Halloween-Cash Machine,Devils Playground or Fun time?

Halloween-Cash Machine,Devils Playground or Fun time?

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All ghosts are actually the restless spirits of deceased bed linen. Photograph: Alamy

It’s Haloween again. Some see it as a time for fun,while some think it should be done away with as it has affinity with the occult.On the other hand ,some are smiling all the way to the bank with halloween and cashing in!
Where does all this come from though? Halloween is confusing enough as it is when you
think about it logically. It’s nominally meant to be “scary”, but it’s also strongly emphasised as being child-friendly. Thanks to Halloween it is now perfectly acceptable to dress small children as a vampire or a devil, a reanimated corpse that sustains itself by feasting on the blood of unwilling victims, and the biblical manifestation of all that is evil and responsible for the suffering of mankind (respectively). You wouldn’t normally get away with that sort of thing.
But on Halloween it’s fine. The rules change, and children are actually encouraged to approach alarming-looking strangers bearing sweets. Butseemingly everyone likes Halloween, so it’s fine. And even if you don’t like it, you’re probably best keeping this to yourself, lest you get labelled a killjoy.

But many do seem to think it’s getting a bit ridiculous now. The flood of articles, products, TV shows and so on that seem driven to try and be the Halloweeniest thing of all crosses the line into genuinely alarming, and the way this manifests can be actually quite upsetting, even when compared to everything else about an international celebration themed around blood, gore and corpses.
Aside from giving sweets to children you don’t know, one of the main elements of modern Halloween is fancy dress. And the (supposed) point is to dress as something scary. Problem is, people are often afraid of things they shouldn’t be, due to scaremongering or negative stereotypes(or even seemingly-positive ones). But again Halloween trumps logic or rational thought, so you end up causing a scandal with things like“mental patient” costumes, or any number of other offensive outfits. The enthusiasm of Halloween seems to overrule acknowledging the pain and suffering experienced by others for the sake of looking like a bit of a tit for a few hours.
And that’s another concerning trend; over-sexualised costumes (mainly for women). There’s a distressing trend for women’s costumes to be “sexy [insert costume in question here]”. Who was it who looked at costumes modelled on predominately dead things and decided they should be more arousing? And is this person still allowed out unsupervised?
Although there’s one darker possibility that nobody has mentioned yet; what if boobs are inherently scary? Think about it; men are supposedly helpless to stare at them, and are often a physical drain on the woman they’re attached to. What does that sound like? MIND CONTROLLING PARASITES!! But ones that can affect two individuals at the same time.

Kelly BrookCasamigos Halloween party, Los Angeles, America - 25 Oct
Kelly Brook, looking all scary (if you’ve got serious Freudian problems). Photograph: Beverly News/REX/Beverly News/REX

Or maybe it’s just the logical end result of the old adage “sex sells”. This is more likely, admittedly.
But how does this come about, these worrying and bizarre things being done in the name of Halloween? Well, you’ve got the fact that it’s such a widespread and popular occasion, so there’s undeniably societal pressure to participate. But when people start doing things just to fit in, weird psychological processes occur.
Normative social influence is the process whereby we change how we behave or even think by the group that we identify with. So if the culture and society you’re part of is saying dressing up as a sexy zombie is fine, you’re very likely to go along with it.
But it can get out of hand, via the effect of group polarisation. This is where groups of people tend to be more extreme in their views on things than if you took each individual view separately. One cause of this is the aforementioned normative social influence; you want others in your group to like you. But to do this, you lean towards adopting a more extreme view of the general consensus, in order to impress others. But said others try and do the same in turn, trumping your efforts. And a vicious cycle begins. So everyone loves Halloween? Well I’m going to have the best costume. Then someone decides their costume is going to be better, and someone tries to top them, and soon you’re using approaches like offense and sexualisation to further stand out. And thus we end up with this widespread obsession with Halloween and dressing up.
And when something is so popular, you’re going to get those who profit from the attention and approval of the general public trying to achieve positive associations by mentioning or incorporating Halloween, no matter how contrived. It’s so they can make money, really.
That’s about it. Halloween is popular, so many try to exploit this for profit.
Feels like there should be more to it than that, and there may well be, but with so much Halloween stuff to get through today, it’s unlikely anyone’s still reading this by now.
By Dean Burnette for the Guardian
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