All Hallow’s Eve: A Rant

Between cops and robbers, super heroes and super villains, and good and evil, the imagination of my youth was filled with the tension between right and wrong. I was raised in a church that fundamentally opposed the festivities of Halloween. It was the celebration of evil that, in theory, involved pentagrams, human sacrifice, and unadulterated evil. The reality, however, is far less exciting.

I donned my costume and paraded about the neighborhood accepting bribes in lieu of retribution–trick or treat. And somewhere in the back of my mind I contemplated this act as a foreshadowing of the adult-world to come. In the dark reaches of my mind, I contemplated the true “tricks” that were occurring that night. Those days never came.

As I have gotten older, the polarity between good and evil seems more like a crevice than a chasm. Sure, there’s witchcraft and wizardry just like there’s revival and pentecost, but for the most part the imagination of my youth has met a dull and mediocre retail experience. Halloween is the second largest retail holiday of the year. Christmas is the largest commercial holiday, and while we are reminded to remember “the reason for the season,” we are still quite comfortable to numb the pain of our best intentions with another gift at the top of the stack.

This is obviously a #firstworldproblem. Our commercialism sucks meaning and polarity out of everything that it touches, and we are left with something that vaguely resembles the other. I’m not sure that I could handle the discomfort of a world any other way, so tonight I’ll help the kids don their costumes and collect their obligatory treats. We’ll all go on as if there is good and evil without really experiencing either.

Jeremy Floyd

Jeremy Floyd is the President at FUNYL Commerce. Formerly, he was the CEO and President of Lirio, Bluegill Creative, a marketing and communications firm in Knoxville, Tennessee. In addition to managing the digital strategies, Floyd was an adjunct professor for the University of Tennessee Chattanooga MBA program teaching digital strategies and social media. Floyd blogs at and tweets under the name @jfloyd. Jeremy is licensed to practice law in the State of Tennessee and holds a law degree from the University of Tennessee College of Law and a Bachelor of Arts degree from MTSU in English and Philosophy.

  • How can we commodify every breath we breathe? Meaning is too metaphysical in our world (#firstworldproblem), so irony replaces meaning. And even spending is yet one more ironic expression of the absurdity. And yet, there are routes for recovery. Halloween is connected to one of the most ancient tribal celebrations and is focused on remembering (remembering the elders). The Celts give us many of our modern rituals (and the church who took remembering into the pattern of Israel’s remembering the Fathers). Ritual does not have to be satiated in consumerism (or human blood). But it can be a way of fostering common memory, community, story, and of course, meaning.

  • Kelli Creative

    It doesn’t HAVE to suck meaning. Does it? Ok here’s something I heard on Sunday that bears so much truth it catalyzed an “Amen!” out of an Anglican congregation… ok, so it was after a bit of cajoling from the priest, but it still rang undeniably true… Chris Cairns was talking about how worship service is not a place to come to get a “nugget” to help sustain you through a week of “real life”. It is a place to come to be transformed and have your life turned upside-down into a Real Life. It was something like that… I don’t do it justice, but the point is this… And it sorta fits with the All Hallow’s Eve, All Saints Day, and All Souls Day (in some Catholic traditions)… we are the light bearers… we are the ones who, thru death transform the world and turn it upside down… Paradox after paradox. All hope is NOT lost. I can’t help but think of the Valley of the Bones and how long-dead bones are enfleshed once again with the juiciness, succulent marrow, and life of God’s attention and turned into a mighty army. Take heart, friend. There is plenty of good to be experienced and to be given out again and again.

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