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It’s nearly Halloween, which means a cornucopia of horror movies on TV. Most of them are just awful, with a few masterpieces occasionally making the grade. Last night some cable channel featured Friday the 13th, Nightmare on Elm Street, and a couple of zombie features I’d never heard of. Frankly, the horror movie genre is in a slump. It’s zombies, zombies, zombies, all the way down and I’ve never understood their appeal. I have a pretty strong stomach — I always have anchovies on my pizza — but I demur when it comes to people eating people. I just don’t understand how they can be the luckiest people in the world.
For just over 40 years, The Exorcist has been the magnum opus of horror films. I’ve never completely understood how such a frankly religious movie has been transformed into a Halloween staple. Yes, it’s terrifying and — for whatever reason — people love to be terrified. But what makes it a perennial favorite, I think, is the gut deep fear that demonic possession may be possible. Nobody’s going to turn into a zombie or be resurrected as a member of the fraternity of the undead. But at a visceral level, most people believe fallen angels are more than superstition who literally, in the words of the Prayer to St. Michael, “prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.”More
It was a gorgeous summer day in Colorado. We were looking for something to do before Chauvinist the Younger goes off to camp, so we took the kids to The Renaissance Festival in Larkspur. This “festival” is actually a summer season theme park for people who really like to dress up in “historical” garb. I mean, really, really like dressing up. Enough to invest. Heavily.
Most of the shops (and that’s mostly what’s there besides food vendors and a few stages for the various theatrical, comedy, magic, and acrobatic acts) sell costumes, footwear, jewelry, hats, and weaponry(!) somewhat loosely related to the Renaissance (whichever one that may be — let’s just say historical accuracy isn’t the imperative). Pirates are a favorite theme, as are knights. The women select costumes ranging from witches to royal ladies. Now, of course, cross-dressing shows up as well — as if gender bending was commonly seen on the streets and celebrated in 14th century Italy. Whatever.More