Wednesday, October 26, 2011

More Clown Shoes from Salem

Last spring I put up several posts making fun of Salem, Massachusetts' push for witchcraft-themed tourist dollars, a situation profoundly ironic because in fact Salem has no history of real witches, but rather baseless accusations that got a bunch of innocent people killed in 1692. In light of this and the ridiculous commercialism that surrounds the place, back then I went ahead and dubbed Salem "the clown shoes of magick." Things died down for awhile over the summer, but let's face it, now it's almost Halloween. The clown shoes are back, at least for the next week.

Ghouls representing two downtown Halloween attractions, the Nightmare Factory and the Witch Mansion, have been confronting each other on the pedestrian mall that separates them.

In the latest incident, a demonic representative of the Witch Mansion was accused of "bumping" the zombies from the Nightmare Factory who were strolling on the mall walkway to lure customers into the store.

That followed an accusation by the Witch Mansion that zombies from the Nightmare Factory were shouting, "Witch Mansion sucks," during the city's annual Zombie Walk on the "Night of the Living Dead" commemoration.

Police were called to the scene but an employee of the Nightmare Factory told officers they were merely mouthing "White Sox," suggesting zombies from Chicago had invaded Salem.

To understand the conflict, you need to know businesses in Salem are fiercely competitive during the Halloween season, when thousands of tourists visit the haunted houses, witch museums and costume stores.

I guess you also have to understand that in Salem the ratio of idiots to smart people is apparently almost paranormally high, at least among those loud and stupid enough to make the news. It's a wonder that the whole place hasn't imploded yet from the sheer gravitational mass of epic fail contained within its borders.

Now, keep in mind that I'm not slagging on the town itself or everyone who happens to live there. Plenty of Salem residents are fighting the good fight, trying to emphasize the city's nautical history and genuinely amazing architecture instead of all this dimestore witch crap. I can't help but respect anyone with the fortitude to keep that up, especially during the silly season, and I wish all of them the best.

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Lavanah said...

We were in Salem last year, right before Halloween. The timing was coincidental, as we were visiting our daughter, who attends college in the region. As we were walking down this particular pedestrian mall, my daughter commented; "It's just like the Renfaire, but the costumes aren't as good." 'Nuff said.

Ananael Qaa said...

Heh. Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. It's really too bad, because Salem is otherwise a nice place to visit.

I wonder if there's a specific strain of Renfaire douchery particular to witchy wannabes. Out here in Minnesota it's hard to tell, since so many of the Renfaire folks call themselves pagan. That makes it tough to get a decent sample set.