who knows.