If there’s a message underlying many escapades in The Simpsons’ annual Halloween “Treehouse of Horror” episodes, it’s that simply twisting the slant of everyday routines can be sufficient to make reality a black humour version of unnerving, or worse. This emerges most overtly when the backdrop is parody, shaped by the tone of this venerable take on animated life.
The most memorable moments stem from great writing, about altered states. These stand out, like in life itself, the dust settling in varying layers of destiny.
For instance, in an early T. of H. segment called ‘Nightmare Cafeteria’, the oh-too-familiar stereotype of the school cafeteria is buffeted into a horror far beyond the real experience. Acknowledging that cafeteria experience may have comprised its own tier of compromises inspires some of the foundation of the twisted version. Healthy eating and the vulnerabilities of trust and greed are a couple of the relatable issues given the bad dream treatment.
Yet, the seemingly ever-increasing public interest in the subject of Halloween, witnessed in retail sales as well as in cinema releases, suggests that adapting the spirit of this season throughout the year might give our lives another spin…
- Use various coloured lights in pumpkin faces to encourage diversity in all things
- Invite the living dead of your acquaintance to your house for an interpretive version of ‘trick or treat’
- Make a costume which is part fluorescent and part phosphorescent
- Hold auditions for best ghost in an authentic haunted house
- Hold a body snatchers party and neglect to keep track of the number of participants
- Open a spare parts shop which does not discriminate against any category suppliers term ‘parts’
- If a vigilante comes to your door, don’t be afraid to negotiate
- If you see a zombie not wearing black, or an alien which isn’t green, be suspicious
- Have your android device not only create a spooky mood instrumentally, but also whisper danger subliminally
- Resolve to find a way to rhyme with orange
A famous expression states “the eyes are windows to the soul”. Since there are some among us with limited, or sadly no, eyesight, presumably there needs to be flexibility in taking such an insight, as worded, literally. We could also consider hearing as listening to the soul, or touch as feeling for the soul.
We seem increasingly to live in a time in which reading is considered by too many as more of a chore than an enjoyable activity. (more…)
This week I heard a radio commentator refer to the time-honoured, greatest dread of people (supposedly): the fear of public speaking. The host noted how importantly the skill of being able to deliver presentations could impact one’s professional opportunities.
He then alluded to a just released story of a teenager who has confronted his own trepidation, by sending out an entreaty to educational authorities that he be spared from having to make presentations to other students in class. There has been reaction to this quickly in social media. No doubt, ‘experts’ on both sides of such a debate are aplenty. (more…)