Throughout the year we hear about who’s hot and who’s not. We know who’s packed on baby weight and who is looking “scary skinny”. But in all of the cultural learning and news following and celebrity whoring there is always a thin veil of caring to keep up. We don’t care about half of the things we read and eventually talk to friends about. We don’t. But it gives us shared experiences and something to connect with each other on. We really didn’t care that Taylor Swift was dating that werewolf from Twilight. But you bet your ass we had several discussions at the proverbial water cooler about how all our wholesome teens were breeding.
But in the grand scheme of things how do you know what matters and what doesn’t? What is going to go away and what will be a featured question in the Trivial Pursuit edition about this decade?
Halloween cuts through all the “me toos” and bold headlines and gets at what was actually important this year. People are encouraged to be whatever they want on Halloween, without considering whether people will think they are cool. It’s not about being cool. It’s about being relevant... and maybe funny or even naked. This is why Halloween is the great culture thermometer. The litmus test of, in the grand scheme of things, of what matters and what doesn’t.
So go out tonight and tomorrow and Sunday if you still have juice left in those energizers and do a little ethnography. Soak it all in. You are seeing a cross section of what stuck in 2010. Will we be seeing a lot of John Boehner look-a-likes? Probably not, but that would be a pretty good costume. Will we be seeing a lot of “Situations?” Probably. No one ever said a cross section of culture was going to make you feel good about humanity. Observe at your own risk. Maybe it will make Halloween scary again on a whole new level.
Joey Camire and Ben Cheney
Photo via Closet Full of Noting