Of all the rituals in the Valley, none, not even Christmas, commands our collective enthusiasm like Halloween.  We hang more skeletons in our yards than angels.  More cobwebs than reindeer.  More jack o’lanterns than Santa Clauses.

We do Christmas out of duty. Halloween we do altogether differently.

All Hallows Eve, before it went fully pagan, was once a Christian harvest festival not dissimilar to the Dia Los Muertos, a remembrance of the faithful departed.   Now it’s an orgy of joyful bloodletting and gluttony.  Not just witches and ghosts and Disney characters, but a happy parade of decapitated heads, chainsaws, machetes, serial killers and bodily entrails.

On the other side of our fragile world, Islamic militants are un-ironically hanging human heads on fence posts and rejoicing.   They’re separating the men from the women, devising elaborate public executions: by fire, by drowning, by explosive device -the more theatrical the better- then chaining up the daughters like pack animals and leading them away into un-ironic concubinage.

We don’t need Jason masks to symbolize the psychosis of evil. We have an actual army of Jasons afoot, advancing Westward by the day.

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