October 29, 2011, 10:07 am
I have always loved Halloween. As a five-year-old, I convinced my friends to make construction-paper masks and go door to door demanding candy from our neighbors. It was summer. The police were called. But despite the serious trouble I was in, I still loved Halloween. It was the one night of the year that rules could be reversed, power relations overturned, kids ruled and, at the same time, the rules were up for grabs. Even as an adult, I still spend inordinate amounts of time thinking of costumes, decorating, and celebrating a time that is both exciting and scary. But something has gone terribly wrong with Halloween. It’s straightened up, become about adults, and now is a space where we don’t so much reverse the rules as highlight them.
I’m not saying it’s all bad. After all, during this national (now international) holiday, gluttony and greed are ritualized into trick or…