As we approach Halloween, we should be careful of our entertainment choices. Sure, most of it is just fun and games, but there are some concerns about how we glamorize violence, death and ill-spirited activities.
This time of year, you have a healthy choice of immoral entertainment. They include horror films such the remake of “Carrie,” where a demon girl burns down her high school and kills most of her classmates. We have Fright Fest at Six Flags, if you feel like walking through a gantlet of zombies.
We also have an array of foul video games to choose from to fulfill a person’s ill-spirited desires. Now playing is the billion-selling “Grand Theft Auto V,” where you can freely perform every act of brutal animated violence, sexual assaults and torture that your evil heart desires.
Are these extremely disturbing entertainment products simply a reflection of what our society has become? How do we discern whether this is just harmless fun or tools to cultivate a more ill-spirited culture?
I think the world is wicked enough all year long, without Halloween. The 10 o’clock news alone gives me nightmares sometimes.
So what is a parent to do? Evil is all around us. It’s on the TV, it’s in the music we listen to.
It’s even in the toys made for kids. This week, a 13-year-old child was shot and killed by law enforcement for carrying a toy. It was a replica of an assault rifle.
We should seek to find a healthy balance between what is harmless entertainment and what could be an ill-spirited influence. I made a decision as a parent to not allow my children to participate in certain activities. For their own protection, there were no toy guns, no violent video games and no rock fights allowed.
Next week, parents will have to decide to what extent they will allow their children to participate in Halloween activities. The most common concern is safety. Drivers will need to be more aware of kids on the street that night. Parents will more than likely have to check the candy before allowing the kids to consume any. Some will host their own event to ensure a safe and secure environment.
I’m not a big fan of Halloween and as a child, I actually hated it because as an underprivileged kid, I always had the worst costume on the block.
While most of my friends had real costumes like Dracula or Batman, my costume was a brown paper bag with two holes in it that my mother would pull out of the kitchen drawer. The bag would always have a gravy stain or something on the back of it. It was pitiful.
To make matters worse, someone would always ask, “Who are you supposed to be?” “I’m an angry kid with a welfare costume,” I would snap back.
During these turbulent times in Los Angeles, there were also teenage thugs who were too lazy to go trick-or-treating for themselves. They would wait until some kid like me had a full pillow case full of candy and jump him, take the bag and run away. Halloween candy-jackings happened way too often to me. I was done.
There has to be a better way to find safer entertainment and wholesome activities. As I researched information for this column, I found an interesting definition of entertainment – agreeable temporary possession of the mind.
Deon D. Price is a youth life skills coach and columnist. He can be reached at Deondprice@yahoo.com. Or follow him at www.twitter.com/youthgeneration.