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  • Writer's pictureMichael Colton

BREAKING: Halloween is Dead.

Halloween dead at 400-something, murdered by Cancel Culture.

By Michael Colton

There was a time when this nation was great. When our government functioned, our economy thrived, and our homes were happy. When real music topped the charts, instead of today’s computerized techno bull crap. When the news came from the Times and Walter Cronkite, not Teen Vogue and JoJo Siwa.

There was a time when we all had thicker skin, when people could take a joke. These were the glory days, when Ashton Kutcher could “Punk” anyone he wanted, with zero repercussions; when you could cut the brakes on your friend’s car without them getting all pissy. There was a time when comedy had a righteous cause, when sticking it to the man was all that mattered, nevermind whose feelings got hurt along the way.

There was a time when, one glorious night each fall, the children of our storied nation could embrace those honorable traditions without hesitation. When they could wander the streets in search of Kit-Kats and Mounds, without having to worry that someone might find their costume confusing or offensive.

There was a time when Halloween was still fun. But those days are gone. Dead. Murdered, by a pack of bloodthirsty non-creatives, dead-set on uprooting everything great about this country. I watched it happen with my own two eyes last Saturday night.

When I showed up dressed in my clothes from class, planning to tell people I was dressed as one of the VIPs from Squid Game, I anticipated laughter, discourse, and—yeah, I’ll say it—applause. Yet here we are, 12 hours following my unceremonious exit, and it still seems like nobody realizes that my costume was actually quite clever. I’ll try explaining it to you, as I did to the unimaginative schmucks at Amity Hall last weekend.

Squid Game is a show about how socialism can turn everyday citizens into full-flegded murder machines, all by the power of the dollar. So, by dressing normally and telling everyone I was a VIP, I was not only being funny, I was also making rather cerebral commentary on the show. I tried to remind people of this, by telling them I meant to underdress because the VIPs could be any one of us—but my insights fell on deaf, even hostile, ears. Four hours at the bar and not one person told me I was clever, original, or subversive.

Illustration by Aeja Rosette

There I was, alone in a sea of Scooby-Doos and Hermoine Grangers, the only one of us tuned-in enough to realize how inauthentic it’s all become. All that I asked was for their attention and for the music in the bar to be turned down. Instead, thrown from the bar. Laughed at. Told to “stop taking the karaoke mic to explain my costume.” I got canceled.

But the karaoke mic has been stolen from me for too long. My silence ends now.

If I know one thing about Halloween, it’s that anything goes, no matter how saucy, controversial, or confusing, and that is exactly how the founding fathers originally intended for it to be celebrated. If you don’t believe me, you ought to read a little thing called History. In October 1799, when President John Adams donned a full hoop skirt and corset to portray his dear wife Abigail, he was met with applause and tears. In 1810, when John Quincy Adams did the same, the nation lauded his sense of comedic timing and his willingness to go for it. And going for it is exactly what James Buchanan had in mind in 1958, when he dressed as “The Impending Civil War.” Was that in poor taste? Of course. But was it also funny as hell? You betcha. Our nation was built by men like these. We stop respecting the spirit of their costume choices, we may as well wipe the whole continent off the face of the earth. There’s a reason the Civil War remained “Impending” as long as Buchanan was in office. (Lincoln did not have it. Check out his fall 1860 rendition of a “well dressed man,” for reference).

As an American of the same stature and greatness as those men up there, I have a God-given right to make good jokes. But, last night, when I arrived geniusly underdressed and ready to talk about it? No salutes, no handshakes, no babies to kiss. I faced an audience sneering and pointing, poised to cancel me. The Framers must be rolling in their graves.

How far have we fallen, that something as clever and, frankly, poignant as my costume could result in a guy like me getting outright cancelled? I’ll be the first to say it: I am a victim. I’m a victim of this generation’s total lack of bravery, a victim of the times’ ruthless disregard for all things funny, a victim of the same liberal-sensitivity culture that made the Squid Games necessary in the first place.. I fruitlessly tried to explain this all last night—the eerie similarities between the lukewarm reaction to my costume and the sociopolitical conditions that would inspire everyday citizens to enter a multimillion dollar deathmatch—but the crowd wasn’t interested in discussing their reactions to my costume, only in dancing and drinking and having a good time. Who knew Halloween could be so close-minded,—so childish?

In another era, my outfit would have won any costume contest in this city on the strength of my nerve alone. But in today’s world of political correctness, self-love, and vapes? I’m as good as garbage. Why else would the bartender have turned me away from the competition? Was it really because my “costume wasn’t as clear as I thought it was,” or was it because I shined a light on something that they were unwilling to see? Because I didn’t give a content warning before I showed up? I’ll let you decide…

Gone are the days of prosperity—the picket fence, the mowed lawn, the family dinners. Gone are the people willing to see the hard truths, the people willing to be challenged, the people willing to push things forward for the sake of God and Country. Gone are the people who would’ve realized how smart I am. So here I sit, alone on Halloween night. A cancelled man, struggling to claw his way back into a world that won’t hold space for him.

I’ve found myself, in my lowest moments since last night, wondering if everyone else had it right, if my costume really was unclear, if my explanation was holier than thou, and if Squid Game really was about capitalism. Yet even in those periods of darkness and self-doubt, I must remember to keep up the fight, to keep advocating for the silent majority of people who support smart, edgy Halloween costumes. It’s a fight I’ll carry to death, even if it means alienating myself from every single student, bartender, and karaoke singer in this once-great nation.


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