AT RANDOM: Beyond the dead

One of my favourite scenes from Monty Python and The Holy Grail, is when Eric Idle’s character calls on everyone to “bring out your dead”...

One of my favourite scenes, among many,  from Monty Python and The Holy Grail, is when Eric Idle’s character calls on everyone to “bring out your dead” during the time of the Black Plague.

The poor sod who is collected for the cart, claiming not to be dead, is tear-inducing funny.

Yes, it’s sometimes OK to laugh at the macabre as a way to escape the truly morbid.

It may take the antics of Monty Python to make one laugh in the eye of death –– not the most comforting subject to say the least–– but anyone out there disturbed by those bloodied images of Moammar Gadhafi, and then the celebration afterwards about his death, may want to think about the images that we project about violence, and death –– especially as Halloween approaches.

We are faced with death through imagery all the time, so much so that we’ve become completely desensitized to it.

I am guilty of that, as I tend to relate death to scenes in movies.

And believe me, I think those disturbed by images of Gadhafi’s demise would have been better off watching something like Charlie Chaplin’s The Great Dictator.

In making fun of monsters, we relegate them to their place in history: never to be celebrated, but never to be forgotten.

However, I digress.

It’s those inescapable images, and yes that includes films and TV, that I blame for my six-year-old child’s recent fascination for darker subjects.

Up until now, she has been quite content  to dress up as a fairy princess, or cute little bug,  for Halloween. However, this year she declared she wanted to be a vampire –– and not the Twilight “beautiful sparkly skin” kind, but the full-on Lestat.

Bram Stoker, be damned.

She wanted the black cape, the fangs, the blood, and deathly pale skin. Where she got this imagery from is beyond me. The closest thing she’s ever seen to a vampire is The Count from Sesame Street, although she has been exposed to those vampire dolls that are marketed to kids. (Does anyone find something mildly disturbing about that?)

Of course, when she told me what she wanted to be, I balked.

“Wouldn’t you prefer to be a rainbow coloured unicorn like last year,” I suggested, thinking it’s not her fault, it’s her genes.

I, after all, lived by the moniker that “everyday is Halloween” in my goth-phased youth.

With my arguments meeting with disdain, I searched out a costume.

A visit to the dollar store proved my theory. Death is everywhere you look. And going by the amount of fake blood and dismembered limbs, it’s pretty clear, it isn’t pretty.

I passed on the blood, opting for black lipstick and nail polish (ahhh, the good ol’ days), and went with a long, dark wig and sparkly accoutrements (OK the Twilight thing may have played a part.) Upon seeing my purchases, she changed her mind about her costume.

“I think I’ll be a witch, mommy,” she said.

Maybe it’s time she saw The Wizard of Oz… but at least a witch is not a dead bloodsucker!

Halloween is a good time to remind kids what is real, and what isn’t. It may be hard for them to understand the difference between a white-sheeted ghost and a dearly departed family member, but at least it gives parents a chance to talk about death openly and in their own way if the subject does come up.

And as your little monsters get ready to knock on doors for tricks or treats Monday night, it’s also good to know that most of them are still innocent to the real horrors in this world.

—Kristin Froneman is the entertainment editor for The Morning Star

 

 

 

 

Just Posted

Social media flooded with love for woman found dead on Kelowna beach

“We lost a sister. Because that is what we are it is a sisterhood and I can’t help but feel anything but sadness.”

Organ donation push on as Vernon officer fights for life

Those interested in becoming an donor should visit taketwominutes.ca to sign up

Shakespeare Fest sees students ‘play on’ in Vernon

19th annual Goodwill Shakespeare Festival draws hundreds from across B.C.

An unconventional marriage: What’s age got to do with it?

An Armstrong couple that has 45-year age gap began turning heads after being featured on show Extreme Love.

Vernon councillor calls for town hall-style meetings

Kari Gares believes such meetings would allow full transparency between council, constituents

Zirka Ukrainian Dancers to represent Vernon in B.C. festival

The annual B.C. Ukrainian Cultural Festival takes place Saturday, May 4 in Mission, B.C.

Pug life: B.C. town boasts waggish list of dog names

Freedom-of-information request lists most ‘pupular’ dog names registered in White Rock

Morning Star recognized for support of Special Olympics

Newspaper honoured for support of the 2019 Special Olympics BC Winter Games

VIDEO: Fish farming company launches $30-million vessel to treat salmon for sea lice in B.C. waters

Freshwater treatment an improvement but fish farms should be removed from sea, says conservationist

Singh says childhood abuse steeled him for scrutiny and stress of politics

He recounts the assaults for the first time in his book Love & Courage

Despite five extra weeks’ parental leave in Canada, dads still face stigma: survey

One reason people said dads don’t need leave is because they can just bond with their kids at weekend

Vintage bottles, magic cards, a 1969 Playboy: Quirky items found in historic B.C. buildings

Crews set aside some of the funkier pieces emerging from the construction rubble

PHOTOS: Inside the ‘shoe house’ in Northern B.C.

A rare look inside the famous Kitseguecla Lake Road shoe house, with a tour led by owner Toby Walsh

Thieves steal five of Seven Dwarves ornaments honouring B.C. couple’s late son

For the second time in a year, several garden ornaments stolen from Cloverdale family’s front garden

Most Read