Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Halloween on a SUNDAY has been something of a big deal here in the fundamentalist upstate. The kids went out for trick-or-treat last night, ostensibly so they would not be out late on a school night. But there has also been a fair amount of fulminating about the fact of Halloween in the first place. (The Protestants officially changed October 31st to Reformation Day, but the rabble never quite bought that, did they?)

The pagan roots of Halloween really RATTLE the fundies. Some totally forbid the kids to take part, others have attempted to co-opt the festival for Christian themes; such as JUDGEMENT HOUSE --a popular Christian "haunted house" where you even visit hell, complete with an over-the-top satan with horns. I once went to one of these, and it was surprisingly professional and well-done. However, it is notable that the heaven was pretty dopey and saccharine, and the music was horrible. The hell, with the Vincent-Pricish satan, was much more entertaining, and far better decorated.


Something to spook you... I have discovered that playing this at night is scarier than during the day, so wait until dark! :)

Courtesy of Hammer Horror's Harry Robinson, this is the opening credits/theme to the British TV series, JOURNEY TO THE UNKNOWN, which I have featured here at DEAD AIR before.

Used to scare little 10-year-old Daisy to death!

Journey to the Unknown - TV opening (1968)

Hope your Halloween is/was good!


D. said...

Huh. Not familiar with that music and don't know why.

But Happy Halloween, anyway, and unscrew the fundies! (Ever notice that with fundies, Fun Dies? I thought you might have.)

JoJo said...

Happy Halloween Daisy! I predict we get 0-5 kids at my house. No one wants to navigate our steep, dark, slippery driveway.

Danny said...

Ah a fellow Southerner eh? I'm a few hundred miles north of you (in NC) and they pulled the same line here too. Officially the story is because the kids shouldn't be out on a night before school. But when asking around town the truth is revealed. Had more than a few people tell me that Halloween should not be celebrated on the Lord's Day.

You would think that a benevolent creature such as God would be willing to share a day with an event that's based on traditions that predate Christianity.

But oh well.

Jim said...

"The pagan roots of Halloween really RATTLE the fundies."

And yet they are curioulsy tolerant of other things with equally pagan origins such as circumcision and about half the Torah.

I think a big opart of it is just that South is basically Saxon and African, and Halloween is primarily an Irish and Scottish holiday, and the Ssotch_irish in the South are pretty deracinated due to their Protestantism. So it's foreign to them to begin with.
My neighborhood was ferocious 20 years ago, and Halloween became a take-back-the-streets kind of thing. The neighborhood had been Norwegian and Italian, then became fairly black (~50%), so Halloween was an import. Didn't matter - everyone started trick-or-treating. The kids liked it and that was that.

It helped a lot that we have not had all the gentrification tensions that other neighborhoods have had, because of the decently high level of home ownership all along.

D. said...

Also, and I don't know why I missed this the first time: Do those folks decrying Halloween on the Lord's Day have any idea whatever of how calendars work?

(Went to the All Saints service this a.m. Nice.)

Jim said...

"Do those folks decrying Halloween on the Lord's Day have any idea whatever of how calendars work?"

Do they have any idea of the Lord? What day is not the Lord's day?

There was a Sikh adventurer a few centuries ago who decided to go to Mecca on the hajj. If he were found out it he would be killed. Everything was going a long fine until he happened to lie down some place with hs feet pointing at the ka'aba, maybe a mile or so away. The crowd was going to kill him unitl he asked whicvh way should he point his feet; where could he point them where they would not be pointing at God?

Do you really think these people think any of this through? They could, and they would come to the same conclusions we do, but instead they just want to enjoy some certainty and keep to their customs, and insist that no one around them disturb any of this. Very human, very weak and kind of sad.

thene said...

Christian haunted houses have always sounded to me like exactly what fundamentalist Christianity is so often accused of doing; scaring children into obedience to a religion by means of stories about hell. More entertaining than heaven, you say? Better to rule, etc!

white rabbit said...

Blimey as regards Judgement House...

Jim said...

"...exactly what fundamentalist Christianity is so often accused of doing; scaring children into obedience to a religion by means of stories about hell. "

That's blasphemous enough, but they do worse - why does no one ever criticize another of their tricks, the monkey mob mentality that is so enticing, "we're saved and the rest of you will burn, burn, burn"? I swear this is the really attraction of all this End Times drama-mongering.

DaisyDeadhead said...

Jim and Thene, you give your name before you go into JH. At one point, there is THE JUDGEMENT and they start calling out the names... one name brings out demons (teenagers love dressing like demons) to wrestle the condemned person into hell. The person fights and shrieks and carries on, and is dragged off to hell screaming that they are SORRY SORRY SORREEEEEEE!!!!! Very over-the-top, and as a kid it would have scared the fucking daylights out of me. They kept the very young kids out, but grade school kids were in attendance. Lots of the actors are teenagers, which lent a bit of "cool" to the event; young kids tend to idolize teenagers. My daughter knew most of the kids doing it, so I think that made it simple theater for her (she was about 13).

When the demons are dragging the guy to hell, the guide takes us into hell for a look, and there is the Vincent Pricish dude, strutting and shouting and getting right in your face. He warns us he is AFTER OUR SOULS, cackle cackle. Hell is very HOT (of course), is decorated with orange and red flames, has the sound of people wailing and weeping in the background... as I said, surprisingly professional.

They got a well-known local newscaster to announce the "plane crash" on a closed circuit TV, so it looks for a second to be "real"... there was an ambulance and bloody mannequin-corpses and even an actual helicopter waiting to evacuate people from the death scene. I was amazed!

The Rapture scene had a whole auditorium of empty seats with the clothes and shoes draped over neatly... little baby outfits, too, which invite some interesting theological questions about infant baptism! I guess this means we will naked as the proverbial jaybirds when we get to heaven. Or maybe only Raptured people are naked, and those of us who have to be convinced later (and live through the Tribulation, some very high odds of course) will be fully clothed? I don't know; never covered any of this in Catechism.

After hell, you go back to Judgement, and they call YOUR name, and you get to go to heaven. Jesus was this stoned-out looking hippie, the only mellow-acting guy they could find with long hair willing to do it, one assumes. He hugs every single person and says "Well done, thy good and faithful servant"--just like Paul told us He would.

Heaven was pretty chintzy by comparison... looked like the set of the prom in CARRIE, with gauzy-glittery fabric all hung with cheapie plastic stars. The music was horrendous muzak-y stuff. the sort of crap they play on the local Bob Jones Univ radio station, WMUU (stands for "World's Most Unusual University"--no argument here!). I had serious doubts about going to heaven, if I was gonna be forced to listen to that shit for ALL ETERNITY.

Jesus had to hug HUNDREDS of people every night, sometimes for several nights or as long as a week... JH is very popular locally. He had to look earnest and hug like he meant it (he did), so I don't begrudge the man a toke first.

DaisyDeadhead said...

But I do remember wondering if this meant there was reefer in heaven... but how awful to have reefer with such BAD music...

Jim said...

DDH, that's about as tacky as I can imagine anything being. Makes you long for the old days, when the white trash knew their place and couldn't even afford to put on a show like that.....

Ducks, covers head for protection and bolts for the door!!!!!