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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

I and I, Heart of the living dread- midnight is the Dawn of the Living Dead

Halloween. A word so drenched in a mix of mischief and mystery that I cannot help but to smile inside upon hearing it. It is a night among nights. It is a night of true freedom from the limits of one’s skins. A night where you get to choose another’s and be possessed by the night by the spirit of said costume and then BOOM at midnight it becomes officially El Dia de los Muertos! The sacred day common to many cultures where they have a festival to celebrate creation and its dualities. Love and the void. Black and white, dark and light. Life and death, past the last breath, who knows when everyone claims to know the answer? It is a day in which the dead are mocked and celebrated. Its skeleton dancers are singing about how to forget fear. Once the wool of mortality is burnt away, all is clear.

Death is fundamental to life, life is fundamental to death. So the living are doing their part to remember “dust to dust” and on this night, the dead come out to listen. If everyone became someone they wanted to be just for Halloween, imagine all the freedom! Imagine what we could be! Imagine if we never changed back. If you could pick one set of skins to wear the rest of your life, would they be yours? Are you already just whom you want to be? Who could you be? What must you do to get there?

When I reflect upon this earthly costume that I am now bonded to, all life seems like one fat Catholic melodrama. Here I am being a kid, here I am being an adult. Here I am falling in love. Here I am falling out of love. Here I am being an artist, here I am being a scientist. All of these roles wrapping constantly around my neck until I feel like I’m suffocating underneath all of these norms and forms and expectations until I finally snap, and shed them into the past that haunts me. Once I move beyond all attempts to take stereotypes of life and thought for my identity , all is naked. Where I begin , nature ends, where I end, nature begins. If all existence is one, then how can I fear that I’m incomplete?

In a conversation once between a materialist and an animist, they asked each other “What is the meaning of being alive?” I, the animist, said “Love”, the materialist replied “Freedom” and we looked at each other in the eye. It was a strange feeling as we had for a moment an epiphany- we were talking about the very same thing. If love is the state of living in bliss with no fear then freedom is not so different. Living in a state of freedom is like being in the center of the world of being with a world of possibility on your lap and not being afraid to make a mistake. Not being afraid to experiment, to try, to fly, and not fear the bullets taking you down.

So what does this have to do with Halloween? Ol’ Hallows Eve and the Day of the Dead are interesting times during which a large portion of the world’s peoples reflect upon their mortality. If we take that individualist perspective, smash it, and zoom out just a bit from Earth, we naturally begin to see how humanity is like a single organism. We rose from this earth, we shall sink back into it. Just one look at the sinking of our current system is enough to fill our hearts with dread. One must learn how to not be attached to that costume either- or it is going to hurt even worse once we cut it off. As a whole though, we must pause and ask ourselves to think about what sort of costume our species is wearing. At the costume party of the universe, who the hell are we? Are we a vampire sucking dry the teat of life? Are we warriors swimming proudly through blood? Are we sheep waiting for our shepherd to remind us what to do again? Are we a bird of peace? Are we prisoners on this looney-bin called Earth? Are we fear? Are we love? Are we free? Are we alive, or in the point of view of Grandmother Universe, are we already the living dead?

About the Contributor
Stephanie Fail served as the following positions for The Mass Media the following years Opinions Editor: 2009-2010 *Culture Shock Editor: Fall 2010 *The Culture section only lasted from 2010-2011, with Marcus Mersier taking over in Spring 2011.