Wednesday, October 31, 2007

i heart halloween

i have been thinking a lot lately about the significance of halloween, mainly because it has been taking over my life for the past week and a half. in recent years i have discovered that i LOVE halloween. it is such a silly thing. it's not like i'm goth (or ever was), like death, or enjoy hanging out in cemeteries (even though i did take a ambulating tour of mountainview cemetery lately and it was pretty freakin' cool). i've decided, as much as one can, that the significance for halloween for me is the transformative effect it has on - wait for it - everyone. i know, i know - ohhhhhh - everyone gets to be someone/thing else - isn't that liberatory (reminiscent of Turkle's Life on the Screen which i am currently reading). but seriously, there is something cool about the transformative effects of change, no? while the internet may be a hasty receptacle to pour all of society's hopes and dreams for liberatory change, empowerment, and utopian je ne sais quoi, this tendency does beg some interesting questions about the human desire for transformation, growth, change and something "other." we could chalk it up to consumerism, as we could everything, including my precious halloween, or we could think of it as an exercise in the technological imaginary a la de Lauretis. the combination of anxiety and desire around technology (and other transformation objects, effects, and affects) is a compelling and powerful, if not heady, experience. someone recently told me that they think people like scary movies in order to feel something, to feel alive. to be scared into your own humanity is a interesting proposition. to remind ourselves that we are alive, have the capacity for change, and the desire to seek it out makes every other day (other than halloween, that is) seem lacking. my tenuous halloween-as-a-metaphor-for-technologies-of-the-internet thing might be lacking as well in that both produce fear, anxiety, and a certain amount of pleasure but one happens only once a year and the other pervades our everyday, every minute, every second. maybe the desire for transformation and change does as well but we are "programmed" to ignore it, push it down, hide it in the recesses of our mind until we are allowed, enabled to set our difference out into the night of all hallow's eve - the simultaneous celebration of life and death. do we not seek to say something about ourselves, whether blogging or dressing up as something clever? is it not all about us on some level. the work on the self. the identification with the other to become more, different, better. anyhoo. monster mash just came on. must go do the twist. another imperative on halloween.

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