I’m announcing it now so that y’all can plan ahead.
After three years of exceedingly banal Halloweens, I have come to a conclusion:
Halloween in the midwest sucks sweaty donkey balls.
This is a completely subjective opinion and in no way reflects on the good times had by others on Halloweens past, so don’t even bother to tell me why I’m wrong because for *myself*, I’m not. As I’ve expounded upon in LJ posts elsewhere (and pasted and edited here), Halloween is my favorite holiday, and has significant creative and spiritual charge for me. But this charge is not linked to parties or pagan rituals. It’s all about the masks and illusions and creative chaos.
I’m a costume whore. And Halloween is a day dedicated to costumy goodness. And there are both celebratory and spiritual aspects to that which for me exceed any celebratory or spiritual aspects found in Halloween parties or Samhain rituals. There is something ecstatic for me in spending *months* planning and executing the most amazing costume I can think of, then going to a place where *tens of thousands* of other people (whose costume skills put mine to shame) have done the same thing, and just walking around in ecstatic communion over the beauty and creativity of the masks that we put on to show our real selves, our imagined selves, the selves we admire and wish to bring into us. If identity is performative, then Halloween is the time when we get to *be*. And the more energy we put into *being*, the more we can embody our deepest dreams and fears.
Really, it’s all about the illusions that we work so hard to make into reality that they become more real than the everyday. Hyperreality at its best.
I’m talking Knott’s Scary Farm, with cool mazes and monsters who chase you with chainsaws, and the original Freddy vs. Jason vs. everyone in pop culture. I’m talking wandering hoardes of trick-or-treaters all over the place, who run from house to house trailing parents behind. I’m talking about hundreds of people at gothic masquerade balls that would put the scene in Labrynth to shame.
But beyond anything else, I’m talking Santa Monica Blvd. — the West Hollywood Halloween Carnaval. It’s filled with beautiful people in beautiful costumes that you can never approach competing with because the people who made them have spent several months, tons of money, and loads of creative energy and love putting them together. I would work pretty hard every year and wouldn’t get a whole lot of attention because there were just so many impressive costumes and costumed groups, which was fine because just looking and applauding others’ efforts is the best part. You just walk up and down the Blvd and marvel at the beauty and creative genius that regular, everyday people can put forth for no other reason than to celebrate each other and clothing and the masks we wear that show our true selves.
So, next year I’m going home for Halloween. Anyone who wants to join me is welcome. We’ll get crash space somewhere, and have an ecstatic, magikal Halloween, L.A.-style. Screw this midwest bullshit. Lame-ass interior of America.
Angst is for amateurs. Professionals rant.