By Rick Fromm
By Rick Fromm

      How in the name of everything that is unholy has Halloween/American style survived this long? I just don’t get it. Somebody walk me through it … please.

In this overly paranoid era of extreme, over-the-top political correctness, making double sure we don’t offend anyone and trying to live a life devoid of bias and prejudice, how does Halloween support that standard in any way, shape or form? Explain it to me.

While most rational Americans in the year of our Lord 2017 spend 364 days of the year making sure their precious young ones and others they love are not exposed to wanton, graphic violence and are sheltered from the inherent meanness in the world as much as possible, on the last day of October each autumn that protective attitude is cast aside.

Instead of an emphasis on love and understanding, on Oct. 31 the macabre rules the day … and in horrifying, vivid detail. The more gruesome and disgusting the better.

While chasing butterflies, picking daisies and running barefoot through the grass are activities planned for youngsters throughout the rest of the year, on Halloween undertakings like vivisections, disembowelments, impalings, decapitations and other various forms of mutilations come to the fore … and are even encouraged. Say what?

How have the do-gooder watchdogs of our society allowed this to happen and even thrive? It seems so hypocritical to fight hard against the rampant violence so common in our nation and the world, but yet on that certain day in October we all choose to look the other way and accept murder, mayhem and mutilation as a common part of our existence. Is it just for the candy?

Now don’t get me wrong, I love Halloween and receiving a good fright as well as the next person, but the level of “scarativity” (I made that up) is so much more advanced today it frankly … well … scares the bejesus out of me. I can’t imagine the profound impact it must have on our naïve and gullible children.

Back in day of being able to trick-or-treat with friends in a quiet, central Illinois town without fear of being kidnapped, killed or sold as sex slaves, the most scary thing we encountered was a kid dressed as Casper the Friendly Ghost or a girl made up to look like the Wicked Witch of the East from the Wizard of Oz.

There were no blood-dripping zombies walking around chewing on human flesh, no ax murderers carrying the heads of their latest victims, no Freddie Kruger look alikes with melted skin and a plethora of knives. Compared to the countless, all-too-real costumes of today, it was all pretty tame stuff.

Perhaps I’m looking at this all-wrong. Maybe the unique grotesqueness of Halloween serves as a reminder for all of us to not take life so seriously and be confident enough to laugh – rather than scream – when faced with true horror. In other words, all the Halloween shtick is make believe and we should take it as such.

When someone at a party offers you a cookie with a blood-shot eye in the middle of it, take it and eat it with gusto. If you venture into a haunted house and some ghoul jumps out at you from behind a wall, don’t be afraid. Just laugh it off. Just keep telling yourself it’s all in good fun. Go with it.

Personally, I’ve never been a huge fan of scary movies … especially the ones that are poorly done. True-to-life dreadfulness like Truman Capote’s “In Cold Blood” or “Helter Skelter” (the story of the Manson family murders) sends chills up and down my spine. Those true stories are much more unnerving than some idiot attired in a skeleton costume with blood and entrails dripping out of his or her mouth.

So that’s my opinion and I’m sticking to it. With the way the world/America is today, I’m genuinely shocked Halloween has been allowed to continue. Actually, I’m extremely shocked. Why is Halloween given a free pass on uninhibited violence? Maybe it’s just meant as a practice session so we’ll all be properly prepared when the Zombie Apocalypse actually occurs.

Pass the eyeballs please.