WARNING: This blog contains disturbing images, adult language and strong opinions.
My partner and I were discussing how we could acknowledge (if not celebrate) Halloween/Samhain. We both understand the primordial urge to honor our darkness but how? My partner and his ex were married on Halloween- a bit tough to ignore an anniversary when it coincides with holiday. Neither of us are feeling like putting a lot of energy towards participating in spooky shenanigans but still, should we not do something?
We talked about watching scary movies; something we both enjoyed in our younger years. The issue with that, however, is that we've committed to caring about ourselves. That includes being radically mindful about what media we choose to consume. As intriguing as scary things can be, we both understand from experience there is a price to pay for giving energy to fearful things. Like attracts like. Period. I don't want fear in my life, it's unnecessary and it only slows me down. But still...
How about we watch The Shining? It's a well made Kubrick classic based on one of Stephen King's best novels. We've both seen it before. How bad could it be? We situated ourselves on the couch and pressed play. We got as far as the scene where it's pretty obvious that Jack is losing it as he berates Wendy for interrupting his "writing".
We paused for a bathroom break; Jack's crazy face was frozen on the screen like some demented interdimensional apparition. When we came back to the couch, we noticed how rotten we were feeling already. We decided not to finish the movie. Perhaps it would be best to just let the scary season slip by us this year.
Yesterday, I picked up the local free paper for a little lunchtime browsing. Of course, the horoscope column was dedicated to Samhain. The writer urged me to look into my darkness, to find the gifts in my fear. My best friend is a shaman so I'm no stranger to the concept. That doesn't mean I love the idea. Nevertheless, I was still feeling the undeniable pull of the season...what could we do? Ah well, on to the calendar section...oh look. Tonight only there will be a free big screen showing of the 1984 original Nightmare on Elm Street. I showed Mike and he thought it a grand idea. How could it be anything other than dated to the point of ridiculous. We do love to laugh.
After a lovely dinner at our favorite restaurant, we strolled through the chilly night air to the theatre. We settled in to our seats and the lights soon went down.
I cannot say that we were not entertained. The dated elements, from the wardrobe and hair to the giant telephones, were pretty funny. The concept of being murdered in your nightmares and dying in real life is still kind of chilling. The actress playing the role of the heroine's alcoholic mother overacting to the point of satirizing herself was good for some belly chuckles. However, I found myself unsettled by the movie for entirely different reasons than the filmmakers, I daresay, intended.
We were both struck at how very young and sexualized the actors were. One of the boys all but raped his girlfriend and seeing Johnny Depp, barely out of childhood wearing a half football jersey that showed off his little boy body was just...gross. And Freddy, our villain, seriously lacked boundaries.
I've worked with at-risk girls for over 15 years. I can't help but hope for a culture that learns from the error of it's ways. I have no problems with sexuality. In fact, in my perfect world, Sexuality would be taught in our schools right alongside Science and Shop Classes. Further, I believe it's the confusion caused by the covering up and over the subject of sexuality (in all of it's facets, dark and light) all the while covertly sexualizing everything from floor wax to whipped dessert topping that makes for misconception which contributes to the violence. Ugh...what a horrible mess we've gotten ourselves into.
So for me, the upshot here is the idea of scary is totally relative. Whether it's Jack gearing up to murder his wife because she's a silly pest or Freddy grabbing an underage girl by the pussy for no reason other than because he can- I can't unsee what I've seen. I can't unlearn what I know to be true.
Sobering, I know. I looked for darkness and I found it.