All Hallow’s Eve is upon us, and that means the usual ghoulies and ghosties and long-leggedy beasties and things that go bump in the night. But I am afraid that Halloween just doesn’t do it for me. It just isn’t scary.
To be perfectly honest, the vampires, zombies and demons that are supposed to terrify us actually make me laugh. Vampires are just big mosquitoes, zombies are easily outrun, and since I don’t believe in God, how am I supposed to be afraid of a lesser supernatural being that doesn’t exist either?
The fact is I lived through Reagan’s America and Thatcher’s Britain, and I spent the first 30 years of my life as a human shield with Soviet missiles pointed at my head. I am supposed to be afraid of a guy in a hockey mask with chainsaw? I don’t think so.
Here are some of the things that I find truly scary:
• People Magazine is more popular than The Economist
• Most Americans don’t have a passport
• Many otherwise first-rate universities don’t require a foreign language to graduate
• Russell Brand and Katy Perry are both famous
• Almost any idiot in America can get a gun, including the police
• You must have a license to go fishing, but not to raise a child
• Our troops go into combat using equipment provided by the lowest bidder
• The land of the free has the largest prison population on the planet
• There are white guys with dreadlocks
• Every minister in Britain’s Department of Education attended what Americans would call a private school
• Antibiotics are becoming less and less effective thanks to over-prescribing
• One billion people are unable to read and write their own names, in 2014!
• The New York State Board of Regents voted unanimously that students do not have to pass history exams to graduate from high school
• Some people think “Saturday Night Live” is still funny
• My spellcheck program doesn’t accept “bureaux” as the plural of “bureau,” while the BBC believes the plural of “forum” to be “forums”
• There are people in the world who cheer for the New York Yankees, the Boston Celtics and Manchester United
• Kale is considered food
• Ben Affleck had an Oscar before Peter O’Toole did
• MTV hands out Video Music Awards every year, but doesn’t seem to play music videos
• Intellectual is not a job, title or profession of any standing
Jeff Myhre is a contributing journalist for TheBlot Magazine.