Godzilla vs. the Condoleezzard (Celebrating Halloween in the United States of Anxiety)
By Mickey Z.
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Oct 24, 2006, 00:46
Halloween is an odd
holiday. The ostensible concept, as it has evolved to become, is to shock,
startle, frighten, petrify, horrify, and/or terrify . . . all while consuming
enough high fructose corn syrup to keep the American Dental Association content
for another century or two.
Every year, as
October 31 nears, loyal Americans eagerly squander a small fortune to adorn
their humble abodes with Made-in-China images of tombstones, skulls, ghouls,
goblins, monsters, zombies, and even the occasional bloody severed limb or two.
While none of these cardboard depictions scare me as much as, say, the upcoming
fifth installment of Stallone's "Rocky" series, I do believe there
are plenty of real-life creatures that might warrant their own Halloween mask
this year . . . and I'm not just talking about celluloid slashers.
Ghosts, to me, are
not a bigger or more urgent concern than irreparable environmental damage, and
I certainly lose less sleep over the dead rising from their graves to eat me
than I do a planet populated with oppressed and starving humans.
Forget Freddie of
Elm St., I give you Henry the Horrible (Kissinger, that is): "Depopulation
should be the highest priority of foreign policy towards the Third World,
because the U.S. economy will require large and increasing amounts of minerals
from abroad, especially from less developed countries."
Never mind Jason and
his hockey mask when Ann Coulter is playing right wing: "We should invade
their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity."
No need to worry
about a fire-breathing reptile like Godzilla when a Condoleezard is loose in
DC: "There is nothing wrong with doing something that benefits all
humanity, but that is, in a sense, a second-order effect."
And, let's face it,
a nocturnal bloodsucker named Dracula is nothing compared to the Big Bad Bushes
of Yale roaming the earth both day and night: Bush the Elder: "I will
never apologize for the United States of America. I don't care what the facts
are." Bush the Lesser: "Our enemies are innovative and resourceful,
and so are we. They never stop thinking about new ways to harm our country and
and neither do
Of course, if none
of those political poltergeists sends a chill down your ever-loving spine, you
can chew on this factoid as you devour those Twizzlers, Bon Bons, and Almond
Joys: For the first time in history, there are as many underweight people in
the world as there are overweight people: 1.1 billion of each. (Running
parallel to that troubling trend comes the reality that 100 million Americans
-- one-third the population-are either underinsured or uninsured when it comes to
health care.) In other words . . . step away from the candy corn.
If you're still not
quaking in your boots or pulling the covers over your head, let's take this
hunt for horror global. Think about this as all those kids -- in overpriced
Barney costumes -- come knocking on your door, expecting candy and more: Across
the globe, an estimated 29,158 children under the age of 5 die from mostly
preventable causes every single day. Cue the ominous music: 29,158 dead. Under
the age of 5. Every single day. From mostly preventable causes.
The next time
you're at a sporting event or a concert, take a good, slow look around you and
get a feel for what 29,158 looks like. It's a whole lot more terrifying than
the whir of a chainsaw echoing down a desolate Texas highway.
Mickey Z. can be found on the Web at www.mickeyz.net.
Copyright © 1998-2006 Online Journal
Email Online Journal Editor