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Happy All Inclusive, Politically Correct Black And Orange Day

A world in which elves exist and magic works offers greater opportunities to digress and explore

-Terry Brooks

When I was a kid, life was full of magic. Santa Claus was a mysterious but benevolent being that was actually able to travel world-wide in less than one night. He brought us toys and really was able to climb down chimneys even when we didn’t have a chimney in our house. Pragmatism was never allowed to get in the way of magic.

But as magical as Christmas was with its bright lights, music and general spirit of good will, nothing said magic like Halloween. Christmas kept us awake in anticipation and relentless excitement for what the morning would bring. Halloween had a dark edge to it that was spooky.

Christmas was white magic, Halloween was black magic. It was Disney’s Legend of Sleepy Hollow with the Headless Horsemen. It was the night when ghosts and goblins and creatures of the night roamed freely in the dark of night.

Ah but it was such fun.

At school, our classrooms were decorated with cutouts of witches and pumpkins; Frankenstein and Dracula; skeletons and ghosts. We got to dress up in costumes that we thought made us look heroic or scary. We went door-to-door in our disguises to get treats from our neighbours believing in our hearts that they didn’t recognize us. And always on the edge of where we trick or treated, in the shadows near the bushes were the “for real” ghosts and goblins. It was magically scary and we reveled in it.

Today is Halloween and it should be full of that same magic, that same fun and mystery that we all experienced as kids but it isn’t. Like so many other things, it has been captured by the politically correct and beaten into a pale imitation of what it once was.

I live in Canada, home of the free, the brave and the ridiculous.

In some schools, children are not allowed to wear costumes even as some retailers and stodgy old banks are encouraging their employees to dress up. In one particular school, the children will be allowed to wear costumes but only if they represent some form of caring. Ghosts and goblins and witches are banned. Only costume that are indicative of caring will be allowed.

It makes me wonder how the politically correct will deal with a kid who shows up dressed as a hooker in the mistaken belief that it is a very special kind of caring. I know, I know, it is a special kind of caring but let’s move on. Let’s not bog down in a debate about whether being a hooker qualifies; we can’t solve all the world’s issues in one post.

Another school has banned costumes but is encouraging its students to wear orange and black. It discourages the word Halloween and would like children to consider today “Black and Orange day”.

There is a small but oh so very sincere group in the country that is trying to move Halloween to Saturday night regardless of the date. Apparently they find it inconvenient to give up one evening a year during the week to devote to the magical mystery their children find in being alive on All Hallows Eve.  No doubt these same organized folks would prefer that Christmas fall on a weekend every year as well so as not to interfere with all of the busy things they have to do during the rest of the week.

We live in a world where the joyless, those who have forgotten how to be childlike work overtime to take all of the fun out of everything for the rest of us. They sanitize language, cleanse sport of competition and try to eradicate the meaning, significance and fun right out of any public celebration of our traditional festivals and holidays like Christmas and Halloween.

These people aren’t improving our societies; they are eroding them to a mediocrity that is as bland as day-old white bread. Even your great grandmother’s bald spot and the teeth she keeps in a glass on  her bedside table are more interesting than the society these folks are working overtime to create.

Who cares if there is a little scary mystery and spookiness in Halloween? That’s the whole point! That is precisely Halloween’s heritage and Halloween is the perfect metaphor for life; strange, mysterious, colourful, a little dangerous but full of magic.

It’s All Hallows Eve, the night when the spirits of the dead come back according to legend. Pumpkins are carved to keep evil spirits from our door and to keep us safe. Sure we’re too  civilized now to really believe that but so what? It’s still magic and what is life without a little magic?

I’ll tell you what it is. It’s politically correct, pigeonholed ideas and it’s boring. It’s as boring as Ottawa on a Tuesday evening. It’s as boring as listening to a Canadian senator make a complete ass of herself by proposing to change Canada’s symbol from the beaver to the polar bear. It’s as boring as watching journalists interview each other over and over and over again with their biased and shallow opinions.

It’s as boring as the hysterical debate over cancelling the long-form census and almost as boring as filling out your income tax form although at least that has an element of danger to it.

We don’t need saving from the world by the politically correct.  We need saving from the politically correct’; people who have no joy or mystery in their lives and who make the former Soviet Union look like Vegas on a holiday weekend.

We need to defend our institutions, our traditions and the sanitizing of our language from those who see everything as a threat. I believe it’s long past time to give them a valium and tell them to calm down so that we can get back to living our lives as we wish and to which we are fully entitled.

And if that means some of us want to believe that Santa Claus really can climb down a chimney that isn’t there or that ghosts and goblins prowl the earth on Halloween, well, that’s just fine with me.

Until that time, Happy Halloween, my friends; or as the politically correct would say: “Happy All Inclusive Black & Orange Autumn Festival Celebration Day” Doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it? Sounds like a celebration of fallen dead leaves and where’s the magic in that?

For those of you who still feel the magic of Halloween and who have a few minutes to kill, here’s the best Halloween video ever produced. Enjoy.

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© 2012 Maggie’s Bear
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