Isn’t being a vampire more than enough bite for mixing it up on Halloween? For some folk, despite their real age, or mental one they must suffer (and us along with them) from, being a fictional monster like Dracula, Freddy or Darth Vader just isn’t as satisfying as putting on a mask to assume the notorious identity of a real life villain. Through the years, masquerading as a serial killer or terrorist leader on the one day out of the year where we can be anyone or anything we desire seems a bit off kilter. Of course, the simple fact remains: Halloween is much like Lady Gaga – or the more legendary artist she drew most of her inspiration from, Madonna. It’s the holiday to try to shock, amaze and frighten the tar out of as many people as we can.
He may be just an old, incarcerated cookie thief today, but back in 1994, he was the center of global attention during the trial of the century. Simpson’s glorious career as a football icon and all around sports hero, along with his respectable Hollywood acting and pitchman career, was derailed by him being accused of murdering his ex-wife Nicole Brown Simpson and innocent bystander, Ron Goldman. OJ was acquitted of the charges and a nation became divided over the quality of justice the jury helped deliver. The divisive, though charismatic defense lawyer, the late Johnny Cocoran, became a household name – along with the prosecution team led by Marcia Clark and Chris Darden. OJ was subsequently put behind bars for theft of goods and conspiracy, yet his villainous shadow amongst those who feel he really was guilty remains large.
Osama Bin Laden
The former leader of the middle eastern Al-Queda terrorist group was an actual mask choice for some hearty, politically minded folk. Or just plain wacky and tacky? Those attention needy types who just wanted to stir up controversy while going around begging for candy corn and Reeses cups must have had more than their share of second looks and smirks of disapproval. Now that he’s no longer among the living, Bin Laden can truly be numbered as an other worldly figure, worthy of Halloween inclusion – at least as a philosophical concept.
This is a really complex one, for any number of reasons, both emotionally charged and sociological ones. First, an insane man who gunned down and slaughtered so many innocents in a movie theater, while they watched a violent blockbuster incites so many to rageful indignation. Issues of caring for the mentally ill and gun control boil up around this one. Second, Homes believed – in his torturous fantasy world of going through life with a mentally damaged psyche – that he was either really Batman’s adversary, The Joker, or something akin to the fictional character. People have dressed in a James Holmes mask – and also as Holmes as the Joker. The latter wasn’t hard, as he had dyed his hair to look more like the iconic comic book villain.