This is one of my favorite holidays. As a kid I used to love to be scared and would spend my days channel surfing for horror flicks and/or nights reading Stephen King novels. If you think any of his books are scary when read in a well lit area, you have not truly experienced any of them until you read one by candlelight in your bedroom with a skylight over the bed with no power. After one bad hurricane hit Long Island I read Salem’s Lot and didn’t sleep without having plenty of garlic and bibles on hand for months. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%E2%80%99Salem%E2%80%99s_Lot
While my taste in movies has changed since then I still love all the scary movies that get shown this time of year, and no I am not referring to political advertising. This would also be a good time to pay a visit to the Angry Alien web site (www.angryalien.com). The only thing that can make an already good scary movie better is by turning it into an animated version in 30 seconds with bunnies. Ok, my personal favorite short is the unbleeped Reservoir Dogs (“I am fucking deformed!”… “Fuck you, I’m dying!”). If you have never checked that site out, please do.
Speaking of movies and being scared, I am almost at a loss for what to say. Almost. As a Democrat and Met fan I do not think this election is over, though today is the last day that John McCain can spring an ‘October surprise’ on us. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/October_surprise) John Kerry was certainly hurt by the Osama bin Laden video that was released on the Friday before the election. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2004_Osama_bin_Laden_video) I also know that certain events were planned for times that would hurt the Kerry campaign during that cycle. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would, for example, plan announcements on terrorism at the same time Senator Kerry would have a big rally planned. You may be thinking I am just paranoid and you are right; I am but that doesn’t mean I am not right. The long term success of these tactics is debatable but that it cost Kerry ‘free’ media time and impacted his campaign cannot. I was told more than once that an event would have been covered live had it not been for these announcements. The then Senate Majority Leader Frist did his part, too by scheduling important votes for times when Kerry was doing something else like raising money.
Back in October 2008, many TV stations are doing their best to frighten viewers and the McCain campaign is trying its best to scare voters. Barack Obama ‘pals around with terrorists’ and groups that support Obama are ‘destroying the fabric of our democracy.’ When you are in Senator McCain’s position you do not have many options, go negative or go home. We all know which course of action McCain selected. What amazes me is not that he is going negative or even that the ‘Bradley effect’ is rearing its ugly head (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bradley_effect) but that people are actively rejecting negative ads this year. Most polls show that people do not like negative ads but if they didn’t work campaigns wouldn’t use them. The only argument that seems to make sense to me is that after eight years of Dubya/Cheney, nothing McCain throws at Obama sticks.
And that brings me back to Halloween. My favorite horror movie when I was a kid was Halloween (www.halloweenmovies.com). Michael Myers goes on a killing spree on Halloween but the best part of that movie is there isn’t much gore. It’s all suspense, or it is if you are 10. For years certain scenes haunted me but at some point I guess I grew out of it. I still watch the movie almost every year but Myers doesn’t scare me anymore. Now I just want to kick his ass. Maybe that’s how the electorate is starting to react to the GOP hate machine, we’re just over it.