It’s November 1st, and Halloween 2016 is officially over. And much to the dismay of everyone on Earth, it would appear as if all those lunatic clowns lurking on street corners, did not in fact buy their masks from Silver Shamrock. But instead we all got to see costumes of ‘memes come to life’ or “sexy…whatevers” to litter our downtown streets, and if you actually have kids you may remember that this holiday isn’t for you, you freakin jack-ass. It’s about 8 year olds receiving free candy as a means of currency for playground stock trades and copied homework assignments. But as per the sordid times we exist in, we all now get the enriched fulfillment of watching parents dress their kids how they would dress themselves. Because a sexy 7 yr old Harley Quinn is always appropriate, right?
As I sip my coffee and spend a minute on Facebook this morning, I was kind of taken aback by how many kids, 10 and under, were dressed like homicidal psychopaths. DeadPool leading the charge, with kiddy versions of Negan, Suicide Squad cholo Joker, or a slutty Harley Quinn. I even saw a few John Snows and other GoT characters in the mix. I get that it’s “funny” for the parents, but for those people with kids, Halloween is not about you. It’s the one time a year where it’s ok for kids to run around and be themselves. DeadPool is a murderous maiming sociopath. Harley Quinn is a mentally abused schizo. This isn’t about “censorship” or that “Halloween isn’t for adults” or whatever instantly emotionally charged contrarian opinion that makes you wince as you read this. It’s about being better than that. It’s about striving for excellence. Not subpar mediocrity.
Of course there are certain characters I’d give a pass. Shredder, Skeletor, Vegeta,… etc etc. Mostly anything from a cartoon. Mainly, because at that point the content is so overblown and abstract, that it barely registers in a kid’s brain as being violent. The fragile emotional psyche of a 7 yr old isn’t accounting for realistic ramifications of a planet blowing up. Others, like Freddy Krueger or Jason Voorhees fall into a grey area. You can’t discredit them completely, but they’ve become so mired in pop-culture, the likelihood of a kid even having seen those (now 30 yr old movies) is low to begin with. I’m not saying it’s OK, but it’s easier to look the other way.
The other reason it’s an issue, is that cartoon characters can abstain themselves from the psychological trauma of a big screen Harley Quinn or Negan from TWD. Those characters appeal to adults because they’re written for adults, and that’s the difference. No 9 yr old girl should feel an adoring admiration for Harley Quinn due to her own experience with Stockholm syndrome.
When the season 6 premiere of The Walking Dead aired, articles were being written about how up in arms parents were about the episode being too gruesome, and how inappropriate it was for their kids to watch. NO FUCKING SHIT! It’s the goriest show on network TV. It’s not for your kids, or your entire family. It’s for teenagers and adults. If you let your kid watch The Walking Dead, and then complain after the fact that it’s unsuitable for your children, go shoot yourself. Or vote for Trump. Or both. (preferably both.)
I’m tired of hearing “oh they like that sort of thing.” or “I let them play/watch whatever they want.” Of course they like it. They’re staying up late and spending time with their parents. Here’s the thing though; It’s not up to them. If you allow that, then you are a fucking psychopath, and should not be a parent. It’s not about what kids want. It’s about how parents raise them to differentiate between whats appropriate and what isn’t; instead of being brought up in a morally soft and ambiguous environment, where the lines are so blurred it’s difficult for any kid under 15 to know why they should/shouldn’t be dressed as a character that disembowels people, or smashes their head with a baseball bat. In fact, it almost kind of borders on child abuse. Whether it’s the kid’s idea or the parent’s, it’s still the parent’s decision.
Some of this may come off as hyperbole, but I do it to make a point. Kids need to be allowed to be kids. They need to be able to grow up and experience life without being subjugated to their parents ill thought out delusions of being cool. It can turn them into maladjusted tweens, and bring on depression, or worse, raise teenage pregnancies. It’s not a rule, but it’s a pretty safe bet. Children are not pets. It’s not cute to watch kids represent characters and people that as adults we find to be loathsome to begin with. It’s disturbing, and in the end, says more about the adults than the children. Either way, I’m sure HotTopic is gearing up for another 10+ years of selling ill-fitted garbage to dysfunctional schizoids.