The Future of YouTube

In the future, when archeologists mine our computer data, they will eventually run across YouTube and when they do, they’re going to come to some interesting conclusions about life in the early 21st century.  Here are just a few examples.  (In no particular order.)

Half of all Russian drivers had dash cameras and the other half were drunk.

The tattoo industry was basically illiterate.

Our society was obsessed with puppies, kittens and fat people falling over.

Stairs were dangerous, trampolines were dangerous but the most dangerous thing of all were stripper poles.

It was common practice to scare the crap out of people – friends, neighbours, total strangers.

Construction workers were idiots.

Every man on the planet was nailed in the crotch by a ball, a bat, a rock, a pole, a stick, a croquet mallet, a hot beverage, a flying piece of fruit or some other heavy item — at least once.

The number of skateboarders who attempted suicide was astronomical.

Grown men spent their lives looking for mistakes in movies.

Taylor Swift was part of the problem.

Kanye West had only one song.

Millions of people spent millions of hours watching men doing various activities with a variety of balls.

No one could get through an entire day without mentioning Trump.

People made all sorts of things out of used plastic bottles and old toilet rolls – but they were totally useless and looked like they were made out of used plastic bottles and old toilet rolls.

Western religion was based on celebrities and babies.

Bikinis made women stupid.  Men started out that way.

People worried about zombies a lot more than they did nutrition.

Accidents, catastrophes and natural disasters were spectator sports.

Marriage proposals were publicly staged and elaborately planned.

Wedding, yearbook and family photos were objects of ridicule.

But actually:

Despite all their research, future archeologists are never going to be able to figure out who was filming all this stuff or why.

Halloween: A History

halloweenI’m totally into Hallowe’en.  It’s right up there with Christmas, St Paddy’s Day and the Summer Solstice.  (I think I was a Druid in a past life.)  Unfortunately, idiots have taken over the celebration and they’re ruining it.  Every year, the minute the calendar says October, our 5,000 channel television universe turns into a butcher shop and it’s wall-to-wall Horror Movie gore until the bloodlust finally abates November 1st.  What a bunch of crap!

Here’s the deal.

Michael Myers, Freddy Krueger, what’s-his-name with the hockey mask and anybody else with a chainsaw, pickaxe or pointy stick have nothing to do with Hallowe’en.  These guys and their horrible movies were invented by Hollywood to cash in on the universal need for teenage boys to get close to teenage girls — who, BTW, are looking for an excuse to let them.  That’s where horror movies came from — not from Hallowe’en.  Hallowe’en was never about half-naked young women and dumbass young men getting their entrails splattered from here to Main Street.  Nor was it about the lunatics, maniacs and psychopaths who stalk them.  These are all modern creations of the film industry.

Historically, this is what Hallowe’en is all about.

Hallowe’en actually started out as a quasi-religious holiday.  Back in the day, when pagans ruled the world and Christianity was a fairly new religion, the battle for the collective souls of the European multitudes was waged without mercy.  Religious marketing was at its cutthroat best.  The early Christians weren’t stupid, and they hijacked a lot of pagan traditions and incorporated them into their rituals to ease the masses into accepting Jesus as their personal Saviour.  In those days, pagans (and most Christians) believed that unsatisfied souls walked the night, and they could, on occasion, mete out some pretty mean-spirited retribution on the living — if they saw fit.  The church decided that November 1st, Hallowmas, a day that already honoured the saints, would be a good opportunity for people to pray for the souls of the recently dead.  This would aid the tormented on their journey to heaven — and, more importantly, keep them away from the God-fearing living.  Since midnight masses were de rigueur in those days, the church services took place at night or on All Hallows’ Eve.  (Sound familiar?  Hallowe’en?)  However, the nouveaux Christians of the day weren’t above hedging their bets — just in case this Jesus thing didn’t work out.  On their way to church, they wore cloaks, masks and even costumes – to disguise themselves from the ghosts who were hanging around the cemetery, waiting for prayers of deliverance.  In addition, some of the poorer members of the parish would accept coins or food from the wealthier patrons to add their prayers for the dear departed.  That’s it: the time, the place, the costumes, the tricks and the treats.  There’s a lot more to it, but for bare bones, you can take this history to the bank.

Notice!  There were no chainsaws, axes, heavy mallets or ball peen hammers.  There were no knives, swords, machetes, garden forks, shovels or soup spoons.  Nobody got stabbed, jabbed, poked or prodded.  Nobody got torn limb from limb, dismembered or even bruised.   It wasn’t a bloodbath, or even a slight rinse.  Originally, and for over a thousand years of its history, Hallowe’en was spooky, creepy, perhaps even a little frightening, but murder and blood soaked mayhem were never on the agenda.  It’s only recently that it’s been turned into a month-long multi-channel Splatterfest.  And for my money that’s a total corruption of a perfectly good festival.

Friday:  How to Write a Horror Movie