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October 27, 2009

With Halloween looming, there is a definite vampire takeover afoot – fitting considering it’s day of the dead roots. Although, from a cultural history standpoint, not so fitting at all given that day of the dead, or El Día de los Muertos, is holiday with deep Latin and indigenous roots. Twilight, in contrast, has very white roots, using indigenous culture to promote a largely white, Westernized view of the world (as I argue in my forthcoming paper, “Civilized Vampires versus Savage Werewolves”).

Halloween has Gaelic roots – which, depending on which area of history you are referring to, can be read as white roots. However, the holiday has lost most of its mythical and religious undertones and tends to be currently practiced as a consumerized costume and candy fest. Or, in other words, in typical United Shoppers of America fashion. Does its current turn to Twi-lloween built on this turn? You bet it does!

Because, even though you likely have something in your closet that could approximate the duds of one of the Twilight characters, Hot Topic, Nordstom’s and others are encouraging you to by ‘real’ Twilight clothing, not to mention spray on blood and vampire lip gloss.

Ah, whatever happened to rummaging through ones closet to cobble together a costume? In the case of Twilight, the emphases on buying a Bella, Edward, or Alice costumes seems especially ironic given their lack of capes, fangs, and other vampire trappings.

And don’t even get me started on Twi-o-lanterns.

I prefer my pumpkins with the traditional triangle eyes and snaggle-toothed mouth, thank you very much.

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