The witches were the first to go. Then the ghosts. Then the skeletons. Now even jack-o-lanterns are having their leering faces scrubbed clean to pass as plain old pumpkins. The funkillers have been looking for another holiday to go after now that they've sucked most of the life out of Christmas, and their new target is Halloween. They're sucking the guts out like you clean out a pumpkin to make room for a candle and leaving us all poorer for their efforts.
The name "Halloween" itself has been under attack for a long time, and this year the results were hard to ignore. On the shelves at local craft stores you no longer see spooky signs reading "Happy Halloween" or even "Trick or Treat." Instead you find signs with generic slogans like "Happy Harvest," or even worse, "Autumn Blessings" or "Harvest Blessings," whatever that means. Halloween carnivals are now "Harvest Festivals" or "Fall Frolics" and becoming as bland as the names. They've even got kids trick-or-treating in the malls instead of the neighborhoods where they live. The new mascot of the season seems to be a cheery scarecrow whose head is decidedly not made from a pumpkin and who isn't hiding a human skeleton under his cast-off clothes.
Although they are the obvious suspects, this is not just an assault by Christians on a perceived pagan holiday. The real culprits seem to be soulless corporate funkillers whose marketing plan lacks any vision except a desire not to offend even the smallest group of potential customers. Their goal is to make everything as bland and as vague as possible so no one can ever possibly complain, or have any fun. And while this evisceration of the holiday may make it harmless and free from fun, it did manage to at least offend me.